Seven Deadly Sin: Pride Story Edition II
In this tale, told by Roman poet Ovid and remembered for his verses on love, a young girl named Echo falls in love with a vain youth named Narcissus. He was the son of a woman that the river god had encircled with the windings of his streams, thus trapping and seducing her. Worried for her son’s welfare, she consulted a prophet regarding his future. The prophet reports: Narcissus "will live to a ripe old age, as long as he never knows himself."
Echo's passion for Narcissus was equaled only by her passion for talking as she always had to have the last word. One day she enabled the escape of the goddess Juno's adulterous husband (Jupiter) by engaging Juno in conversation. On finding out Echo's treachery Juno cursed Echo by removing her voice with the exception that she could only speak that which was spoken to her.
Echo often waited in the woods to see Narcissus hoping for a chance to be noticed. One day as she lingered in the bushes he heard her footsteps and called out “Who's here?” Echo replied “Here!” Narcissus called again "Come", Echo replied "Come!". Narcissus called once more “Why do you shun me? Let us join one another.” Echo was overjoyed that Narcissus had asked her to join him. She longed to tell him who she was and of all the love she had for him in her heart but she could not speak. She ran towards him and threw herself upon him.
Narcissus became angry “Hands off! I would rather die than you should have me!” and threw Echo to the ground. Echo left the woods a ruin, her heart broken. Ashamed she ran away to live in the mountains yearning for a love that would never be returned. The grief killed her. Her body became one with the mountain stone. All that remained was her voice which replied in kind when others spoke.
A man named Ameinius was one of Narcissus' most ardent admirers, and repeatedly vied for his attention. The conceited youth responded by sending his suitor a sword, telling him to prove his adoration. Ameinious proceeded to plunge the sword into his heart, committing suicide to demonstrate his love, but not before he beseeched the gods to punish the vain Narcissus.The gods grew tired of his behavior and cursed Narcissus. They wanted him to know what it felt like to love and never be loved. They made it so there was only one whom he would love, someone who was not real and could never love him back.
One day whilst out enjoying the sunshine Narcissus came upon a pool of water. As he gazed into it he caught a glimpse of what he thought was a beautiful water spirit. He did not recognize his own reflection and was immediately enamored by Nemesis. Narcissus bent down his head to kiss the vision. As he did so the reflection mimicked his actions. Taking this as a sign of reciprocation Narcissus reached into the pool to draw the water spirit to him. The water displaced and the vision was gone. He panicked, where had his love gone? When the water became calm the water spirit returned. “Why, beautiful being, do you shun me? Surely my face is not one to repel you. The nymphs love me, and you yourself look not indifferent upon me. When I stretch forth my arms you do the same; and you smile upon me and answer my beckoning with the like.” Again he reached out and again his love disappeared. Frightened to touch the water Narcissus lay still by the pool gazing in to the eyes of his vision.
He cried in frustration. He did not move, he did not eat or drink, he only suffered. As he pinned he became gaunt losing his beauty. The nymphs that loved him pleaded with him to come away from the pool. He was transfixed; he wanted to stay there forever. Narcissus like Echo died with grief. His body disappeared and where his body once lay a flower grew in its place. The nymphs mourned his death and as they mourned.
Beauty is not just one's appear. it is a person who touches another's soul, with laughter, intelligence, manerisms, respect, kind heart.