The Myth of Adonis
The mythical story of Adonis
by Lilian Stoughton Hyde
The Myth of Adonis
Adonis was young, gentle, and very beautiful. All things loved him. Flowers sprang up under his feet, and bees and butterflies fluttered around him. When he went out hunting in the forest with his hounds, Venus, the goddess of beauty, used to follow him at a distance, keeping within the shadows. She trembled lest some accident should befall him, for she knew that the forest was full of wolves, panthers, and other beasts even more dangerous.
Mars, the cruel war-god, hated all gentle and beautiful things, and he hated Adonis worst of all. One day he sent an ugly wild boar, with his great sharp tusks, to attack the boy.
A few hours later Venus found Adonis, wounded and dying, with the bright blood falling in drops from his side. She bent over him, her tears falling with the drops of blood. As Venus's tears touched the ground, they were changed to wind-flowers, while every drop of blood that fell from the wound of Adonis became a red rose.
Picture of Adonis and Venus
When bright Adonis went down to the dark Underworld, all things on earth mourned for him. The flowers faded in the fields, the trees cast down their leaves, the dolphins wept near the shore, and the nightingales sang the saddest songs they knew. The Muses cried, "Woe, woe for Adonis! He hath perished, the lovely Adonis!" And Echo, from the dark forests where the youth had so often hunted, answered, "He hath perished, the lovely Adonis!"
At last Jupiter said that Adonis should return, and that he should spend at least one-half of his time in the upper world and the other half in the underworld. So the Hours brought him back.
Then the flowers sprang up again, the trees put forth new leaves, and all became light-hearted and happy once more.
The Legend and Myth of Adonis