Clytie, the Heliotrope

Posted by Vartika Kumari at July 18, 2021

There was once a sweet little nymph called clytie. She was soft spoken
and kind, and always dressed in yellowish had only one pastime
thought: gazing at Apollo, the sun god, as he drove his Sun chariot
through the heavens. She was dazzled by his brightness and

power.She wached him as he rose in the east, attened by the rosy-
fingered Dawn.She wached as he climbed still higher in the fierce heat

of the noonday. She looked with wonder i the evening too. That was
when he guided his steeds downward to their many- c o l o u r e d
pastures under the western sky. Apollo did not she Clytie. he had no
thought for her. But he shed his brightest beams upon her sister, the
white nymph, Leucothoe. And when Clytie saw this, she was filled with
envy and sadness.
Night and day she sat on the ground weeping. For nine days and nine
nights, she never raised herself from the Earth. Nor did she take food
or drink. But she turned her weeping eyes towards the Sun god as he
moved through the sky.
Soon her limbs became rooted to the ground. Green leaves covered her
body. Tiny flowers, violet-coloured and sweet with perfume, hid her
beautiful face. Thus, she was changed into a flower; and her roots held
her fast to the ground. But she always turned her blossom – covered
face towards the Sun, following his daily fight with an eager look. Her
sorrow and tears were in vain, for Apollo did not look at her.
And so through the ages has the nymph turned her dew-washed face
toward the heavens And people no longer call her Clytie, but the
sunflower, heliotrope.


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