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Sphinx (Riddle of)
Hero and Leander were famous lovers in Greek mythology.
Hero, who lived in the town of Sestus, served
as a priestess of the goddess Aphrodite (Venus). She was
attended by a single maid, and lived at the edge of Sestus in
a high tower by the sea. The will of her parents made her live here.
Although she was prietess of the goddess of love, so far her heart had been untouched.
She was very beautiful. At first sight men would fall inlove with her. She was not interested in any
of the wedding offerings offered by men.
Leander and Hero, how they met.
At the Festival to which leander came to the temple, it was filled with pilgrims.
He came to make offerings and prayers to Aphrodite along with everyone else.
When many men saw Hero their hearts burned with love.
She looked upon them coldly. Eventually they would move on and look
for other single women for marriage at the Festival.
When it was Leanders turn to come up, he prayed longer
than most. After he was finished, his eyes met directly with Heros.
--and the moment their eyes met they fell deeply in love.♥ (Tales the Muses Told page 129.)
Although it was love at first sight, it was a love so strong and true,
they could not hide it. Their eyes had already spoken before their
lips, without any conscious will,said: "i love you."
Leander quickly told Hero who he was, and begged for marriage.
Hero knew her father would not approve.
"then let me visit you here in secret," Leander said.
At last they are together♥
Hero was unaware as to what was to be of their love.
Alove so strong, but so hard.
Hero told Leander of a secret path because he would not
be able to see her through the guards.
He would have to swim everynight through Hellespont.
To guide his way, she would have to light a lap for him to follow.
They made an unbelievable promise.
Seeing Hero's tower by day, his heart would skip. At night he would
undress and plunge into the water. As he stepped out onto the beach,
Hero caught his hands in hers and kissed him. So he would
not freeze, she wrapped her cloak around him and led him into the tower
for a robe and wine. All through the summer Hero and Leander
knew such happiness of perfect love as few could equal.
Almost everynight Hero would light the lamp to show Leander the way back into her arms.
The end of an almost perfect love..
As the summer drew to an end fall came.
The nights got colder, but leander still pushed on.
When winter came something happened to the waves.
They got bigger and stronger, but yet Leander kept pushing through.
Hero came to the realization she could not live without Leander.
One night the waves did not seem as rough as usually, but to risky to go for.
Hero could not bear to be anywhere he wasn't.
She lit the light, and Leander could not resist. He took off his clothes and flung into hellespont.
The waves beat him and kept bringing him down.
He struggled desperatly against the waves. There was no use, he could not go on.
With one last despairing look at the lamp in Hero's tower, he gave up and sank beneath the waves.
As soon as this happened a strong wind blew through the tower and blew out the light.
When the day came, Hero almost wild with anxiety and fear ran to the edge of the cliff.
She prayed wildly to the gods that Leander had not tried to swim through the storm. She looked down and saw
his lifeless body on the shore. At the sight her heart broke.. She flung herself over the edge to join Leander in Hellespont.
Tales The Muses Told
by:Roger Lancelyn Green.
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