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[希腊神话23]那西塞斯

2006-02-28 00:00

  Narcissus

  Narcissus had a twin sister whom he loved better than anyone else in the world.This sister died when she was young and very beautiful.Narcissus missed her so very much that he wished he might die too.

  One day,as he sat on the ground by a spring,looking absently into the water and thinking of his lost sister,he saw a face like hers,looking up at him.It seemed as if his sister had become a water nymph  and were actually there in the spring,but she would not speak to him.

  Of course the face Narcissus saw was really the reflection of his own face in the water,but he did not know that.In those days there were no clear mirrors like ours;and the idea of one's appearance that could be got from a polished brass shield,for instance,was a very dim one.So Narcissus leaned over the water and looked at the beautiful face so like his sister's,and wondered what it was and whether he should ever see his sister again.

  After this,he came back to the spring day after day and looked at the face he saw there,and mourned for his  sister  until,at last,the gods felt sorry for him and changed him into a flower.

  This flower was the first narcissus .All the flowers of thisfamily,when they grow by the side of a pond or a stream,still bend their beautiful heads and look at the reflection of their owfaces in the water.

  那西塞斯有个他至爱的孪生妹妹。这个非常美丽的妹妹死去的时候年纪还很小。那西塞斯非常思念她,甚至想跟她一起死去。

  一天,他坐在溪旁毫无心思看着流水想念他失去的妹妹时,他看到一张像她的面孔正在注视着他。那种情形就像她妹妹成了河神而且就在河里,可是她没有说话。

  那张那西塞斯看到的面孔实际上就是他自己的面孔在水里的倒影,可是他不知道。那时还没有像我们现在明亮的镜子,一个人可以在比如说一面发光铜制盾状的东西上看到自己容貌的这种观念尚不很明确。那西塞斯就靠在水旁看着那像他妹妹美丽的面孔,猜疑到底她是谁?也不知道他是否能再见到他妹妹。

  以后他天天都到溪旁注视他看到的面孔,一面又哀悼他妹妹,最后众神为他感到很难过就把他变成了一朵花。

  这朵花就是第一朵水仙花,所有这类花生长在池塘或溪旁时,仍然低下它们美丽的头看着水里自己的影子。

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