Thursday, December 9, 2010

Eos and Tithonos

Long ago, as the first Gods ordered the universe, it fell to Eos, the beautiful daughter of Hyperion and Theia, to bring forth the dawn from the East. Each morning, at the close of night's time, Eos would rise up in her chariot from the river Okeanus, ascending to herald in the light of day to Gods and mortals alike. Eos was often found spending much of the day with her brother, Helios, as he rode across the sky, bringing the light of the sun to the worlds.

During one such ride, Eos' eye fell upon a young warrior god in training, Ares, the brilliant God of War. He was magnificent in form and breath-taking to behold. Eos drove her chariot down to get a closer look, sending her rays of rosy light to shimmer and shine on his skin and blade. Ares, being of the strong masculine sort, was moved by her grace and beauty as she shone on before him in ethereal wonder. It was no time before the two found themselves spent between lover's sheets.

Ares, unfortunately, had already pledged his heart to Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love and Desire, and when she heard of their coupling, her wrath filled her with a passionate anger and thirst for revenge. With a simple spell, Aphrodite cursed Eos to be forever enthralled beyond measure with young and attractive men.

After a string of lovers that Eos stole away to the ends of the Earth, Orion whom she bore away to Delos, Cleitus whom she bore to the immortals very realm, her heart fell upon the Trojan Prince Tithonos who freely reciprocated her love. Eos and Tithonos existed in happy union, bearing two children, Emathion and Memnon.

As time passed and she watched him age, Eos became distraught at the thought of losing him. She went to Zeus, Mightiest of the Olympians, who had his share of unquenchable passion for mortals, and petitioned him to grant her Tithonos immortality. Zeus, being moved by love, granted her this wish.

As further time passed, Eos noted that Tithonos was continuing to age. He grew older with the years, and she returned to Zeus in confusion. Zeus revealed to Eos her folly: Eos had not asked for eternal youth for her love, only immortality. With great sadness, Eos watched her love grow weaker, older and miserable. One day, when even his voice had disappeared into the void and Tithonos was nothing more than a shadow of a man, Eos used her love and her magic to turn him into a grasshopper. In this form, Tithonos maintained his most shining qualities, a carefree wit, a graceful gait and a lilting song that even still elicits peace, patience, and solidarity in reflection of his patient and eternal love for Eos, Goddess of the Dawn.

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