Daphne and Apollo

The Metamorphoses of Daphne

Daphne's metamorphosis into a bay tree
Daphne's metamorphosis into a bay tree. ArtToday

Daphne was a nymph, a daughter of the river god Peneius. As a result of a boasting match among the gods, Apollo fell hopelessly in love with her. At the same time that Cupid's golden arrow shot Apollo full of love, one of Cupid's lead-tipped arrows pierced the heart of the nymph. The result was that she wanted nothing to do with love. She persuaded her father to allow her to remain unwed. Neither knowing this nor caring, Apollo pursued Daphne, trying to persuade her with talk of his great worth, but she wanted nothing to do with him and ran while he tried to woo her.

This merely made Apollo more determined, so he pursued her and gained on her. When he was about to reach her, she pleaded with Peneius to help her, to let the earth swallow her up or to change her form. Peneius obliged. Daphne was turned into a bay laurel tree to escape Apollo.

Based on Bulfinch's Apollo and Daphne