I’m sure you have read many books
And perhaps some poetry
And yet there is no tale like mine
The pretty nymph named Daphne!
For you see I was a lovely girl
I played games amidst the trees
And many men would stop and say:
“Oh wow, that girl is pretty!”
But beauty has its share of woes
And so begins this story
For Eros, son of the god of love,
He had these love-dipped arrows
And with that wicked bow of his
He picked a strong love arrow
Then made a point to take great aim
With a pluck he struck Apollo!
And woe to me that great arrow
Shot by that impish Eros!
For as he was struck, poor Apollo
Saw me as love took over!
Apollo went down to his knees
That god of poetry
And said, “Daphne, with your great beauty
Be my wife — oh pretty please!”
But my reply was: “Not a chance!”
For I was not in love with him!
But Apollo had that crazy look –
So I ran just like the wind!
But Apollo could not accept “No”
That arrow had made him loco!
He made up his mind — he must have me!
And as I ran he followed!
He chased me through the forest
As I ran amidst the trees
I used my speed – I did my best!
But he would not let me be!
I yelled out to Apollo:
“Oh please just let me go!”
But he replied, so lovingly:
“Where you go — I shall follow!”
And just as I could feel his breath
For my arm he was to seize
I called out to the river-god:
“Oh please help me be free!”
And just as I had made my plea
I felt tree bark take my knees
And looked up to my fingers
Where once were nails I now had leaves!
For have you ever heard a story
As strange as mine – the pretty Daphne!
For once I was a pretty girl
But in just a moment – a pretty tree!
And though he could no longer marry me
For who could marry a tree?
Unfortunately, for poor Apollo,
He still loved me as a tree!
In tears, he took some of my leaves
And produced from them a wreathe
This he put atop his head
So that, at least, he could wear me!
So if you see Olympians
Or great heroes with those wreathes
Know they once were the fingernails
Of Daphne: once girl — now tree!