One morning Clytie and Leucothea broke this
law. When the sun began to show above the
hills, and all the other nymphs rushed back
to their streams, these two sat on the bank
of their river, and watched for the coming
of the sun-god. Then as Apollo drove his
horses across the sky, they sat and watched
him all day long.
They thought they had never seen anything so
glorious. The god sat in his golden chariot
with his crown on his head, and kept a firm
rein on the four fire-breathing horses. The
sisters were dazzled by the glitter of the
chariot and the radiance of the jewelled
crown. Apollo smiled upon them, and they
When night came, they returned to their
river, where they could think of nothing
else but Apollo and his golden chariot.
Before morning they fell to quarrelling, as
sisters sometimes will. Then Clytie told
King Oceanus how Leucothea had broken the
law of the water-nymphs, but she did not say
that she herself had broken it also. King
Oceanus was very angry, and shut Leucothea
up in a cave.
Just before daylight, Clytie went up to
dance with the other nymphs, as usual, and
once more she remained on the shore all day
to watch the Sun. This time Apollo would not
smile upon her, because he knew she had been
unkind to her sister.
When night came, she
did not go down to her home at the bottom of
the river, but sat on its sandy bank,
waiting for the coming of the Sun; and when
he came again, she watched him, all day, and
so on for nine days and nine nights. As she
had broken the law, she did not dare to go
home, therefore she had nothing to live on
but the dew which fell from the sky. She
grew so very thin that you would have
thought the wind might blow her away.
Yet, she sat there and watched the Sun, who
never looked her way, and never smiled on
her any more. At last her dainty feet, that
had danced so lightly with the other nymphs,
took root in the loose sand; her fluttering
garments became green leaves; and her face,
which was always turned toward the Sun,
became a flower.
This flower still grows, in wet, sandy
places, and still it turns slowly on its
stem, always keeping its face toward the
The Legend and Myth of Clytie
The Myth of Clytie
The story of Clytie is featured in the book
entitled Favorite Greek Myths by Lilian
Stoughton Hyde, published in 1904 by D. C.
Heath and Company.