On the earth lived a mortal called Tithonus,
who loved Aurora so well that he never
failed to leave his bed while it was still
dark, to watch for her coming. Aurora loved
Tithonus in return, and one day she flew to
the king of the gods, and begged of him that
Tithonus might be given a draught of nectar,
and so become immortal.
Jupiter granted this request, and Aurora
took Tithonus up to Mount Olympus to live in
her golden house.
The goddess had forgotten to ask that
Tithonus might never grow old. Therefore,
the time came when gray hairs could be seen
among his golden curls. Aurora was kind to
him in spite of this, and continued to give
him beautiful garments, and to feed him on
ambrosia. Still, Tithonus grew older and
older, and in time, after several hundred
years, he was so very old that he could not
move at all. Little was left of him but his
voice, and even that had grown high and
thin. Then he withered away so much that he
had to be shut up in a room, for
safe-keeping. Aurora felt so sorry to see
him withering away in this manner that she
changed him into a little insect, and sent
him down to the earth again, where men
called him the grasshopper.
Very glad to be free and active once more,
Tithonus hopped about in the fields all day,
chirping cheerfully to Aurora.
The Legend and Myth of Tithonus
The Myth of Tithonus
The story of Tithonus is featured in the book
entitled Favorite Greek Myths by Lilian
Stoughton Hyde, published in 1904 by D. C.
Heath and Company.