"It is when he is old that Narcissus wants a graven image of himself."
Narcissus by Caravaggio
Public DomainNarcissus by Caravaggio - Credit: Michelangelo Caravaggio

The Narcissus myth is the story of a beautiful youth who falls in love with his own reflection. The most famous version is told by Ovid, the Roman poet in his Metamorphoses.

Not recognising himself

He wanted only himself. He had chosen

From all the faces he had ever seen

Only his own. He was himself

The torturer who now began his torture.

Ted Hughes, Tales From Ovid. 1997. Faber and Faber.


You can read the Metamorphoses at the Internet Classics Archive, or listen to the myth being read aloud.


Metamorphoses by Ovid

Tales From Ovid by Ted Hughes