Sabrina and Her Nymphs

by William Etty

  • Date painted: 1841

This is what happens to nymphs: they are pursued or they are left. Sometimes, like Echo, they are fled. We turn to trees, seabirds, seafoam, running water, the sound of wind in the leaves. Men come to stay with us, they lie beside us in the night, they hold us so hard we can’t breathe. They walk in the woods and glimpse us: a diving kingfish, an owl caught in the headlights, a cold spring on the hillside. Alcyone, Nyctimene, Peirene, Echo, Calypso: these are some of our names. We like to live alone, or think we do. When men find us, they say we are lovelier than anything they have ever seen; wilder, stranger, more passionate; elemental. They say they will stay forever. They always leave.

— Elizabeth Hand

About ubu507

memory documentation and manipulation
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