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Book Notes Book 11: Ceyx and Alcyone Notes from Metamorphoses

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Metamorphoses Book 11: Ceyx and Alcyone

After Daedalion was turned to a hawk, Ceyx departed to visit the oracle of Apollo. Alcyone, his wife, didn't want him to go because she was afraid for his safety. He told her that "'Long to our love seems every waiting hour, / But by my father's radiance I swear, / If only the Fates let me, I'll return / Before the moon twice fills her silver orb'" Book 11 -- Ceyx and Alcyone, line 52-5. After a tearful goodbye, he sailed off to the oracle. A storm (awkward) and wrecked the ship, drowning the crew and Ceyx with the them. He prayed before he died that he would wash up on his native shore so that he could return to his wife as he'd promised.

Meanwhile, Alcyone did not know that her husband was dead, and she kept praying to Juno for his safety. Juno sent her messenger, Iris, to make Sleep break the bad news to Alcyone in a dream. Alcyone was heartbroken, and as she stood on the shore where she'd last seen her husband, she saw his body floating on the waves. She rushed over the water to reach him and found that she'd been transformed to a kingfisher and so had her husband. They became birds that mate for life and live out on the water.

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