The beautiful Nereid Galatea loved the son of Cimetida, the young Acis, and Acis loved the nereid. It was not only Acis who was captured by Galatea. The huge Cyclops Polyphemus once saw the beautiful Galatea as it emerged from the waves of the azure sea, shining with its beauty, and blazed with mad love for it. Oh, how great is your strength, golden Aphrodite! You also breathed love into the stern Cyclops, to whom no one dared to approach, so as not to suffer, and who despised the Olympian gods! Polyphemus burns from the fire of love. He forgot the sheep in his caves. The wild Cyclops even began to take care of his beauty. He begins to comb his matted hair with a thorn and trim his tousled beard with a sickle. He wasn’t even so wild and bloodthirsty anymore.

It was at this time that the prophet Thelem sailed to the shores of Sicily. He foretold to Polyphemus:

“The only eye you have on your forehead will be taken out by the hero Odysseus.”

In response to the prophet, Polyphemus laughed rudely and shouted:

Polyphemus discovers Acis and Galatea, Auguste Ottin in the Jardin du Luxembourg‘s Médici Fountain, 1866

“You are lying, the stupidest of prophets! Another creature has already captured my eye!”

Not far into the sea a rocky hill jutted out; it descended steeply to the ever-roaring waves. Polyphemus often came with his flock to this hill. There he sat, placing his staff as big as a ship’s mast at his feet, took out his whistle, made of a hundred reed tubes, and began to inflate it as much as he could. The wild sounds of Polyphemus’s whistle spread far out to sea, through mountains and valleys. They also reached Acis and Galatea, who often sat in a cool cave on the beach, not far from the hill. Polyphemus played his whistle and sang. Suddenly he jumped like a raging bull. Polyphemus saw Galatea and Acis in the cave on the seashore and shouted in such a thunderous voice that an echo from him called all the way from Mount Etna:

“I see you! All right, all right, this will be your last date!”

Galatea was frightened and hurried to throw herself into the sea. The native sea waves protected her from Polyphemus. Terrified, Acis seeks escape on the run. He stretches out his hands to the sea and shouts:

“Oh, help me, Galateo! My parents, save me, hide me!”

The Cyclops chases Acis. He tore off a rock from the mountain, swung it, and threw it at Acis. Although Polyphemus affected him only with the end of the rock, the unfortunate young man was all trapped by this end and crushed. Beneath the end of the rock, the scarlet blood of Acis flowed like a stream. Gradually the scarlet color of the blood is lost, the flow becomes brighter and brighter. In color, it already looks like a river clouded by torrential rain. Gradually it became clearer. Suddenly, the rock that had crushed Acis split in two. Green reeds rustled in the crack, and a clear, transparent stream flowed from it. From the stream a young man with a bluish complexion, with a wreath of reeds on his head, reached his waist. This was Acis- he became a river god.