The Disciple


Poems in Prose: The Disciple is Wilde's clever poem told from the pool's point of view while Narcissus gazes lovingly at his reflection. It was published as a collection of six prose poems in 1894 in The Fortnightly Review.
The Disciple
James Edward Kelly, caricature of Wilde as Narcissus

When Narcissus died the pool of his pleasure changed from a cup of sweet waters into a cup of salt tears, and the Oreads came weeping through the woodland that they might sing to the pool and give it comfort.

And when they saw that the pool had changed from a cup of sweet waters into a cup of salt tears, they loosened the green tresses of their hair and cried to the pool and said, `We do not wonder that you should mourn in this manner for Narcissus, so beautiful was he.'

`But was Narcissus beautiful?' said the pool.

`Who should know that better than you?' answered the Oreads. `Us did he ever pass by, but you he sought for, and would lie on your banks and look down at you, and in the mirror of your waters he would mirror his own beauty.'

And the pool answered, `But I loved Narcissus because, as he lay on my banks and looked down at me, in the mirror of his eyes I saw ever my own beauty mirrored.'

This work is featured in our collection of Short-Short Stories.
If you enjoyed this story, you may also like Wilde's The Teacher of Wisdom.


facebook share button twitter share button reddit share button share on pinterest pinterest

Add The Disciple to your library.

Return to the Oscar Wilde library , or . . . Read the next poem; The Doer of Good

© 2022