"But Clytie was jealous (for the Sun's
love of Leucothoe was more than warm).
Incensed, she told the world, and she informed
her rival's father: she defamed her name.
And in the face of his fair daughter's shame,
the king is cruel: though his daughter prays,
beseeching mercy, even as she claims –
her arms stretched to the Sun – that she was raped
against her will, he pays no heed, inflicts
a brutal burial in a deep ditch;
the sand heaped over her is heavy, thick." (4.234-240)
It's true that when her son comes up to her
and greets her, as he throws his tiny arms
around her neck and, in his boyish way,
embraces her, she's moved, her wrath is tamed,
her eyes grow damp with tears she can't restrain.
But sensing that maternal love has swayed
her purpose, Procne turns aside her gaze
from Itys to her sister, thinking this:
"And why can he still speak endearingly,
while she is mute, her tongue cut out? If he
can call me mother, why can't she say 'sister'?" (6.625-633)
Althaea, grateful for the victory
of Meleager, her dear son, was bringing
gifts for the gods into the sanctuary;
she saw them carry in her brothers' bodies.
Althaea beat her breast; she filled the city
with sad laments; she changed her gilded dress
and now wore black. But when she learned who was
the author of their death, she left behind
her tears and mourned no more; her heart was bent
on vengeance. (8.445-450)