The white arms of the nymph are around him, dragging him unresisting down among the green weed, while above he sees his beloved Hercules raise a shaggy, grieving head, and bay, “Hylas!”

He turns, and there among the mudded kingdom are her seagreen lips, her numinous eyes, the inhuman teeth that flash even in the murky twilight of the nymph’s bower. His lips form a word that drifts in bubbles unsounded to the surface of the pond where Hercules squats mad; she shakes her head — his delight! — and whispers his name against his ear, “Hylas…”

The Argo has sailed to death and glory and poisoned betrayal, but Hercules runs naked through the fields and briars of the island, terrorizing huddled shepherdesses, howling at the moon and wrenching at the trees in his desolation, while beneath the cold, cold water he lies curled against her unwarming bosom, mouth opening and closing peacefully as she breathes. He nuzzles the green softness of her breasts, strokes gently her ticklish fish belly: Hercules bullies the pacific islanders into his search, so the low rolling hills echo with his name, “Hylas–!”

He never grows old, never dies, and never returns to the sunlight fields above, where still with the coming of the spring the islanders beat the fields and cry his name, “Hylas!”