Romantic poem published in the early 1600s concerned the ill fated love affair between Pyramus, a brave knight, and Thisbe, his true love. Parodied by Shakespeare in A Midsummer Night's Dream.

By John Donne.

Two, by themselves, each other, love and fear,
Slain, cruel friends, by parting have join'd here.

Back to Greek and Roman Mythology
According to myth, red berries weren't always red. Once, they were white. But the death of two lovers changed that. Pyramus and Thisbe lived in Babylon, and were madly in love with each other. They wanted to be married, but nobody's parents would allow it. Well they found two little holes that made a little crack between their rooms and managed to figure out how to talk with each other this way (It's cheaper than a telephone I suppose, but security is just plain non-existent.) and each night they would blow kisses to each other. After a while they decided to run away from home and live in freedom together forever. They planed their escape and that night, Thisbe slipped out of the house and waited for Pyramus. She loved his dearly and waited until she met up with a lioness with an empty stomach. She made a dash for saftey but dropped her cloak, which the lioness chewed on for a bit and dropped. Later Pyramus came out, sees the bloody cloak, and breaks into tears, thinking his lover is dead. So like most depressed lovers of myth, he commits suicide. He pushed a knife into his side, which gushed blood and dyed the nearby patch of berries red. When Thisbe saw this, she ran out to comfort he dying lover. She told him that they would not be sepperated by death. She took his dagger and plunged it into her heart.

After they had both died, the parents and the gods took pity on the two. Their ashes were placed in one urn, so that they would be together, even in death. The berries that had been dyed by their blood were kept that way.

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