Apollo & Daphne By Gian Lorenzo Bernini Sculpture -
Apollo (God of Light and Poetry) teased an arrow-wielding Cupid, calling him too young a boy to be fit to handle such dangerous weapons. Cupid then pricked Apollo with one of his arrows, causing the god to fall madly in love with the passing-by river nymph Daphne. However, Daphne being devoted to the goddess Diana, had resolved to remain a virgin for her entire life.
When Apollo pursued her, she ran away in panic, calling to her father the river God to help her. He heeded her prayer by transforming her into a laurel tree. Apollo declared that if she would never be his wife, she would at least be his tree, and it is for this reason that he imbued the tree with eternal youth and adopted the crown of laurel leaves, which subsequently became the symbol of Olympic victories and Roman emperors.