Half immortal. Half mortal.
Son of Helios and Klymene.
He wanted to do great deeds.
He wanted to be famous like his father.
To drive the steeds and chariot through the sky.
Light and warmth for the Earth.
Food for people and a beauteous place to live.
To his father he would not listen.
All he could see was the horses’ manes glisten.
Of he tore across the sky,
gripping the reins of the horses who knew and obeyed Helios,
but would not Phaeton.
Off the horses raced. They flew out of their courses–to close to the Earth
causing drought, fires; all manner of destruction.
At last Zeus intervened and flung a lightning bolt that hit Phaeton,
throwing him from the chariot and into the sea.
The horses, though weary, returned to their stable.
The daughters of Hesperus retrieved Phaeton’s body from the sea and was entombed by them on the beach as a memorial to his desire to do good things, though not as he should have done.