A Pleiad, daughter of Atlas and Pleioné, and beloved by Poseidon.
Daughter of Aeolus and Enareté or Aegialé, and wife of Ceÿx.
They lived so happily that they were presumptuous enough to call each other Zeus and
Heré, for which Zeus metamorphosed them into birds. Others relate that
Ceÿx perished in a shipwreck; that Alcyoné, for grief, threw herself into
the sea; and that the gods, out of compassion, changed the two into birds. It was fabled that
during the seven days before, and as many after, the shortest day of the year, while the
female bird was breeding, there always prevailed calms at sea—hence our expression
“halcyon days.” For the use of this myth in English literature, see F.
E. W. Gosse, Alcyone
(a sonnet in
dialogue); and Mrs. Preston's Alcyone.