Our Lady of the Swifts

Latest in a series of posts on the Swifts

Tip o’ the hat to Ilhan, who remembers the Swifts as his favorite birds from childhood in Turkey. He remembers a children’s book based on this Byzantium story translated into Turkish.

“Our Lady of the Swifts”

“Our Lady of the Swifts”
in “Oriental Tales” by Marguerite Yourcenar

A priest becomes convinced that nymphs are living in a cave and seducing his parishioners, so he blocks the cave’s small mouth and tries to starve them. While waiting for them to starve, a woman — Mary — arrives and transforms the nymphs into birds.

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