Narcissus was born to Liriope the Nymph, and the river-god, Cephius. Lirope asked Tiresias, who gave answers to anyone who asked, if Narcissus would live to a ripe old age. Tiresias answered "If he never knows his face." Thinking this answer was very silly Lirope never thought any of them, but they were eventually proved true by time.
By the time Narcissus was sixteen he could have any lover he wanted, and everyone sought his love. Narcissus never gave his love away; he had much too much pride, so much that no girl or boy could touch his slender beautiful boyish body.
One day while Narcissus was out hunting, a nymph named Echo saw him. How beautiful Echo thought Narcissus! She followed him, and hid from him, for she had an odd way of speaking, she could only repeat what others said, and she could not start a conversation. She loved to talk, but had no power over her speech, only to speak the last words she heard. Hera had done this in her fiery of her adulterous husband whom Echo would help by stalling Juno. When Hera cursed her she said "Your tongue has made be a fool, so your tongue will make you a fool from now on."
Now, the nymph Echo was following Narcissus in secret. After a while Narcissus was separated from his party and called out "Is anyone here?" Echo then repeated "Here!". Then Narcissus yelled "Come to me!", "Come to me!" answered Echo. Narcissus looked to the voice but saw no one. "Why do you run?" Narcissus asked, "Let us get together!" Narcissus then called. "Let us get together!" Echo joyfully repeated, and came out of the woods and flung her arms around Narcissus's neck. Narcissus quickly retreated and said "Go away from me! If you touch me again I will let me die!" and then Narcissus left in a storm, but Echo then laid down and repeated "Let me die!" Aphrodite, Goddess of Love, heard Echo's cry and had pity on her and let her die a peaceful death (but let her voice remain), but had fiery hate for Narcissus and cursed him to see his reflection.
Narcissus, walking away from Echo's dieing body and, being thirsty, stopped at a small still pond and saw his reflection and fell in love with he boy in the water. Long he tried to kiss him, but every time his lips touched the other boy's lips the other boy would suddenly disappear. After days of Narcissus's torture he said, "Boy in the water, I cannot touch or kiss you, I cannot talk to you, so I will stay here by your pool and stare at you forever." After a while Narcissus died, and after all of his body had gone to Hades and none of his body was left, a single flower sprouted where he laid, a beautiful flower, which has narcotic properties, which mortals called a Narcissus.