Hero is a priestess of Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love and lives in a high tower in a small town on the Hellespont, a straight of water on the Mediterranean. From the instruction of her parents she must live in the tower and not have a lover, with only an old nurse for company.
One day at a festival Hero meets Leander, an adonis of a man from a town across the water and they quickly become lovers.
Leander lives on the other side of the Hellespont. After falling in love at first site, he vows to swim across the Hellespont every night to be with Hero as her parents will not allow them to marry.
Every night Leander swims toward the light of the tower to be with Hero.
Yet one evening the storms are great and the wind blows the light out and the waves rise.
Tragically Leander falls victim to the power of the sea and does not reach the tower. Upon seeing this Hero is heartbroken and takes her own life falling to her death. Ultimately the two lovers can only be together in death.
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