Cephalus, newly and happily married to Procris, was carried away by the nymph Dawn, who cursed him when he rejected her reproaches. Cephalus uncertain of Procis's fidelity and, disguised with Dawn's help, he tried to seduce her. Only after many attempts and with promises of wealth did she finally waver. He revealed his true identity and she fled to the mountains wracked with guilt. He implored her to return and she finally came back with a hunting hound and javelin as gifts from Diana. Cephalus went hunting alone nearly every day. During the mid-day heat he took a break in the shade and spoke to Zephyr, the cooling wind. A servant heard the loving words Cephalus spoke and believed he was speaking to a Nymph and told Procris. She followed Cephalus the next day and lay hidden in the undergrowth. He heard a rustling in the greenery, which he mistook for a beast and threw his unfailing javelin with its golden tip. She died in his arms.
A tapestry of identical subject was sold anonymously at Cornette de Saint-Cyr, Paris, 11 February 1991, lot 89, and one including the nymph Dawn in the trees above the two protagonists, but lacking borders and reduced in size, was sold from the Mayorcas Collection, in these Rooms, 12 February 1999, lot 484.