A Babylonish maiden beloved by Piramus. They lived in contiguous houses, and as their parents would not let them marry, they contrived to converse together through a hole in the garden wall. On one occasion they agreed to meet at Ninus' tomb, and Thisbe, who was first at the spot, hearing a lion roar, ran away in a fright, dropping her garment on the way. The lion seized the garment and tore it. When Piramus arrived and saw the garment, he concluded that a lion had eaten Thisbe, and he stabbed himself. Thisbe returning to the tomb, saw Piramus dead, and killed herself also. This story is travestied in the Midsummer Night's Dream, by Shakespeare.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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