E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
The son of Phbus, who undertook to drive the chariot of the
sun, was upset, and caused great mischief; Libya was parched into barren sands, and all Africa was more or less injured, the inhabitants blackened, and vegetation nearly destroyed.
Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds,
Towards Phbus mansion; such a waggoner
As Phæton would whip you to the west,
And bring in cloudy night immediately.
Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet, iii. 2.
Phaeton. A sort of carriage; so called from the sun-car driven by Phaeton. (See above.)
Phaetons bird. The swan. Cyenus was the friend of Phaeton, and lamented his fate so grievously that Apollo changed her into a swan, and placed her among the constellations.