ORPHEUS & EURYDICE
Gifted by the nine Muses’ fire,
Bestowed with a seven-string lyre
To sing all day with words that charm,
The wild beasts could do no harm.
One day, appeared sweet Eurydice,
Became his world a paradise.
Hymen’s smoking torch attended,
Near the sea, by vows were wedded.
Sweet days of joy and nights of bliss,
Song-filled hours sweetened with a kiss.
Appeared a lusting bee-keeper
Who tried to have his way with her.
In fear, into the forest fled,
On a serpent, by chance did tread.
On the wind her cries were carried –
Keen Orpheus did not tarry.
Too quick the poison reached her heart
To Death’s dark realm did soon depart.
Orpheus sang, but could not charm
The lifeless body in in his arms.
Helpless, away her soul was borne.
In twain, his sorrowed heart was torn.
In preparing to write a series of poems about Orpheus and Eurydice, I have just finished reading Orpheus: The Song of Life by Ann Wroe – a lyrically written exploration of Orpheus built on the premise that he was a real person.