Orpheus was the son of god Apollo and Calliope, the muse of epic poetry.
Orpheus became a great musician. His voice was more melodious than any other
mortal's. The song he sang and the tunes he played on his lyre enchanted gods,
mortals, and beasts alike; even stones and trees came to him when he played.
Orpheus married the beautiful nymph Eurydice. But on their wedding day a poisonous
snake bit her and she died. Desperate to be reunited with his beloved Eurydice, Orpheus
journeyed to the Underworld to beg the king and queen there to return
Eurydice to him. As he sang his plea and played his lyre, even the cold spirits of
the Underworld wept. The king and queen granted the couple permission
to leave together on the condition that Orpheus must not look back at
Eurydice until they were both completely out of the Underworld. Silently
they made the arduos, dark climb. But at the opening to the world, Orpheus, in his
love for Eurydice, turned and looked at her. She slipped back into the darkness.