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Orpheus and Euridice

William Boyce (1710-1779)

Orpheus and Euridice

Text by Anonymous

When Orpheus went down to the regions below,
When men are forbidden to see,
He tuned up his lyre, as old histories show,
To set his Euridice free.

All hell was astonished a person so wise
Should rashly endanger his life,
And venture so far, but how vast their surprise,
When they heard that he came for his wife.

To find out a punishment due to the fault
Old Pluto had puzzled his brain;
But hell had not torments sufficient, he thought,
So he gave him his wife back again.

But pity succeeding soon vanquished his heart,
And pleased with his playing so well,
He took her again in reward of his art:
Such power had music in hell.


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