Orpheus and Eurydice

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The Story of Orpheus and Eurydice from Ancient Mythology
Read about gods, goddesses and mythical creatures in the myth story of Orpheus and Eurydice

Orpheus and Eurydice
The short mythical love story of Orpheus and Eurydice is one of the famous legends that feature in the mythology of ancient civilizations. Discover the myths about the ancient gods, goddesses, demigods and heroes and the terrifying monsters and creatures they encountered on their perilous journeys and quests. The amazing love story of Orpheus and Eurydice in the Underworld really is easy reading for kids and children who are learning about the history, myths and legends of the ancients. Additional facts and information about the mythology and legends of individual gods and goddesses of these ancient civilizations can be accessed via the following links:

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Orpheus and Eurydice
The mythical love story of Orpheus and Eurydice
by Emma M. Firth

The Myth of Orpheus and Eurydice
In the sunny vales of Thessaly lived many happy youths who wandered over the hills and cared for their father's flocks. They were gentle and kind to their friends, but strong and brave when called upon to do battle for their rights. In this pleasant valley, where the blasts of winter never blew fiercely, where the summer winds were balmy, and where the flowers bloomed always, lived Orpheus, the sweet singer.
Apollo, his father, had given him a lyre; and ever since his baby hands could hold it, he had played and sung, making music so sweet that even the rocks were softened, the trees bent their branches to listen, while animals, birds, and even serpents drew near, charmed by the soft music of Orpheus' golden lyre. One day while Orpheus was sitting beside a stream, which ceased to ripple, in its ecstasy, a pretty maiden, her great blue eyes wide open in astonishment, approached, and seating herself, listened. She was the dawn maiden, Eurydice, than whom a maiden more fair and sweet could not be found in all Thessaly.

Orpheus and Eurydice

The mythical love story of Orpheus and Eurydice in the Underworld

Day after day, Eurydice came and listened while Orpheus played, until at last he said, " Oh, sweet Eurydice, be my friend and companion always. Come with me wherever I go. Leave me not; for when thou art not near, I am like the lyre with no one to bring forth its 'music." So Eurydice became Orpheus' companion, and they wandered through the vales and over the hills, and together they watched the flocks. But one day, Apollo sent Orpheus on a journey to a far country to which he could not take Eurydice. How lonely it seemed to the poor little dawn-maiden! She could not play with the star-children and be happy as before, so she wandered off by herself.
One day. while she was walking through a field and filling her arms with morning-glories, she chanced to step upon a serpent which was coiled up in the grass. It bit the tender little foot, and presently Eurydice began to feel sick. The bite of the serpent was poisonous, and dropping down by the bank of the stream where she had first seen Orpheus, she died. Here the star-children found her, and they hastened to meet Orpheus on his return, and told him the sad story. Orpheus was speechless with grief. He hung his lyre on a branch and refused to be happy, but wept and moaned for Eurydice. In tones of sorrow, the birds and squirrels told their sympathy; and the nightingale, his dearest friend among birds, perched upon his shoulder, trilling a sweet little song of regret and sadness.
At last Orpheus thought he would try to find Eurydice. Orpheus wandered far away from Thessaly, into the Region of the Blessed, for it was here that he thought Eurydice must have gone. He had first to pass through Hades' regions; and you know this was a difficult thing to do. Upon his arrival at the rock-hewn gates, before which Cerberus kept guard, the three-headed dog rushed forward, growling angrily.

Cerberus, three headed dog of the Underworld

Cerberus, three headed dog of the Underworld

Orpheus sat down upon a rock, and played upon his lyre. There came a change in the ugly monster. One of the heads ceased to look angrily; then the other head ceased to show its teeth; and at length the dog came forward to lick the hands of the sweet player, and Orpheus passed in safety.

When he came to the river Styx, Charon the Ferryman glared coldly at him. demanding how a mortal dared enter the realms of Hades. "'' sad-eyed Charon, you have taken Eurydice across the river Styx; take me too. I pray you. for I cannot live without her." So sang Orpheus, while he played such sad, touching strains that Charon begged him to cease. Tears were falling from the eyes of the dark boatman, as he hastily guided his boat across the river.

Orpheus went on and on through the dark, glittering caverns, heeding not the wealth which was stored in Hades' vast treasure-houses. Hades and Proserpine were seated upon an ebony throne, while their silent attendants hovered around. Orpheus approached, paying no attention to the dark frown of Hades, and began to sing, " King of the Under-world, I am not come to find out the secrets of thy realm or the greatness of thy wealth. Thou hast taken Eurydice, who to me was more than these glittering baubles. Send her back to the light of day. Grant that she come again to the home of Orpheus. Thou hast thy Proserpine. Give me, I pray thee, Eurydice."

So Orpheus sang and played, until Proserpine's tears were falling fast, and Hades' stern face softened into pity. " Return to thy home, Orpheus, and take Eurydice; but look not back until you reach again the abodes of men.' Orpheus passed on in silence, not daring to look back. He passed the river, and the dog Cerberus, and came to the rocky cave in the mountain's side, through which gleamed a streak of light from the upper world. Soon they would have been back to their home, with their friends and their flocks; but, sad to tell. Orpheus, in a moment of forgetfulness, looked back to see that Eurydice was really returning with him.

He saw her gentle face and outstretched arms; but as he looked, she was borne back to Hades' kingdom, and Orpheus beheld her no more, although he tried in vain to follow, and waited for many days, singing songs of grief which melted the rocks to tears, while the wild beasts came and mourned with him. He refused to be comforted. The woods and hills no longer re-echoed his dad strains; but sad, wild notes ' were heard by the little wood-nymphs, who tried to make him forget. " See," they said, " how the lonely Orpheus mourns for sweet Eurydice. Can we not make him happy once more?" But they tried in vain.

The Legend and Myth about Orpheus and Eurydice

The Myth of Orpheus and Eurydice
The story of Orpheus and Eurydice is featured in the book entitled Stories of Old Greece by Emma M. Firth first published 1895.

Orpheus and Eurydice - A Myth with a Moral
Many of the ancient Myth Stories, like the legend of Orpheus and Eurydice, incorporate tales with morals that provided the old story-tellers with short examples of exciting tales for kids and children of how to act and behave and reflected important life lessons. The characters of the heroes in this type of fable demonstrated the virtues of courage, love, loyalty, strength, perseverance, leadership and self reliance. Whereas the villains demonstrated all of the vices and were killed or punished by the gods. The old, famous myth story and fable, like Orpheus and Eurydice, were designed to entertain, thrill and inspire their young listeners...

The Myth of Orpheus and Eurydice - the Magical World of Myth & Legend
The story of Orpheus and Eurydice is one of the fantastic stories featured in ancient mythology and legends. Such stories serve as a doorway to enter the world of the Ancient Greeks and Romans. The names of so many of the heroes and characters are known today through movies and games but the actual story about such characters are unknown. Reading a myth story such as Orpheus and Eurydice is the easy way to learn about the stories of the classics.


The Magical World of Myth and Legend

The Short Story and Myth of Orpheus and Eurydice
The myth about Orpheus and Eurydice is featured in the book entitled Stories of Old Greece by Emma M. Firth first published 1895. Learn about the exciting adventures and dangerous quests undertaken by the mythical characters that feature in the hero myths, fables and stories about the gods and goddesses of Ancient Greece and Rome that are available on this website.

Myths and Stories about gods and goddesses - Apollo riding his golden chariot

Myths and Stories about gods and goddesses

Orpheus and Eurydice

Orpheus and Eurydice

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  • The story of Orpheus and Eurydice by Emma M. Firth
  • A famous Myth Story and fable of the Ancient World for schools and kids

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