Samuel Wesley
(1766 - 1837)

Wesley : When Orpheus went down : illustration

When Orpheus went down
(T.T.B.)
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Composed 1781.
Lyrics: Thomas Lisle

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

All Hell was astonish'd that 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 his fault,
Old Pluto long puzzl'd his brain;
But hell had not torments sufficient, he thought,
So he gave him his wife back again.

But pity, succeeding, found place in his heart,
That, pleas'd with his playing so well,
He took her again, in reward of his art:
Such merit had music in hell.