When Orpheus went down

From ChoralWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

General information

A text by Dr. Thomas Lisle (1709 1767), published under the title "The power of Music, imitated from the Spanish". Benjamin Franklin was sufficiently amused to make a copy for his own reference.

Settings by composers

Text and translations

English.png English text

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

All Hell was astonish'd 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;
That Hell had not torments sufficient, he thought,
So he gave him his wife back again.

But pity, succeeding, soon vanquish'd his heart,
And, pleas'd with his playing so well,
He took her again, in reward of his art:
Such power had music in Hell.

External links

add links here