O. Hear my rendering of an oft-told tale

(mixed with a leavening of Bullfinch)

Composed in view of Orpheus’

Lyre in the Cosmos.

Orpheus, son of Apollo and Calliope

(I forget Eurydice’s heritage)

Was to be blessed by Hymen.

He brought no happy omens.

His torch smoked, drew tears.

Flowers wilted,

Gods and Goddesses coughed and sputtered.

Orpheus, master of the lyre,

Whose notes melted tiger’s hearts

Made trees uproot and creep near,

Rocks to soften-

Loved his Eurydice.

But Fate conspired with happiness.

Eurydice, chased by Aristaeus

Was raped.

She died a broken, bloody death

On the end of Aristaeus’…. sword.

Fast did Orpheus descend to those Stygian depths!

His tones pleaded for the return of Eurydice.

Sisyphus sat on his rock to listen,

Ixion’s wheel stood still

The Furies eyes now wet with tears.

Ah! The Underworld turned upside down.

Eurydice came,

Garbed in her winding shroud,

fresh with young death.

Here’s the deal. Walk out of Hell

And don’t look back.

Orpheus! You almost made it!

Eurydice, twice dead, disappears.


In both love and death-

It only takes one glance.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2023




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