ORPHEUS was the son of the silver-tongued CALLIOPE. He must have inherited her musical spirit — when he played his lyre even the rocks and trees would stop what they were doing and listen.
When his wife EURYDICE was poisoned by a serpent, he descended to the Underworld and sang such heartfelt ballads that even HADES shed a tear. Unfortunately, despite good intentions, he slipped up on the small print and EURYDICE remained among the dead.
Poor ORPHEUS was so miserable that he tried to become a hermit, but a pack of wild MAENADS kept pestering him. Adding injury to insult, they bombarded him with sticks, stones and rotten tomatoes before realizing that not even the smallest twig would dare to interrupt his wonderful lyre.
So they beat him to a pulp instead and sent his head floating down the river, still singing of his woes...