Orpheus was a beautiful musician who loved a nymph called Eurydice. They married and were very happy. Eurydice spent hours wandering and playing in the fields and woodlands. One day she trod on a deadly snake and died. She went to the underworld.
Orpheus was so unhappy, he would not eat or drink and his friends thought that he must die. He took his lyre and went to visit Hades the god of the underworld, to plead for her life. He played his lyre and charmed Charon the ferry man into crossing the river Styx.
Orpheus played his lyre to charm Hades, and eventually Hades relented and told him that Eurydice could follow him out of Hades, but only if he did not look back and see her. Orpheus made his way carefully and slowly back to Charon, but then with only a tiny way to go he looked back. As he did so Eurydice faded, she was pulled back into Hades...gone forever. A very unhappy Orpheus journeyed back over the river to come out of Hades. He had lost his true love forever.