Philomela was changed, at her own prayer, into a nightingale that she might escape the vengeance of her brother-in-law Tereus.
The tragical distractions of Tereus and Thyestes are nonsense to us.
The gods were so enraged at this that they turned Itys into a pheasant, Procne into a swallow, and Tereus into a hawk.
Another similar instance is the 'voice of the shuttle' in the Tereus of Sophocles.
The king of birds, transformed from Tereus, King of Thrace, twitters in the following style.
Having brought the war, with the aid of Tereus, to a happy end, he gave him his daughter Procne to wife.
The two wives were changed at their own request to nightingale and swallow, and Tereus became a hoopoe.
In Phocis, he found the belief still existing that larks laid no eggs there because of the sin of Tereus.
Why, Philomela, are you complaining of the cruelty of Tereus, the Ismarian tyrant?
The sisters fled, and when Tereus pursued them with an axe they besought the gods to change them into birds.