|No, I don't have this gorgeous edition. I wish I did!|
Immediately the fifty heroes got on board, and seizing their oars, held them perpendicularly in the air, while Orpheus (who liked such a task far better than rowing) swept his fingers across the harp. At the first ringing note of the music, they felt the vessel stir. Orpheus thrummed away briskly, and the galley slid at once into the sea, dipping her prow so deeply that the figure-head drank the wave with its marvellous lips, and rose again as buoyant as a swan. The rowers plied their fifty oars; the white foam boiled up before the prow; the water gurgled and bubbled in their wake; while Orpheus continued to play so lively a strain of music, that the vessel seemed to dance over the billows by way of keeping time to it. Thus triumphantly did the Argo sail out of the amidst the huzzas and good wishes of everybody except the wicked old Pelias, who stood on the promontory, scowling at her, and wishing that he could blow out of his lungs the tempest of wrath that was in his heart, and so sink the galley with all on board.
We're reading the last chapter of Hawthorne's Tanglewood Tales as we finish up Year 2 over the next month, and this morning we came across this description of Jason and his Argonauts setting out on their quest for the Golden Fleece. For some reason I found it very inspiring as I embark on the busy week ahead. Something about the spray of the water, the brisk notes of the harp, the lightness of the ship as it courses through the waves, the grand triumph of Jason and his band in the face of the greedy king? Not sure what struck me exactly, but I'm hoping the literary refreshment will help me carve out some free time amidst the busy-ness to do a bit of writing here this week. I have my next post on The Living Page ahead of me as my seemingly-impossible quest, and my to-do list leers at me from the promontory. No harp or huzzahs, though I do have big kids thumping intervals on the piano and happy toddler shrieks spurring me on...
(As a side note, can I rave a bit about how wonderful The Wonder Book and Tanglewood Tales are? This Hawthorne set is scheduled as free reading for Year 2, but I decided to spread them out over the course of the year, ten pages each week, for us to enjoy together, rather than handing them off to the children to gobble up as they usually do with their free reads. I am so glad I did! We have loved every minute of these books. Not only are the stories a wonderful introduction to ancient mythology, but they are also a delight to read aloud (for me) and to listen to read aloud (for them). I highly recommend not skipping these two!)