Monday, March 03, 2008

Who Knew!?

It's amazing the stuff you find out when researching for 3rd grade Phonogram Assignments...

It all started out with the poem our DSCS 3rd graders are reading this week. First off, I had no idea who this poem was by, so I had to research that. (Lord, thank You for giving me free internet access, and putting it in the hearts of scholars to make anthologies available, and SEARCHABLE online. I mean that prayer!) After a little digging, I found a great gem of a story! How many of you are familiar with King Sethon of Egypt? Now don't you be scared because the lines don't reach all the way across the page. Poetry ain't scary. 'Specially not the kind 3rd graders read. ;)

by Maud Keary
From Enchanted Tulips and other Verses for Children, published in 1914

Cried out in his woe,
"My kingdom will perish,
My race be brought low.

"Ruthless Sennacherib
With warriors draws near
To conquer our country
With arrow and spear.

"Our men are a handful;
In vain we contend;
Vain, vain is our struggle--
But short be the end!"

Beneath the clear starlight
Of Egypt he stood,
The invaders' camp stretched
Far away like a wood;

When lo! through the stillness
Arose a strange sound,
A scratching and scraping
Came up from the ground.

And thick as when corn-blades
Each leaps forth a tongue,
Some thousands of field-mice
From the warm soil sprung.

They scrambled up palings
And scaled pediments--
They sped past King Sethon
To the enemies' tents.

And there helter-skelter,
They seized on the quivers,
They nibbled the bowstrings,
Bit into shivers

The wooden shield-handles
The enemies used,
Who woke in the morning
Surprised and confused!

Without arms, defenceless,
They fled fast before
The happy Egyptians,
And came back no more.

Then a statue of Sethon
Was made--very grand--
A crown on his head and
A mouse in his hand!

I was like "what is that talking about!?" So I did some digging, and HERE's the background story! King Sethon was a priest of Vulcan reigning in Egypt at the same time that King Hezekiah ruled Judah. He offended the soldiers of Egypt by taking away the land allowance they’d always been given. Therefore, when Sennacherib of Assyria invaded in 713 BC, no soldiers would defend Egypt. The legend is that Sethon prayed in great anquish all night, until he received a vision from his god that the god would win the victory for Egypt. Comforted, Sethon marched out with a group of non-soldiers. During the night, they were indeed delivered, by a very surprising force!

Even more intriguing: some historians believe that this story is a corrupted version of Judah’s miraculous delivery from Sennacherib’s army by the might of the One True God, recorded in 2 Kings 19!

Source: Ancient History, Vol 1: History of the Egyptians [and lots of other people. seriously, the title stretched on for lines and lines]. By Charles Rollins, 1844.

That story captured my fancy, for some reason. History is so cool!! WHY am I not a literature or a history teacher??? Choir... what was I thinking!? to grade papers for said class... sigh...

1 comment:

GloryandGrace said...

Okay, SOOOOO good to see you last night! I hope you were just as encouraged as I was by Elyse. Please, please, please keep in touch! I'm adding your blog link to mine now :)