OK, here's my take on the current literary meme:
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 3 sentences on your blog along with these instructions.
5. Tag 5 different people.
Well, nobody directly tagged me, but I'll take little miao's blanket tagging as permission any day. (Thanks, LM!)
Here's what I found on page 123 of Patterns of Religion, by Roger Schmidt et al. (It's an anthropology textbook, the lead author of which turned out to be the father/FIL of some friends of mine. I didn't know that when I bought it, and, yes, I'm the sort of weird person who reads textbooks, even when I don't have to, for fun. Why it's in the office next to the computer is a mystery, though…)
"For sunny and placid weather had suddenly come upon us after a frosty yesterday; and the tuneful birdlets, coaxed out by the warmths of the Spring, were softly singing sweet hymns of blandishment to the Mother of the Stars, the Producer of the Seasons, the Mistress of the Universe. The trees also, both those that blossomed into fruit and those that were content to yield only sterile shade, were loosed by the southerly breezes; and glistening gaily with their budded leaves, they swished their branches gently in sibilant sighs. The crash of storm was over; and the waves, no longer mountainous with swirling foam, lapped quietly upon the shore."
This is from a reading to accompany chapter 2, Ancient Spirituality. The goddess in question is Isis (including her alternative aspects as Ceres, Venus, Diana, Proserpine, etc., "a single godhead venerated over all the earth under maniflod forms"), and the text is from The Golden Ass by the 2nd Century Roman philosopher Lucius Apuleius, translated by Jack Lindsay.
Anyone who wishes to may consider themselves hereby tagged (again)…