Tuesday, August 26, 2008

the harpist's song

I have heard those songs that are in the tombs of old,
What they tell in extolling life on earth,
In the belittling land of the dead.
Why is this done in the land of eternity,
The right and just that have no terrors?

Those to be born to millions of millions,
All of them will come to it;
No one may linger in the land of Egypt,
There is none who does not arrive in it.

As to the time of deeds on earth,
It is the occurrence of a dream;
One says: 'Welcome safe and sound.'
To him who reaches the West.

Neferhotep harpist's song, no. 2 [c. 1300 BC]
Inscribed on the wall of the tomb-chapel of the priest Neferhotep at Thebes

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