November 10, 2005

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Ancient Egyptian Love Poems...
Note: They called each other sisters and brothers, like we did in the 1960s.
Your love has penetrated all within me
Like honey plunged into water,
Like a perfume which penetrates spices,
As when one mixes a drink... .
Nevertheless you run to seek your sister,
Like the steed upon the battlefield,
As the warrior rolls along on the spokes of his wheels.
For heaven makes your love
Like the advance of flames in straw,
And its longing like the downward swoop of a hawk.
Is my heart not softened by your love-longing for me?
My sweet fruit which excites your passions
Not will I allow it To depart from me.
Although cudgeled even to the "Guard of the overflow,
"To Syria, with shebod-rods and clubs,
To Kush, with palm-rods,
To the highlands, with switches
To the lowlands, with twigs,
Never will I listen to their counsel
To abandon longing.
The Beau
Thou beautiful one!
My heart's desire is
To procure for you food as your husband,
My arm resting upon your arm.
You have changed me by your love.
Thus say I in my heart,
In my soul, at my prayers.
The Femme
"I lack my commander tonight,
I am as one dwelling in a tomb."
Be you but in health and strength,
Then the nearness of your countenance
Sheds delight, by reason of your well-being,
Over a heart, which seeks you with longing.
I am your darling sister,
I am to you like a bit of landscape,
With each shrub of grateful fragrance.
Lovely is the moisture-conduit in it,
Which your hand has discovered,
While the north wind cooled us.
A beautiful place to wander,
Your hand in my hand,
My soul inspired My heart in bliss,
Because we go together.
New wine it is, to hear your voice;
I live for hearing it.
To see you with each look,
Is better than eating and drinking.

Edited by Les Lester 2005
This text is part of the Internet Ancient History Sourcebook.
© Paul Halsall, January 1999