|C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the Worlds Best Literature.|
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.
|From a Dialogue between a Man and his Soul|
Translation of Francis Llewellyn Griffith
| [The following is found on a papyrus of the XIIth Dynasty, preserved at Berlin. After some obscure arguments the man apparently admits that the present life is full of dissatisfaction, and proceeds.]|
DEATH is ever before me [?] like the healing of a sick man, or like a rise in life after a fall.
|Death is ever before me like the smell of frankincense, or like sitting under an awning on a day of cool breeze. 1|
|Death is ever before me like the scent of lotuses, like sitting on the bank of the Land of Intoxication. 2|
|Death is ever before me like a road watered [?], or as when a man cometh from a campaign to his home.|
|Death is ever before me like the unveiling of the sky, or as when a man attaineth to unexpected fortune.|| 5|
|Death is ever before me like as a man desireth to see his house when he hath spent many years in pulling [the oars?]. 3|
|Verily he that is therein is as a living god punishing the error of the evil-doer.|
|Verily he that is therein standeth in the boat of Ra and causeth choice viands to be given thence to the temples. 4|
|Verily he that is therein is as a wizard; he is not prevented from complaining to Ra even as he would speak.|
My soul said unto me: 5 Lay aside [?] mourning, O Nessu my brother, that thou mayest offer upon the altar even as thou fightest for life, as thou sayest, Love me continually. Thou hast refused the grave; desire then that thou mayest reach the grave, that thy body may join the earth, that I may hover [over thee] after thou art weary. Let us then make a dwelling together.
|Note 1. The sunshine may be taken for granted in Egypt. [back]|
|Note 2. Our on the verge of intoxication is an almost identical expression, but without a poetical significance. [back]|
|Note 3. A slight correction of the original would give in captivity (kidnapped). [back]|
|Note 4. The advantages of the life beyond seem to consist in being like gods and in full communion with the greatest of them, Ra. [back]|
|Note 5. This closing speech of the soul is barely intelligible. [back]|