Due to a very busy week, I'm a bit behind on the Fortnightly Book, which I'll probably get up tomorrow or Monday. In the meantime, two Egyptian-themed poems.
The two colonnades of Busiris here stand,
the pillars of glory in the realm of the ram.
Where the four-souled beast raises its head,
mighty Anubis protects every gate,
bowing head to Osiris, the master of fate
and the king of the realms of the dead.
He rules there in peace, with truth as his rod,
his throne in the midst of the tomb of the god
where emperors themselves come to die,
the lord of the west as the sun that has set,
strong in his splendor and unfaded as yet,
and strong like the death of the sky.
Unless it has died, a seed cannot live;
to that which is dead, no fear can one give,
for the dead in the fields like the seeds are all sown.
Embalmed they are cured, and freed from all blight,
the sunset preserving the joys of their sight:
Osiris they know, by Osiris are known.
The marshmallow lands by the Delta-mouth grown
with the souls of the dead are become thickly sown,
the asphodel meadows where the mummy-god rules.
The dead are all walking in the splendor of light,
hearts light as a feather and ardent for right,
and free of this world so snake-like and cruel.
The twofold truth in the halls of the king
with the pious confession in prayer there rings
('I am pure, I am pure, I am pure').
The never-defiled have reward as they must,
and are weighted by balance, and known to be just:
in the hands of Anubis their spirits endure.
Osiris sleeps and dreams of death,
entombed in ebon halls of stone,
the death-blessed god on sacred throne,
and over gilded sands his breath
still seeks the signs of Isis' will.
And, through Egyptian starlight still
that shines in quiet on the sands,
it courses past the nomad-bands,
a honeyed wind that blows no ill,
and pulses with old hope's demands.
And Isis wanders through the lands
to seek the tombs and sacred throne,
to re-knit flesh to flesh and bone;
she takes the children in her hands
and makes them gods upon the flame.
The dead all have Osiris' name;
one soul goes up, one soul remains,
and on the Nile night-sent rains
will fall to heal the blind and lame
and raise the dead to grace.