Hymns to the Pharaohs
TO RAMESSES IV (c. 1166 BCE)
What a happy day! Heaven and earth rejoice, (for) thou
art the great lord of
They that had fled have come again to their towns, and they that were hidden have again come forth.
They that hungered are satisfied and happy, and they that thirsted are drunken.
They that were naked are clad in fine linen, and they that were dirty have white garments.
They that were in prison are set free, and he that was in bonds is full of joy.
They that were at strife in this land are reconciled. High
Widows, their houses stand open, and they suffer travellers to enter.
Maidens rejoice and repeat their songs of gladness (?). They are arrayed in ornaments and say (?):
“_________ he createth generation on generation. Thou ruler, thou wilt endure for ever.”
The ships rejoice on the deep ____________.
They come to land with wind or oars,
They are satisfied . . . when it is said:
“King Hekmaatrë-Beloved-of-Amun again
weareth the crown.
The son of [the sun-god] Re, Ramesses, bath received the office of his father.”
All lands say unto him:
“Beautiful is Horus on the throne of Amun who sendeth him forth,
(Amun) the protector of the Prince, who bringeth every land.”
TO A DECEASED PHARAOH (c. 2600 BCE)
The King has not died the death: he has become one who rises (like the morning sun) from the horizon. He rests from life (like the setting Sun) in the West, but he dawns anew in the East. O King, you have not departed dead: you have departed living! Have you said that he would die?—nay, he dies not: this king lives for ever. He has escaped his day of death. O lofty one among the imperishable stars!—you shall not ever perish. Loose the embalming bandages!— they are not bandages (at all): they are the tresses of the goddess Nephthys (as she leans down over you). Men fall, and their name ceases to be:
therefore God takes hold of this king by his arm, and leads him to the sky, that he may not die upon earth amongst men. This king flies away from you, you mortals. He is not of the earth, he is of the sky. He flies as a cloud to the sky, he who was like a bird at the masthead. He goes up to heaven like the hawks, and his feathers are like those of the wild geese; he rushes at heaven like a crane, he kisses heaven like the falcon, he leaps to heaven like the locust. He ascends to the sky! He ascends to the sky on the wind, on the wind! The stairs of the sky are let down for him that he may ascend thereon to heaven. O gods, put your arms under the king: raise him, lift him to the sky. To the sky! To the sky! To the great throne
amongst the gods!