Songs from the pyramids 2500 BC
These few songs are selected to cover the Isis Osiris myth about resurrection of corn as well as mankind. They worked out for more than 3000 years so we owe them respect. Their language was poetic even when they talked about agricultureTo Egyptian | Night sky | Isis' songs | resurrection | icons /symbols | Senenmut's calendar| home |
It is she, Isis, the just, who protects her brother,
Who seeks him without wearying,
Who in mourning traverses the whole land
Without respite before finding him,
Who gives shade with her feathers,
And wind with her wings.
It is she who praises her brother,
Who relieves the weakness of him who is tired,
Who receives his seed and gives birth to his heir,
Who nurtures the child in solitude,
Without anyone knowing where she is.
Osiris! You went away, but you have retutned,
you fell asleep, but you have awakened,
you died, but you live again
This is Horus (time and rising corn) speaking,
he has ordained action for his father,
he has shown himself master of the storm
he has countered the blustering of Seth
so that he, Seth, must bear you for it is
he that must carry him, who is again complete.
Ah Helpless One!
Ah Helpless One asleep!
Ah Helpless One in this place
Which you know not - yet I know it!
Behold I have found you (lying) on your side the great Listless One.
'Ah, Sister!' says Isis to Nephthys,
'This is our brother,
Come let us lift up his
Come, let us (rejoin) his bones,
Come, let us reassemble his limbs,
Come, let us put an end to all his woe,
that, as far as we can help, he will weary no more.
May the moisture begin to mount for this spirit!
May the canals be filled through you!
May the names of the rivers be created through you!
Osiris, let the great Listless One arise!
I am Isis.'
I am Nephthys.
It shall be that Horus will avenge you,
It shall be that Thoth (the moon) will protect you
your two sons of the Great White Crown
It shall be that the Company will hear.
Then will your power be visible in the sky
and you will cause havoc among the (hostile) gods, for Horus, your son,
has seized the Great White Crown,
seizing it from him who acted against you.
Then will your father Atum call "Come"
Osiris, live! . . .
I am the plant of life
which comes forth from Osiris,
which grows upon the ribs Of Osiris,
which allows the people to live,
which makes the gods divine,
which spiritualises the spirits,
which sustains the masters of wealth
and the masters of substance,
which makes the PAK- cakes for the spirits,
which enlivens the limbs of the living.
I live as corn, the life of the living,
I live upon the rib of Geb (the God of Earth),
but the love of me is in the sky,
on earth, on the water and in the fields.
Now Isis is content for her son Horus, her god,
she is jubilant in him, Horus her god,
I am life appearing from Osiris
Osiris is Unas in the mounting chaff.
He has not entered Geb to perish.
He is not sleeping in his house upon earth
So that his bones may be broken...
Unas is up and away to heaven
With the wind, with the wind!
Horus have seized Seth,
he has put him beneath you
so that he can lift you up.
He will groan beneath you as an earthquake
... Horus have made you recognize him
in his real nature,
let him not escape you
he has made you hold him by your hand,
let him not get away from you
Behold now, Isis speaketh,
Come to thy house, oh An [Sun god as risen Osiris]
Come to thy house for enemies are not!
Behold the excellent sistrum-bearer
come to thy house!
Lo, I thy sister, love thee -
do not thou depart from me!
Behold Hunnu [name of the sun god],
the beautiful one!
Come to thy house immediately
come to thy temple immediately!
Behold thou my heart,
which grieveth for thee;
Behold me seeking for thee -
I am searching for thee to behold thee
Lo, I am prevented from beholding thee -
I am prevented from beholding thee, oh An! ...
I love thee more than all the earth -
And thou lovest not another as thou dost thy sister!
Behold now, Nephthys speaketh, -
Behold the excellent sistrum-bearer!
Come to thy house!
Cause thy heart to rejoice, for thy enemies are not!
All thy sister-goddesses are at thy side
and behind thy couch,
calling upon thee with weeping
yet thou artprostrate upon thy bed!
Hearken unto the beautiful words uttered by us
and by every noble one among us!
Subdue thou every sorrow
which is in the hearts of us thy sisters,
Oh thou strong one among the gods,
strong among men who behold thee!
We come before thee, oh prince, our lord;
Turn thou not away thy face before us;
Sweeten our hearts when we behold thee, oh prince!
Beautify our hearts when we behold thee!
Most of the poems are from Baring & Cashford "The myth of the Goddess" as well as the Sumerian ones' in next chapter. In the later are a lot interpreted also by Samuel N. Kramer. In common they are as near as possibly from the sources. The poems are of course only virtual images of what the authors have learned by decades of studies.
In particular the time before 1500 BC is supposed to be the time of gods and man as their legs. That means that everything was done in the name of gods and that gives a different language from ours.
The interpreting of the Law mirrors the shortness of the texts in the Northern carvings. There is no doubt that every little sign had a meaning as syllable, word, icon or ideogram. Comparing those to other carvings and to what we in common know about languages and culture at that time make it possible to create an image of rituals an laws of that time.
Plutharch about Isis
Plutharch a Greek biographer lived ca 50 - 125 AD and in a time when Isis still was alive so to speak. He may tell what the late Isis is about:
"Isis, is in fact, the female principle of Nature. She is receptive of every form of generation. Plato called her the gentle nurse and the all-receptive. Most people countless names have called her. Since, because of the force of Reason, she turns herself to this thing or that and is receptive of all manners of shapes and forms.
She has an innate love for the first and most dominants of all things, which is identical with the good. This she yearns for and pursues, but the portion, which comes from evil; she tries to avoid and rejects. She serves them both as a place and means of growth, but inclines always towards the better.
Thus she offers to it opportunity to create from her and to impregnate her with affluxes and likenesses in which she rejoices. She is glad that they make her pregnant and teeming with these creations. For creation is the image of being in matter, and the thing created is a picture of reality."
When we read the poems and stories about Isis forgetting she is an idol and a virtual imagination is easy. She reflects the Egyptian woman at her best. Maybe we also forget that her main aspect is Sirius a star and her mate Osiris is Orion.