The Spell of Egypt by Robert Hichens


It seems as if this chamber had been imagined by a poet, who had set
it in the centre of - Page 110
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It Seems As If This Chamber Had Been Imagined By A Poet, Who Had Set It In The Centre Of The Temple Of His Dreams.

It is such a spontaneous chamber that one can scarcely imagine it more than a day and a night in the building.

Yet in detail it is lovely; it is finished and strangely mighty; it is a lyric in stone, the most poetical chamber, perhaps, in the whole of Egypt. For Philae I count in Egypt, though really it is in Nubia.

One who has not seen Philae may perhaps wonder how a tall chamber of solid stone, containing heavy and soaring columns, can be like a lyric of Shelley's, can be exquisitely spontaneous, and yet hold a something of mystery that makes one tread softly in it, and fear to disturb within it some lovely sleeper of Nubia, some Princess of the Nile. He must continue to wonder. To describe this chamber calmly, as I might, for instance, describe the temple of Derr, would be simply to destroy it. For things ineffable cannot be fully explained, or not be fully felt by those the twilight of whose dreams is fitted to mingle with their twilight. They who are meant to love with ardor /se passionnent pour la passion/. And they who are meant to take and to keep the spirit of a dream, whether it be hidden in a poem, or held in the cup of a flower, or enfolded in arms of stone, will surely never miss it, even though they can hear roaring loudly above its elfin voice the cry of directed waters rushing down to Upper Egypt.

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