The Spell of Egypt by Robert Hichens













































 -  Through the thicket of columns, tall as forest
trees, the intense blue of the African sky stares down, and their - Page 40
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Through The Thicket Of Columns, Tall As Forest Trees, The Intense Blue Of The African Sky Stares Down, And Their Great Shadows Lie Along The Warm And Sunlit Ground.

Listen!

There are voices chanting. Men are working here - working as men worked how many thousands of years ago. But these are calling upon the Mohammedan's god as they slowly drag to the appointed places the mighty blocks of stone. And it is to-day a Frenchman who oversees them.

"Help! Help! Allah give us help! Help! Help! Allah give us help!"

The dust flies up about their naked feet. Triumph and work; work succeeded by the triumph all can see. I like to hear the workmen's voices within the hall of Seti. I like to see the dust stirred by their tramping feet.

And then I like to go once more to the little temple, to enter through its defaced gateway, to stand alone in its silence between the rows of statues with their arms folded upon their quiet breasts, to gaze into the tender darkness beyond - the darkness that looks consecrated - to feel that peace is more wonderful than triumph, that the end of things is peace.

Triumph and deathless peace, the bugle-call and silence - these are the notes of Karnak.

VIII

LUXOR

Upon the wall of the great court of Amenhotep III. in the temple of Luxor there is a delicious dancing procession in honor of Rameses II. It is very funny and very happy; full of the joy of life - a sort of radiant cake-walk of old Egyptian days.

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