The Spell of Egypt by Robert Hichens













































 -  Think of the color of young clover, of young
barley, of young wheat; think of the timbre of the reed - Page 50
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Think Of The Color Of Young Clover, Of Young Barley, Of Young Wheat; Think Of The Timbre Of The Reed

Flute's voice, thin, clear, and frail with the frailty of dewdrops; think of the torrents of spring rushing through the

Veins of a great, wide land, and growing almost still at last on their journey. Spring, you will say, perhaps, and high Nile not yet subsided! But Egypt is the favored land of a spring that is already alert at the end of November, and in December is pushing forth its green. The Nile has sunk away from the feet of the Colossi that it has bathed through many days. It has freed the plain to the fellaheen, though still it keeps my island in its clasp. And Hapi, or Kam-wra, the "Great Extender," and Ra, have made this wonderful spring to bloom on the dark earth before the Christian's Christmas.

What a pastoral it is, this plain of Thebes, in the dawn of day! Think of the reed flute, I have said, not because you will hear it, as you ride toward the mountains, but because its voice would be utterly in place here, in this arcady of Egypt, playing no tarantella, but one of those songs, half bird-like, and half sadly, mysteriously human, which come from the soul of the East. Instead of it, you may catch distant cries from the bank of the river, where the shadoof-man toils, lifting ever the water and his voice, the one to earth, the other, it seems, to sky; and the creaking lay of the water-wheel, which pervades Upper Egypt like an atmosphere, and which, though perhaps at first it irritates, at last seems to you the sound of the soul of the river, of the sunshine, and the soil.

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