The Spell of Egypt by Robert Hichens













































 -  It is the temple of
Edfu. From all the other temples it stands apart. It is the temple of
inward - Page 81
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It Is The Temple Of Edfu.

From all the other temples it stands apart.

It is the temple of inward flame, of the secret soul of man; of that mystery within us that is exquisitely sensitive, and exquisitely alive; that has longings it cannot tell, and sorrows it dare not whisper, and loves it can only love.

To Horus it was dedicated - hawk-headed Horus - the son of Isis and Osiris, who was crowned with many crowns, who was the young Apollo of the old Egyptian world. But though I know this, I am never able to associate Edfu with Horus, that child wearing the side-lock - when he is not hawk-headed in his solar aspect - that boy with his finger in his mouth, that youth who fought against Set, murderer of his father.

Edfu, in its solemn beauty, in its perfection of form, seems to me to pass into a region altogether beyond identification with the worship of any special deity, with particular attributes, perhaps with particular limitations; one who can be graven upon walls, and upon architraves and pillars painted in brilliant colors; one who can personally pursue a criminal, like some policeman in the street; even one who can rise upon the world in the visible glory of the sun. To me, Edfu must always represent the world-worship of "the Hidden One"; not Amun, god of the dead, fused with Ra, with Amsu, or with Khnum: but that other "Hidden One," who is God of the happy hunting-ground of savages, with whom the Buddhist strives to merge his strange serenity of soul; who is adored in the "Holy Places" by the Moslem, and lifted mystically above the heads of kneeling Catholics in cathedrals dim with incense, and merrily praised with the banjo and the trumpet in the streets of black English cities; who is asked for children by longing women, and for new dolls by lisping babes; whom the atheist denies in the day, and fears in the darkness of night; who is on the lips alike of priest and blasphemer, and in the soul of all human life.

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