The Spell of Egypt by Robert Hichens

 -  In no other temple, when the sanctuary
is reached, has one such a strong consciousness of being indeed within
a - Page 87
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In No Other Temple, When The Sanctuary Is Reached, Has One Such A Strong Consciousness Of Being Indeed Within A Sacred Heart.

The color of Edfu is a pale and delicate brown, warm in the strong sunshine, but seldom glowing.

Its first doorway is extraordinarily high, and is narrow, but very deep, with a roof showing traces of that delicious clear blue-green which is like a thin cry of joy rising up in the solemn temples of Egypt. A small sphinx keeps watch on the right, just where the guardian stands; this guardian, the gift of the past, squat, even fat, with a very perfect face of a determined and handsome man. In the court, upon a pedestal, stands a big bird, and near it is another bird, or rather half of a bird, leaning forward, and very much defaced. And in this great courtyard there are swarms of living birds, twittering in the sunshine. Through the doorway between the towers one sees a glimpse of a native village with the cupolas of a mosque.

I stood and looked at the cupolas for a moment. Then I turned, and forgot for a time the life of the world without - that men, perhaps, were praying beneath those cupolas, or praising the Moslem's God. For when I turned, I felt, as I have said, as if all the worship of the world must be concentrated here. Standing far down the open court, in the full sunshine, I could see into the first hypostyle hall, but beyond only a darkness - a darkness which led me on, in which the further chambers of the house divine were hidden.

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