The Spell of Egypt by Robert Hichens

 -  And at the end a genius paints a portrait of a wrinkled old
woman's face, and the world regards and - Page 89
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And At The End A Genius Paints A Portrait Of A Wrinkled Old Woman's Face, And The World Regards And Worships.

Or all discords have been flung together pell-mell, resolution of them has been deferred perpetually, perhaps even denied

Altogether, chord of B major has been struck with C major, works have closed upon the leading note or the dominant seventh, symphonies have been composed to be played in the dark, or to be accompanied by a magic-lantern's efforts, operas been produced which are merely carnage and a row - and at the end a genius writes a little song, and the world gives the tribute of its breathless silence and its tears. And it knows that though other things may be done, better things can never be done. For no perfection can exceed any other perfection.

And so in Edfu I feel that this untinted austerity is perfect; that whatever may be done in architecture during future ages of the world, Edfu, while it lasts, will remain a thing supreme - supreme in form and, because of this supremacy, supreme in the spell which it casts upon the soul.

The sanctuary is just a small, beautifully proportioned, inmost chamber, with a black roof, containing a sort of altar of granite, and a great polished granite shrine which no doubt once contained the god Horus. I am glad he is not there now. How far more impressive it is to stand in an empty sanctuary in the house divine of "the Hidden One," whom the nations of the world worship, whether they spread their robes on the sand and turn their faces to Mecca, or beat the tambourine and sing "glory hymns" of salvation, or flagellate themselves in the night before the patron saint of the Passionists, or only gaze at the snow- white plume that floats from the snows of Etna under the rose of dawn, and feel the soul behind Nature.

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