One may say impertinent things that are true about it:
that seen from behind at a distance its head
Looks like an enormous
mushroom growing in the sand, that its cheeks are swelled
inordinately, that its thick-lipped mouth is legal, that from certain
places it bears a resemblance to a prize bull-dog. All this does not
matter at all. What does matter is that into the conception and
execution of the Sphinx has been poured a supreme imaginative power.
He who created it looked beyond Egypt, beyond the life of man. He
grasped the conception of Eternity, and realized the nothingness of
Time, and he rendered it in stone.
I can imagine the most determined atheist looking at the Sphinx and,
in a flash, not merely believing, but feeling that he had before him
proof of the life of the soul beyond the grave, of the life of the
soul of Khufu beyond the tomb of his Pyramid. Always as you return to
the Sphinx you wonder at it more, you adore more strangely its repose,
you steep yourself more intimately in the aloof peace that seems to
emanate from it as light emanates from the sun. And as you look on it
at last perhaps you understand the infinite; you understand where is
the bourne to which the finite flows with all its greatness, as the
great Nile flows from beyond Victoria Nyanza to the sea.
And as the wonder of the Sphinx takes possession of you gradually, so
gradually do you learn to feel the majesty of the Pyramids of Ghizeh.
Unlike the Step Pyramid of Sakkara, which, even when one is near it,
looks like a small mountain, part of the land on which it rests, the
Pyramids of Ghizeh look what they are - artificial excrescences,
invented and carried out by man, expressions of man's greatness.
Exquisite as they are as features of the drowsy golden landscape at
the setting of the sun, I think they look most wonderful at night,
when they are black beneath the stars.
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