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The Sorrows of Isis


"I am Isis. I came forth from the house placed me my brother Set in it. Behold, said to me Thoth, the great one, chief of Maat in heaven and earth, "Come, thou Isis, goddess, good (it is) to possess obedience; life (is to the) on (who is) led (by) another. Hide thyself with the son child, will happen these things, his limbs (will) grow, he will grow strong wholly, and he shall be made to rest upon the throne of his father, he will obtain the dignity of prince of the two lands." I cam forth at the season of evening, and came forth seven scorpions before me, they continued with me at my side. Tefen and Befen were behind me, twice, Mestet and Mestetef were near me, and Petet, and Thetet, and Maatet showed to me the way. I cried out to them loudly, loudly, my word entered into their ears, as in (those of) wise man; a obedience is praiseworthy, disobedience (is) as the mark of the son of a man of low estate, "Let your faces be bent down on the way." The leader of the company brought me to the swamps of Pasui, the city of the two Sandal-goddesses at the beginnning of the Papyrus Swamps. Having arrived at Teb I came forth to the houses of the women of the governor. Had seen me the chief woman on the march, she closed her doors upon me, she was angry in her heart at those who were with me. They decreed about it (and) they placed their poison all at one time on the train of Tefen. Opened to me a poor woman her door, (I) entered into her house. Cunningly Tefen entered under the leaves of the door, smote she the son of the noble lady, fire broke out in the house of the noble lady, not was water there to quench it, not did heaven let fall its rain in the house of the lady, not being it the season thereof.

And behold, she who had not opened to me, her heart (was) sad not knowing if he lived. She went round through her city with lamentation not came [any] at her call. My heart was sad about the child for her sake, (I wished) to revive (him that was) without fault. I cried out to her, Come to me, twice. A charm is my word having life. I am a daughter known in her city, who driveth away evil by her utterance. Taught me my father to know. I am the daughter beloved of his body. Laid Isis her hands upon the child to vivfy that of which had closed the throat. O poison of Tefen, come, appear on the earth, not advance, not enter in. O poison of Befent, come, appear on the earth. I am Isis, the goddess, lady of words of power, worker with words of power, mighty in utterance of speech. Hearken to me, mouth every (which) biteth, fall downwards. Pooison of Mestet, not advance, poison of Mestetef not rise up. Poison of Pete and Thetet not enter.

Maatet fall dow. Chapter of stinging (which) spake Isis, the goddess, the great one of words of power, head of the gods. Had given to her Seb his powers to repulse poison from her form (?), repulsing, turning away, driving back, away back, poison at the dawn saying, "Ra-mer, the Egg of the Goose cometh forth from the sycamore. A protection (are) her words spoken at the season of evening. I speak to you. I am in loneliness and in sorrow greater than (that of) the people throught the nomes, (and I am) as a man feeble who hath ceased to seek out and to look upon women in their houses. Your face[s] downwards to make a way to the swamps, to the hidden places in Khebet." O liveth the boy, dieth the poison; liveth Ra, dieth the poison. Verily, healthy be Horus for his mother Isis. Verily, healthy be he who is under the knife also. The fire is extinguished, heaven is content at the utterance of Isis, the goddess. The lady (who) came, (she who) had shut on me her house, she seized the house of the poor woman because the poor woman had opened to me her door. Wherefore the lady was in pain and sorrow during night one, she tasted her speech Was stung her son, was closed for her her house in return for her not having opened to me. I liveth the child, dieth the poison. Verily shall be sound Horus through his mother Isis. Verily shall be sound he who is under the knife everyone likewise. Shall not bread of barley drive out poison? It shall return through all the limbs the flame of hetchet and drive out the fire from the members Isis. Twice. Come thou to Horus. Thou whose mouth is wise come thou to thy son. "Hail," say the gods in her neighbourhood, like one whom has stung the scorpion Tchart, whom hath pierced Behat, whom hath put to flight Antesh. Appeared Isis as one who was in wounded her body. She stretched out her arms, I will protect, twice, my son Horus. Fear not, twice, O son, my glory. Not shall happen thing any evil unto thee. Seed is in thee for making things which are to be. Thou art the son within Mesqet, proceeding from Nu, not shalt thou die by the flame of the poison. Thou art the Bennu Great born on the incense trees in the House of the Price great in Annu. Thou art the brother of the Abt Fish, the disposer of what is to be, nursed by the cat within the House of Net. Rert, and Hat, and Bes, protect thy limbs. Not shall fall thy head before him that is hostile to thee. Not shall conquer thy limbs the fure of thy poison. Not shalt thou fall on the ground, not shalt thou be in peril on water. Not shall have the mastery reptile any stinging over thee. Not shall crush thee lion any (or) be master over thee. Thou art the son of a god holy proceeding from Seb. Thou art Horus, not shall have the mastery the poison in thy limbs. Thou art the son of a god holy proceeding from Seb. (With him) that is under the knife likewise (is it). The four holy goddesses protect thy limbs.........

I am Isis, who conceived her male child, and was heavy with Horus. A goddess I bore Horus, son of Osiris, within a nest of papyrus plants. I rejoiced over it greatly, twice, because I saw (in him) one who would answer for his father. I hid him, I concealed him having fear of his being bitten. I went to the city Am, )the people) saluted according to custom. I spent the time in seeking for the boy to make his food. I returned to embrace Horus, I found him, Horus, the beautiful one of gold, the boy, the child, he was nothing. He had bedewed the ground with the water of his eye, and with the foam of his lips; his body was motionless, his heart still, not moved the muscles of his body. I sent forth a cry..... The dwellers in the swamp they came round me at once, came to me the fenmen from their houses, they drew nigh to me at my call, they wept, even they, at the greatness of my misery. There was none who opened his mouth there, man everyone among them grieved greatly. There was one knowing there to make to live (Horus). Came to me a woman well known in her city, a lady at the head of her district. She came to me to restore life, her heart was filled with her affairs according to wont. Twice. The son Horus (was) in activity. Twice. The son of the mother of the god was safe from the evil of his brother.

The plants were hidden, not could enter there an enemy into them. The word of power of Tem father of the gods who is in heaven, was as the maker of life, not entered Set into region this, not could he go about Kheb. Horus was smitten by the wickedness of his brother. Not had she hidden those who were in his service many time[s] a day. These (said) concerning hi, "Shall live Horus for his mother?" they found where he was and a scorpion stung him, and the slayer of the heart hath stabbed him. Placed Isis her nose in his mouth to know if had breath he who was in his boffin. She opened the wound of the heir divine, she found it possessing poison. She embraced him hurriedly and leaped about with him like a fish laid upon a fire (saying,) Stung is Horus, O Ra, stung is thy son. Stung is Horus, heir of heir, lorf of the [pillars?] of Shu. Stung is Horus, the child of the papyrus swamp, the child in Het-ser. Stung is the child beautiful of gold. The child, the babe, he is nothing. Stung is Horus, son of Un-nefer. Then came Nephthys weeping, she cried, going wabout the swamp and Serqet (who said), What twice, what then is the child Horus, Isis? Pray thou therefore to heaven so that may come a stop to the sailors of Ra, not will travel the boat of Ra from the son Horus from where he is. Send for Isis her cry to heaven, her prayer (was) to Boat of millions of years. Stood still the disk at her coming, not moved he on his seat. Thoth came provided with his magic power, poseessing command great of maa-kheru. What, twice, Isis, goddess, mighty one, understanding (with) her mouth, not evil behold shall be to the son Horus, his protection is from the boat of Ra. I have come to-day in the boat of the disk from its place of yesterday. When the night cometh the light driveth (it) away to heal Horus for his mother.

Isis (and person every who is under the knife [shall be healed] likewise.

Sir E. A. Wallis Budge "The Gods of the Egyptians"