A Song Of Ipet-isu

This is an extract from the novel I am currently writing, a follow-up ‘n follow-on to The Floating Harbour, with a working title (I have the real title, I’m just not telling you yet) of ‘Egypt & Industry’. In Chapter 4, Ineni, chief architect to, among others, Thutmose I, recites a poem he has composed to the workers gathered before him, whom’re waiting to continue their work on expanding the Temple of Karnak (Ipet-isu).

shining in the Serpent-diadem,
whose border rests upon
the far crest of the world,
its ends within the void of Horus,
his majesty, then said:
‘Now, you shall oversee
my great works, you
in whom I place my trust,
my excellent designs
for the glory of our
holy triad;
their patriarch, the one
whose hidden power e’er
informs all things, a king’s
guardian and guide,
a sovereign o’er sovereigns,

Now, endowing me with
labourers, his majesty
accorded me the chance
to earn, for wisdom, praise.
I brought together
all his majesty had gained
in tribute:
fresh cedar-wood from Lebanon;
reams of Asian copper;
offerings of electrum
and gold.

This, your temple,
the most select of places!
Let sekhem and sesheshet
sing in beat-procession,
ringing through these
‘glyphed papyrus-reeds!
Of beautiful white limestone,
these pylons guard the way;
magnificent, th’flagstaffs
herald the Aten!

Then his majesty, the
Golden Horus, said:
‘All has been done, in
accord with my command.
in em’rald, lapis,
ox-blood, gold, all
brill’yant coloured writing
‘gainst the white proclaims
(Posterity will hear it!) of
my works, our songs, our prayers!’
Now, his majesty, whose
heart was happy at
the temple’s progress,
commanded me to
continue this honourable task.

Sistra sweeping swathes
across the jingle-jangle morning;
veneration vibrating
atop the beaten drums!
These coloured-sounds of
hue-lit waves awash
upon this sanctum
of Khonsu, consort Mut,
and Amun-Re!


Image credit Wikipedia

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