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[From the Papyrus of Ani, Sheets 18 and 19.]

The following Hymns are good, typical examples of the songs of praise and thanksgiving which were addressed to the Sun-god by orthodox Egyptians under the XVIIIth dynasty.


Homage to thee, O RA, who risest as Tem-Heraakhuti.

Thou art adored. Thy beauties are before my eyes, and thy splendour falleth upon my body.

Thou goest to thy setting in the Seqtet Boat with fair winds, and thy heart is glad. The heart of the Matet Boat rejoices.

Thou stridest over the heavens in peace, all thy foes being cast down.

The stars which never rest (i.e., the planets) hymn thee, and the stars which never vanish (i.e., the circumpolar stars) glorify thee as thou sinkest to rest in the horizon of Manu.

Thou art beautiful at morn and at eve, O thou Living Lord, the Unchanging One, my Lord.

Homage to thee who risest as Ra and settest as Tem in beauty.

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Thou risest and shinest on the back of thy mother [the Sky-goddess], O thou who art crowned king of the gods.

Nut (the Sky-goddess) pays homage to thee, and Maat (the goddess of Law and Truth) embraces thee at morn and eve.

Joyfully thou stridest over the heavens and the Lake of Testes (a part of heaven) is content thereat. Thine enemy Sebau is cast down headlong, his arms and hands are cut off, and thy dagger has severed the joints of his backbone.

Ra has a fair wind, the Seqtet Boat advances and comes into port.

The gods of the South, the North, the West and the East praise thee, O thou divine substance, from whence all forms of life sprang.

Thou speakest--earth is flooded with silence, O thou ONLY ONE, who didst dwell in heaven before ever the earth and the mountain came into being.

O SHEPHERD, O LORD, O ONLY ONE, Creator of what is, thou didst make the tongue of the Nine Gods. Thou hast made all that sprang from the waters, and thou shootest up from them over the land of the pools of the Lake of Horus.

Let me breathe the air which comes from thy nostrils and the north wind which is from thy mother Nut. Glorify my spirit, O Osiris, make divine my soul.

O Lord of the gods, thou art worshipped at setting in peace, and art exalted because of all thy wondrous works,

Shine thou upon my body each day.

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Hail, thou Aten, thou lord of rays, who risest on the horizon day by day! Shine thou with thy beams of light upon the face of the Osiris Ani, the truth-speaker, who sings hymns to thee at dawn, and adores thee at eventide. Let his soul appear with thee in heaven. Let him sail out in the Matet Boat and arrive in port in the Seqtet Boat, and let him cleave his way among the stars that never vanish.

Homage to thee, O Her-aakhuti, who art Khepera, the self-created!

When thou risest and sendest forth thy beams upon the lands of the South and the North, thou art beautiful, yea beautiful, and all the gods rejoice when they see thee, the King of Heaven.

Nebt-Unnut (a goddess) is on thy head, her serpents are on thy head, and she takes her place before thee. Thoth stands in the bows of thy boat to destroy thy foes.

The denizens of the Tuat (Underworld) come to meet thee, they bow before thee in homage at the sight of thy Beautiful Form.

I would come before thee daily to be with thee and to behold thy Beautiful Aten (Disk). Let me be neither prevented nor repulsed.

Grant that when I look upon thy beauties my members may be made young again, even as are the members of thy favoured ones.

I am one who worshipped thee on earth. Let me enter the Eternal Land in the Everlasting Country. O my Lord, I beseech thee to decree this for me.

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Homage to thee who risest as Ra on thy horizon and restest upon Maat!

Thou passest over the sky, every face watches thy course, thou thyself being unseen. Thou showest thyself at dawn and at eve daily.

The Seqtet Boat of thy Majesty goes forth mightily, thy beams fall upon every face, thy variegated lights and colours cannot be numbered, and cannot be told . . . .

One by thyself alone didst thou come into being from the primeval waters of Nunu (or Nu).

May I go forward as thou dost advance without pause, and dost in a moment pass over untold leagues and as thou sinkest to rest even so may I.

Thou art crowned with the majesty of thy beauties, thou dost fashion thy members as thou dost advance, and dost produce them without the pangs of labour in the form of Ra, and dost rise up into the heights.

Grant that I may come into the everlasting heaven and the mountain where thy favoured ones dwell. Let me join myself to those who are holy and perfect in the divine Underworld, and let me appear with them to behold thy beauties at eventide. I lift my hands to thee in adoration when thou the living One dost set. Thou art the Eternal Creator and art adored at thy setting in heaven.

I have given my heart to thee without wavering, O thou who art the mightiest of the gods . . .

Next: Egyptian Monotheism