The God of the Desert, where the sun blasts,
Is Set, and the patron of all outcasts.
As God of the foreigner, barren earth
Is yours, with all that suffers from great dearth.
The storm that chokes the lungs, and burns the eyes,
No water to the dry land it supplies;
The only souls that in this place survive,
Are they that in the harshness still can thrive.
Those fattened by the black and fertile soil,
That yields abundantly with little toil,
They cannot bear the burning desert heat,
Nor live unless with feasts they are replete.
So, whom you favour is austere and bears
Much difficulty, many woeful cares.
With Ra who drives the boat, you sail and slay
The serpent Apep, enemy of day;
Each night the threatening chaos, by your spear,
Is overthrown, and night must disappear.
May he who’s foreign to what’s weak and base,
So likewise yield to darkness not his place,
But with much courage, and with strength, repel
The serpents, fiends, and demons dread and fell.
In golden ages long gone by,
When Ra was still alive,
No priest or wizard sat on high
To trick or to connive;
Men saw the sun and worshipped it;
They knew it gave them life;
No violent act did they commit,
They lived as free from strife,
Until up from the east came death
With soul as black as night,
And tongue that lied with every breath
And teeth that gnashed in spite.
It crossed the river to invade,
Like serpents on a wave,
With stench of all that was decayed,
To make all Egypt slave.
It came and swarmed o’er all the land,
As one and many too,
Till flames all over Egypt fanned
And men in terror flew.
To challenge Ra, Apophis came,
To drown the sun with night,
To snuff the great, eternal flame,
And put an end to light.
But Ra arose, and sailed into,
The very serpent’s coils;
The snake into a spiral drew,
and thought to end his toils:
But Ra, with brilliant shining, stood,
And pierced the serpent’s scale:
Apophis bled black drops of blood,
and hissed, a frightening wail.
He thrashed about, but Ra stood fast,
Until the snake had drowned,
Then Ra beat on with sail to mast,
And sailed the earth around.
The serpent that would swallow whole
The earth had been destroyed
By Ra, the sun’s own mighty soul,
And Egypt peace enjoyed.