Mircea Eliade "From Primitives to Zen":
THE EGYPTIAN LAND

OF SILENCE AND DARKNESS


In this song a woman laments the death of her husband.

How sad is the descent in the Land of Silence. The wakeful sleeps, he who did not slumber at night lies still forever. The scorners say: The dwelling-place of the inhabitants of the West is deep and dark. It has no door, no window, no light to illuminate it, no north wind to refresh the heart. The sun does not rise there, but they lie every day in darkness. . . . The guardian has been taken away to the land of Infinity.

Those who are in the West are cut off, and their existence is misery, one is loathe to go to join them. One cannot recount one's experiences but one rests in one place of eternity in darkness.


Translation by Henri Frankfort (after Kees), in Frankfort, Ancient Egyptian Religion (New York: Columbia University Press, 1948)

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