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On the Death of Smet-Smet, the Hippopotamus Goddess: Song of a Tribe of the Ancient Egyptians

(The Priests within the Temple)
She was wrinkled and huge and hideous? She was our mother.
She was lustful and lewd? — but a God; we had none other.
In the day She was hidden and dumb, but at nightfall moaned in the shade;
We shuddered and gave Her Her will in the darkness; we were afraid.

(The People within)
     She sent us pain,
      And we bowed before Her;
     She smiled again
      And bade us adore Her.
     She solaced our woe
      And soothed our sighing;
     And what shall we do
      Now God is dying?

(The Priests within)
She was hungry and ate our children;—how should we stay Her?
She took our young men and our maidens;—ours to obey Her.
We were loathed and mocked and reviled of all nations; that was our pride.
She fed us, protected us, loved us, and killed us; now She has died.

(The People within)
     She was so strong;
      But Death is stronger.
     She ruled us long;
      But Time is longer.
     She solaced our woe
      And soothed our sighing;
     And what shall we do
      Now God is dying?

poem by from The Collected Poems of Rupert Brooke, With a Memoir (1918)Report problemRelated quotes
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