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- Uarda, Volume 9. - 10/10 -

And yet I say: the bulwarks raised by men However strong, compared to Thy great works Are but vain shadows, and no human aid Avails against the foe--but Thy strong hand. The counsel of Thy lips shall guide my way; I have obeyed whenever Thou hast ruled; I call on Thee--and, with my fame, Thy glory Shall fill the world, from farthest east to west."

Yea, his cry rang forth even far as Hermonthis, And Amon himself appeared at his call; and gave him His hand and shouted in triumph, saying to the Pharaoh: "Help is at hand, O Rameses. I will uphold thee-- I thy father am he who now is thy succor, Bearing thee in my hands. For stronger and readier I than a hundred thousand mortal retainers; I am the Lord of victory loving valor? I rejoice in the brave and give them good counsel, And he whom I counsel certainly shall not miscarry."

Then like Menth, with his right he scattered the arrows, And with his left he swung his deadly weapon, Felling the foe--as his foes are felled by Baal. The chariots were broken and the drivers scattered, Then was the foe overthrown before his horses. None found a hand to fight: they could not shoot Nor dared they hurl the spear but fled at his coming Headlong into the river."

[I have availed myself of the help of Prof. Lushington's translation in "Records of the past," edited by Dr. S. Birch. Translator.]

A silence as of the grave reigned in the vast hall, Rameses fixed his eyes on the poet, as though he would engrave his features on his very soul, and compare them with those of another which had dwelt there unforgotten since the day of Kadesh. Beyond a doubt his preserver stood before him.

Seized by a sudden impulse, he interrupted the poet in the midst of his stirring song, and cried out to the assembled guests:

"Pay honor to this man! for the Divinity chose to appear under his form to save your king when he 'alone, and no man with him,' struggled with a thousand."

"Hail to Pentaur!" rang through the hall from the vast assembly, and Nefert rose and gave the poet the bunch of flowers she had been wearing on her bosom.

The king nodded approval, and looked enquiringly at his daughter; Bent- Anat's eyes met his with a glance of intelligence, and with all the simplicity of an impulsive child, she took from her head the wreath that had decorated her beautiful hair, went up to Pentaur, and crowned him with it, as it was customary for a bride to crown her lover before the wedding.

Rameses observed his daughter's action with some surprise, and the guests responded to it with loud cheering.

The king looked gravely at Bent-Anat and the young priest; the eyes of all the company were eagerly fixed on the princess and the poet. The king seemed to have forgotten the presence of strangers, and to be wholly absorbed in thought, but by degrees a change came over his face, it cleared, as a landscape is cleared from the morning mists under the influence of the spring sunshine. When he looked up again his glance was bright and satisfied, and Bent-Anat knew what it promised when it lingered lovingly first on her, and then on her friend, whose head was still graced by the wreath that had crowned hers.

At last Rameses turned from the lovers, and said to the guests:

"It is past midnight, and I will now leave you. To-morrow evening I bid you all--and you especially, Pentaur--to be my guests in this banqueting hall. Once more fill your cups, and let us empty them--to a long time of peace after the victory which, by the help of the Gods, we have won. And at the same time let us express our thanks to my friend Ani, who has entertained us so magnificently, and who has so faithfully and zealously administered the affairs of the kingdom during my absence."

The company pledged the king, who warmly shook hands with the Regent, and then, escorted by his wandbearers and lords in waiting, quitted the hall, after he had signed to Mena, Ameni, and the ladies to follow him.

Nefert greeted her husband, but she immediately parted from the royal party, as she had yielded to the urgent entreaty of Katuti that she should for this night go to her mother, to whom she had so much to tell, instead of remaining with the princess. Her mother's chariot soon took her to her tent.

Rameses dismissed his attendants in the ante-room of his apartments; when they were alone he turned to Bent-Anat and said affectionately.

"What was in your mind when you laid your wreath on the poet's brow?"

"What is in every maiden's mind when she does the like," replied Bent- Anat with trustful frankness.

"And your father?" asked the king.

"My father knows that I will obey him even if he demands of me the hardest thing--the sacrifice of all my--happiness; but I believe that he --that you love me fondly, and I do not forget the hour in which you said to me that now my mother was dead you would be father and mother both to me, and you would try to understand me as she certainly would have understood me. But what need between us of so many words. I love Pentaur--with a love that is not of yesterday--with the first perfect love of my heart and he has proved himself worthy of that high honor. But were he ever so humble, the hand of your daughter has the power to raise him above every prince in the land."

"It has such power, and you shall exercise it," cried the king. "You have been true and faithful to yourself, while your father and protector left you to yourself. In you I love the image of your mother, and I learned from her that a true woman's heart can find the right path better than a man's wisdom. Now go to rest, and to-morrow morning put on a fresh wreath, for you will have need of it, my noble daughter."


He who looks for faith must give faith I have never deviated from the exact truth even in jest Learn early to pass lightly over little things Trustfulness is so dear, so essential to me

Uarda, Volume 9. - 10/10

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