Legends of the Gods
The Egyptian Texts, edited with Translations
by E. A. Wallis Budge
London: Kegan Paul, Trench and Trübner & Co. Ltd.
A HYMN TO OSIRIS AND A LEGEND OF THE ORIGIN OF HORUS
Homage to thee, Osiris, Lord of eternity, King of the gods, whose names are manifold, whose transformations are sublime, whose form is hidden in the temples whose KA is holy, the Governor of Tetut, 1 the mighty one of possessions (?) in the shrine, 2 the Lord of praises 3 in the nome of Anetch, 4 President of the tchefa food in Anu, 5 Lord who art commemorated in [the town of] Maati, 6 the mysterious (or, hidden) Soul, the Lord of Qerret, 7 the sublime one in White Wall, 8 the Soul of Ra [and] his very body, who hast thy dwelling in Henensu, 9 the beneficent one, who art praised in Nart, 10 who makest to rise up thy Soul, Lord of the Great House in the city 11 of the Eight Gods, 12 [who inspirest] great terror in Shas-hetep, 13 Lord of eternity, Governor of Abtu (Abydos).
Thy seat (or, domain) reacheth far into Ta-tchesert, 14 and thy name is firmly stablished in the mouth[s] of men.
Thou art the two-fold substance of the Two Lands 15 everywhere (?), and the divine food (tchef) of the KAU, 16 the Governor of the Companies 17 of the Gods, and the beneficent (or, perfect) Spirit-soul 18 among Spirit-souls. The god Nu draweth his waters from thee, 19 and thou bringest forth the north wind at eventide, and wind from thy nostrils to the satisfaction of thy heart. Thy heart flourisheth, and thou bringest forth the splendour of tchef food.
The height of heaven and the stars [thereof] are obedient unto thee, and thou makest to be opened the great gates [of the sky]. Thou art the lord to whom praises are sung in the southern heaven, thou art he to whom thanks are given in the northern heaven. The stars which never diminish are under the place of thy face, 20 and thy seats are the stars which never rest. 21 Offerings appear before thee by the command of Keb.
The Companies of the Gods ascribe praise unto thee, the Star-gods of the Tuat smell the earth before thee, 22 the domains [make] bowings [before thee], and the ends of the earth make supplication to thee [when] they see thee.
Those who are among the holy ones are in terror of him, and the Two Lands, all of them, make acclamations to him when they meet His Majesty. Thou art a shining Noble at the head of the nobles, permanent in [thy] high rank, stablished in [thy] sovereignty, the beneficent Power of the Company of the Gods. Well-pleasing [is thy] face, and thou art beloved by him that seeth thee.
Thou settest the fear of thee in all lands, and because of their love for thee [men] hold thy name to be pre-eminent. Every man maketh offerings unto thee, and thou art the Lord who is commemorated in heaven and upon earth. Manifold are the cries of acclamation to thee in the Uak 23 festival, and the Two Lands shout joyously to thee with one accord. Thou art the eldest, the first of thy brethren, the Prince of the Company of the Gods, and the stablisher of Truth throughout the Two Lands. Thou settest [thy] son upon the great throne of his father Keb. Thou art the beloved one of thy mother Nut, whose valour is most mighty [when] thou overthrowest the Seba Fiend. Thou hast slaughtered thy enemy, and hast put the fear of thee into thy Adversary.
Thou art the bringer in of the remotest boundaries, and art stable of heart, and thy two feet are lifted up (?); thou art the heir of Keb and of the sovereignty of the Two Lands, and he (i.e., Keb) hath seen thy splendid qualities, and hath commanded thee to guide the lands (i.e., the world) by thy hand so long as times [and seasons] endure.
Thou hast made this earth with thy hand, the waters thereof, the winds thereof, the trees and herbs thereof, the cattle thereof of every kind, the birds thereof of every kind, the fish thereof of every kind, the creeping things thereof, and the four-footed beasts thereof. The land of the desert 24 belongeth by right to the son of Nut, and the Two Lands have contentment in making him to rise 25 upon the throne of his father like Ra.
Thou rollest up into the horizon, thou settest the light above the darkness, thou illuminest [the Two Lands] with the light from thy two plumes, thou floodest the Two Lands like the Disk at the beginning of the dawn. Thy White Crown pierceth the height of heaven saluting the stars, 26 thou art the guide of every god. Thou art perfect 27 in command and word. Thou art the favoured one of the Great Company of the Gods, and thou art the beloved one of the Little Company of the Gods.
Thy sister [Isis] acted as a protectress to thee. She drove [thy] enemies away, she averted seasons [of calamity from thee], she recited the word (or, formula) with the magical power of her mouth, [being] skilled of tongue and never halting for a word, being perfect in command and word. Isis the magician avenged her brother. She went about seeking for him untiringly.
She flew round and round over this earth uttering wailing cries of grief, and she did not alight on the ground until she had found him. She made light [to come forth] from her feathers, she made air to come into being by means of her two wings, and she cried out the death cries for her brother.
She made to rise up the helpless members of him whose heart was at rest, she drew from him his essence, and she made therefrom an heir. She suckled the child in solitariness and none knew where his. place was, and he grew in strength. His hand is mighty (or, victorious) within the house of Keb, and the Company of the Gods rejoice greatly at the coming of Horus, the son of Osiris, whose heart is firmly stablished, the triumphant one, the son of Isis, the flesh and bone of Osiris. The Tchatcha 28 of Truth, and the Company of the Gods, and Neb-er-tcher 29 himself, and the Lords of Truth, gather together to him, and assemble therein. 30
Verily those who defeat iniquity rejoice 31 in the House of Keb to bestow the divine rank and dignity upon him to whom it belongeth, and the sovereignty upon him whose it is by right.
1 More fully Pa-Asar-neb-Tetut, the Busiris of the Greeks; Busiris = Pa-Asar, "House of Osiris," par excellence. The variant Tataut also occurs.
2 An allusion, perhaps, to the town Sekhem, the capital of the second nome (Letopolites) of Lower Egypt.
3 I.e., lord whose praises are sung.
6 I.e., a famous sanctuary in the Letopolite nome where Ptah was worshipped.
7 The region of the First Cataract, where the Nile was believed to rise.
9 Herakleopolis, the חָנֵס of Isaiah.
10 A name of Herakleopolis.
11 Khemenu or Hermopolis, the city of Thoth.
12 These gods were: Nu and Nut; Hehu and Hehut; Kekui and Kekuit; Kerh and Kerhet.
13 The capital of Set, the eleventh nome of Upper Egypt; the chief local deity was Khnemu.
14 A name of the Other World.
15 I.e., the two Egypts, Upper and Lower.
16 The Doubles of the beatified who are fed by Osiris in the Other World.
17 Three Companies are distinguished: the gods of Heaven, the gods of Earth, and the gods of the Other World.
18 The indestructible, immortal Spirit-soul as opposed to the Ba-soul or animal-soul.
19 Here and in other places I have changed the pronoun of the third person into that of the second to avoid the abrupt changes of the original.
20 I.e., they are under thy inspection and care.
21 I.e., the stars which never set. The allusion is probably to certain circumpolar stars.
22 I.e., do homage.
23 One of the chief festivals of Osiris, during which the god made a periplus.
24 This may also represent the mountainous districts of Egypt, or even foreign countries in general.
25 To make him rise like the sun, or to enthrone him.
26 Or, "becoming a brother to the stars," or the Star-gods.
27 Or, beneficent.
28 Literally, the "Heads," I.e., the divine sovereign Chiefs at the court of Osiris, who acted as administrators of the god, and even as task-masters.
29 "He who is the lord to the end (or, limit) of the world," a name of Osiris.
30 I.e., in the House of Keb.
31 Or perhaps "take their seats in the House of Keb."