The Beloved of Hathor
by Florence Farr
The action takes place on the roof of the Temple of Hathor. But the Authors wish the play to be represented, not scenically but decoratively, with a simple white background or pale sienna hangings, so arranged that the figures of the actors, moving across the stage, may reproduce the effect of the ancient frescoes or illuminated papyri.
The Argument of The Beloved of Hathor.
The scene is in the Temple of Hathor, at the time of the expulsion of the Hyksos, about I500 B.C. Aahmcs, the beloved of Hathor, has for many years been watched over by her High Priestess, in order that through him the great spiritual kingdom of Egypt might be restored. His final choice is between this great destiny and the mere splendour of material victory.
Characters in The Beloved of Hathor
- Ranoutet, the chief priestess of Hathor, and of royal blood, aged thirty-five. She wears a long black wig with a double fillet - a large square of cloth of gold is wound closely round her figure under the arrns - she also wears a thin striped gauze overdress, an enamelled and beaded collar, sandals, and armlets. She puts on a vulture crown during the war dance.
- Nouferou, the daughter of a man of noble rank and of a wandering woman, who deserted him after the birth of her child. Noufcrou inherits the wild instincts of her mother. She is seventeen years old. Her drcss is while and gold. The wig is short and surmounted by a cone and lily.
- Aahmes, a warrior chief of the Red Race, afterwards becomes king. He is in the prime of life. He wears an embroidered waistcloth over a thin cotton shirt, a cloth helmet, and carries a spear.
- Ouny, a Child attendant of the Temple of Hathor. Dressed in white.
- The Chanters and Musicians do not appear.
The Beloved of Hathor
- The play is to be acted against a plain white backcloth with pale brown hangings on either side, striped to resemble the decoration of a papyrus roll.
- Ranoutet is lying on a couch with lions' heads. L., an altar with cauldron. crown, and incense spoon. A long fan in corner. Ranoutet holds some lotuses in Egyptian fashion.
- Ouny enters with a festival basket on, her head containing lotuses and conical loaves.
Ouncy. Here are the offerings to the setting sun. (She places offerings on altar and comes forward.) It is the last many brave men will see.
Ranoutet. Has news arrived? Has the great Aahmes carried out his plan? Has our mighty leader drawn the foes of Egypt into his net?
Ouncy. Lady of wisdom, it is so. They have bidden me tell you that victory comes with the dawn. The Hyksos, hateful in our land, know nought of our armed men who lie in wait for them by order of great Aahmes - along the road which they will follow to reach our city. With the dawn the soldiers of Egypt will rise from their hiding places and slay the Hyksos - and they shall be swept from our land. This is the message of Aahmes to you, O lady of wisdom.
(Ouny kneels and touches the earth with her head. Ranoutet rises and blesses her.)
Ranmuet. Dear messenger from the greatest in Egypt, may the gods ptotcct you, and may the gods protect Aahmes, now warrior, priest in future years, the light of all our hearts.
Ouncy. Great Aahmes is indeed a king of men. The leaders of the people love him above all others. He stands almost as near their hearts as you do, lady.
Ranoutet. Ah, yes, he is blessed from his birth. The foretelling of this victory has been long in our ears - when it comes to pass we of the temple will receive him with great honour. He is the beloved of Hathor, and her will has been his pleasure. If he can withstand temptation in the supreme hour of earthly triumph, she will receive him into the great mysteries.
Ouny. Can Aahmes still be tempted - Aahmes, the lover of Hathor?
Ranoutet. The hour is at hand which is to try his strength of purpose. The goddess will give us the victory, that our sacred land may be purged of the people of Asia, who have worked in her evil and uncleanness - but the soul of Aahmes stands alone in the last trial, and can know no strength but its own. No name but the name of Aahmes can be invoked - no power but the power of Aahmes can prevail.
Ouny. Lady of wisdom, terror pieices me like a spear. Can it be that the goddess will take back her great gift even after his hands are raised to receive it? Can the goddess turn from her beloved? And can Aahmes be an outcast from the sanctuary?
Ranoutet. These things are hidden in the heart of Hathor - the heart of mercy and justice. To her mercy we commend him - to her justice we give him up without fear. O Hathor, great diviner of beauty, who rulest in those places where desire fails, and the substance of human life fades and passes into eternal truth - O Hathor, guard thy servant and do well to him.
Ouny. Will you nor aid him, mighty priestess?
Ranoutet. I will do all that is permitted. Bring me the secret mirror and the Lybian wax - the holy herbs and oil. I will burn incense from all the corners of the world - and I will have lustral water and the holy wands of power, the sacred Natron essence of the gods, who alone can purify all shameful things by their touch. With these I will bless great Aahmes and all his works once more. And I will send up an incantation in the hour of battle, before which all the dreadful gods of Asia shall be bound because their worshippers have made our land unclean with going to and fro.
Ouny (goes, saluting and muttering the formula) I go in peace - may peace go with me!
(Ranoutet puts on a crown bound with Urcari snakes and faces the place of the sun. She pours out a libation.)
Ranoutet. O Ra Toum, thou enterest the kingdom of our Lady of the West beyond the holy mountain Mannu amid flaming orisons
Thou fallest into peace between the guardian serpents who are on either side of thee. Thou art one with the sun disk in the West, and its powers have their place behind thee. Thy way divides the heavens, and the gods of the North and the South bow before thee. I, too, bow before thee, O creator of the gods - before thee who art king over the souls dwelling in the circle of thy path. The blessed one receives thee into the deep shadows of her embrace as thou enterest into the mountain of the West. (She burns incense. Ouny returns with a magic mirror, wax, cymbals, and serpent wands. Ranoutet takes beeswax and begins to model it into shape.)
Voice outside. Will the great priestess Ranoutet receive the warrior chief Aahmes?
(Ranoutet hastily takes off the ceremonial croum, and directs Ouny to cover the altar, and goes out. She reenters, after Ouny has done what is necessary, followed by Aahmes carrying Nouferou. Ranoutet helps him lay her on the couch.)
Aahmes. Her heart is silent. She has seen men slain.
Ranoutet. She seems of noble birth - how is it that she went unattended?
Aahmes. The gods alone can tell. She is the Lady Nouferou. I found her helpless in the hands of ruffians far from her home. Her father's palace is an hour's journey hence. I cannot take her there tonight, and I come to ask you to shelter her.
Ranoutet. She is known to you?
Aahmes. I have fought under her father's leadership - and she was still a child when I last feasted at his palace. How she came to this adventure I can in no way tell. (Ranoutet restores Nouferou. Nouferou recovers and holds out her hands to Aahmes, not seeing Ranoutet.)
Nouferou (to Aahmes, who kneels by her side). You killed men for my sake. Oh, I am afraid! I see their hideous faces like beasts of prey! their claws clutch at my heart! Oh, save me from this horror! (She throws herself into his arms.)
Ranoutet (with anxiety). Are the dead men still lying in the street?
Aahmes. I had no eyes to see what the crowd did with them.
Ranoutet (crosses to the door). I will send mourners to give notice of the dead. Until they have been purified no help can come to Lady Nouferou. (Exit muttering.) I go in peace - may peace go with me!
Nouferou. Where am I? Who is that stern-faced priestess?
Aahmes (rising). She is the great Priestess Ranoutet, of the blood royal - the wisest of the devotees. She is so near the hearts of the gods that they will do all things at her behest, and Egypt has never known famine, plague, or defeat since she first served them - and when the war is over and the new dynasty established - she will be queen.
Nouferou (sadly). She will be queen and you will be king. She can choose no other consort.
Aahmes. No man may dare desire such a fate unless the gods decree it.
Nouferou (uoiks across). Ah, no! I was forgetting. Love is not love among the priests, I was forgetting the fierce laws of the gods, who stand between the lovers holding the sceptre of ritual, and at each cry of nature sternly denying!
Aahmes, And yet they say that the divine love which is given to the Children of Wisdom, that their hearts may lie poised between the two infinities of life and death, is greater than the earthly love, for it is the servant of life and the lord of death. (He sits on the end of the couch.) But tell me how you left your home and came unattended to the city.
Nouferou. I was forbidden to leave the palace. My father punishes - punishes like the gods - and stands always denying me all joy in life. I was a rebel and ran out alone, evading my old nurse. I longed to see the soldiers and hear the clash of arms, and hear the war chant - for I am told, before a battle there is a wondrous dance no woman may see, when those about to die deliver up t their souls to Mout, the Vulture-Mother and Avenger.
Aahmes. Hush, these are mysteries of which none may speak.
Nouferou. I burn for knowledge, for the freedom of a bird upon the wing. I am weary of the speech of the wise, who have not wisdom - who would tell me that Egyptian women must always be discreet and secret. I hear crying in me the blood of my mother, who was no Egyptian, but a wanderer. It spoke in her, and she listened to its wooing as to a lover - and she forsook my father, and, leaving me with him, she came back no more.
Aahmes. Do you forget what fate awaited the wanderer.
Nouferou. A short life my mother had. I, too, would live here for a little while, then go to join the shining spirits outside the walls of heaven, I
do not desire old age and ugliness in Egypt, nor the great wisdom of the gods in heaven. To be always beautiful and young is enough. (Aahmes rises, works round the back to Ranoutet.)
Ranoutet (reenters, muttering). I come in peace - may peace come with me. (Comes forward.) The rites for the slain are being carried out. Rest now, Lady Nouferou, and let the little Ouny fan you and call about you your own attendant spirits - for the spirits of the dead have passed to their own place.
Nouferou. I am well - I need no rest.
Ranoutet (firmly). Rest, Lady Nouferou.
(Nouferou lies on the couch, and Ouny fans her with long leather fan.)
Aahmes (to himself). It were easy to die young, and live among the golden nets of heaven—to die and drift like the Hammametu dancing in the rays of the sun—to have neither thought nor human care, nor the stress of human life.
Ranoutet. Do you forget Egypt, Aahmes? Would you have the destiny of those formless souls, whose little light flickers through the one short life they know, and then the rest is darkness? Is it in vain you have become part of your country, dedicated to her tradition - dedicated for ever to her destiny? Egypt has claimed her son, and Egypt is no foster mother
whose claim can be put lightly aside. There is no choice for her worshippers, for to fail in her service means death to the soul.
Aahmes. Ah! Ranoutet, I know the terror of the second death, and my heart is Egypt's! My heart longs for Egypt! As I have fought for Egypt in the past, so I will live for Egypt in the future! Is not such service easy when she speaks to me through you, the greatest priestess within the memory of the most ancient scribes? Give me your blessing, for we have to do great work tonight.
Ranoutet. Let us go into the sanctuary together, for Hathor has heard my invocation. She will receive you as her minister. After the battle fought for Egypt comes the enlightenment. Then comes the supreme vision. This flesh shall fall from you. You shall be no more the warrior of Egypt, but shall know yourself to be the Lord of Space and Being! Your soul shall tremble and rejoice at her own image looming out of the darkness of what you now call life! The light of the world shall be revealed to you amid the clash of the worlds which shall own you their master, O lord of that which has no end and no beginning!
A Priest chanting without. Flame round my crown the fiery snakes - About me and around -The chantress sings, the sistrum shakes - In symphony of sound - Fire from the gods a lightning makes - Earth's thunderous depths resound.
Ranoutet. Accept the portent and receive the Yeoiret crown.
(Aahmes kreels and is crowned by Ranoutet.)
To thee the earth, to thee the power,
The life and strength be given!
The scarab rests upon the flower!
the veil of the shrine is riven!
The stars are falling, for the hour
Sounds when the earth meets heaven.
Ranoutet. You hear the sacred hymn. The moment is propitious. Come to the shrine of the goddess. Tonight the battle for your soul must be fought and won!
(Aahmes follows her out. In the meantime Nouferou has been watching them mrenrfy. She springs up and seizes the child, gazing Intently into its face as she speaks.)
Nouferou. Ouny, Ouny, do you love me?
Nouferou. Listen now, Ouny - my little Ouny. Do you love me very much. (She takes it in her arms.)
Nouferou (covers it with kisses). Now tell me how much you love me. Ouny. I think you a very pretty lady.
Nouferou (laughs and clasps the child). Quick I now tell me what is the ceremony the great Priestess Ranoutet performs tonight. Tell me, where will it take place?
Nouferou. Tell me, will she make images of the enemies of Aahmes, and so contrive by her magical arts that Aahmes shall overcome the hateful Hyksos?
Nouferou. Will she make a mighty image of Aahmes and small images of the Hyksos, and will she place the foot of Aahmes on their heads, and will she place nooses round their necks, and give the cords into the hands of Aahmes, that he may hold their lives in the hollow of his hands?
(Ouny nods again.)
Nouferou. Fetch me some sacred wax, dear little Ouny, and I will help in the ceremony. I am well skilled in magic, and would gladly aid the mighty priestess in these simple arts.
Ouny (rises and goes to the covered altar). All things await the Lady Ranoutet. There is much wax, and I will light the fire - it will help you to do the work more quickly.
(The child lights the cauldron from the lamp which Ranoutet brings in with her. Ranoutet returns wearily. It is dark. She sinks on couch in profound thought.)
Nouferou. Lady, I have some simple skill in magic, and if you work tonight in the sacred Libyan wax, I pray you let me help you. I long to try, and in some measure repay the noble warrior chief.
Ranoutet (carelessly). Hush! I am thinking. Anything you will. But I must rest in peace, to be ready for work at the hour of battle. The soldiers have performed the sacred dance - the final preparations are going on: they are stealing silently out of the town to reinforce the leading troops, which even now surround the Hyksos. Aahmes will lead the attack at dawn - and dawn will be the signal for the watchers of the night!
Nouferou. Sleep, Lady, and I will mould the waxen images. One, half a cubit high for Aahmes - and two, one finger's breadth in height to represent the Hyksos leaders.
Ranoutet. That is the right proportion. I thank you for your service.
(Goes out with lamp, which Ouny gives her, in opposite direction to main entrance.)
Nouferou (takes wax and gives a small portion of it to Ouny). Go, child, and make two little images of the hideous Hyksos chiefs: copy them from the walls in the great court of the Temple and bind them with cords. Then sit at the foot of the stairs and play your psaltery softly, and I will call you when your mistress wakes.
Ouny Thanks, noble lady! I go in Peace - may peace go with me!
(Nouferou takes cauldron of fire - and wax. She kneeh by the altar and models the form of a man - as she does so she says:)
Nouferou. O noble Aahmes, may Nou protect thy hair! O noble Aahmes: may Ra protect thine eyes!
(Soft music begins.)
O noble Aahmes, may Anubis protect thy lips!
O noble Aahmes. may Isis protect thy neck!
O noble Aahmes, may Sclket protect thy body!
O noble Aahmes, may Neith protect thine arms!
O noble Aahmes, may Nut protect thy legs!
0 noble Aahmes, may Ptah protect thy feet!
I mould thee, Knoum moulds thee in beauty and strength, and nourishes thee in the fields of the blessed! Heart of Aahmes, thou art the dwelling of the creator of Aahmes. What thou doest, he will do - what thou lovest, he will love!
(She places statue on altar, and slowly moves round it, waving her arms. She stands before the wax image and chants:)
Aahmes, Aahmes, follow me
Where the poppy fields are white.
Aahmes, Aahmes, sleep the sleep
Deep with dreams of love's delight.
Aahmes, Aahmes, follow me
Where there shines a hidden star.
Aahmes, Aahmes, turn thy feet
Where the golden dreamings are.
Aahmes, Aahmes, follow me
To the magic fields of sleep.
Aahmes, Aahmcs, pluck the flower
That it work a spell more deep.
(Dances round the altar, then says:)
Aahmes, Aahmes, I am love,
Calling loudly in thy heart.
Aahmes, Aahmes, I am love -
Never more shall I depart.
Ouny (running in). I must awake the noble Ranoutet. Great Aahmes is below.
Nouferou. Hush! I will awaken her. Go you and bid him enter.
(Ouny goes Out. Nouferou puts out the fires. It gets very dark. Aahmes erne's, and she meets him.)
Nouferou. The Priestess Ranoutet bid me watch that none disturbed her body, while she. in sleep, sought counsel of the great
Ancestral One, the ancient power that watches over Egypt.
Aahmes. No matter - I came drawn by some desire - I would speak to you. I know not why.
Nouferou (puts out brazier). Come rest a little, you cannot start till dawn. Your senses wander for want of sleep. Sit here. (Business. She presently walks round him, humming the air of the incantation softly, and moving her arms as in the dance.)
Sleep. Aahmes, sleep and dream. (He sleeps.)
Dream, Aahmes, dream and love. (He gazes at her.)
(She kneels on the end of the couch.)
Love, Aahmes, love and live.
(He holds out his arms.)
Live, Aahmes, live and dream.
(She flings herself into his arms.)
Aahmes (embracing her). Nouferou!
(Men-at-arms chanting: the sound of marching troops.)
Gather the men-at-arms! the battle breaks,
The weary waiting days are over.
Let each man rush to battle as a lover.
The dawn with clarion note awakes.
Crowned with her radiance on our earth we stand.
Tried warriors of a sacred land,
Which trampling thunder shakes.
(Ranoutet enters - goes towards the altar - sees Aahmes and Nouferou on the couch.)
Ranoutet (in a loud voice). Aahmes! The dawn! The dawn!
Aahmes. What is the dawn to me? My life is here.
Ranoutet. Egypt is crying to her son!
Aahmes. Egypt is here.
(Ranoutet wrings her hands.)
Nouferou. I am the dawn, and I am Egypt! Beyond the circle of my arms lies the night. I am the dawn, and I am Egypt! When I speak with my beloved the voices of all the world are hushed, and he hears me only.
Ranoutet. O Hathor, look upon this image which I hold in the flames, that the spell may fall from him in whose semblance it is made, and he may be undefiled before thee.
(The chant continues.)
Drum batter, cymbals clash, our hearts and feet
Responding to one splendid measure.
Wrapt with the glory of our mighty pleasure!
Standards on high our enemies to greet!
Answering the dawn's light with our eyes aglow,
Serene and proud and passionate we go,
Treading the pasture sweet.
Ranoutet. The banners are unfurled, standards are raised on high.
Aahmes. Who is it that cries in the night?
Nouferou. Listen to my voice, O my beloved!
Ranoutet. O Hathor, let the spells woven by this woman dissolve before thee, thou flaming eye of Heru. Let them fall from thy servant, that he may stand upright and cast them away as the soul casts away mortality.
(She reverses the dance. The chant continues:)
No man of us can be disheartened now -
Death have we challenged by this trial -
Before the hosts of death we dare denial.
Swift mother of our arms, do thou,
Who gavest us our land and the bright sun.
Give us the perfecting of work begun -
Only to thee we bow.
Ranoutet. The troops are in array!
Aahmes. What am I dreaming?
Ranoutet. The glamour of the witch girl is upon you - your eyes are sealed by her kiss. She has breathed the spirit of her dream into you.
Nouferou. I am the dawn, and I am Egypt. Sleep on, beloved, for our dreams are a reality and the world a shadow.
(The chant continues.)
O heart's blood of remembrance! Long ago'
This land upheld our ancient fathers,
And for this land, your land, our land now gathers
One fellowship against the foe.
The spears flash! Be they as your mothers' eyes.
The trumpet sounds! Hearken to your fathers' cries!
March you to battle so!
Aahmes (starting away while Nouferou clings to him). Your eyes are demon's eyes! Your arms are chains about my neck! I am lost! (He shakes her off.)
Ranoutet. The spirit of Temptation has awakened in this girl. Through her Hathor has tried your strength of purpose, and it has failed you. Go now to the battle, and pray to the mercy of Hathor that she may use your arm to strike the Hyksos, so that you fall not in this also.
Aahmes (cries). I am lost! I am lost! (As he goes voices outside) Aahmes! mighty Aahmes!
Ranoutet (prays). May Aahmes go forth like the panther of the South! May Aahmes go forth under the aegis of Hathor in the radiance of her light! May Aahmes not forget Egypt, Egypt the mother of rhc mighty! May Aahmes remember her in her need, that she may requite him!
Nouferou. Woe, woe unto Egypt for the pain she has wrought!
She has warred against love, and love shall abandon her!
Wisdom is very powerful, but she cannot conquer love!
Wisdom is immortal, but love will destroy her works!
Ranoutet. Silence! before the sacrilege of your speech reaches to heaven and awakes the wrath of Hathor, which, shaking the four pillars of the world, would crush you into dust. Love must serve and wisdom rule - but you would put love above all! Your love would have put out the light that shines from the glory of Egypt, and serve the cause of Egypt's foes! You would have shamed Aahmes to all time that love might rule his soul one little hour!
Nouferou. I would see Aahmes dead - dead and dishonoured before I'd give him up to you, Ranoutet!
Ranoutet. Hush, hush I even now the battle begins! (Enter Ouny.) Give me the
magic mirror. (She looks in it.) Aahmes is in his chariot leading the attack. Help me, Ouny. (Nouferou sits on the couch with her head bowed.)
Ranoutet (to Ouny). Lay the Hyksos' chiefs under Aahmes' feet, and when the sistrum is shaken and the lute is plucked by the chanters and musicians in the temple court, the Lady Nouferou will help you wave the holy wands around him, so that the immortal serpents, guardians of our land, may weave the web of protection round him and round our troops.
(Ouny arranges the images as in Egyptian triumphs described above by Nouferou. Ranoutet holds out serpent wands to Nouferou, who refuses with a gesture.)
Ranoutet (pleadingly). Tonight the goddess strives with the destroyer for Aahmes' soul! Think! even now the Threefold Terror may devour him!
Nouferou. If Aahmes dies now he is mine - mine on the golden borders
of heaven - if he lives he is yours and Hathor's.
Ranoutet. If Aahmes dies in sin, faithless to Hathor, his soul must die the second death! There will be no light life for him on the horizons with you for playfellow.
Nouferou. I will not believe it!
Ranoutet. That is the law of Hathor. Her servant must be faithful, or he dies body and soul, and his name is trodden out by the Sebau in the deepest cavern of Dust.
Nouferou. Woe! woe! Desolation, oh desolation! Has Hathor no mercy?
Ranoutet. Have you had mercy in your jealous rage? To the battle! To the battle! Do as I do, and lift up your heart in prayer that Egypt may conquer, and that Aahmes may conquer in his mortal combat! (pause.) And listen to my voice, if Aahmes dies your life shall be the forfeit! (Seizes her throat.) The traitress has short trial in time of war!
Nouferou. Mercy! mercy!
Ranoutet (contemptuously). Mercy! see that your actions are fit for justice. (The music in the temple court is heard.) Quick, to the serpent dance! (Holding out the serpent wands.) Here, take the wands of power and weave the magic cord.
The priests chant ouiside. Yeioret!
(Nouferou and Ouny perform a dance.)
Ranoutet. Now call the spirits of the earth and sky! The priests chant. Yakhu pout! Yakhu taw!
(Nouferou and Ouny dance.)
Ranoutet. Now clash the cymbals (presents them ceremonially), and I will call on the vultures of death—swift servants of the mother of our arms!
The priests chant. Maut! Maut!
(Nouferou and Ouny dance and clash cymbals. Drums, sisimms, and cries of victory rising to a great clamour without.)
Nouferou (seizes the image of Aahmes and shrieks). Then let Aahmes die!
(She shatters it on the ground and rushes our. Ouny hastens to replace it.)
Ranoutet (sternly). Go, bring the meaning of this clamour. (Ouny goes.)
Ranoutet (gathering together the pieces of the image). This deed brings judgment, for it shows that the hour is come when the Truth that is eternal and the Truth that is of time will divide the ways of Aahmes. As the semblance of Aahmes is broken, so shall the soul of Aahmes be broken, and the victory be to the flesh alone. O Lady Hathor! Thou hast given this deed as a sign and an omen. Nouferou has shattered the semblance of Aahmes, and has broken up the waters of his soul! They no longer reflect the divine image - but the troubled fantasies of love and human life. Verily Thy judgments ate keen and sudden as the lightnings in heaven, and the thunders of Thy punishments make the earth shake in fear! The ways wherein Thou comest and goest are tremendous, and no foot but Thine may tread them!
Ouny (returning). Through the crowd I saw the father of Nouferou driving in his chariot with white horses, and he stopped before the gates of the temple and asked for her, and she came out from between the gates doing obeisance to him. She is white and tall, and, the crowd rejoiced to see her - but her father had no smile for her, and took her into his chariot and made his way through the people, the horses plunging and scattering them - and I saw her no more.
Ranoutet. That is well - let him look to her.
(Shouts of Aahmes outside.)
Ouny. The people shout because great Aahmes is in the midst of them. Their voice is like the hoarse note of the marsh-birds. He comes that you should bless the victory. (Enter Aahmes. Kneels at Ranoutet s feet.)
Aahmes. O Priestess of Hathor, smite me across the mouth that I may be dunb, for I am not worthy to speak in the temple! Take away my ears from me, that I may no longer hear the voice of Hathor - that terrible voice which carries Judgment: for I have failed in the great trial.
Ranoutet. This plant of failure, Aahmes, which you have sown, bears a flower which to the outward seeming is of splendid color and a sweet smell, and its name is Power. Put it upon your heart, and be strong to rule our people - but know that such a blossom is arid, and holds no promise of immortal fruit. Have power and the ruling of the kingdom, but have sorrow also, and eternal grief - because the doors of Hathor's sanctuary open to you no more.