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Myths and Legends of Ancient Egypt

Page: 110

"Thou sayest well," said Amen-Ra. "Where shall we seek this fair princess? What is her name?"

"Her name is Aahmes," answered Thoth; "she is wife to the King of Egypt, and dwelleth in his palace. I will lead thee to her."

"It is well," said Amen-Ra.

Then Thoth, in the shape of an ibis, flew toward the land of Egypt, and with him went Amen-Ra, in the form of the King of Egypt, and all the gods and[Pg 247] goddesses, among them Neith, goddess of Sais, and the scorpion goddess, Selk, on whose head was a scorpion bearing in each claw the sign of life.

Silently the gods and goddesses entered the sleeping palace, and were conducted by Thoth to the chamber of Queen Aahmes. The queen lay asleep on a couch shaped like a lion, and as they gazed upon her they saw that Thoth had spoken truly, that she was indeed the fairest of mortal women, and they stood speechless with admiration for her beauty. But the fragrance which they had borne with them from the land of Punt awoke the maiden, who looked with astonishment on her supernatural visitors. Very magnificent was Amen-Ra, the king of the gods, the maker of men, as he stood before the queen. Jewels of gold and precious stones adorned his person, and his beauty was as the beauty of the sun, so that the maiden's heart was filled with delight. Amen-Ra placed in her hand the sign of life and the emblem of power, and the goddesses Neith and Selk raised her couch above the ground, so that she might be above the earth while she conversed with the gods.

At length the gods returned to the land of Punt, and Amen-Ra called for Khnum, the creator, the fashioner of the bodies of men.

"Fashion for me," said Amen-Ra, "the body of my daughter, and the body of her ka. A great queen shall I make of her, and honour and power shall be hers all the days of her life."

"O Amen-Ra," answered Khnum, the creator, "it shall be done as thou hast said. The beauty of thy daughter shall surpass that of the gods, and shall be worthy of her dignity and glory."

So Khnum fashioned the body of Amen-Ra's daughter and the body of her ka, the two forms[Pg 248] exactly alike, and more beautiful than the daughters of men. He fashioned them of clay with the aid of his potter's wheel, and Hekt, goddess of birth, knelt by his side, holding the sign of life toward the clay that the bodies of Hatshepsut and her ka might be filled with the breath of life.

Then did the gods bring the bodies to the palace of the King of Egypt. Khnum, the creator, and Hekt, the goddess of birth, Isis, the great mother, and her twin sister Nephthys, Bes, the protector of children, and Meskhent and Ta-urt, all were present to hail the birth of Hatshepsut, the great queen, the daughter of Amen-Ra and Queen Aahmes.

Great were the rejoicings when the child was born, and loud the praises chanted in her honour. And in time she became ruler of all countries, rich and powerful and beloved of Amen-Ra, the great queen for whom she had been designed by the king of the gods.


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