THE PAPYRUS OF ANI – 1240 BC
HYMN TO OSIRIS
“(1) Hail to thee, Osiris, lord of eternity, king of the gods, thou who hast many names, thou disposer of created things, thou who hast hidden forms in the temples, thou sacred one, thou KA who dwellest in Tattu, thou mighty (2) one in Sekhem, thou lord to whom invocations are made in Anti, thou who art over the offerings in Annu, thou lord who makest inquisition in two-fold right and truth, thou hidden soul, the lord of Qerert, thou who disposest affairs in the city of the White Wall, thou soul of Ra, thou very body of Ra who restest in (3) Suten-henen, thou to whom adorations are made in the region of Nart, thou who makest the soul to rise, thou lord of the Great House in Khemennu, thou mighty of terror in Shas-hetep, thou lord of eternity, thou chief of Abtu, thou who sittest upon thy throne in Ta-tchesert, thou whose name is established in the mouths of (4) men, thou unformed matter of the world, thou god Tum, thou who providest with food the ka’s who are with the company of the gods, thou perfect khu among khu’s, thou provider of the waters of Nu, thou giver of the wind, thou producer of the wind of the evening from thy nostrils for the satisfaction of thy heart. Thou makest (5) plants to grow at thy desire, thou givest birth to . . . . . . . ; to thee are obedient the stars in the heights, and thou openest the mighty gates. Thou art the lord to whom hymns of praise are sung in the southern heaven, and unto thee are adorations paid in the northern heaven. The never setting stars (6) are before thy face, and they are thy thrones, even as also are those that never rest. An offering cometh to thee by the command of Seb. The company of the gods adoreth thee, the stars of the tuat bow to the earth in adoration before thee, [all] domains pay homage to thee, and the ends of the earth offer entreaty and supplication. When those who are among the holy ones (7) see thee they tremble at thee, and the whole world giveth praise unto thee when it meeteth thy majesty. Thou art a glorious sahu among the sahu’s, upon thee hath dignity been conferred, thy dominion is eternal, O thou beautiful Form of the company of the gods; thou gracious one who art beloved by him that (8) seeth thee. Thou settest thy fear in all the world, and through love for thee all proclaim thy name before that of all other gods. Unto thee are offerings made by all mankind, O thou lord to whom commemorations are made, both in heaven and in earth. Many are the shouts of joy that rise to thee at the Uak[*] festival, and cries of delight ascend to thee from the (9) whole world with one voice. Thou art the chief and prince of thy brethren, thou art the prince of the company of the gods, thou stablishest right and truth everywhere, thou placest thy son upon thy throne, thou art the object of praise of thy father Seb, and of the love of thy mother Nut. Thou art exceeding mighty, thou overthrowest those who oppose thee, thou art mighty of hand, and thou slaughterest thine (10) enemy. Thou settest thy fear in thy foe, thou removest his boundaries, thy heart is fixed, and thy feet are watchful. Thou art the heir of Seb and the sovereign of all the earth; Seb hath seen thy glorious power, and hath commanded thee to direct the (11) universe for ever and ever by thy hand.
“Thou hast made this earth by thy hand, and the waters thereof, and the wind thereof, the herb thereof, all the cattle thereof, all the winged fowl thereof, all the fish thereof, all the creeping things thereof, and all the four-footed beasts thereof. (12) O thou son of Nut, the whole world is gratified when thou ascendest thy father’s throne like Ra. Thou shinest in the horizon, thou sendest forth thy light into the darkness, thou makest the darkness light with thy double plume, and thou floodest the world with light like the (13) Disk at break of day. Thy diadem pierceth heaven and becometh a brother unto the stars, O thou form of every god. Thou art gracious in command and in speech, thou art the favoured one of the great company of the gods, and thou art the greatly beloved one of the lesser company of the gods.
“Thy sister put forth her protecting power for thee, she scattered abroad those who were her enemies, (14) she drove back evil hap, she pronounced mighty words of power, she made cunning her tongue, and her words failed not. The glorious Isis was perfect in command and in speech, and she avenged her brother. She sought him without ceasing, (15) she wandered round and round the earth uttering cries of pain, and she rested[*] not until she had found him. She overshadowed him with her feathers, she made wind with her wings, and she uttered cries at the burial of her brother. (16) She raised up the prostrate form of him whose heart was still, she took from. him of his essence, she conceived and brought forth a child, she suckled it in secret (?) and none knew the place thereof; and the arm of the child hath waxed strong in the great house of Seb. (17) The company of the gods rejoiceth and is glad at the coming of Osiris’s son Horus, and firm of heart and triumphant is the son of Isis, the heir of Osiris.”
“Homage to thee, Osiris, Lord of eternity, King of the Gods, whose names are manifold, whose forms are holy, thou being of hidden form in the temples, whose Ka is holy. Thou art the governor of Tattu (Busiris), and also the mighty one in Sekhem (Letopolis). Thou art the Lord to whom praises are ascribed in the nome of Ati, thou art the Prince of divine food in Anu. Thou art the Lord who is commemorated in Maati, the Hidden Soul, the Lord of Qerrt (Elephantine), the Ruler supreme in White Wall (Memphis). Thou art the Soul of Ra, his own body, and hast thy place of rest in Henensu (Herakleopolis). Thou art the beneficent one, and art praised in Nart. Thou makest thy soul to be raised up. Thou art the Lord of the Great House in Khemenu (Hermopolis). Thou art the mighty one of victories in Shas-hetep, the Lord of eternity, the Governor of Abydos. The path of his throne is in Ta-tcheser (a part of Abydos). Thy name is established in the mouths of men. Thou art the substance of Two Lands (Egypt). Thou art Tem, the feeder of Kau (Doubles), the Governor of the Companies of the gods. Thou art the beneficent Spirit among the spirits. The god of the Celestial Ocean (Nu) draweth from thee his waters. Thou sendest forth the north wind at eventide, and breath from thy nostrils to the satisfaction of thy heart. Thy heart reneweth its youth, thou producest the…. The stars in the celestial heights are obedient unto thee, and the great doors of the sky open themselves before thee. Thou art he to whom praises are ascribed in the southern heaven, and thanks are given for thee in the northern heaven. The imperishable stars are under thy supervision, and the stars which never set are thy thrones. Offerings appear before thee at the decree of Keb. The Companies of the Gods praise thee, and the gods of the Tuat (Other World) smell the earth in paying homage to thee. The uttermost parts of the earth bow before thee, and the limits of the skies entreat thee with supplications when they see thee. The holy ones are overcome before thee, and all Egypt offereth thanksgiving unto thee when it meeteth Thy Majesty. Thou art a shining Spirit-Body, the governor of Spirit-Bodies; permanent is thy rank, established is thy rule. Thou art the well-doing Sekhem (Power) of the Company of the Gods, gracious is thy face, and beloved by him that seeth it. Thy fear is set in all the lands by reason of thy perfect love, and they cry out to thy name making it the first of names, and all people make offerings to thee. Thou art the lord who art commemorated in heaven and upon earth. Many are the cries which are made to thee at the Uak festival, and with one heart and voice Egypt raiseth cries of joy to thee.
“Thou art the Great Chief, the first among thy brethren, the Prince of the Company of the Gods, the stablisher of Right and Truth throughout the World, the Son who was set on the great throne of his father Keb. Thou art the beloved of thy mother Nut, the mighty one of valour, who overthrew the Sebau-fiend. Thou didst stand up and smite thine enemy, and set thy fear in thine adversary. Thou dost bring the boundaries of the mountains. Thy heart is fixed, thy legs are set firm. Thou art the heir of Keb and of the sovereignty of the Two Lands (Egypt). He (Keb) hath seen his splendours, he hath decreed for him the guidance of the world by thy hand as long as times endure. Thou hast made this earth with thy hand, and the waters, and the winds, and the vegetation, and all the cattle, and all the feathered fowl, and all the fish, and all the creeping things, and all the wild animals therof. The desert is the lawful possession of the son of Nut. The Two Lands (Egypt) are content to crown thee upon the throne of thy father, like Ra.
“Thou rollest up into the horizon, thou hast set light over the darkness, thou sendest forth air from thy plumes, and thou floodest the Two Lands like the Disk at daybreak. Thy crown penetrateth the height of heaven, thou art the companion of the stars, and the guide of every god. Thou art beneficent in decree and speech, the favoured one of the Great Company of the Gods, and the beloved of the Little Company of the Gods.
His sister [Isis] hath protected him, and hath repulsed the fiends, and turned aside calamities (of evil). She uttered the spell with the magical power of her mouth. Her tongue was perfect, and it never halted at a word. Beneficent in command and word was Isis, the woman of magical spells, the advocate of her brother. She sought him untiringly, she wandered round and round about this earth in sorrow, and she alighted not without finding him. She made light with her feathers, she created air with her wings, and she uttered the death wail for her brother. She raised up the inactive members of whose heart was still, she drew from him his essence, she made an heir, she reared the child in loneliness, and the place where he was not known, and he grew in strength and stature, and his hand was mighty in the House of Keb. The Company of the Gods rejoiced, rejoiced, at the coming of Horus, the son of Osiris, whose heart was firm, the triumphant, the son of Isis, the heir of Osiris.”
Source modern version: [UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA – AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER]