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Gallery Room 8

Richard Deurer's artwork
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An Ægyptian Romance

Forty centuries ago, and a while,
In lands surrounding the ancient Nile,
The marriage of Bast and Amon-Ra,
Kept the Ægyptians in total awe.

No record of the event remains,
Christian and Moslem took great pains,
To erase all trace of pagan belief,
The last destroyed by some caliph.

The Temple at Bubastis was the site,
Where festivals would last all night,
Till the morning worship of the Sun,
Which demanded silence from everyone.

The island attracted one and all,
With its passionate siren call,
Those who sought to make their child,
With ancient rites mysterious and wild.

In the skies, Bast only ruled the night,
Outshone all day by Ra's strong light,
Yet, pale Bast could lose their race,
And darken Ra with her embrace.

Again the starry heaven would rejoice,
And shadow swept away all human voice,
When Ra's fiery wings stretched wide,
Beating, as he struggled, side to side.

Escaping the ambush by an invisible bride,
Racing westward still, with broken pride,
Ra struck blind many who did not flee,
And watched too long Bast's ecstasy.

The priests would soon instruct the scribes,
To study closely all the celestial tribes,
Raise new monuments with stars as guides,
Seal within their kings, and smooth their sides.

At Bubastis, dancers assembled in celebration,
And spun themselves seeking revelation,
From simple nymphs to the half-feline form,
Amid clouds of cinnamon and drumming storm.

First draped in robes, which soon fell away,
Revealing bare breasts and hips that sway,
Scented and oiled, dancers skins would glow,
While golden ale and red beer did flow.

By torch-light, the spectacle would reveal,
The female physique in all its ideal;
Stretching, twisting, lashing, and inviting;
Pawing , scratching, clawing, and biting.

"Bast," was called to come to join their dance,
"Come down from far,come down close," their chants:
"Pasch, ee-hahl-wah, ee-hahl, Pasch,"
"Pasch, ee-hahl-wah, ee-hahl, Pasch."

Couples worshiping, but no longer listening,
To dancers whose lips quivered, glistening,
If they could have conquered pleasuring grace,
Thru the haze, they'd see one not of their race.

Long before a thousand ships were sent to Troy,
Long before Abraham was told he'd have a boy;
And, before corrupted by priests with foreign links,
An Ægyptian goddess riddled us with a Sphinx.

© X 1999
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