Ancient Egyptian Legends
THE KING'S DREAM
LONG, long ago lived Thothmes, King of Egypt; Lord of the Two Lands was he, Wearer of the double Diadem, he whom the Gods loved. He was not that Thothmes, the mighty Bull, who conquered Syria, Nubia, and the nine Archer-tribes. But he bore the same name, and was a great and valorous king; Syria bowed before him, Nubia was his servant, and he trod the nine Archer-tribes beneath his feet. When he was a child, he was like unto Harpocrates, the son of Isis, he who was born in the marshes of the North Country. Beautiful was he with the beauty of the Gods, in form like Horus, the Avenger of his father.
And in all manly sports did he excel; he hunted the wild game on the deserts both north and south of Memphis, he coursed the lions and the deer, he shot arrows at a target, he drove in his chariot, and his horses were fleeter than the wind. Alone did he hunt, or with two companions only, and none knew the path that he
would follow, for in the desert none live save wild beasts.
When his followers required rest in the heat of the day, he took them to the great statue of Harmachis close to Kher-aha, where the Road of the God leads eastward to On. Of stone was this mighty figure, hewn out of the living rock, his face the face of a man, stern and majestic, turned to the rising sun, his body the body of a lion; upon his brow is the death-dealing snake with head erect, ready to strike. Men call this figure Harmachis, and the Sphinx, and the Father of Terrors. Great and exalted is this figure of the God, resting in his chosen place; mighty is his power, for the Shadow of the Sun is upon him. The temples of Memphis and the temples of every town on both sides adore him, they stretch out their hands to him in adoration, sacrifices and libations are made before him.
One day, ere Thothmes was yet king, before he had ascended the throne of Horus the Living One, it came to pass that he hunted alone in the desert, and it was noontide. Very fierce was the heat, very blinding the sunbeams, and he rested in the shadow of the great God. And as he rested, heated and weary, in the coolness of the shadow, sleep heavy and deep came upon him at the moment when the sun reached the zenith.
Thus he slept at broad midday, and in his sleep dreams and visions came to him. In his dream
he stood before the giant figure of the God, but no longer was it of stone, for behold it was the God himself. The breath of life was in him, and his lips moved, and he spoke with gentle speech as a father speaks with his child, for his words were words of blessing.
"See now, O my son Thothmes," he said, "look at me, behold me. I am thy father, I who am Harmachis, and Ra, and Khepera, and Atmu also. For I am the Sun-god to whom all lands are subject. Through me alone shall the kingdom of Egypt come to thee; thou shalt wear the White Crown of the South Land and the Red Crown of the North Land, thou shalt sit upon the throne of Geb the inheritor. To thee shall belong the whole land in its length and breadth, that land which the universal Lord makes glorious. Want and trouble shall never come nigh thee, for gifts shall be brought to thee from every country, near and afar; the duration of thy life shall be for many years; my face shall be towards thee and my heart shall incline to thee if thou wilt do for me that which I desire of thee."
And Thothmes looked, and he saw that the figure lay half-buried in the sand, and it seemed as though the God struggled to free himself, for naught but the head appeared above the plain, and the sands came up about him like the waves of the sea when they swallow up a ship that is on the rocks.
Then the Majesty of the God spoke again, and said, "The sand of the desert on which I rest is about me, it overwhelms me, it covers me. Hasten to do that which my heart desires, for I know that thou art a son who honours the behests of his father."
Sleep fell from the eyelids of Thothmes, and he awoke.
[Here the inscription is broken away and the end of the story is not known.]