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Lyrics: Down among the Pyramids of Egypt-land. There a Yankee met a dark eyed maiden. While they talk'd of moonolight and the Nile so grand. He would kiss.
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- There's Egypt in Your Dreamy Eyes (One Step) Sheet Music by Herbert Spencer
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I was just pulling the knots, when all grew black before my eyes, and I saw and heard nothing more. Undo it, grandmother, the ring is for you; I meant to bring it to you. You must buy a beast for sacrifice with it, and wine for grandfather, and eye salve [The Egyptian mestem, that is stibium or antimony, which was introduced into Egypt by the Asiatics at a very early period and universally used. The ancient Egyptians used various pills. Receipts for such things are found in the Ebers Papyrus.
Again he lifted his hand in prayer, again Pentaur observed that his glance met that of his wife, and a large, warm tear fell from his old eyes on to his callous hand. Then he sank down, for he thought the sick child was deluded by a dream. But there were the knots in her dress. With a trembling hand he untied them, and a gold ring rolled out on the floor.
Bent-Anat picked it up, and gave it to the paraschites. Then she turned to Nebsecht, and ordered him to take anxious care of the sick girl; she bent over her, kissed her forehead, laid her gold bracelet by her side, and signing to Pentaur left the hut with him. During the occurrence we have described, the king's pioneer and the young wife of Mena were obliged to wait for the princess. The sun stood in the meridian, when Bent-Anat had gone into the hovel of the paraschites. The bare limestone rocks on each side of the valley and the sandy soil between, shone with a vivid whiteness that hurt the eyes; not a hand's breadth of shade was anywhere to be seen, and the fan-beaters of the two, who were waiting there, had, by command of the princess, staid behind with the chariot and litters.
For a time they stood silently near each other, then the fair Nefert said, wearily closing her almond-shaped eyes: I am perishing here. What shall we do? The gold ornaments on her head-dress rattled gently as she did so, and a cold shiver passed over her slim body in spite of the midday heat. She was the daughter of Ra, and in the form of the Uraeus on her father's crown personified the murderous heat of the star of day. She incites man to the hot and wild passion of love, and as a cat or lioness tears burning wounds in the limbs of the guilty in the nether world; drunkenness and pleasure are her gifts She was also named Bast and Astarte after her sister-divinity among the Phoenicians.
At this hour of the day many are struck with sickness. Then she went towards two blocks of stone which leaned against each other, and between them afforded the spot of shade, not many feet wide, which Paaker had pointed out as a shelter from the sun. Paaker preceded her, and rolled a flat piece of limestone, inlaid by nature with nodules of flint, under the stone pavilion, crushed a few scorpions which had taken refuge there, spread his head-cloth over the hard seat, and said, "Here you are sheltered.
This incessant to and fro of her companion at last became unendurable to her sensitive and irritated nerves, and suddenly raising her head from her hand, on which she had rested it, she exclaimed "Pray stand still. After a short time Nefert said, "Say something to me! Nefert's eyes fell, and Paaker, saying: I liked you too, and when in our games your mother called me your little wife, I was really glad, and used to think how fine it would be when I might call all your possessions mine, the house you would have so splendidly restored for me after your father's death, the noble gardens, the fine horses in their stables, and all the male and female slaves!
Do you no longer remember how I cried with you over your tales of the bad boys in the school; and over your father's severity? Then my uncle died;-- then you went to Asia. I know it all; of what use is talking? If only you could know what it is when love seizes one, and one can no longer even think alone, but only near, and with, and in the very arms of another; when one's beating heart throbs in one's very temples, and even in one's dreams one sees nothing--but one only.
When I thought of you, not blood, but burning fire, coursed in my veins, and now you have filled them with poison; and here in this breast, in which your image dwelt, as lovely as that of Hathor in her holy of holies, all is like that sea in Syria which is called the Dead Sea, in which every thing that tries to live presently dies and perishes. I saw him driving the chariot, and to me he resembled the Sun God, and he observed me, and looked at me, and his glance pierced deep into my heart like a spear; and when, at the festival of the king's birthday, he spoke to me, it was just as if Hathor had thrown round me a web of sweet, sounding sunbeams.
And it was the same with Mena; he himself has told me so since I have been his wife. For your sake my mother rejected his suit, but I grew pale and dull with longing for him, and he lost his bright spirit, and was so melancholy that the king remarked it, and asked what weighed on his heart--for Rameses loves him as his own son. Then Mena confessed to the Pharaoh that it was love that dimmed his eye and weakened his strong hand; and then the king himself courted me for his faithful servant, and my mother gave way, and we were made man and wife, and all the joys of the justified in the fields of Aalu [The fields of the blest, which were opened to glorified souls.
In the Book of the Dead it is shown that in them men linger, and sow and reap by cool waters. At the time of our story the peoples of western Asia had allied themselves to them. Fifteen times did the moon, rise upon our happiness, and then--" "And then the Gods heard my prayer, and accepted my offerings," said Paaker, with a trembling voice, "and tore the robber of my joys from you, and scorched your heart and his with desire. Do you think you can tell me anything I do not know? Once again for fifteen days was Mena yours, and now he has not returned again from the war which is raging hotly in Asia.
She tried to find words, but her tongue was powerless. Her powers of resistance forsook her in her unutterable and soul-felt distress--heart- wrung, forsaken and provoked. A variety of painful sensations raised a hot vehement storm in her bosom, which checked her breath, and at last found relief in a passionate and convulsive weeping that shook her whole body. She saw nothing more, she heard nothing more, she only shed tears and felt herself miserable. Paaker stood over her in silence.
There are trees in the tropics, on which white blossoms hang close by the withered fruit, there are days when the pale moon shows itself near the clear bright sun;--and it is given to the soul of man to feel love and hatred, both at the same time, and to direct both to the same end. Nefert's tears fell as dew, her sobs as manna on the soul of Paaker, which hungered and thirsted for revenge. Her pain was joy to him, and yet the sight of her beauty filled him with passion, his gaze lingered spell-bound on her graceful form; he would have given all the bliss of heaven once, only once, to hold her in his arms--once, only once, to hear a word of love from her lips.
After some minutes Nefert's tears grew less violent. With a weary, almost indifferent gaze she looked at the Mohar, still standing before her, and said in a soft tone of entreaty: Paaker shrugged his shoulders, and went farther into the valley, which he knew as well as his father's house; for in it was the tomb of his mother's ancestors, in which, as a boy, he had put up prayers at every full and new moon, and laid gifts on the altar. The hut of the paraschites was prohibited to him, but he knew that scarcely a hundred paces from the spot where Nefert was sitting, lived an old woman of evil repute, in whose hole in the rock he could not fail to find a drink of water.
He hastened forward, half intoxicated with had seen and felt within the last few minutes. The door, which at night closed the cave against the intrusions of the plunder-seeking jackals, was wide open, and the old woman sat outside under a ragged piece of brown sail-cloth, fastened at one end to the rock and at the other to two posts of rough wood. She was sorting a heap of dark and light-colored roots, which lay in her lap.
Near her was a wheel, which turned in a high wooden fork. A wryneck made fast to it by a little chain, and by springing from spoke to spoke kept it in continual motion. Two sparrow-hawks sat huddled up over the door of the cave, out of which came the sharp odor of burning juniper-berries; this was intended to render the various emanations rising from the different strange substances, which were collected and preserved there, innocuous.
There's Egypt in Your Dreamy Eyes (One Step) Sheet Music by Herbert Spencer
As Paaker approached the cavern the old woman called out to some one within: Then throw in the ape's eyes, [The sentences and mediums employed by the witches, according to papyrus-rolls which remain. I have availed myself of the Magic papyrus of Harris, and of two in the Berlin collection, one of which is in Greek. Stir it all a little; now put out the fire, "Take the jug and fetch some water--make haste, here comes a stranger. The old woman, a tall figure bent with years, with a sharply-cut and wrinkled face, that might once have been handsome, made her preparations for receiving the visitor by tying a gaudy kerchief over her head, fastening her blue cotton garment round her throat, and flinging a fibre mat over the birds' heads.
Paaker called out to her, but she feigned to be deaf and not to hear his voice. Only when he stood quite close to her, did she raise her shrewd, twinkling eyes, and cry out: Would'st thou have water for thy good money? Shall it protect thee against noxious beasts? Shall it guide thee to secret paths? Shall it make heat cold, or cold warm?
Shall it give thee the power of reading hearts, or shall it beget beautiful dreams? Wilt thou drink of the water of knowledge and see whether thy friend or thine enemy--ha! Would'st thou a drink to strengthen thy memory? Shall the water make thee invisible? If it does not succeed at first, it is certain the second time.
A child may drink the water and it will not hurt him, or if an old man takes it, it makes him gay. Ah, I know the taste of it! If the drink is in vain I am paid enough, if it takes effect thou shalt bring me three more gold rings; and thou wilt return, I know it well. She is pretty enough; but she is lying on a mat, run over and dying. We must see what my lord means. He would have pleased me well enough, if I were young; but he will reach the goal, for he is resolute and spares no one.
Then she stepped out into the air again. As Paaker took the vessel from her looked at the laurel leaf, she said: He descended carefully into the valley, and directed his steps to the resting place of the wife of Mena. By the side of a rock, which hill him from Nefert, he paused, set the cup on a flat block of stone, and drew the flask with the philter out of his girdle.
His fingers trembled, but a thousand voices seemed to surge up and cry: Shall he surrender it to the judge, or shall he destroy it. Paaker was not merely outwardly devout; hitherto he had in everything intended to act according to the prescriptions of the religion of his fathers. Adultery was a heavy sin; but had not he an older right to Nefert than the king's charioteer? He who followed the black arts of magic, should, according to the law, be punished by death, and the old woman had a bad name for her evil arts; but he had not sought her for the sake of the philter.
Was it not possible that the Manes of his forefathers, that the Gods themselves, moved by his prayers and offerings, had put him in possession by an accident--which was almost a miracle--of the magic potion efficacy he never for an instant doubted? Paaker's associates held him to be a man of quick decision, and, in fact, in difficult cases he could act with unusual rapidity, but what guided him in these cases, was not the swift-winged judgment of a prepared and well-schooled brain, but usually only resulted from the outcome of a play of question and answer.
Amulets of the most various kinds hung round his neck, and from his girdle, all consecrated by priests, and of special sanctity or the highest efficacy. There was the lapis lazuli eye, which hung to his girdle by a gold chain; When he threw it on the ground, so as to lie on the earth, if its engraved side turned to heaven, and its smooth side lay on the ground, he said "yes;" in the other case, on the contrary, "no. He frequently called into council the seal-ring of his deceased father, an old family possession, which the chief priests of Abydos had laid upon the holiest of the fourteen graves of Osiris, and endowed with miraculous power.
It consisted of a gold ring with a broad signet, on which could be read the name of Thotmes III. If it were desirable to consult the ring, the Mohar touched with the point of his bronze dagger the engraved sign of the name, below which were represented three objects sacred to the Gods, and three that were, on the contrary, profane.
If he hit one of the former, he concluded that his father--who was gone to Osiris--concurred in his design; in the contrary case he was careful to postpone it. Often he pressed the ring to his heart, and awaited the first living creature that he might meet, regarding it as a messenger from his father;--if it came to him from the right hand as an encouragement, if from the left as a warning.
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By degrees he had reduced these questionings to a system. All that he found in nature he referred to himself and the current of his life. It was at once touching, and pitiful, to see how closely he lived with the Manes of his dead. His lively, but not exalted fancy, wherever he gave it play, presented to the eye of his soul the image of his father and of an elder brother who had died early, always in the same spot, and almost tangibly distinct.
But he never conjured up the remembrance of the beloved dead in order to think of them in silent melancholy--that sweet blossom of the thorny wreath of sorrow; only for selfish ends. The appeal to the Manes of his father he had found especially efficacious in certain desires and difficulties; calling on the Manes of his brother was potent in certain others; and so he turned from one to the other with the precision of a carpenter, who rarely doubts whether he should give the preference to a hatchet or a saw.
These doings he held to be well pleasing to the Gods, and as he was convinced that the spirits of his dead had, after their justification, passed into Osiris that is to say, as atoms forming part of the great world-soul, at this time had a share in the direction of the universe-- he sacrificed to them not only in the family catacomb, but also in the temples of the Necropolis dedicated to the worship of ancestors, and with special preference in the House of Seti.
He accepted advice, nay even blame, from Ameni and the other priests under his direction; and so lived full of a virtuous pride in being one of the most zealous devotees in the land, and one of the most pleasing to the Gods, a belief on which his pastors never threw any doubt. Attended and guided at every step by supernatural powers, he wanted no friend and no confidant. In the fleld, as in Thebes, he stood apart, and passed among his comrades for a reserved man, rough and proud, but with a strong will. He had the power of calling up the image of his lost love with as much vividness as the forms of the dead, and indulged in this magic, not only through a hundred still nights, but in long rides and drives through silent wastes.
Such visions were commonly followed by a vehement and boiling overflow of his hatred against the charioteer, and a whole series of fervent prayers for his destruction. When Paaker set the cup of water for Nefert on the flat stone and felt for the philter, his soul was so full of desire that there was no room for hatred; still he could not altogether exclude the idea that he would commit a great crime by making use of a magic drink.
Before pouring the fateful drops into the water, he would consult the oracle of the ring. The dagger touched none of the holy symbols of the inscription on the signet, and in other circumstances he would, without going any farther, have given up his project. But this time he unwillingly returned it to its sheath, pressed the gold ring to his heart, muttered the name of his brother in Osiris, and awaited the first living creature that might come towards him. He had not long to wait, from the mountain slope opposite to him rose, with heavy, slow wing-strokes, two light-colored vultures.
In anxious suspense he followed their flight, as they rose, higher and higher. For a moment they poised motionless, borne up by the air, circled round each other, then wheeled to the left and vanished behind the mountains, denying him the fulfilment of his desire. He hastily grasped the phial to fling it from him, but the surging passion in his veins had deprived him of his self-control.
Nefert's image stood before him as if beckoning him; a mysterious power clenched his fingers close and yet closer round the phial, and with the same defiance which he showed to his associates, he poured half of the philter into the cup and approached his victim. Nefert had meanwhile left her shady retreat and come towards him. She silently accepted the water he offered her, and drank it with delight, to the very dregs. How fresh and acid the water tastes; but your hand shakes, and you are heated by your quick run for me--poor man.
With what frightful words you terrified me just now. It is true I gave you just cause to be angry with me; but now you are kind again--do you hear? I shall see, whether cousin Paaker refuses me obedience. It is so much better when people are kind to each other. I thank ye--ye Immortals! Close before him he saw the goal of his desires; there, under his eyes, lay the magic spring longed for for years. A few steps farther, and he might slake at its copious stream his thirst both for love and for revenge.
There's Egypt in Your Dreamy Eyes (Slow Fox Trot) | Sheet Music Now
While he followed the wife of Mena, and replaced the phial carefully in his girdle, so as to lose no drop of the precious fluid which, according to the prescription of the old woman, he needed to use again, warning voices spoke in his breast, to which he usually listened as to a fatherly admonition; but at this moment he mocked at them, and even gave outward expression to the mood that ruled him--for he flung up his right hand like a drunken man, who turns away from the preacher of morality on his way to the wine-cask; and yet passion held him so closely ensnared, that the thought that he should live through the swift moments which would change him from an honest man into a criminal, hardly dawned, darkly on his soul.
He had hitherto dared to indulge his desire for love and revenge in thought only, and had left it to the Gods to act for themselves; now he had taken his cause out of the hand of the Celestials, and gone into action without them, and in spite of them. The sorceress Hekt passed him; she wanted to see the woman for whom she had given him the philter. He perceived her and shuddered, but soon the old woman vanished among the rocks muttering. He makes himself comfortable with the heritage of Assa. When these two had come out of the hut of the paraschites, they stood opposite each other in silence.
The royal maiden pressed her hand to her heart, and, like one who is thirsty, drank in the pure air of the mountain valley with deeply drawn breath; she felt as if released from some overwhelming burden, as if delivered from some frightful danger. At last she turned to her companion, who gazed earnestly at the ground. Pentaur's tall figure did not move, but he bowed his head in assent, as if he were in a dream. Bent-Anat now saw him for the first time in fall daylight; her large eyes rested on him with admiration, and she asked: Thou wilt defend me if others blame me.
If touching a paraschites, it is said, does not defile a princess, whom then can it defile? May the nine great Gods forgive me! Answer me now, if thou art such a one as I took the for, freely and sincerely; for it concerns the peace of my soul. Whether the paraschites is unclean by birth or not, who am I that I should decide?
But to me this man appeared--as to thee--as one moved by the same pure and holy emotions as stir and bless me and mine, and thee and every soul born of woman; and I believe that the impressions of this hour have touched thy soul as well as mine, not to taint, but to purify. If I am wrong, may the many-named Gods forgive me, Whose breath lives and works in the paraschites as well as in thee and me, in Whom I believe, and to Whom I will ever address my humble songs, louder and more joyfully, as I learn that all that lives and breathes, that weeps and rejoices, is the image of their sublime nature, and born to equal joy and equal sorrow.
He humbly kissed her robe, but she said: Lay thy hand in blessing on mine. Thou art a man and a true priest. Now I can be satisfied to be regarded as unclean, for my father also desires that, by us especially, the institutions of the past that have so long continued should be respected, for the sake of the people. Let us pray in common to the Gods, that these poor people may be released from the old ban. How beautiful the world might be, if men would but let man remain what the Celestials have made him.
But Paaker and poor Nefert are waiting in the scorching sun-come, follow me. I have seen its deepest shadows; and," he added in a low tone "how glorious its light can be. An hour later, Bent-Anat and her train of followers stood before the gate of the House of Seti. Swift as a ball thrown from a man's hand, a runner had sprung forward and hurried on to announce the approach of the princess to the chief priest.
She stood alone in her chariot, in advance of all her companions, for Pentaur had found a place with Paaker. At the gate of the temple they were met by the head of the haruspices. The great doors of the pylon were wide open, and afforded a view into the forecourt of the sanctuary, paved with polished squares of stone, and surrounded on three sides with colonnades. The walls and architraves, the pillars and the fluted cornice, which slightly curved in over the court, were gorgeous with many colored figures and painted decorations.
In the middle stood a great sacrificial altar, on which burned logs of cedar wood, whilst fragrant balls of Kyphi [Kyphi was a celebrated Egyptian incense. Recipes for its preparation have been preserved in the papyrus of Ebers, in the laboratories of the temples, and elsewhere. Parthey had three different varieties prepared by the chemist, L.
Kyphi after the formula of Dioskorides was the best. It consisted of rosin, wine, rad, galangae, juniper berries, the root of the aromatic rush, asphalte, mastic, myrrh, Burgundy grapes, and honey. Around, in semi-circular array, stood more than a hundred white-robed priests, who all turned to face the approaching princess, and sang heart-rending songs of lamentation.
Many of the inhabitants of the Necropolis had collected on either side of the lines of sphinxes, between which the princess drove up to the Sanctuary. But none asked what these songs of lamentation might signify, for about this sacred place lamentation and mystery for ever lingered. At the pylon, the princess descended from her chariot, and preceded by the chief of the haruspices, who had gravely and silently greeted her, passed on to the door of the temple. But as she prepared to cross the forecourt, suddenly, without warning, the priests' chant swelled to a terrible, almost thundering loudness, the clear, shrill voice of the Temple scholars rising in passionate lament, supported by the deep and threatening roll of the basses.
Bent-Anat started and checked her steps. Then she walked on again. But on the threshold of the door, Ameni, in full pontifical robes, stood before her in the way, his crozier extended as though to forbid her entrance. In the name of the Immortals, from whom thou art descended, I ask thee, Bent-Anat, art thou clean, or hast thou, through the touch of the unclean, defiled thyself and contaminated thy royal hand?
The kingly blood in her veins boiled wildly; she felt that an unworthy part had been assigned to her in a carefully-premeditated scene; she forgot her resolution to accuse herself of uncleanness, and already her lips were parted in vehement protest against the priestly assumption that so deeply stirred her to rebellion, when Ameni, who placed himself directly in front of the Princess, raised his eyes, and turned them full upon her with all the depths of their indwelling earnestness. The words died away, and Bent-Anat stood silent, but she endured the gaze, and returned it proudly and defiantly.
The blue veins started in Ameni's forehead; yet he repressed the resentment which was gathering like thunder clouds in his soul, and said, with a voice that gradually deviated more and more from its usual moderation: Hast thou entered this holy place in order that the Celestials may purge thee of the defilement that stains thy body and soul? She turned to recross the gateway of the Pylon.
At the first step her glance met the eye of the poet. As one to whom it is vouchsafed to stand and gaze at some great prodigy, so Pentaur had stood opposite the royal maiden, uneasy and yet fascinated, agitated, yet with secretly uplifted soul. Her deed seemed to him of boundless audacity, and yet one suited to her true and noble nature. By her side, Ameni, his revered and admired master, sank into insignificance; and when she turned to leave the temple, his hand was raised indeed to hold her back, but as his glance met hers, his hand refused its office, and sought instead to still the throbbing of his overflowing heart.
The experienced priest, meanwhile, read the features of these two guileless beings like an open book. A quickly-formed tie, he felt, linked their souls, and the look which he saw them exchange startled him. The rebellious princess had glanced at the poet as though claiming approbation for her triumph, and Pentaur's eyes had responded to the appeal. One instant Ameni paused. Ameni took a step forward, and stood between her and the poet.
But a servant of the Divinity," and with these words he turned a threatening glance on Pentaur--"a priest, who in the war of free-will against law becomes a deserter, who forgets his duty and his oath--he will not long stand beside thee to support thee, for he--even though every God had blessed him with the richest gifts--he is damned.
We drive him from among us, we curse him, we--" At these words Bent-Anat looked now at Ameni, trembling with excitement, now at Pentaur standing opposite to her. Her face was red and white by turns, as light and shade chase each other on the ground when at noon-day a palm-grove is stirred by a storm. The poet took a step towards her. She felt that if he spoke it would be to defend all that she had done, and to ruin himself. A deep sympathy, a nameless anguish seized her soul, and before Pentaur could open his lips, she had sunk slowly down before Ameni, saying in low tones: Restore me to cleanness, Ameni, for I am unclean.
Graciously, almost lovingly, he looked down on the princess, blessed her and conducted her before the holy of holies, there had clouds of incense wafted round her, anointed her with the nine holy oils, and commanded her to return to the royal castle. Yet, said he, her guilt was not expiated; she should shortly learn by what prayers and exercises she might attain once more to perfect purity before the Gods, of whom he purposed to enquire in the holy place.
During all these ceremonies the priests stationed in the forecourt continued their lamentations.
The people standing before the temple listened to the priest's chant, and interrupted it from time to time with ringing cries of wailing, for already a dark rumor of what was going on within had spread among the multitude. The sun was going down. The visitors to the Necropolis must soon be leaving it, and Bent-Anat, for whose appearance the people impatiently waited, would not show herself.
One and another said the princess had been cursed, because she had taken remedies to the fair and injured Uarda, who was known to many of them. Among the curious who had flocked together were many embalmers, laborers, and humble folk, who lived in the Necropolis. The mutinous and refractory temper of the Egyptians, which brought such heavy suffering on them under their later foreign rulers, was aroused, and rising with every minute. They reviled the pride of the priests, and their senseless, worthless, institutions. A drunken soldier, who soon reeled back into the tavern which he had but just left, distinguished himself as ringleader, and was the first to pick up a heavy stone to fling at the huge brass-plated temple gates.
A few boys followed his example with shouts, and law-abiding men even, urged by the clamor of fanatical women, let themselves be led away to stone-flinging and words of abuse. Within the House of Seti the priests' chant went on uninterruptedly; but at last, when the noise of the crowd grew louder, the great gate was thrown open, and with a solemn step Ameni, in full robes, and followed by twenty pastophori--[An order of priests]--who bore images of the Gods and holy symbols on their shoulders--Ameni walked into the midst of the crowd.
A roar of confused cries answered him, in which the frequently repeated name of Bent-Anat could alone be distinguished.
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Ameni preserved his immoveable composure, and, raising his crozier, he cried-- "Make way for the daughter of Rameses, who sought and has found purification from the Gods, who behold the guilt of the highest as of the lowest among you. They reward the pious, but they punish the offender. Kneel down and let us pray that they may forgive you, and bless both you and your children. Many specimens are extant in Museums. Plutarch describes it correctly, thus: Leave this spot and make way for the daughter of Rameses. As Bent-Anat mounted her chariot Ameni said "Thou art the child of kings.
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