Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE SLEEP OF MNEVIS, by HERBERT KAUFMAN



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THE SLEEP OF MNEVIS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: It was egypt when I loved you
Last Line: With their puny thongs and leashes!
Subject(s): Love - Illicit


IT was Egypt when I loved you.
I was standing in the temple
'Neath the paws of Seonatis,
She the Stone One, with a woman's
Face upon a panther's body.

Now the sands of countless ages
Hide the shrine where I beheld you.

I was quick with life and visions
You were rarer than the lotus.
Night had woven you your tresses,
Isis' self had planned your bosom.
And your eyes were deep with passion
Deep and sloe and all a'smoulder.

I was sworn to her, the Stone One—
Priest was I—but you, a woman.

Then you came again and after
'Til they found us.

When I saw you
Here to-night, the past spake "EGYPT!"
I have wakened and I call you—
You were mine 'neath Seonatis
And we slept within her bosom, breast to breast,
The Sleep of Mnevis.

Come—I cry you back to Egypt!
'T is the soul call and you heed it,
For your eyes are strange with mystery,
Trembling with the self that slumbered
Numb until Osiris judged me.

As at Gizeh, they will stone us.
They who loved us, most will hate us.
'T is the LAW—the thread the weaklings
Spun to hold their weak together—
Fools! They think to bind this God-Thing
With their puny thongs and leashes!





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