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This poem is taken from PN Review 16, Volume 7 Number 2, November - December 1980.

An Egyptian Poem of the 12th Dynasty
Death is in my eyes today
As when a sick man becomes whole,
As when one walketh abroad after sickness.

Death is in my eyes today
Like the scent of myrrh;
As when one sitteth under the boat's sail on a windy day.

Death is in my eyes today
Like the smell of water-lilies;
As when one sitteth on the bank of drunkenness.

Death is in my eyes today
Like a well-trodden road,
As when one returneth from the war into his home.

Death is in my eyes today
Like the unveiling of heaven
As when one attaineth to that which he knew not.

Death is in my eyes today
...


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