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 On The Death Of Smet-Smet, The Hippopotamus- Goddess
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On The Death Of Smet-Smet, The Hippopotamus- Goddess
by Rupert Brooke


Song of a tribe of the ancient Egyptians



(The Priests within the Temple)
She was wrinkled and huge and hideous? She was our Mother.
She was lustful and lewd? -- but a God; we had none other.
In the day She was hidden and dumb, but at nightfall moaned in the shade;
We shuddered and gave Her Her will in the darkness; we were afraid.

(The People without)
She sent us pain,
And we bowed before Her;
She smiled again
And bade us adore Her.
She solaced our woe
And soothed our sighing;
And what shall we do
Now God is dying?

(The Priests within)
She was hungry and ate our children; -- how should we stay Her?
She took our young men and our maidens; -- ours to obey Her.
We were loathed and mocked and reviled of all nations; that was our pride.
She fed us, protected us, loved us, and killed us; now She has died.

(The People without)
She was so strong;
But death is stronger.
She ruled us long;
But Time is longer.
She solaced our woe
And soothed our sighing;
And what shall we do
Now God is dying?