The ancient Egyptians left behind various love poems which relate the emotions felt all those thousands of years ago. And yet, they can be read as if they apply to us in the 20th century – has anything really changed? I think not.
|Extract from a 3,000 year-old papyrus.She is one girl, there is no one like her.
She is more beautiful than any other.
Look, she is like a star goddess arising
at the beginning of a happy new year;
brilliantly white, bright skinned;
with beautiful eyes for looking,
with sweet lips for speaking;
she has not one phrase too many.
With a long neck and white breast,
her hair of genuine lapis lazuli;
her arm more brilliant than gold;
her fingers like lotus flowers,
with heavy buttocks and girt waist.
Her thighs offer her beauty,
with a brisk step she treads on ground.
She has captured my heart in her embrace.
She makes all men turn their necks
to look at her.
One looks at her passing by,
this one, the unique one.
Two more works from different periods.
|I wish I were your mirror
so that you always looked at me.
I wish I were your garment
so that you would always wear me.
I wish I were the water that washes
I wish I were the unguent, O woman,
that I could annoit you.
And the band around your breasts,
and the beads around your neck.
I wish I were your sandal
that you would step on me!
(Not sure about that last sentence!)
|O my beautiful one,
I wish I were part of your affairs, like a wife.
With your hand in mine
your love would be returned.
I implore my heart:
“If my true love stays away tonight,
I shall be like someone already
in the grave.”
Are you not my health and my life?
How joyful is your good health
for the heart that seeks you!