The Song of the Harper (A song about death that is Almost 5,000 years old)

“There is no one who can return from there, to describe their nature, to describe their dissolution. That he may still our desires, Until we reach the place where they have gone.

It is not given to men to take his goods with him. No one goes away and then comes back.”

Marikare (around 2100 BC)

“Be skillful in speech, that you may be strong, it is strength of the tongue, and words are braver than all fighting… a wise man is a school for the magnates, and those who are aware of his knowledge do not attack him

Do justice, that you may live long upon Earth. Calm the weeper, do not oppress the widow, do not oust a man from his father's property, do not degrade magnates from their seats. Beware of punishing wrongfully; do not kill, for it will not profit you.

Instill the love of you into all the world, for a good character is what is remembered.”

The Book of the Dead

“Hail to you gods… On the day of the great reckoning. Behold me, I have come to you, without sin, without guilt, without evil, without a witness against me, without one whom I have wronged… Rescue me, protect me, do not accuse me before the great god!

I am the one pure of mouth, pure of hands”

Love Songs of the New Kingdom (around 3500 years old)

“My love for you is mixed throughout my body…

So hurry to see your lady, like a stallion on the track, or like a falcon swooping down to its papyrus marsh.

Heaven sends down the love of her as a flame falls in the hay.”

“The voice of the wild goose, caught by the bait, cries out. Love of you holds me back, and I can't loosen it at all…

I did not set my traps today, love of you has thus entrapped me.”

“Sweet pomegranate wine in my mouth is bitter as the gall of birds.”

“But your embraces alone give life to my heart; may Amun give me what I have found for all eternity.”

“The voice of the turtledove speaks out. It says: Day breaks, which way are you going? Lay off, little bird, must you so scold me?

I found my lover on his bed, and my heart was sweet to excess.”

Suti and Hor, Hyms to the sun god (about 3500 years ago)

“Splendid you rise in heaven's lightland, O living Aten, creator of life! When you set in the western lightland, Earth is darkness as if in death. Every lion comes from its den, all the serpents bite; Darkness hovers, Earth is silent, as their marker rests in the lightland.

Earth brightens when you dawn in lightland, when you shine as Aten of daytime; as you dispel the dark, as you cast rays, the two lands are in festivity. Awake they stand on their feet, you have roused them.

The entire land sets out to work, all beasts browse on their herbs; Trees, herbs are sprouting, birds fly from their nests… Ships fare north, fare south as well, roads lie open when you rise; The fish in the river dart before you, Your rays are in the midst of the sea.

How many are your deeds, though hidden from sight, O sole god beside whom there is none! You made the Earth as you wished, you alone.”

I Ching The Book of Changes (Over 3000 years ago)

“The mountain rests on the Earth: the image of splitting apart. Thus those above can insure their position only by giving generously to those below.

Fire in the lake: the image of revolution.

Wind over the lake: the image of inner truth”


“Beginning of the teaching of life, the instructions for well being… Knowing how to answer one who speaks, to reply to one who sends a message.

The truly silent, who keep apart, he is like a tree grown in a meadow. It greens, it doubles its yield, it stands in front of its lord. Its fruit is sweet, its shade delightful, its end comes in the garden.

Do not move the markers on the border of the fields.

Better is poverty in the hands of the god, than wealth in the storehouse; Better is bread with a happy heart, than wealth with vexation.

Do not set your heart on wealth… Do not strain to seek increases, what you have, let it suffice you. If riches come to you by theft, they will not stay the night with you… They made themselves wings like geese, and flew away to the sky.”

The Roman Missal

“I will go in to the alter of God. Through my fault, through my fault, through my most gracious fault.

The Lord be with you. And with your spirit.

Eternal rest give them, O Lord: and let perpetual light shine upon them.

Day of wrath, that day, the Earth will dissolve in ashes, as David and the Sibyl say.

Lord have mercy on us.

Glory to God in the highest. And on Earth peace to men of good will.

Lamb of god, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us; Lamd of God, who takes away the sins of the world, give us peace.

For this is my body.

For this is the chalice of my blood, of the new eternal covenant; the mystery of faith; which shall be shed for you and for many unto the forgiveness of sins.

O happy fault, which has deserved to have such and so mighty a redeemer.”

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