Akhnaton's Longer Hymn to the Aton
Thy dawning is beautiful in the
horizon of heaven,
O living Aton, Beginning of life!
When Thou risest in the eastern horizon of heaven,
Thou fillest every land with Thy beauty;
For Thou art beautiful, great, glittering, high over the earth;
Thy rays, they encompass the lands, even all Thou hast made.
Thou art Ra, and Thou hast carried them all away captive;
Thou bindest them by Thy love.
Though Thou art from afar, Thy rays are on earth;
Though Thou art on high, Thy footprints are the day.
When Thou settest in the western horizon of heaven,
The world is in darkness like the dead.
Men sleep in their chambers,
Their heads are wrapped up,
Their nostrils stopped, and none seeth the other.
Stolen are all their things that are under their heads,
While they know it not.
Every lion comes forth from his den,
All serpents, they sting.
The world is in silence:
He that made them has gone to rest in His horizon.
Bright is the earth, when Thou risest in the horizon,
When Thou shinest as Aton by day.
The darkness is banished
When Thou sendest forth Thy rays;
The two lands [of Egypt] are in daily festivity,
Awake and standing upon their feet,
For Thou hast raised them up.
Their limbs bathed, they take their clothing,
Their arms uplifted in adoration to Thy dawning,
Then in all the world they do their work.
All cattle rest upon the herbage,
All trees and plants flourish;
The birds flutter in in their marshes,
Their wings flutter in adoration to Thee.
All the sheep dance upon their feet,
All winged things fly,
They live when Thou hast shone upon them.
The barques sail up-stream and down-stream alike.
Every highway is open because Thou has dawned.
The fish in the river leap up before Thee,
And thy rays are in the midst of the great sea.
Thou art He who creates the man-child in woman,
Who makest seed in man,
Who giveth life to the son in the body of his mother,
Who sootheth him that he may not weep,
A nurse [even] in the womb.
Who giveth breath to animate every ojne that He maketh.
When he comes forth from the body . . .
On the day of his birth,
Thou openist his mouth in speech,
Thou suppliest his necessities.
When the chicken crieth in the egg-shell,
Thou givest him breath therein, to preserve him alive;
When Thou hast perfected him
That he may pierce the egg,
He cometh forth from the egg.
To chirp with all his might;
He runneth about upon his two feet,
When he hath come forth therefrom.
How manifold are all Thy works!
They are hidden before us,
O Thou sole God, whose powers no other possesseth.
Thou dids't create the earth according to Thy desire,
While Thou wast alone:
Men, all cattle large and small,
All that are upon the earth,
That go about upon their feet;
All that are on high,
That fly with their wings.
The countries of Syria and Nubia
The land of Egypt;
Thou settest every man in his place
Thou suppliest their necessities.
Every one has his possessions,
And his days are reckoned.
Their tongues are divers in speech,
Their form likewise and their skins,
For Thou, divider, hast divided the peoples.
Thou makest the Nile in the Nether world,
Thou bringest it at Thy desire, to preserve the people alive.
O Lord of them all, when feebleness is in them,
O Lord of every house, who risest for them,
O sun of day, the fear of every distant land,
Thou makest [also] their life.
Thou hast set a Nile in heaven,
That it may fall for them,
Making floods upon the mountains, like the great sea,
And watering their fields among their towns.
How excellent are Thy designs, O Lord of eternity!
The Nile in heaven is for the strangers,
And for the cattle of every land that go upon their feet;
But the Nile, it cometh from the nether woorld for Egypt.
Thus Thy rays nourish every garden;
When Thou risest they live, and grow by Thee.
Thou makest the seasons, in oprder to create all Thy works;
Winter bringeth them coolness,
And the heat [the summer bringeth].
Thou hast made the distant heaven in order to rise therein,
In order to behold all that Thou didst make,
While Thou wast alone,
Rising in Thy form as Living Aton,
Dawning, shining far off, and returning.
Thou makest the beauty of form through Thyself alone,
Cities, towns, and settlements,
On highway or on river,
All eyes see Thee before then,
For Thou art Aton [Lord] of the day over the earth.
Thou art in my heart;
There is no other that knoweth Thee,
Save Thy son Akhnaton.
Thou hast made him wise in Thy designs
And in Thy might.
The world is in Thy hand,
Even as Thou hast made them.
When Thou hast risen they live;
When Thou settest they die.
For Thou art duration, beyond mere limbs;
By Thee man liveth,
And their eyes look upon Thy beauty
Until Thou settest.
All labour is laid aside
When Thou settest in the west.
When Thou risest they are made to grow. . . .
Since Thou didst establish the earth,
Thou hast raised them up for Thy son,
Who came forth from Thy limbs,
The King, living in truth, . . .
Akhnaton, whose life is long;
[And for] the great royal wife, his beloved,
Mistress of the Two Lands, . . . Nefertiti,
Living and flourishing for ever and ever.
- found in King Ay's Tomb; translated by Professor
quoted in "The Life and Times of Akhnaton, Pharoah of
(Arthur Weigall, published by Thornton Butterworth Ltd, London
Akhnaton, also known as Amenhotep IV (Amenophis IV),
was the tenth Pharoah of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt
Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God,
thou art very great; hou art clothed with honour and majesty.
Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who
stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:
Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who
maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the
Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:
Who laid the foundation of the earth, that it should not be
removed for ever.
Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters
stood above the mountains.
At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they
They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto
the place which thou hast founded for them.
Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they
turn not again to cover the earth.
He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the
They give drink to every beast of the field: the wild asses
quench their thirst.
By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation,
which sing among the branches.
He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is
satisfied with the fruit of thy works.
He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the
service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth;
And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make
his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man's heart.
The trees of the Lord are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon,
which he hath planted;
Where the birds make their nests: as for the stork, the fir
trees are her house.
The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats; and the rocks
for the conies.
He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going
Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts
of the forest do creep forth.
The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat
The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay
them down in their dens.
Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the
O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made
them all: the earth is full of thy riches.
So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping
innumerable, both small and great beasts.
There go the ships: there is that leviathan, whom thou hast
made to play therein.
These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their
meat in due season.
That thou givest them they gather: that openest thine hand,
they are filled with good.
Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away
their breath, they die, and return to their dust.
Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou
renewest the face of the earth.
The glory of the Lord shall endure for ever: the Lord shall
rejoice in his works.
He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth: he toucheth the
hills, and they smoke.
I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing
praise to my God while I have my being.
My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the
Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the
wicked by no more. Bless thou the Lord, O my soul. Praise ye the