Image via Project Gutenberg
A fun little story about an interstellar worker who has to fix a pyramid.
A dark and trippy epic poem filled with descriptions of architecture. Near the end, a Sphinx shows up. Interesting how Thomson surrounds this Egyptian symbol with archetypes of Catholicism. Especially with the duel (if you can call it that) between the Sphinx and an Angel. Lastly, Thomson depicts Sphinx as peaceful and stoic while the Angel seems represents this sense of violence.
I sat me weary on a pillar’s base,
And leaned against the shaft; for broad moonlight
O’erflowed the peacefulness of cloistered space,
A shore of shadow slanting from the right:
The great cathedral’s western front stood there, 5
A wave-worn rock in that calm sea of air.
Before it, opposite my place of rest,
Two figures faced each other, large, austere;
A couchant sphinx in shadow to the breast,
An angel standing in the moonlight clear; 10
So mighty by magnificence of form,
They were not dwarfed beneath that mass enorm.
Upon the cross-hilt of the naked sword
The angel’s hands, as prompt to smite, were held;
His vigilant intense regard was poured 15
Upon the creature placidly unquelled,
Whose front was set at level gaze which took
No heed of aught, a solemn trance-like look.
And as I pondered these opposed shapes
My eyelids sank in stupor, that dull swoon 20
Which drugs and with a leaden mantle drapes
The outworn to worse weariness. But soon
A sharp and clashing noise the stillness broke,
And from the evil lethargy I woke.
The angel’s wings had fallen, stone on stone, 25
And lay there shattered; hence the sudden sound:
A warrior leaning on his sword alone
Now watched the sphinx with that regard profound;
The sphinx unchanged looked forthright, as aware
Of nothing in the vast abyss of air. 30
Again I sank in that repose unsweet,
Again a clashing noise my slumber rent;
The warrior’s sword lay broken at his feet:
An unarmed man with raised hands impotent
Now stood before the sphinx, which ever kept 35
Such mien as if open eyes it slept.
My eyelids sank in spite of wonder grown;
A louder crash upstartled me in dread:
The man had fallen forward, stone on stone,
And lay there shattered, with his trunkless head 40
Between the monster’s large quiescent paws,
Beneath its grand front changeless as life’s laws.
The moon had circled westward full and bright,
And made the temple-front a mystic dream,
And bathed the whole enclosure with its light, 45
The sworded angel’s wrecks, the sphinx supreme:
I pondered long that cold majestic face
Whose vision seemed of infinite void space.
I am not entirely happy with this report, but at the same time, I feel like I have written all that I could write about. However, I do plan to come back to this report.
As of now, I have visited the Columbia Museum of Art four times. I enjoy this place for their accessible look at the history of Western Art.
I once read a Harry Harrison short story that involved a man coming in to repair a pyramid. It also had featured a drawing of a pyramid with the point off and steam coming out. Another personal finding of Egyptomania comes from Doctor Who graphic novel entitled The Forgotten. It featured the First Doctor going to Egypt and dealing with a murder plot.
The Hell? Well, if this proves anything, it shows that Egyptomania still runs wild. Even today, we still want the grandeur of an Egyptian burial.
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However, will Cage’s tomb resemble anything like this? This was something I took when I was in Macon, Georgia.
Actually, since the article says the pyramid will reach up to nine feet, it probably will look like a Nubian pyramid.