Akhenaten’s Hymn to the Aten

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Edited by Jide Uwechia

Hymn to the Aten

Your dawning is beautiful in the horizon of heaven,
O living Aten, creator of life!

When you set in the western horizon,
Earth falls into a deathly darkness.
People sleep in chambers, heads covered,
oblivious of the world,
the possessions in their head stolen.
Every lion comes forth from its den,
the serpents sting.
Darkness reigns,
earth is silent,
as their maker rests in heavens.

Earth brightens when you rise in the horizon,
when you shine as Aten of daytime.

As you cast your rays,
the Two Lands are in festivity.
Awake, the people are on their feet.
Cleansed and clothed,
their arms adore your appearance.

The entire land sets out to work,
The beasts browse on their herbs,
trees and plants nourish.
The birds fly from their nests,
their wings greeting you,
as the sheep frisk on their feet,
and the insects °utter.

All live when you dawn for them.
Boats travel north and south,
and roads lie open when you dawn.
The fish in the river leap up before you,
your rays are in the midst of the sea.

You are the one who makes the seed in men,
who feeds the son in the mother’s womb,
who soothes him that he may not weep,
a nurse even in the womb.
You give him breath when he is born,
you open his mouth in speech.

When the chick in the egg cries in the shell,
you give him breath to sustain him.
You have perfected him
to break out from the egg,
chirp and run around on his two feet.
Your works are manifold,
though hidden from sight,

O One Aten, beside whom there is no other.
You created the world as you wished,
you alone
all people, herds, flying creatures,
the reckoning of their days.

You make the heavens
to see your creation.
You make the beauty of form,
through yourself, alone.
You are in my heart,
there is no other who knows you.

Save your son, Akhenaten.
You have taught him your ways,
your might.
The world is in your hand,
you are duration,
beyond mere limbs.

Humans live by your power,
and eyes look upon your beauty.
You established this world
for your Son,
who came from your body,
the King, the Lord of the Two Lands,
and Nefertiti, chief wife,
living and youthful forever.

See also, Psalm 19 and 104 of the Old Testament.


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3 thoughts on “Akhenaten’s Hymn to the Aten”

  1. This is truly a beautiful and spiritual poem. I especially like the imageries and how they are painted together to evoke emotions of grandeur. Quite powerful!

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