Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

The Sphinx at Gizeh

April 03rd, 2013 by G.

I saw the other day the Sphinx’s painted face.
She had painted her face in order to ogle Time.
And he has spared no other painted face in all the world but hers.
Delilah was younger than she, and Delilah is dust. Time hath loved nothing but this worthless painted face.

I do not care that she is ugly, nor that she has painted her face, so that she only lure his secret from Time.

Time dallies like a fool at her feet when he should be smiting cities.
Time never wearies of her silly smile.
There are temples all about her that he has forgotten to spoil.
I saw an old man go by, and Time never touched him.
Time that has carried away the seven gates of Thebes!

She has tried to bind him with ropes of eternal sand, she had hoped to oppress him with the Pyramids.
He lies there in the sand with his foolish hair all spread about her paws.
If she ever finds his secret we will put out his eyes, so that he shall find no more our beautiful things—there are lovely gates in Florence that I fear he will carry away.

We have tried to bind him with song and with old customs, but they only held him for a little while, and he has always smitten us and mocked us.

When he is blind he shall dance to us and make sport.
Great clumsy time shall stumble and dance, who liked to kill little children, and can hurt even the daisies no longer.
Then shall our children laugh at him who slew Babylon’s winged bulls, and smote great numbers of the gods and fairies—when he is shorn of his hours and his years.
We will shut him up in the Pyramid of Cheops, in the great chamber where the sarcophagus is. Thence we will lead him out when we give our feasts. He shall ripen our corn for us and do menial work.

We will kiss they painted face, O Sphinx, if thou wilt betray to us Time.

And yet I fear that in his ultimate anguish he may take hold blindly of the world and the moon, and slowly pull down upon him the House of Man.

Thus Lord Dunsany.

Comments (5)
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April 03rd, 2013 06:42:02
5 comments

Agellius
April 4, 2013

Nice. I can’t say that I totally get it, but I enjoyed it.


Adam G.
April 4, 2013

Its a Tower of Babel/Samson story, Agellius. Its about overcoming mortality (taming time), but the tamed Time is not so tame as he appears, and like Samson before the Philistines, he destroys us with him. The symbolic meaning of the poem is something like that we can’t defeat mortality because mortality is what makes us.


Agellius
April 4, 2013

Yes, I see it now. Re-reading it with the author’s “key” in mind was really interesting. It opens a window into the creative mind for me. I don’t think I would have thought of expressing the idea in that way in a million years.


Adam G.
April 4, 2013

Agellius,
that’s my best guess at the author’s key. The story is by Lord Dunsany, not me.
But now I see that I forgot to put him in the post.


Agellius
April 4, 2013

Ah! I thought I was seeing a new side of you. In any case, you see I wouldn’t put it past you to write this.

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