To the Goddess of Love, the Lady of the Two Lands
Giving praise to Hathor, who lives in Thebes.
Kiss the earth for her in all her forms.
May I pray to her for the greatness of her name,
for the strength of her striking power.
Love of her is in the hearts of the people.
Her beauty is with the gods.
The Ennead shall go to her
bowing down for the greatness of her eminence.
It was on the day that I saw her beauty
—my mind was spending the day in celebration thereof —
that I beheld the Lady of the Two Lands in a dream and she placed joy in my heart.
Then I was revitalized with her food;
without that one would say,
“If only that I had food, if only that we had food!”
He who is wise will honor her at the seasonal festival.
That which gives teaching to the people
might be regarded to be pure food.
Near the servant in the Place of Truth, Ipui the Justified, says:
In order to solve the problem of rivalry and coveting her,
the wonders of Hathor, which she did,
should be related to the ones who don’t know it, and the ones who do know it.
A generation should tell a next generation how beautiful she truly is,
especially when she sets her face to the sky.
One is bathed and inebriated by the vision of her.
Her father, Amun, shall listen to all her petitions peacefully and patiently
when he rises, carrying her beauty.
He made lapis lazuli for her hair, and gold for her limbs.
The Two Banks of Horus were made for her
that the mother goddess may prepare the fertile land to its limits,
because love of her is so great
Her brow shall bind with the beauty of his beloved face.
Translated by K. Szpakowska
Edited by S. Noegel and J. Walker
This prayer is from the Stela of Ipui (Ipuy), dated to the 18th Dynasty of Egypt (circa 1500 BCE). It is somewhat unusual in that it was carved by a common craftsman rather than created by a priest or pharaoh.
Ipui’s prayer shows us that one doesn’t need to be a king, priestess, or priest to pray to one’s deity; there should be no judgment in how one prays and the words one uses. The Stela and Prayer to Hathor continue to exist 3500 years after Ipui carved his words; and he fulfills what he wrote, “A generation should tell a next generation how beautiful she truly is…”