Scene Fifteen:

Hyssop and Rue

 

ASTARTE and ISIS, as before, hold cups of the hyssop and rue tea ASTARTE has made.

 

Hyssop and Rue

ISIS:

Hyssop and rue are an opening to wisdom,

A ray in the crown for the sight of the true.

ASTARTE:

Hyssop and rue are enticing to freedom,

A ray in the heart for the bliss of the two.

BOTH::

Hyssop and rue, and thyme and sage,

Grasses and oats and wheat and corn,

Fungus and hemp, are the doors of sight. Frankincense, myrrh and the joys of night,

Are gifts of the river, abundance of light.

 

Hyssop and rue, when attention is due.

We can all live forever,

When we know what to do. (Repeat.)

 Enter MELKARTH:

 MELKARTH:

Mmmm. Suddenly you are not the only fragrant thing in the room.

 ASTARTE:

My lord, we have found the perfect tutor for Minar. This is Hathor.

 MELKARTH:

Welcome. Your scent is . . . very familiar. We have not met before?

ISIS:

No, my lord.

MELKARTH:

Strange. You'll join us for this evening's festivities. (ISIS bows, agrees.) And now. Drummers! And harps. Are you ready?

ISIS:

Thank you, your majesties. May I take my leave now?

ASTARTE:

What?

ISIS:

Your majesty, this appears to be a private showing before the feast -- for the Queen only.

ASTARTE:

Don't be silly. Stay and see this.

MELKARTH:

Now!

The curtain drops and the PILLAR appears. The TREE, in which OSIRIS is still imbedded inside his box, is now the central pillar of the great hall in the royal palace. ENSEMBLE now move through CELEBRANTS, serving red raspberry leaf tea, ASTARTE approaches the pillar. ISIS, working to contain herself, does not move.

MELKARTH:

Drink for everyone!

ASTARTE:

This is a sacred thing, Melkarth. We may not have it for long. Let us receive its blessing while it's here.

MELKARTH:

No one's going to take it away from us tonight.

ASTARTE:

Unless it decides to leave on its own. Or (peering at ISIS:) it may have some powerful help. Hathor, we'll look forward to seeing you at the feast.

ISIS:

My lady, would it be terribly rude of me just to rest tonight? I'm exhausted from the desert. Will you excuse me?

ASTARTE nods and ISIS exits with a bow to the King. During the following and MA'AT's narration CELEBRANTS can come to the PILLAR, have more raspberry tea and walk around the Space in the festive MUSIC.

ASTARTE:

Come, everyone who would like, and see this wonderful thing. Please excuse us a moment. (Aside to MELKARTH as they exit:) No wonder you have been so frisky lately. Whatever is coming from that thing . . .

MELKARTH:

There are babies in that beam, my dear.

ASTARTE:

I can hardly wait, you leopard. Let's be public for just a little while more.

 Exeunt. MA'AT enters.

MA'AT:

  The celebration went on into the night. For everyone except Isis, who lay awake in her chamber, this was a night of joy, of wonder. Everyone said that surely the nation and the royal family and the people of Byblos must be blessed among all nations.

   Isis became teacher of the palace children and tutor to the baby prince Minar, and was beloved by the King and Queen and all who knew her. She seemed happy. And as intrigued as everyone else to hear that every night -- a swallow has been seen circling above the palace, crying for hours at a time.

  Sometimes the swallow was seen in the great hall, flying around the great pillar, perching on it, caressing the wood. Everyone else in the palace was occupied at night in other ways, for as the King and Queen saw at once, there was something in that pillar that made everyone surge with energy and desire for love. Soon the Queen and many other women gave birth, and at night, when Minar was restless, Isis would rock him and dance with him in the great hall when no one else was there. There was something in that pillar.

THOTH:

(As his KHU appears.) I am feeling it too. Shall we?

MA'AT:

Charmed.

MA'AT exits. Her KHU appears, joins THOTH. They fly away and vanish. Enter ISIS.

 

Want to Hear what Isis tells Osiris when they're Alone by the Throne?

Go to The Mystery of Seeds

 

Or you can Choose from other Scenes

 

Or go to Stories of Thoth and Ma'at or the Playbill 

 

Copyright 2002 Dan Furst

 

 

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