Sunday, October 21, 2012


We dug and dug and swept away the sand
And kneeling down to peer into the cave
We saw a body wrapped from strand to strand
A mummy in its royal grave

We came to resurrect the ancient Pharaoh
Not with ancient arts, magic spells, nor necromancy
No, no nothing quite that fancy

We ground his bones and made a poultice of the marrow
Then sold the morbid mess to an apothecary
Who mixed the potion with a leaf of golden yarrow
And an ounce or two of Andalusian Sherry

Lady Marymount and her husband, Sir Fitzhugh
Were prescribed a daily dosage of the Pharaoh’s nectar
So her headaches might relent
And the nectar might his gout subdue

But in the night there roamed the Pharaoh’s specter
Floating through the mansion’s silent gloom
And no power nor priest nor pleading rector
Could stay the Pharaoh from his tomb

And he took the Lady and the Baron
His essence flowing through them like a pus
And like the dreaded ferryman, Charon
The raging Pharaoh came for us

Now we lie there with the Pharaoh side by side
There in Egypt in that self same cave
The two of us, the rotting Baron and his bride
Preserved forever in the Pharaoh’s fetid grave
Charon, the Ferryman to the Underworld, Jose Ben LLiure y Gil, 1919
For several hundred years, peaking in the 16th and 17th centuries, many Europeans, including royalty, priests and scientists, routinely ingested remedies containing the remains of mummies stolen from Egyptian tombs.

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