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The Hymn to the Nile flood

Transliteration after Helck 1972, using the copy on Papyrus Chester Beatty V as principal source. The section divisions are those of Helck 1972.

Transliteration (using A, i, y, a, w, b, p, f, m, n, r, h, H, x, X, s, S, q, k, g, t, T, d, D) with translation

red: part of the text written in red on original in principal sources

Part of section 1 is preserved on Ostracon Ramesseum 92 (UC 33007)


dwAw Hapy i.nD Hr.k Hapy
pr m tA iy r sanx kmt
imn sSm kkwy m hrw
Hs n.f Smsw.f iwH SAw
qmAw ra r sanx awt nbt
ssAA xAst wAw r mw
idt.f pw hA m pt
mry gb xrp npri
swAD Hmwt nt ptH

Hymn to the flood Hail flood!
emerging from the earth, arriving to bring Egypt to life,
hidden of form, the darkness in the day,
the one whose followers sing to him, as he waters the plants,
created by Ra to make every herd live,
who satisfies the desert hills removed from the water,
for it is his due that descends from the sky
- he, the beloved of Geb, controller of Nepri,
the one who makes the crafts of Ptah verdant.


nb rmw sxnty qbHw
nn Apdw hAy Hnwy
ir it sxpr bty
sHb rw-prw
wsf.f xr Dbb fnd
Hr nb nmHw
ir xb.tw m pAwt nTrw
xr s HH Aq m rmT

Lord of fish, who allows south marsh fowl,
without a bird falling from heat
Maker of barley, grower of emmer grain,
creator of festivals of the temples.
When he delays, then noses are blocked,
everyone is orphaned,
and if the offerings of the gods are distributed,
then a million men perish among mankind


ir awn-ib mn tA r-Dr.f
wr Sri Hr nmi
Sbb rmT xft xsf.f
qd.f sw Xnmw
wbn.f xr tA m Haawt
xr Xt nbt m rSwt
Tst nbt Ssp.n.s sbit
ibH nb kfA

If he is greedy the whole land suffers,
great and small fall moaning
People are changed at his coming,
the one who creates him is Khnum.
When he rises, then the land is in joy,
then every belly is glad,
every jaw has held laughter,
every tooth revealed.


in kAw wr DfAw
qmAw nfrw nb
nb SfSfyt nDm sty
sHtpy iy.f
sxpr smw n mnmnt
rdi sfT n nTr nb
sw m dwAt
pt tA r-xt.f
mH wDAw swsx Snwt
rdi xt n nmHw

Bringer of food rich in provisions,
creator of all goodness,
lord of reverence, sweet of scent,
the one whose coming makes peace,
creator of plants for the herds,
provider of butchery for every god.
While he is in the underworld,
sky and earth are in his charge.
Filler of storerooms, enlarger of granaries,
the one who gives plenty to the orphan.


srwd xt Aby nb
nn ktkt r.s
sxpr imw m pHty.f
nn mDH m inr
Hw.tw Dww Hr Hwt.f
nn gmH.tw.f
nn bAkw nn xrpwt.f
Sdw m StAw
nn rx.tw bw ntf
nn gmH.tw tpHt.f m sSw

Grower of trees for every desire,
without any cutting for it;
creator of boats by his might,
without any carpenter with stone (tools).
The mountains are quarried by his flooding,
without him being glimpsed,
without workers, without management for him.
One who carries off in secrecy,
and the place that is his is not known,
nor can his cavern be glimpsed in writings


nn nayt nt tnw.f
nn sSm n ib.f
Sms sw DAmw Xrdw
tw nD xrt.f m nswt mn hAw.f
ii r tr.f mH Sma mHw
swri.tw mw irt nbt im.f
rdi HAw nfrw.f

Without sailings of his selection
without a follower of his desire,
(yet) youths and children follows him,
and he is greeted as a king firm in his reign,
arriving in his time, filling Upper and Lower Egypt.
When drinking water, every eye is on him,
the giver of surplus in his goodness.


wn m gAw pr m xntS
ibH sbk ms nt
psDt nty im.f Dsr
bS sswri sxt
sqnn tA-tmm
swsr wa m ir n ky
nn wpt Hna.f
ir Htp nn ks.n.tw.f
tmm ir n.f tS

Whoever is in want emerges in joy,
Sobek child of Neit bares his teeth
and the ennead within is parted.
The one who spouts and causes the marsh to drink,
the one who strengthens everybody.
One man is made powerful by the doing of another,
without any dispute with him.
Maker of peace who cannot be bowed,
and none can set a limit to him.


sHD pr m kkwy
anD n mnmnt.f
pHty.f pw sxpr nb
nn wn anx m-xmt.f
Hbs.tw rmT m mH SAw.f
iry HD-Htp bAk n.f
ir.n Ssm mrHt.f
nn Drw ptH m qi.f
sxpr bAk nb im.f
sSw nb n mdw-nTr
Hnw.f m mHy

Illuminator coming out of the darkness
fat for his cattle,
it is his might that creates everyone,
and none can live without him.
People are clothed by the flax of his fields,
he who makes Hedjhetep work for him,
Shesem has made his oils,
and there is no limit to Ptah in his form.
All work is possible by him -
all writings of hieroglyphs,
his produce in the land of reeds.


aq m imHt pr m Hry
Abb pr m StAw
dns and rxyt
Xdb snm rnpt
mAA.n.tw wsr mi mHy
tny s nb Xr xaw
nn iry m pH iry
nn Hbs Hbsw
nn sXkr.tw msw Spssw
nn msDmt Hr
wS n Snt n gAw.f
nn wrH n bw nb

He who enters into the cavern, and come out on top
constantly striving to emerge in secret;
when heavy, the populace shrinks,
the food for the year is killed,
and the mighty is seen nervous,
everyone distinguished by the weapons they carry,
noone able to do their tasks,
noone to cover what should be covered,
the children of the rich cannot be adorned,
no eye-paint for the face,
a want of hair (?) for lack of it,
no anointing for anyone.


smn mAat m ibw rmT
Dd.tw grg r-sA SwAw
Sbn Hna wAD-wr
tm xrp npri
dwA.tw nTrw nbw
nn Apdw hAy Hr xAswt
nn sxt drt.f m nbw
nn s tx n HD
nn wnm.tw xsbd mAa
it Xr-HAt rwd

What is right is fixed in the hearts of men,
but falsehood is said after poverty
A man who mixes with the marshwater
is not one to master grain,
and even if you praise all gods,
there is no bird who will descend on desert lands.
There is noone who beats his hand with gold,
there is no man who is drunk on silver,
you cannot eat steadfast lapis lazuli:
barley is the foremost for strength.


SAa.tw n.k Hsy m bnt
Hsy.tw n.k Hr drt
nhm n.k DAmw Xrdw
apr.tw n.k wpwt
iy Xr Spsy sXkr tA
swAD inw Haw rmT
sanx HAty bkA
mr aSAt n mnmnt

For you are started songs with the harp
For you they sing with hand-claps,
For you youths and children shout out,
For you the crowds are assembled.
One who comes with riches, adorning the land,
one who makes fresh the hue of the bodies of men,
who enlivens the heart of the pregnant woman,
who loves the multitude of herds.


wbn.k m niwt Hqr
xr sAA.tw m inw.k
Hnw m r sSn m Srt
xt nbt Ttf Hr-tp tA
smw nbw m-a Xrdw
smx.n.sn wnmw
bw nfr xAa Hr iwyt
pA tA r-Aw Hr ftft

When you rise in the city of hunger
then people are sated on your supplies
with stalk in the mouth, lotus at the nose,
everything to sprout upon earth,
all vegetables in the hands of children -
they can forget the meals,
goodness cast over the streets,
and this entire land leaping for joy.


Hw Hapy
wdn.tw n.k
sft.tw n.k iwA
iry.tw n.k aAbt
wSA.tw n.k Apdw
grg.tw n.k mAiw Hr xAst
DbA.tw n.k nfrw
wdn.tw n nTr nb
mi ir.n Hapy
m snTr tpy iwA wnDw Apdw nsry
Hapy m tpHt.f wsr
nn rx.tw rn.f m dwAt
nn pr nTrw Xr.f

When the Flood strikes,
they offer to you
they butcher cattle for you,
offering piles are made for you,
birds are slaughtered for you,
lions are snared for you in the desert,
goodness is returned to you.
They offer to every god
according to what the Flood has created,
in first quality incense, cattle large and small, birds for the flame.
The Flood in his cavern is the mighty one.
His name is not known in the underworld,
and the gods do not emerge with it.


tmm wTs psDt
snd n Sfyt ir.n sA.f nb-r-Dr r swAD idbwy
wAD kA iw.k
wAD kA iw.k Hapy
wAD kA iw.k
mi r kmt
sxpr Htp.f
swAD idbwy
wAD kA iw.k
wAD kA iw.k Hapy
wAD kA iw.k
sanx rmT mnmnt m inw.k n SA
wAD kA iw.k
wAD kA iw.k Hapy
wAD kA iw.k

All people raising the praise of the Ennead
Have fear for the awe made by his son the Lord of All to make the Two Riverbanks verdant
Verdant the spirit at your coming,
Verdant the spirit at your coming, O Flood
Verdant the spirit at your coming,
Come to Egypt,
make its happiness,
Make the Two Riverbanks verdant,
Verdant the spirit at your coming,
Verdant the spirit at your coming, O Flood
Verdant the spirit at your coming,
Men and herds are brought to life by your deliveries of the fields,
Verdant the spirit at your coming,
Verdant the spirit at your coming, O Flood
Verdant the spirit at your coming.



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