I sing of Sobek, the great beast of the Nile,
who lurks beneath the surface,
unseen and swift-swimming,
until he decides to pounce upon his prey
which goes down with a single bite.
He is a potent king amid his terrors,
and there is nothing half as frightening as he
upon the earth or beneath it.
His teeth shine in the darkness and his eyes are like torches,
driving off the frightful creatures of the night.
Those whom Sobek guards are kept safe from all harm,
for even the other Gods wish to avoid angering
the Lord of the Faiyum.
His priests share no food with him,
for bloody flesh and living beasts
are tossed in the water to howl as he devours them.
Even when he puts off his crocodile form
and dons a mortal guise
you can still tell that it’s him.
For his eyes are all red,
his skin black as onyx,
when he grins you can see more teeth
than any mortal mouth could hold,
and he speaks not with a human tongue
but growls deep within his throat,
a sound that you will never forget
for the rest of your days.
He dwells in the underworld
and challenges the souls traveling West.
He sniffs them out, looking for sin,
and those who reek of it he drags down under the water
to torture until they’ve made amends.
The just man, however, he allows to climb on his back,
and ferries safely across to the other shore,
where Hathor waits in the field of rushes
to grant him his well-earned reward.
To the Lord of the Faiyum
Hail to you Petesouchos,
chief of the Gods of in the district of Arsinoë,
double-plumed lord of abundance,
green king of the fishes who dwells in peace within his lake,
master of the floodwaters that cause life to prosper,
mysterious Lord who knows every secret thing
that transpires beneath the surface.
Men travel from distant lands to consult your venerable oracle
and hear the future foretold through your thunderous roar
that shakes the earth and sends the noisy geese to flight.
Though your countenance is terrifying,
and your wrath justly feared,
since you have sword-like teeth for the rending of flesh
and jaws powerful enough to drag the river-horse down to death,
you are named the ally of man,
and when kindly disposed one can find in the whole world
no greater protector than you.
You come to the aid of those in distress
like the mighty egg-born Dioskouroi,
and consume those who would do your favored harm
like ferocious Kronos devouring his own children.
My heart trembles at the thought of your majesty,
and I am overcome with awe for you
many-times great crocodile God!
Your altar shall never be bare of sacrifices,
nor your praises go unsung,
so long as I continue to draw breath and walk upon the earth.