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My video on YouTube is a modern adaptation of the ancient Gnostic text. The original text can be found underneath this video.
Original text of the Song of the Pearl
When I was
a little child
and dwelling in my kingdom,
in my father's
house, and was content with the wealth and the
luxuries of my nourishers,
from the East,
my parents equipped me (and) sent me forth;
and of the
wealth of our treasury
they took abundantly, (and) tied up for me a load
large and (yet) light, which I myself could carry,
gold of Beth-Ellaya,
and silver of Gazak the great,
and agates from Beth-Kashan,
and they furnished
me with the adamant,
which can crush iron.
And they took
off from me the glittering robe,
which in their affection they made for me,
and the purple
which was measured (and) woven to my stature.
And they made
a compact with me,
and wrote it in my heart, that it might not be forgotten:
go down into Egypt,
and bring the one pearl,
which is in
the midst of the sea
around the loud-breathing serpent,
put on your glittering robe
and your toga, with which (your art) contented,
and with your
brother, who is next to us in authority,
you shall be heir in our kingdom."
the East (and) went down,
there being two guardians,
for the way
was dangerous and difficult,
and I was very young to travel it.
I passed through
the borders of Maishan,
the meeting-place of the merchants of the East,
and I reached
the land of Babel,
and I entered the walls of Sarbug.
I went down
and my companions parted from me.
I went straight
to the serpent,
I dwelt in his abode,
till he should lumber and sleep,
and I could take my pearl from him.
And when I
was single and alone
(and) became strange to my family,
one of my
race, a free-born man,
and Oriental, I saw there,
a youth fair
the son of oil-sellers;
and he came
and attached himself to me,
and I made him my intimate friend,
with whom I shared my merchandise.
I warned him against the Egyptians,
and against consorting with the unclean;
And I dressed
in their dress,
that they might not hold me in abhorrence,
was come from abroad in order to take the pearl,
and arouse the serpent against me.
But in some
way other or another
they found out that I was not their countryman,
and they dealt
with me treacherously,
and gave their food to eat.
I forget that
I was a son of kings,
and I served their king;
and I forgot
for which my parents had sent me,
of the burden of their oppressions
I lay in a deep sleep.
But all this
things that befell me
my parents perceived, and were grieved for me;
was made in our kingdom,
that every one should come to our gate [kingdom],
princes of Parthia,
and all the nobles of the East.
And they wove
a plan on my behalf,
that I might not be left in Egypt;
and they wrote
to me a letter,
and every noble signed his name to it:
your father, the king of kings,
and your mother, the mistress of the East,
and from your
brother, our second (in authority),
to our son, who are in Egypt, greeting!
Call to mind
that you are a son of kings!
See the slavery,--whom you serve!
for which you were sent to Egypt!
Think of your
and remember your splendid toga,
shall wear and (with which) you shall be adorned,
when your name has been read out in the list of the valiant,
and your brother,
you shall be in our kingdom."
is a letter,
which the king sealed with his own right hand,
(to keep it)
from the wicked ones, the children of Babel,
and from the savage demons of Sarbug.
It flew in
the likeness of an eagle,
the king of all birds;
it flew and
alight beside me,
and became all speech.
At its voice
and the sound of its rustling,
I started and arose from my sleep.
I took it
up and kissed it,
and I began (and) read it;
to what was traced on my heart
were the words of my letter.
that I was a son of royal parents,
and my noble birth asserted itself.
for which I had been sent to Egypt,
and I began
to charm him,
the terrible loud breathing serpent.
I hushed him
asleep and lulled him into slumber,
for my father's name I named over him,
and the name
of our second (in power),
and the of my mother, the queen of the East.
And I snatched away the pearl,
and turned to go back to my father's house.
filthy and unclean dress I stripped off,
and left it in their country;
and I took
my way straight to come
to the light of our home in the East.
And my letter,
I found before me on the road;
and as with
its voice it had awakened me,
(so) too with its light it was leading me.
It, that dwelt
in the palace,
gave light before me with its form,
and with its
voice and its guidance
it also encouraged me to speed,
and with its love it drew me on.
I went forth
(and) passed by Sarbug;
I left Babel on my left hand;
and I came
to the great Maisan,
to the haven of merchants,
which sat on the shore of the sea.
And my bright
robe, which I had stripped off,
and the toga that was wrapped with it,
my parents had sent thither
by the hand
of their treasures,
who in their truth could be trusted therewith.
I remembered not its fashion,--
for in my childhood I had left it in my father's house,--
on a sudden,
when I received it,
the garment seemed to me to become like a mirror of myself.
I saw it all
and I to received all in it,
for we were
two in distinction
and yet gain one in one likeness.
And the treasurers
who brought it to me, I saw in like manner
to be two
(and yet) one likeness,
for one sign of the king was written on them (both),
of the hands
of him who restored to me through them
my trust and my wealth,
was adorned with glorious colors,
and rubies and agates
varied in color.
And it was skillfully worked in its home on high,
and with diamond
were all its seams fastened;
and the image
of the king of kings
was embroidered and depicted in full all over it,
and like the
stone of the sapphire too
its hues were varied.
And I saw
also that all over it
the instincts of knowledge were working,
and I saw too that it was preparing to speak.
I heard the
sound of its tones,
which it uttered with its....., (saying):
the active in deeds,
whom they reared for him before my father;
and I perceived
that my stature grew according to his labors."
And in its
it poured itself entirely over me,
and on the
hand of its givers
it hastened that I might take it.
And love urged
me too run
to meet it and receive it;
and I stretched
forth and took it.
With the beauty of its colors I adorned myself,
and I wrapped
myself wholly in my toga
of brilliant hues.
myself with it, and went up to the gate
of salutation and prostration;
I bowed my
head and worshipped the majesty
of my father who sent me,--
for I had
done his commandments,
and he too had done what he promised,--
and the gate
I mingled with his princes,
for he rejoiced
in me and received me,
and I was with him in his kingdom,
and with the
all his servants praised him.
And he promised
that to the gate too
of the king of kings with him I should go,
and with my
offering and my pearl
with him should present myself to our king.
The Hymn of
Judas Thomas the Apostles,
which he spoke in prison, is ended.