And so came the earth, at first but a cold grey mass hanging listless in the hollow void. Later she saw it separate into divisions; here a plain, there a mountain, yonder a sea, all as yet without a sparkle. And then, by a river-bank, something moved; and she stopped her knitting for wonder. The something arose, and lifted its hands to the sun in sign of knowledge whence it had its being. And this First Man was beautiful to see. And about him were the creations we call nature- the grass, the trees, birds, beasts, even the insects and reptiles.
“And for a time the man went about happy in his life: it was easy to see how happy he was. And in the lull of the sound of the labouring will Isis heard a scornful laugh, and presently the words, blown across from the sun:- “‘Thy help, indeed! Behold a creature perfectly happy!’ “And Isis fell to knitting again, for she was patient as Osiris was strong; and if he could work, she could wait; and wait she did, knowing that mere life is not enough to keep anything content.
“And sure enough. Not long until the Divine Wife could see a change in the man. He grew listless, and kept to one place prone by the river, and looked up but seldom, and then always with a moody face. Interest was dying in him. And when she made sure of it, even while she was saying to herself, ‘The creature is sick of his being,’ there was a roar of the creative will at work again, and in a twinkling the earth, theretofore all a thing of coldest grey, flamed with colours; the mountains swam in purple, the plains bearing grass and trees turned green, the sea blue, and the clouds varied infinitely. And the man sprang up and clapped his hands, for he was cured and happy again.
“And Isis smiled, and knit away, saying to herself, ‘It was well thought, and will do a little while; but mere beauty in a world is not enough for such a being. My lord must try again.’ “With the last word, the thunder of the will at work shook the moon, and, looking, Isis dropped her knitting and clapped her hands; for theretofore everything on the earth but the man bad been fixed to a given place; now all living, and much that was not living, received the gift of Motion. The birds took to wing joyously; beasts great and small went about, each in its way; the trees shook their verdurous branches, nodding to the enamoured winds; the rivers ran to the seas, and the seas tossed in their beds and rolled in crested waves, and with surging and ebbing painted the shores with glistening foam; and over all the clouds floated like sailed ships unanchored.
“And the man rose up happy as a child; whereat Osiris was pleased, so that he shouted, Ha, ha! See how well I am doing without thee!’ “The good wife took up her work, and answered ever so quietly, ‘It was well thought, my lord- ever so well thought- and will serve awhile.’ “And as before, so again. The sight of things in motion became to the man as of course. The birds in flight, the rivers running, the seas in tumult of action, ceased to amuse him, and he pined again even worse.