The sullen crowd watched, murmured. Persian troops
marched stone-faced into Thebes. They dragged in chains
some few priests they had spared for later pains
when on the field they burned the rest, in groups
as servants of the Lie. They wanted gold
to pay hired cavalry, and so they flayed
Ra’s priest, then asked the rest, and one betrayed
his trust. The others spat at him. He told
how Pharoah’s treasury in many carts
was gone into the desert to the place
where storm winds hummed through a gigantic face
and led them there. He used his magic arts
to bring sandstorms that cut them to the bone.
No Persians came back. He returned alone.