Babylonian and Assyrian Literature eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 377 pages of information about Babylonian and Assyrian Literature.

The minstrel ceases, lifts his hands on high,
And still we hear his joyful waning cry: 
Now echoed by yon hosts along the sky,
“He comes!  Tar-u-ma-ni iz-zu sar-ri! 
Great Accad’s hosts arrayed with spears and shields
Are coming! see them flashing o’er the fields! 
And he! bright flashing as the god’s attire,
Doth lead in burnished gold, our king of fire. 
His armor shines through yonder wood and fen,
That tremble ’neath the tread of armed men. 
See! from his jewelled breastplate, helmet, fly
The rays like Samas from the cloudless sky! 
How martially he rides his sable steed,
That proudly treads and lifts his noble head,
While eagerly he gallops down the line,
And bears his princely load with porte divine;
And now, along the plains there sounds afar
The piercing bugle-note of Izdubar;
For Erech’s walls and turrets are in view,
And high the standards rise of varied hue. 
The army halts; the twanging bows are strung;
And from their chariots the chieftains sprung. 
The wheeling lines move at each chief’s command,
With chariots in front;

On either hand
Extend the lines of spears and cavalry,
A winged storm-cloud waiting for its prey: 
And see! while Accad’s army ready waits,
The enemy are swarming from the gates. 
The charge, from either host, the trumpets sound,
And bristling chariots from each army bound: 
A cloud of arrows flies from Accad’s bows
That hides the sun, and falls among their foes. 
Now roars the thunder of great Accad’s cars,
Their brazen chariots as blazing stars
Through Nuk-khu’s[6] depths with streams of blazing fire,
Thus fall upon the foe with vengeful ire. 
The smoking earth shakes underneath their wheels,
And from each cloud their thunder loudly peals. 
Thus Accad on their foes have fiercely hurled
Their solid ranks with Nin-rad’s flag unfurled,
The charging lines meet with a fearful sound,
As tempests’ waves from rocks in rage rebound;
The foe thus meet the men of Izdubar,
While o’er the field fly the fierce gods of war. 
Dark Nin-a-zu[7] her torch holds in her hand. 
With her fierce screams directs the gory brand;
And Mam-mit[8] urges her with furious hand,
And coiling dragons[9] poison all the land
With their black folds and pestilential breath,
In fierce delight thus ride the gods of death.

The shouts of Accad mingle with the cries
Of wounded men and fiery steeds, which rise
From all the fields with shrieks of carnage, war,
Till victory crowns the host of Izdubar. 
The chariots are covered with the slain,
And crushed beneath lie dead and dying men,
And horses in their harness wounded fall,
With dreadful screams, and wildly view the wall
Of dying warriors piling o’er their heads,
And wonder why each man some fury leads;
And others break across the gory plain
In mad career till they the mountain gain;

Project Gutenberg
Babylonian and Assyrian Literature from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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