Babylonian and Assyrian Literature eBook

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

Toward the temple filed the long parade,
The nobles led while Accad’s music played;
The harps and timbrels, barsoms, drums and flutes
Unite with trumpets and the silver lutes. 
Surrounded by his chieftains rides the Sar
In purple robes upon his brazen car. 
Bedecked with garlands, steeds of whitest snow
The chariot draw in state with movement slow,
Each steed led by a kisib, nobleman,
A score of beauteous horses linked in span. 
The army follows with their nodding plumes,
And burnished armor, trumpets, rolling drums,
And glistening spears enwreathed with fragrant flowers,
While scarfs are waving from the crowded towers,
And shouts of joy their welcome loud proclaim,
And from each lip resounds their monarch’s name.

And now before the holy temple stands
The chariot, in silence cease the bands. 
Around an altar stand the waiting priests,
And held by them, the sacrificial beasts. 
The hero from his chair descends,
And bowing to the priests, he lowly bends
Before the sacred altar of the Sun,
And prays to Samas, Accad’s Holy One.

[3] “O Samas, I invoke thee, throned on high! 
      Within the cedars’ shadow bright thou art,
    Thy footing rests upon immensity;
      All nations eagerly would seek thy heart. 
    Their eyes have turned toward thee; O our Friend! 
      Whose brilliant light illuminates all lands,
    Before thy coming all the nations bend,
      Oh, gather every people with thy hands! 
    For thou, O Samas, knowest boundaries
      Of every kingdom, falsehood dost destroy,
    And every evil thought from sorceries
      Of wonders, omens, dreams that do annoy,
    And evil apparitions, thou dost turn
      To happy issue; malice, dark designs;
    And men and countries in thy might o’erturn,
      And sorcery that every soul maligns. 
    Oh, in thy presence refuge let me find! 
      From those who spells invoke against thy King,
    Protect one! and my heart within thine, oh, bind!
      [4]Thy breath within mine inmost soul, oh, bring! 
    That I with thee, O Samas, may rejoice. 
      And may the gods who me created, take
    Thy hands and lead me, make thy will my choice,
      [5]Direct my breath, my hands, and of me make
    They servant, Lord of light of legions vast,
      O Judge, thy glory hath all things surpassed!”

The King then rises, takes the sacred glass,[6]
And holds it in the sun before the mass
Of waiting fuel on the altar piled. 
The centring rays—­the fuel glowing gild
With a round spot of fire and quickly, spring
Above the altar curling, while they sing!

[7] “Oh, to the desert places may it fly,
      This incantation holy! 
    O spirit of the heavens, us this day
      Remember, oh, remember! 
    O spirit of the earth, to thee we pray,
      Remember!  Us remember!

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