Babylonian and Assyrian Literature eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 283 pages of information about Babylonian and Assyrian Literature.

   “O God of Fire! a lofty prince doth stand,
      A warrior, and son of the blue sea,
    Before the God of Fire in thine own land,
      Before thy holy fires that from us free
    Dread Darkness, where dark Nuk-khu reigns. 
      Our prince, as monarch we proclaim,
    His destiny thy power maintains,
      Oh, crown his glory with wide fame!

   “With bronze and metal thou dost bless
      All men, and givest silver, gold. 
    The goddess with the horned face
      Did bless us with thee from of old. 
    From dross thy fires change gold to purity;
      Oh, bless our fire-king, round him shine
    With Heaven’s vast sublimity! 
      And like the earth with rays divine,
      As the bright walls of Heaven’s shrine.”

[Footnote 1:  “Sar,” king.]

[Footnote 2:  “Khanga,” chorus.]

[Footnote 3:  One of the Accadian psalms is here quoted from “Chaldean Magic,” by Lenormant, pp. 185, 186.  See also “Records of the Past,” vol. xi. pl. 17, col. 2.]

[Footnote 4:  Literally, “Right into my marrow, O Lords of breath.”]

[Footnote 5:  Literally, “Direct the breath of my mouth!”]

[Footnote 6:  Sacred glass, sun-glass used to light the sacred fire.]

[Footnote 7:  Incantation to Fire ("Records of the Past,” vol. xi. p. 137).  The Accadian and Assyrian text is found in “C.I.W.A.,” vol. iv. pl. 14, and on tablet K. 49,002, in the British Museum.]

COLUMN V

ISHTAR AND HER MAIDS IN THE FAVORITE HAUNT OF IZDUBAR

The king while hunting where a forest grows,
Around sweet hyacinths and budding rose,
Where a soft zephyr o’er them gently flows
From the dark sik-ka-ti[1] where Kharsak[2] glows;
And Sedu[3] softly dances on the leaves,
And a rich odorous breath from them receives;
Where tulips peep with heliotrope and pink,
With violets upon a gleaming brink
Of silver gliding o’er a water-fall
That sings its purling treasures o’er a wall
Of rugged onyx sparkling to the sea: 
A spot where Zir-ri[4] sport oft merrily,
Where Hea’s[5] arm outstretched doth form a bay,
Wild, sheltered, where his sea-daughters play;
A jasper rock here peeps above the waves
Of emerald hue; with them its summit laves.

Around, above, this cool enchanting cove
Bend amorous, spicy branches; here the dove
Oft coos its sweetest notes to its own mate,
And fragrance pure, divine, the air doth freight,
To sport with gods no lovelier place is found,
With love alone the mystic woods resound.

Here witching Zi-na-ki[6] oft drag within
The waves unwilling Zi-si;[7] here the din
Of roars of sullen storms is never known
When tempests make the mighty waters groan;
Nor sound of strife is heard, but rippling rills,
Or softest note of love, the breezes fills.

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Babylonian and Assyrian Literature from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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