[Footnote 1: “Sik-ka-ti,” narrow mountain gorges.]
[Footnote 2: “Khar-sak,” the Deluge mountain, where the ark rested.]
[Footnote 3: “Se-du,” a spirit of the earth, and rivers.]
[Footnote 4: “Zir-ri,” the spirits of the rivers, water-nymphs.]
[Footnote 5: “Hea,” the god of the ocean.]
[Footnote 6: “Zi-na-ki,” pronounced “zee-na-kee,” spirits of purity.]
[Footnote 7: “Zi-si,” corn-gods, or spirits of the corn.]
[Footnote 8: “Sam-kha-tu,” one of the maids of Ishtar, “Joy.”]
[Footnote 9: “Kha-rima-tu,” one of the maids of Ishtar, “Seduction.”]
[Footnote 10: “Its-tu-ri Same mut-tab ri,” “the winged birds of heaven.”]
[Footnote 11: “Khar-san-u,” forest.]
IZDUBAR FALLS IN LOVE WITH ISHTAR, THE QUEEN OF LOVE
The hour has come when Izdubar will seek
The cool enchantment of the cove, and slake
His thirst with its sweet waters bubbling pure,
Where Love has spread for him her sweetest lure,
The maids expectant listening, watch and wait
His coming; oft in ecstacies they prate
O’er his surprise, and softly sport and splash
The limpid waves around, that glowing flash
Like heaps of snowy pearls lung to the light
By Hea’s hands, his Zir-ri to delight.
And now upon the rock each maid reclines,
While Ishtar’s form beneath them brightly shines;
Beside the fountain stands the lovely god,
The graceful sovereign of Love’s sweet abode.
“He comes; the shrubs of yonder jasmine near
Are rustling, oh, he comes! my Izdubar!”
And thus her love she greets: “Why art thou here?
Thou lovely mortal! king art thou, or seer?
We reck not which, and welcome give to thee;
Wouldst thou here sport with us within the sea?”
And then, as if her loveliness forgot,
She quickly grasped her golden locks and wrought
Them round her form of symmetry with grace
That well became a god, while o’er her face
Of sweetest beauty blushes were o’erspread;
“Thou see-est only Nature’s robe,” she said.
“’Tis all I wish while sporting with my maids,
And all alone no care have we for jades;
And if with thee we can in truth confide,
We here from all the world may cosey hide.”
She hurls a glance toward him, smiling naive,
Then bounding from the rock, peeps from a wave;
The waters fondling her surround, embrace
Her charms; and now emerging with rare grace,
She turning says:
“Make haste, my hearts!
Come forth! attend your queen!” and then she parts
The azure waves, to where, in dumb surprise,
The King enchanted stands, and fondly eyes
The Queen divine, while fascinating thrills
Sweep wildly through his breast; as fragrance fills
The rose-tree groves, or gardens of the gods,
Or breezes odorous from the Blest Abodes.