Babylonian and Assyrian Literature eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 377 pages of information about Babylonian and Assyrian Literature.
A longing, rising, fills his inmost soul
For this sweet queen who offers him a goal
His stormy life has never known, since he,
His loved one lost beneath the raging sea;
And all his calm resolves to seek no more
A joy which passed and left his heart forlore,
Are breaking, vanishing beneath her charms,
Dissolving as the mists, when sunlight warms
The earth, then scorching drinks the rising dews;
Till he at last no longer can refuse,
And love directs while he the goddess greets: 
“Such wondrous beauty here no mortal meets;
But come, thou Zir-ru,[3] with me sweetly rest;
Primroses, gentians, with their charms invest
My mossy couch, with odorous citron-trees
And feathery palms above; and I will please
Thee with a mortal’s love thou hast not known;
In pure love mingling let our spirits run,
For earthly joys are sweeter than above,
That rarest gift, the honeyed kiss of love
On earth, is sweeter bliss than gods enjoy;
Their shadowy forms with love cannot employ
Such pleasure as a mortal’s sweet caress. 
Come, Zi-ru, and thy spirit I will bless;
The Mandrake[4] ripened golden, glows around;
The fruit of Love is fragrant on the ground.”

Amid the Dud’im[5] plants he now reclines,
And to his welcome fate himself resigns;
The lovely queen beside him now doth lay,
And leads his soul along the blissful way
That comes to every heart that longs for love,
When purest joy doth bless us from above;
From her soft liquid eyes the love-light speaks,
And her warm hands she lays in his, and wakes
Beneath her touch a thrill of wild desire,
Until his blood now seems like molten fire. 
Her eyes half closed begat a passion wild,
With her warm breast, her loves hath beguiled;
She nearer creeps with hot and balmy breath,
And trembling form aglow, and to him saith: 
“My lips are burning for a kiss, my love!”
A prize like this, a heart of stone would move,
And he his arms around her fondly placed
Till she reclined upon his breast, embraced,
Their lips in one long thrilling rapture meet. 
But hark! what are these strains above so sweet
That float around, above, their love surround? 
An-nu-na-ci[6] from forests, mounts around,
And from the streams and lakes, and ocean, trees,
And all that haunt the godly place, to please
The lovers, softly chant and dance around
To cymbals, lyres until the rocks resound,
Of goddess Ishtar chant, and Izdubar,
The Queen of Love wed to the King of War. 
And he alarmed starts up and springs away,
And furious cries, to Ishtar’s wild dismay: 

“What meanest thou, thou wanton brazen thing? 
Wouldst thou on me the direst curses bring?”
And lo! the goddess is transformed! the crown
Of her own silver skies shines like the sun,
And o’er her dazzling robes a halo falls;
Her stately form with glory him appals,
For Heaven’s dazzling splendor o’er her flows,
With rays celestial; o’er her brow there glows
A single star.

Project Gutenberg
Babylonian and Assyrian Literature from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook