Babylonian and Assyrian Literature eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 283 pages of information about Babylonian and Assyrian Literature.
The robes of purple, violet and gold,
With rosy tints the form of Samas fold. 
The tamarisk and scarlet mistletoe,
With green acacias’ golden summits glow,
And citron, olives, myrtle, climbing vine,
Arbutus, cypress, plane-tree rise divine;
The emerald verdure, clad with brilliant hues,
With rose-tree forests quaffs the morning dews. 
The King delighted bares his troubled brow,
In Samas’ golden rays doth holy bow. 
But see! a shadow steals along the ground! 
And trampling footsteps through the copses sound,
And Izdubar, his hand placed on his sword,
Loud cries: 
            “Who cometh o’er mine Erech’s sward?”
An armed warrior before him springs;
The King, dismounted, his bright weapon swings. 
“’Tis I, Prince Dib-bara,[14] Lord Izdubar,
And now at last alone we meet in war;
My soldiers you o’erthrew upon the field,
But here to Nuk-khu’s[15] son thine arm shall yield!”
The monarch eyes the warrior evil-born,
And thus replies to him with bitter scorn: 
“And dost thou think that Samas’ son shall die
By a vile foe who from my host did fly? 
Or canst thou hope that sons of darkness may
The Heaven-born of Light and glory slay? 
As well mayst hope to quench the god of fire,
But thou shalt die if death from me desire.” 
The giant forms a moment fiercely glared,
And carefully advanced with weapons bared,
Which flash in the bright rays like blades of fire,
And now in parry meet with blazing ire. 
Each firmly stood and rained their ringing blows,
And caught each stroke upon their blades, till glows
The forest round with sparks of fire that flew
Like blazing meteors from their weapons true;
And towering in their rage they cautious sprung
Upon each, foiled, while the deep Suk-ha[16] rung. 
At last the monarch struck a mighty blow,
His foeman’s shield of gold, his blade cleft through;
And as the lightning swung again his sword,
And struck the chieftain’s blade upon the sward,
A Sedu springs from out the tangled copse,
And at his feet the sword still ringing drops. 
The King his sword placed at his foeman’s throat
And shouted: 

“Hal-ca[17] to yon waiting boat! 
Or I will send thy body down this stream!
Ca is-kab-bu! va kal-bu![18] whence you came!”
The chief disarmed now slunk away surprised,
And o’er the strength of Sar-dan-nu[19] surmised. 
The King returns, and rides within the gate
Of Erech, and the council entered late.

[Footnote 1:  “Dum-khi,” couch.]

[Footnote 2:  “Su-khu-li rabi,” attendants of the King.]

[Footnote 3:  “Masari,” guards of the palace.]

[Footnote 4:  “Nam-za-ki,” openers of the gates.]

[Footnote 5:  “Zu,” the divine bird of the storm-cloud, the god worshipped by Izdubar, the god who stole the tablets of heaven.]

[Footnote 6:  The seven wicked spirits in the form of men with faces of ravens.]

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Babylonian and Assyrian Literature from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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