“Alas! my days shall end in woe
Within these wilds my happiness is mine,
No other joys I seek, my god divine;
I would upon these rocks lie down to die,
Upon my back here sleep eternally.”
And Samas urging, to him thus replied:
“Heabani, hast thou not some manly pride?
And thinkest thou no joy thou here wilt lose?
The lovely Sam-kha-tu the seer may choose.
Arrayed in trappings of divinity
And the insignia of royalty,
Heabani then in Erech shall be great,
And live in happiness and royal state;
And Izdubar shall hearken, and incline
His heart in warmest friendship, and recline
With thee upon a couch of luxury.
And seat thee on a throne of royalty,
On his left hand, a crown shall grace thy brow.
Kings of the earth shall to thee subject bow
And kiss thy feet, and Izdubar shall give
Thee wealth, and thou in luxury shalt live.
In silence Erech’s men shall bow to thee,
In royal raiment thou shalt happy be.”
Heabani listened to the words that came
From Samas, and his brow was lit with shame
To hear the god of war urge him to go
To earthly happiness—mayhap to woe;
But he within his cave now listless turns
When Samas ceased; then to his rock returns,
And seats himself with calmness on his brow;
His thoughts in happy memories now flow,
And he recalls the blissful days of yore
When he as seer lived on Euphrates’ shore,
As the queen’s bard oft tuned a festive lay,
While soft-eyed maidens dance and cymbals play.
[Footnote 1: “Gab-ri,” mountains.]
[Footnote 2: “A-si,” fox.]
[Footnote 3: “Sam-kha-tu” ("Joy"), one of the maids of Ishtar.]
EXPEDITION OF ZAIDU IN SEARCH OF THE SEER
Prince Zaidu on his steed now hastes away,
Upon the plains he travelled all that day;
Next morn the Za-Gabri he slow ascends,
Along the mountain sides the horseman wends
Beneath the Eri-ni, and cliffs, and sees
The plains and mountains o’er the misty trees
From the wild summit, and old Khar-sak glow
Above them all with its twin crests of snow.
He plunges in the wild to seek the cave;
Three days unceasing sought young Zaidu brave,
And now at last within the glen he rode,
And near approached Heabani’s wild abode.
At last he sees the seer before his home,
And with his monster now toward him come,
That walked subdued beside the hermit seer,
Thus they upon the rocks above appear.
“Why art thou here in warrior’s array?”
The hermit cries. “I know thee not! away!”
“O holy seer, ’tis Zaidu, from our Sar!
The king of Erech, chieftain Izdubar.”
“What seekest thou within my mountain lair?”
Heabani angry cried. “What brings thee here?”