Babylonian and Assyrian Literature eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 377 pages of information about Babylonian and Assyrian Literature.

    Farewell! ye solitudes, farewell! 
      I will not moulder rotting lie
    With no one’s lips to wish me well;
      O give me immortality!

    But what is fame?  A bubble blown
      Upon the breeze, that bursts its shell,
    And all our brightest hopes are flown,
      And leaves our solitude a hell.

The holy minstrel bows his head in woe,
And sweeps the harpstrings with a movement slow;
Then lifts his eyes toward the setting sun,
His evening invocation thus begun: 

    [14]O Samas! to the lifting of my hands
      Show favor! unto me thy servant turn! 
    What man before thy blessed Light withstands? 
      O thou! what mortal thine own words can learn? 
    And who can rival them inviolate?
      [15]Among the gods no equal thou hast found. 
    In Heaven who of all the gods is great? 
      O thou alone! art great through Heaven’s bound!

    On earth what man is great? alas! no one,
      For thou alone art great! through earth’s vast bounds. 
    When wide thy awful voice in Heaven resounds,
      The gods fall prostrate to our Holy One;
    When on the earth thy voice afar resounds,
      The genii[16] bow to thee and kiss the dust. 
    In thee, O Samas! do I put my trust,
      For thy great love and mercy wide abounds!

    O my Creator, God, thy watchfulness
      O’er me, oh may it never cease! 
    Keep thou the opening of my lips! the fleece
      Of purest snow be my soul’s daily dress. 
    Guard thou my hands!  O Samas, Lord of Light! 
      And ever keep my life and heart aright!

[Footnote 1:  “Bar-ru,” an army officer]

[Footnote 2:  “Su-bar-tu,” Syria]

[Footnote 3:  “Bur-khi-is,” antelopes]

[Footnote 4:  “Tsabi,” gazelles]

[Footnote 5:  “Lig-bar-ri,” hyenas]

[Footnote 6:  “Nes-i,” lions]

[Footnote 7:  “Na-a-li,” spotted stags]

[Footnote 8:  “Bu-hir-tser-i,” beasts of the field]

[Footnote 9:  “Khar-sa-a-nu sa-qu-u-tu,” forests thick]

[Footnote 10:  “Cu-uts-tsi,” storms.]

[Footnote 11:  “Ca-ca-bi,” stars.]

[Footnote 12:  “Tu-ra-a-khi,” deer.]

[Footnote 13:  “Arme,” wild goats.]

[Footnote 14:  This prayer is made up from Assyrian fragments now in the British Museum.]

[Footnote 15:  See “Records of the Past,” vol. iii. p. 136.]

[Footnote 16:  “Genii,” spirits.]



The dark-eyed maids are dancing in the halls
Of Erech’s palace:  music fills the walls
Of splendor where the Sar-dan-nu[1] enthroned,
His hours is whiling by the maidens zoned;
A whirling garland chanting forth a song. 
Accompanied with harps thus sang the throng: 

Project Gutenberg
Babylonian and Assyrian Literature from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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