Three days Prince Zaidu sat with Kharun-tu
Before the cave within Heabani’s view;
Beside the pool they waited for the seer:
From Erech three days’ journey brought them here,
But where hath Joy, sweet Sam-kha, roving gone?
When they arrived at setting of the sun
She disappeared within with waving arms;
With bright locks flowing she displayed her charms.
As some sweet zir-ru did young Sam-kha seem,
A thing of beauty of some mystic dream.
[Footnote 1: “Anu,” the King of Heaven.]
[Footnote 2: “Zi-Gab-ri,” spirits of the mountains.]
THE TWO MAIDENS ENTICE THE SEER
Thus in Heabani’s cave the maiden went,
And o’er the sleeping seer her form she bent;
O’er him who with gazelles oft eats his food;
O’er him who drinks with bhu-ri in the wood;
O’er him who loves the zir-ri,—of them dreams,
And sports with them within the mountain streams.
And when the gay enticer saw the seer
Unconscious sleeping with sweet Joy so near,
She clasped him to her breast and kissed his brow.
The seer awakes, with wonder eyes her now:
“Thy glory thou hast brought to me!” he saith,
“Sweet Zir-ru comes to me with fragrant breath!”
And with delight he eyes her beauteous form,
His breast warm moved by the enticer’s charm.
He springs upon his feet and her pursues:
She laughing flees; to sport with him doth choose.
And now he eyes his hairy body, arms
Compared to Sam-kha’s snowy god-like charms,
She give to him her freshness, blooming youth?
She laughing comes again to him,—Forsooth!
Her glorious arms she opens, flees away,
While he doth follow the enticer gay.
He seizes, kisses, takes away her breath,
And she falls to the ground—perhaps in death
He thinks, and o’er her leans where she now lay;
At last she breathes, and springs, and flees away.
But he the sport enjoys, and her pursues;
But glancing back his arms she doth refuse.
And thus three days and four of nights she played;
For of Heabani’s love she was afraid.
Her joyous company doth him inspire
For Sam-kha, joy, and love, and wild desire.
He was not satisfied unless her form
Remained before him with her endless charm.
But when his bhu-ri of the field the sight
Beheld, the wild gazelles fled in affright.
And now without the cave they came in view
Of Zaidu waiting with sweet Kharim-tu,
And when Heabani saw the rounded form
Of bright Kharim-tu, her voluptuous charm
Drew him to her, and at her feet he sate
With wistful face, resigned to any fate.
Kharim-tu, smiling sweetly, bent her head,
Enticing him the tempter coyly said,
“Heabani, like a famous god thou art,
Why with these creeping things doth sleep thy heart?
Come thou with me to Erech Su-bu-ri