Babylonian and Assyrian Literature eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 283 pages of information about Babylonian and Assyrian Literature.
Beneath thy wand upon the ground he springs,
Transformed to a hyena; then was driven
From his own city—­by his dogs was riven. 
Next Is-ul-lan-u lov’st, uncouth, and rude,
Thy father’s laborer, who subject stood
To thee, and daily scoured thy vessels bright: 
His eyes from him were torn, before thy sight. 
And chained before thee, there thy lover stood,
With deadly poison placed within his food. 
Thou sayst: 
      ’O Isullanu, stretch thy hand! 
The food partake, that doth before thee stand!’
Then with thy hand didst offer him the food. 
He said:  ’What askest thou?  It is not good! 
I will not eat the poison thus prepared.’ 
Thy godly wand him from thy presence cleared,
Transformed him to a pillar far away. 
And for my love Queen Ishtar comes this day? 
As thou hast done with others, would thy love
Return to me, thine actions all doth prove.”

The queen in fury from his presence turned,
In speechless rage the palace halls she spurned;
And proudly from the earth swept to the skies;
Her godly train in terror quickly flies.

[Footnote 1:  “Zi-re-mu,” spirit of mercy or grace.]

[Footnote 2:  “Zi-lit-tu,” spirit of the mist.]

[Footnote 3:  “Seven kaspu,” fourteen hours; each kaspu was two hours.]

[Footnote 4:  “Sem-uk-ki,” translated by Sayce “stibium,” antimony; by Talbot, “luetarish semukki,” “thou who didst make evil with thy drugs.”—­ “Trans.  Soc.  Bib.  Arch.”, vol. v. p. 110.  Sayce’s edition Smith’s “C.A.G.,” p. 229.]

COLUMN III

ISHTAR COMPLAINS TO ANU, KING OF HEAVEN, WHO CREATES A WINGED BULL TO DESTROY ISHTAR

Before the throne of Anu, Ishtar cries,
And Anatu, the sovereigns of the skies: 
“O Sar, this king my beauty doth despise,
My sweetest charms beholds not with his eyes.” 
And Anu to his daughter thus replied: 
“My daughter, thou must crush his vaunting pride,
And he will claim thy beauty and thy charms,
And gladly lie within thy glorious arms.”

“I hate him now, O Sar, as I did love! 
Against the strength of Anu let him prove
His right divine to rule without our aid,
Before the strength of Anu let him bleed. 
Upon this giant Sar so filled with pride,
Let Anu’s winged bull[1] in fury ride,
And I will aid the beast to strike him prone,
Till he in death shall breathe his dying groan.” 
And Anu said:  “If thou to it shall join
Thy strength, which all thy noble names define
Thy glories[2] and thy power thus magnified,
Will humble him, who has thy power defied,”
And Ishtar thus:  “By all my might as queen
Of war and battles, where I proudly reign,
This Sar my hands shall strike upon the plain,
And end his strength and all his boastings vain. 
By all the noble names with gods I hold
As queen of war, this giant monarch bold,
Who o’er mine ancient city thinks to reign,
Shall lie for birds of prey upon the plain. 
For answering my love for thee with scorn,
Proud monarch! from thy throne thou shalt be torn!”

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Babylonian and Assyrian Literature from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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