Babylonian and Assyrian Literature eBook

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

Heabani loosed his grasp and stumbling falls,
And to his king approaching, thus he calls: 
“My friend, our strongest men are overthrown: 
But see! he comes! such strength was never known. 
With all my might I held him, but he fled! 
We both it can destroy!  Strike at its head!”
Like Rimmon now he flies upon the air,
As sceptred Nebo,[1] he his horns doth bear,
That flash with fire along the roaring skies,
[2]Around the Sar and seer he furious flies. 
Heabani grasps the plunging horns, nor breaks
His grasp; in vain the monster plunging shakes
His head, and roaring, upward furious rears. 
Heabani’s strength the mighty monster fears;
He holds it in his iron grasp, and cries: 
“Quick! strike!” Beneath the blows the monster dies;
And Izdubar now turned his furious face
Toward the gods, and on the beast doth place
His foot; he raised his gory sword on high,
And sent his shout defiant to the sky: 
“’Tis thus, ye foes divine! the Sar proclaims
His war against your power, and highest names! 
Hurl! hurl! your darts of fire, ye vile kal-bi![3]
My challenge hear! ye cravens of the sky!”

[Footnote 1:  “Nebo,” the holder of the sceptre of power; also the god of prophecy.]

[Footnote 2:  “Around” ("tarka"), or it may mean “between.”]

[Footnote 3:  “Kal-bi,” dogs.]



The monarch and his seer have cleft the head
From Anu’s bull prone lying on the mead. 
They now command to bring it from the plain
Within the city where they view the slain. 
The heart they brought to Samas’ holy shrine,
Before him laid the offering divine. 
Without the temple’s doors the monster lays,
And Ishtar o’er the towers the bulk surveys;
She spurns the carcass, cursing thus, she cries: 
“Woe! woe to Izdubar, who me defies! 
My power has overthrown, my champion slain;
Accursed Sar! most impious of men!”

Heabani heard the cursing of the Queen,
And from the carcass cleft the tail in twain,
Before her laid it; to the goddess said: 
“And wherefore comest thou with naught to dread? 
Since I with Izdubar have conquered thee,
Thou hearest me!  Before thee also see
Thine armored champion’s scales! thy beast is dead,”
And Ishtar from his presence furious fled,
And to her maids the goddess loudly calls
Joy and Seduction from the palace halls;
And o’er her champion’s death she mourning cries,
And flying with her maids, sped to the skies.

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