Babylonian and Assyrian Literature eBook

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

    Oh, weep! oh, weep! ye spirits of the air,
      Oh, weep! oh, weep!  An-un-na-ci! 
    Our own dear queen is filled with dread despair. 
      Oh, pour your tears, dear earth and sky,
    Oh, weep with bitter tears, O dear Sedu,
    O’er fearful deeds of Nin-azu;
        Ah, me, my brother!

    Let joy be stilled! and every hope be dead! 
      And tears alone our hearts distil. 
    My love has gone!—­to darkness he has fled;
      Dread sorrow’s cup for us, oh, fill! 
    And weep for Tammuz we have held so dear,
    Sweet sisters of the earth and air;
        Ah, me, my sister!

    Oh, come ye, dearest, dearest Zi-re-nu,
      With grace and mercy help us bear
    Our loss and hers; our weeping queen, oh, see! 
      And drop with us a sister’s tear. 
    Before your eyes our brother slain! oh, view;
    Oh, weep with us o’er him so true;
        Ah, me, his sister!

    The sky is dead; its beauty all is gone,
      Oh, weep, ye clouds, for my dead love! 
    Your queen in her dread sorrow now is prone. 
      O rocks and hills in tears, oh, move! 
    And all my heavenly flowerets for me weep,
    O’er him who now in death doth sleep;
        Ah, me, my Tammuz!

    Oh, drop o’er him your fragrant dewy tears,
      For your own queen who brings you joy,
    For Love, the Queen of Love, no longer cheers,
      Upon my heart it all doth cloy. 
    Alas!  I give you love, nor can receive,
    O all my children for me grieve;
        Ah, me, my Tammuz!

    Alas! alas! my heart is dying—­dead! 
      With all these bitter pangs of grief
    Despair hath fallen on my queenly head,
      Oh, is there, sisters, no relief? 
    Hath Tammuz from me ever, ever, gone? 
    My heart is dead, and turned to stone;
        Ah, me, his queen!

    My sister spirits, O my brothers dear,
      My sorrow strikes me to the earth;
    Oh, let me die!  I now no fate can fear,
      My heart is left a fearful dearth. 
    Alas, from me all joy! all joy! hath gone;
    Oh, Ninazu, what hast thou done? 
        Ah, me, his queen!”

To Hades’ world beyond our sight they go,
And leave upon the skies Mar-gid-da’s[3] glow,
That shines eternally along the sky,
The road where souls redeemed shall ever fly. 
Prince Tammuz now again to life restored,
Is crowned in Hades as its King and Lord,[4]
And Ishtar’s sorrow thus appeased, she flies
To earth, and fills with light and love the skies.

[Footnote 1:  “Zi-ni,” pronounced “Zee-nee,” spirits of the wind.]

[Footnote 2:  “Ah, me, my brother, and, ah, me, my sister!  Ah, me, Adonis (or Tammuz), and ah, me, his lady (or queen)!” is the wailing cry uttered by the worshippers of Tammuz or Adonis when celebrating his untimely death.  It is referred to in Jer. xxii. 18, and in Ezek. viii. 14, and Amos viii. 10, and Zech. xii. 10, 11.  See Smith’s revised edition of “Chal.  Acc. of Genesis,” by Sayce, pp. 247, 248.]

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Babylonian and Assyrian Literature from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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