[Footnote 1: We have here quoted an Accadian hymn to the goddess of fate. ("Trans. Soc. of Bib. Arch.,” vol. ii. p. 39.)]
[Footnote 2: “Bu’i-du,” ghosts.]
[Footnote 3: Accadian hymn on the future of the just. ("Trans. Soc. of Bib. Arch.,” vol. ii. p. 32.)]
[Footnote 4: Assyrian fragmentary hymn ("W.A.I.,” iv. 25, col. v.), translated in “Records of the Past,” vol. xi. pp. 161, 162.]
[Footnote 5: The land of Mas, Mr. Sayce supposes, was situated west of the Euphrates Valley.]
[Footnote 6: “Dragons.” The word for this animal is “tammabuk-ku.” It was probably one of the monsters portrayed on the Babylonian cylinders now in the British Museum.]
HEABANI REVEALS TWO WONDERFUL VISIONS TO THE KING, ONE OF DEATH AND OBLIVION, AND THE OTHER OF HEAVEN, AND DIES IN THE ARMS OF THE KING
“But, oh, my King! to thee I now reveal
A secret that my heart would yet conceal,
To thee, my friend, two visions I reveal:
The first I oft have dreamed beneath some spell
Of night, when I enwrapped from all the world,
With Self alone communed.
By winged thought beyond this present life,
I seeming woke in a Dark World where rife
Was Nothingness,—a darksome mist it seemed,
All eke was naught;—no light for me there gleamed;
And floating ’lone, which way I turned, saw naught;
Nor felt of substance ’neath my feet, nor fraught
With light was Space around; nor cheerful ray
Of single star. The sun was quenched; or day
Or night, knew not. No hands had I, nor feet,
Nor head, nor body, all was void. No heat
Or cold I felt, no form could feel or see;
And naught I knew but conscious entity.
No boundary my being felt, or had;
And speechless, deaf, and blind, and formless, sad,
I floated through dark space,—a conscious blank!
No breath of air my spirit moved; I sank
I knew not where, till motionless I ceased
At last to move, and yet I could not rest,
Around me spread the Limitless, and Vast.
My cheerless, conscious spirit,—fixed and fast
In some lone spot in space was moveless, stark!
An atom chained by forces stern and dark,
With naught around me. Comfortless I lived
In my dread loneliness! Oh, how I grieved!
And thus, man’s fate in Life and Death is solved
With naught but consciousness, and thus involved
All men in hopes that no fruition have?
And this alone was all that death me gave?
That all had vanished, gone from me that life
Could give, and left me but a blank, with strife
Of rising thoughts, and vain regrets, to float;—
Away from life and light, be chained remote!