Babylonian and Assyrian Literature eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 283 pages of information about Babylonian and Assyrian Literature.

Here ends the tablet,[5] “When the hero viewed
The fountain which within the garden stood.”

[Footnote 1:  “La-Atzu,” Hades, hell, the spirit-world.]

[Footnote 2:  “Gesdin,” the Tree of Life and Immortality.]

[Footnote 3:  See Sayce’s edition Smith’s “Chald.  Acc. of Gen.,” p. 264.]

[Footntoe 4:  “Eridu,” the Garden of Eden.  Idem, pp. 84-86.]

[Footnote 5:  “Tablet of the series; when the hero Izdubar saw the fountain.”—­Sayce’s edition Smith’s “Chald.  Acc. of Gen.,” p. 264, l. 14.]

TABLET VIII—­COLUMN I

THE KING’S ADVENTURE AT THE GATE OF THE GARDEN OF THE GODS WITH THE TWO MAIDENS—­ONE OF THEM LEADS HIM INTO THE HAPPY HALLS—­SONGS OF THE SABITU AND ZI-SI.

A gate half opened shows the silvery sea
Yet distant shining lambent on his way. 
And now he sees young Siduri,[1] whose breast
Infuses life; all nature she hath blest,
Whose lips are flames, her arms are walls of fire,
Whose love yields pleasures that can never tire,
She to the souls who joy on earth here miss,
Grants them above a holier, purer bliss. 
The maiden sits within a holy shrine
Beside the gate with lustrous eyes divine,
And beckons to the King, who nearer comes,
And near her glows the Happy Palace domes.

And lo! ’tis she his lips have fondly kissed
Within the garden, when like fleeing mist
She disappeared with the bright spirit Seven,[2]
The Sabit, who oft glide from earth to Heaven. 
And lo! one of the Seven, Sabitu,
Emerging from the gate doth jealous view
The coming hero who hath kissed her mate,
She angry springs within to close the gate,
And bars it, enters then the inner halls,
And Izdubar to her now loudly calls,
“O Sabitu! what see-est thou, my maid? 
Of Izdubar is Sabitu afraid? 
Thy gate thou barrest thus before my face. 
Quick, open for me! or I’ll force the brass!”
The maid now frightened opens wide the door. 
The Sar and Siduri now tread the floor
Of the bright palace where sweet joy doth reign. 
Through crystal halls ’neath golden roofs the twain
Next go within a lofty ceilinged hall,
With shining pearled columns, golden wall,
And purple silken hangings at each door,
With precious gems inlaid upon the floor;
Where couches grand are spread for one to rest
Beneath the softened rays that sweet invest
The senses with a thrill of happiness;
Where Siduri with joy all souls doth bless. 
The maid sits on a couch and turns her face
Toward the King with that immortal grace
That love to gods and men will e’er bestow. 
Their eyes now mingling with a happy glow,
The maiden sweetly says:  “Where wouldst thou go? 
Within these Happy Halls we joy but know,
And if thou wilt, my King, my heart is thine! 
Our love will ever bring us bliss divine.”

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Babylonian and Assyrian Literature from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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