Excerpt From The Epic of Gilgamesh In Plain and Simple English
Column I INVOCATION
O LOVE, my queen and goddess, come to me;
My soul shall never cease to worship thee;
Come pillow here thy head upon my breast,
And whisper in my lyre thy softest, best,
And sweetest melodies of bright Sami,
Our Happy Fields above dear Subartu;
Come nestle closely with those lips of love
And balmy breath, and I with thee shall rove
Through Sari past ere life on earth was known,
And Time unconscious sped not, nor had flown.
Love, my queen and goddess, visit me;
my soul shall always worship you;
come and rest your head upon my chest,
and sing to the music of my lyre your softest and best
sweetest melodies about bright heaven,
our Happy Fields above dear Syria;
nestle closely to me with your loving lips
and sweet breath, and I shall wander with you
out of time, before there was life on earth,
and where time had no meaning.
Thou art our all in this impassioned life:
How sweetly comes thy presence ending strife,
Thou god of peace and Heaven's undying joy,
Oh, hast thou ever left one pain or cloy
Upon this beauteous world to us so dear?
To all mankind thou art their goddess here.
To thee we sing, our holiest, fairest god,
The One who in that awful chaos trod
And woke the Elements by Law of Love
To teeming worlds in harmony to move.
From chaos thou hast led us by thy hand,
Thus spoke to man upon that budding land:
"The Queen of Heaven, of the dawn am I,
The goddess of all wide immensity,
For thee I open wide the golden gate
Of happiness, and for thee love create
To glorify the heavens and fill with joy
The earth, its children with sweet love employ."
You are everything to us in this turbulent life:
how sweetly you come, ending our troubles,
God of peace and the eternal joy of heaven,
have you left us anything painful or troublesome
in this beautiful world we love so much?
You are the goddess of all mankind.
We sing to you, our holiest most beautiful God,
the one who walked through terrible chaos
and created the elements from love,
moving them harmoniously to create the planets.
You took us by the hand and led us from chaos,
and said to the first men in that newly created land:
“I am the Queen of Heaven, I come from the dawn,
I am the goddess of all of space,
I'm opening the golden gate of happiness
wide for you, and I have created love for you
to make the heavens glorious and fill the earth
with joy, when its children show sweet love."
Thou gavest then the noblest melody
And highest bliss--grand nature's harmony.
With love the finest particle is rife,
And deftly woven in the woof of life,
In throbbing dust or clasping grains of sand,
In globes of glistening dew that shining stand
On each pure petal, Love's own legacies
Of flowering verdure, Earth's sweet panoplies;
By love those atoms sip their sweets and pass
To other atoms, join and keep the mass
With mighty forces moving through all space,
'Tis thus on earth all life has found its place.
Through Kisar, Love came formless through the air
In countless forms behold her everywhere!
Then you gave us the most noble melody
and greatest ecstasy–the grand harmony of nature.
The smallest particle is filled with love,
and love is cunningly woven into the tapestry of life,
it's in the swirling dust or sticky grains of sand,
in the droplets of glistening dew that shine
on each pure petal, the gift of love
in flowering greenery, the sweet array of Earth's glories;
love allows those atoms to drink their sweetness
and join with other atoms, keeping pace
with the great forces running through the universe,
and so all life on Earth was made.
Love flowed through the air without form from Kisar
and it can be seen everywhere, in everything!
Oh, could we hear those whispering roses sweet,
Three beauties bending till their petals meet,
And blushing, mingling their sweet fragrance there
In language yet unknown to mortal ear.
Their whisperings of love from morn till night
Would teach us tenderly to love the right.
O Love, here stay! Let chaos not return!
With hate each atom would its lover spurn
In air above, on land, or in the sea,
O World, undone and lost that loseth thee!
For love we briefly come, and pass away
For other men and maids; thus bring the day
Of love continuous through this glorious life.
Oh, hurl away those weapons fierce of strife!
We here a moment, point of time but live,
Too short is life for throbbing hearts to grieve.
Thrice holy is that form that love hath kissed,
And happy is that man with heart thus blessed.
Oh, let not curses fall upon that head
Whom love hath cradled on the welcome bed
Of bliss, the bosom of our fairest god,
Or hand of love e'er grasp the venging rod.
Oh, if only we could hear those sweet whispering roses,
the three beauties bending over until their petals meet,
and they blush and mingle their sweet perfumes
in a language man cannot yet understand.
Hearing them whisper of love from morning until night
would teach us how to love ourselves.
Oh love, stay here! Don't let chaos come back!
Every atom would reject his partner
in the air, on land or in the sea,
and the world will be lost and destroyed without you!
We come here to briefly enjoy love, and then make way
for other men and girls; so let us enjoy
love throughout this glorious life!
Oh throw away those terrible weapons of war!
We are only here for a moment, life lasts just an instant,
it's too short for warm hearts to spend it in grieving.
The thing that is touched by love is triply holy,
and the man whose heart has been blessed with it is happy.
Do not let curses fall upon the head of him
who has experienced love, been welcomed to
happiness in the heart of our most beautiful god,
and do not let him ever turn to violence.
Oh, come, dear Zir-ri, tune your lyres and lutes,
And sing of love with chastest, sweetest notes,
Of Accad's goddess Ishtar, Queen of Love,
And Izdubar, with softest measure move;
Great Samas' son, of him dear Zir-ri sing!
Of him whom goddess Ishtar warmly wooed,
Of him whose breast with virtue was imbued.
He as a giant towered, lofty grown,
As Babil's great pa-te-si was he known,
His armèd fleet commanded on the seas
And erstwhile travelled on the foreign leas;
His mother Ellat-gula on the throne
From Erech all Kardunia ruled alone.
Come, dear river spirits, tune your lyres and lutes,
and sing about love with the purest sweetest melodies,
about Accad's goddess Ishtar, Queen of Love,
and Gilgamesh, play us your loveliest music;
dear spirits, singing of the son of great Samas!
The one whom the goddess Ishtar keenly pursued,
whose heart was full of all goodness.
He towered like a giant, very tall,
and he was known as a great Prince of Babylon;
his Navy ruled over the seas
and at times he travelled to foreign lands;
his mother Ellat-Gula was the sole ruler
over all Babylonia from her throne in Erech.
Column II THE FALL OF ERECH
O Moon-god, hear my cry! With thy pure light
Oh, take my spirit through that awful night
That hovers o'er the long-forgotten years,
To sing Accadia's songs and weep her tears!
'Twas thus I prayed, when lo! my spirit rose
On fleecy clouds, enwrapt in soft repose;
And I beheld beneath me nations glide
In swift succession by, in all their pride:
The earth was filled with cities of mankind,
And empires fell beneath a summer wind.
The soil and clay walked forth upon the plains
In forms of life, and every atom gains
A place in man or breathes in animals;
And flesh and blood and bones become the walls
Of palaces and cities, which soon fall
To unknown dust beneath some ancient wall.
Oh Moon–god, hear my cry! Let me ride through
the awful night which obscures those
long forgotten years on your moonbeams,
let me sing the songs of Accadia and share her tears!
That was how I prayed, and suddenly my spirit rose
on fleecy clouds, resting softly;
and I saw nations pass before me
in quick succession, in their greatness:
the Earth was filled with the cities of men,
and empires collapsed in the blink of an eye.
The soil and clay took shape and walked
as living forms, every atom became
part of a man or an animal;
and flesh and blood and bones became the walls
of palaces and cities,
which soon fell into anonymous dust outside ancient walls.
All this I saw while guided by the stroke
Of unseen pinions:
Then amid the smoke
That rose o'er burning cities, I beheld
White Khar-sak-kur-ra's brow arise that held
The secrets of the gods--that felt the prore
Of Khasisadra's ark; I heard the roar
Of battling elements, and saw the waves
That tossed above mankind's commingled graves.
The mighty mountain as some sentinel
Stood on the plains alone; and o'er it fell
A halo, bright, divine; its summit crowned
With sunbeams, shining on the earth around
And o'er the wide expanse of plains;--below
Lay Khar-sak-kal-ama with light aglow,
And nestling far away within my view
Stood Erech, Nipur, Marad, Eridu,
And Babylon, the tower-city old,
In her own splendor shone like burnished gold.
I saw all this while being guided by
then among the smoke that
rows over burning cities, I saw
the white top of Ararat which contained
the secrets of the gods–where the
Ark came to rest; I heard the roar
of the battling elements, and saw the waves
tossing over the graves of men.
The great mountain stood alone
on the plains like some watchtower; and it was
crowned with a bright heavenly halo; its summit
shone with sunbeams, shining on all
the wide plains around it; below
was Kharsakkalama shining with light,
and far away I could see
Erech, Nipur, Marad, Eridu,
and Babylon, the old towered city,
shining in splendour like polished gold.
And lo! grand Erech in her glorious days
Lies at my feet. I see a wondrous maze
Of vistas, groups, and clustering columns round,
Within, without the palace;--from the ground
Of outer staircases, massive, grand,
Stretch to the portals where the pillars stand.
A thousand carvèd columns reaching high
To silver rafters in an azure sky,
And palaces and temples round it rise
With lofty turrets glowing to the skies,
And massive walls far spreading o'er the plains,
Here live and move Accadia's courtly trains,
And see! the pit-u-dal-ti at the gates,
And masari patrol and guard the streets!
And look! There was great Erech in glorious days
lying at my feet. I saw a wonderful maze
of views, groups, and surrounding columns,
inside and outside the palace; from the ground
the outside staircases, massive and grand,
climbed up to the doors where the pillars stood.
a thousand carved columns stretched up
to silver rafters in a blue sky,
and palaces and temples rose around it,
with their high battlements glowing against the sky,
and huge walls spreading far out over the plains,
where the royal caravans of Accadia lived and journeyed,
and look! There are the gatekeepers at their posts,
and the watchmen guard and patrol the streets!
And yonder comes a kis-ib, nobleman,
With a young prince; and see! a caravan
Winds through the gates! With men the streets are filled!
And chariots, a people wise and skilled
In things terrestrial, what science, art,
Here reign! With laden ships from every mart
The docks are filled, and foreign fabrics bring
From peoples, lands, where many an empire, king,
Have lived and passed away, and naught have left
In. history or song. Dread Time hath cleft
Us far apart; their kings and kingdoms, priests
And bards are gone, and o'er them sweep the mists
Of darkness backward spreading through all time,
Their records swept away in every clime.
Those alabaster stairs let us ascend,
And through this lofty portal we will wend.
See! richest Sumir rugs amassed, subdue
The tilèd pavement with its varied hue,
Upon the turquoise ceiling sprinkled stars
Of gold and silver crescents in bright pairs!
And gold-fringed scarlet curtains grace each door,
And from the inlaid columns reach the floor:
From golden rods extending round the halls,
Bright silken hangings drape the sculptured walls.
And there comes a kis-ib, a noble man,
with the young Prince; and look! There's a caravan
coming through the gates! The streets are filled with men!
There are chariots too, these are people wise and skilled
in earthly things, what science and art
they have! The docks are filled with ships heavy with
goods from every land, bringing strange fabrics
from peoples and lands where many empires and kings
have existed and disappeared, leaving nothing
in history or song. Awful time has pulled us
far apart; their kings and kingdoms, priests
and poets have gone, and the dark mists of time
sweep over them, covering everything behind us,
every memory of them has been lost.
Let us climb up those marble stairs,
and go through this high door.
See there the finest Sumir rugs piled up,
covering the multicoloured tiled pavement,
and on the turquoise ceiling there are stars
of gold and silver crescents shining brightly!
Scarlet curtains with golden fringes decorate each door,
hanging down to the floor from the decorated architraves:
bright silk hangings cover the smooth walls
hanging down from gold rods all around the halls.
But part those scarlet hangings at the door
Of yon grand chamber! tread the antique floor!
Behold the sovereign on her throne of bronze,
While crouching at her feet a lion fawns;
The glittering court with gold and gems ablaze
With ancient splendor of the glorious days
Of Accad's sovereignty. Behold the ring
Of dancing beauties circling while they sing
With amorous forms in moving melody,
The measure keep to music's harmony.
Hear! how the music swells from silver lute
And golden-stringèd lyres and softest flute
And harps and tinkling cymbals, measured drums,
While a soft echo from the chamber comes.
Let us open those scarlet curtains by the door
of that great room! Walk across the ancient floor!
See the Queen on her bronze throne,
with a lion crouching playing at her feet;
the glittering court shines with gold and jewels,
the ancient splendour of the great days
of Accad's rule. Look at the circle
of dancing beauties who go around as they sing,
moving erotically to the music,
keeping time with it.
Listen to how the music swells from the silver lute
and golden stringed lyres and the softest flutes,
harps and tinkling cymbals, beating drums,
and the room softly echoes their music.
But see! the sovereign lifts her jewelled hand,
The music ceases at the Queen's command;
And lo! two chiefs in warrior's array,
With golden helmets plumed with colors gay,
And golden shields, and silver coats of mail,
Obeisance make to her with faces pale,
Prostrate themselves before their sovereign's throne;
In silence brief remain with faces prone,
Till Ellat-gula speaks: "My chiefs, arise!
What word have ye for me? what new surprise?
Tur-tau-u, rising, says, "O Dannat Queen!
Thine enemy, Khum-baba with Rim-siu
With clanging shields, appears upon the hills,
And Elam's host the land of Sumir fills."
"Away, ye chiefs! sound loud the nappa-khu!
Send to their post each warrior bar-ru!"
But look! The Queen lifts up her jewelled hand,
and the music stops at her command;
and see! Two chiefs dressed in armour,
their golden helmets topped with bright feathers,
with golden shields and silver chainmail coats,
pay their respects to her with pale faces,
lying face down in front of the throne of their ruler;
for a moment they stayed lying there
until Ellat-gula spoke: “Stand up, my chiefs!
What news do you have for me? What new things?"
Tur-tau-u, getting up, said, “Oh powerful queen!
Your enemy, Khumbaba, has appeared on
the hillside with Rim-siu, threatening war,
and the armies of Elam have overrun the lands of Sumir."
“Go, chiefs! Sound the war trumpet loud!
Send each officer to their post!"
The gray embattlements rose in the light
That lingered yet from Samas' rays, ere Night
Her sable folds had spread across the sky.
Thus Erech stood, where in her infancy
The huts of wandering Accads had been built
Of soil, and rudely roofed by woolly pelt
O'erlaid upon the shepherd's worn-out staves,
And yonder lay their fathers' unmarked graves.
Their chieftains in those early days oft meet
Upon the mountains where they Samas greet,
With their rude sacrifice upon a tree
High-raised that their sun-god may shilling see
Their offering divine; invoking pray
For aid, protection, blessing through the day.
The grey battlements rose, lit by
the light that still lingered from the sun, before night
had spread her black cloak across the sky.
So Erech stood, where when she was first founded
the huts of the nomadic Accads had been built
of soil, and crudely covered with woolly hides,
stretched on the discarded sticks of shepherds,
and over there were the unmarked graves of their fathers.
In those early days their chieftains often met
on the mountains, where they greeted the sun
with a rough sacrifice on a tree,
raised up high so that their sun god could see
their divine offering; and they would pray
for help, protection and blessings throughout the day.
Beneath these walls and palaces abode
The spirit of their country--each man trod
As if his soul to Erech's weal belonged,
And heeded not the enemy which thronged
Before the gates, that now were closed with bars
Of bronze thrice fastened.
Below those walls and palaces there lived
the lifeblood of the country–each man walked
as if his soul belonged to the kingdom of Erech,
and ignored the enemy which gathered
in front of the gates, that were now closed with
bars of bronze, triply fastened.
See the thousand cars
And chariots arrayed across the plains!
The marching hosts of Elam's armèd trains,
The archers, slingers in advance amassed,
With black battalions in the centre placed,
With chariots before them drawn in line,
Bedecked with brightest trappings iridine.,
While gorgeous plumes of Elam's horses nod
Beneath the awful sign of Elam's god.
On either side the mounted spearsmen far
Extend; and all the enginery of war
Are brought around the walls with fiercest shouts,
And from behind their shields each archer shoots.
See the thousand carts
and chariots spread out across the plains!
The marching armies of Elam's columns,
the archers and slingshot men leading,
with black forces placed in the centre,
with chariots lined up in front of them,
covered with rainbow coloured decorations,
while the horses tossed their gorgeous plumes
underneath the terrible symbol of the god of Elam.
On either side the lancers spread out;
and all the machinery of war
was brought up to the walls with fierce shouts,
and all the archers shot from behind their shields.
Thus Erech is besieged by her dread foes,
And she at last must feel Accadia's woes,
And feed the vanity of conquerors,
Who boast o'er victories in all their wars.
Great Subartu has fallen by Sutu
And Kassi, Goim fell with Lul-lu-bu,
Thus Khar-sak-kal-a-ma all Eridu
O'erran with Larsa's allies; Subartu
With Duran thus was conquered by these sons
Of mighty Shem and strewn was Accad's bones
Throughout her plains, and mountains, valleys fair,
Unburied lay in many a wolf's lair.
So Erech was besieged by her terrible enemies,
and at last she had to feel the suffering of Accadia,
and feed the vanity of her conquerors,
who like to boast about their victories in war.
Great Subartu fell to Sutu
and Kassi, Goim fell with Lul-lu-bu,
and Khar-sak-kal-a-ma overran all of
Eridu with the allies of Larsa; this is how
Subartu was conquered by Duran, the sons
of mighty Shem, and the bones of the Accads
were strewn across the plains and mountains and sweet valleys,
and many lay unburied in wolfs' caves.
Oh, where is Accad's chieftain Izdubar,
Her mightiest unrivalled prince of war?
The turrets on the battlemented walls
Swarm with skilled bowmen, archers--from them falls
A cloud of wingèd missiles on their foes,
Who swift reply with shouts and twanging bows;
And now amidst the raining death appears
The scaling ladder, lined with glistening spears,
But see! the ponderous catapults now crush
The ladder, spearsmen, with their mighty rush
Of rocks and beams, nor in their fury slacked
As if a toppling wall came down intact
Upon the maddened mass of men below.
Oh, where is Accad's chieftain Gilgamesh,
her greatest unbeaten warrior?
The turrets on the battlements
were covered with skilled archers–from them fell
a cloud of arrows on their enemies,
who swiftly answered with shouts and return fire;
and now in the middle of the rain of death there appeared
a scaling ladder, covered in glistening spears,
but look! The heavy catapults now crushed
the ladder and the spearmen, with a great thunder
of rocks and wood, and they collapsed
on the furious crowd of men below
as if a wall had come down in one piece.
But other ladders rise, and up them flow
The tides of armèd spearsmen with their shields;
From others bowmen shoot, and each man wields,
A weapon, never yielding to his foe,
For death alone he aims with furious blow.
At last upon the wall two soldiers spring,
A score of spears their corses backward fling.
But others take their place, and man to man,
And spear to spear, and sword to sword, till ran
The walls with slippery gore; but Erech's men
Are brave and hurl them from their walls again.
And now the battering-rams with swinging power
Commence their thunders, shaking every tower;
And miners work beneath the crumbling walls,
Alas! before her foemen Erech falls.
Vain are suspended chains against the blows
Of dire assaulting engines.
But other ladders rose up, and up them swarmed
great hordes of armed spearmen with their shields;
archers shot from others, every man had
a weapon and did not give in to his enemy,
death was all they were thinking about.
At last two soldiers sprang onto the wall,
and twenty spears threw their bodies back.
But others took their place, and they fought man-to-man,
spear to spear and sword to sword, until
the walls were covered in blood; but the men of Erech
are brave and hurled them back from their walls again.
And now the battering rams with their pendulous power
began to beat against every tower;
and diggers began to undermine the walls,
alas! Erech fell to her enemies.
There were no barriers which could withstand
the dreadful siege engines.
Ho! there goes
The eastern wall with Erech's strongest tower!
And through the breach her furious foemen pour:
A wall of steel withstands the onset fierce,
But thronging Elam's spears the lines soon pierce,
A band of chosen men there fight to die,
Before their enemies disdain to fly;
The masari within the breach thus died,
And with their dying shout the foe defied.
The foes swarm through the breach and o'er the walls,
And Erech in extremity loud calls
Upon the gods for aid, but prays for naught,
While Elam's soldiers, to a frenzy wrought,
Pursue and slay, and sack the city old
With fiendish shouts for blood and yellow gold.
Look! There goes
the eastern wall of the strongest tower of Erech!
Through the breach the furious enemies charged:
a wall of shields stood against the assault,
but the gathered spears soon pierced the defences,
where a band of chosen men fought to the death,
refusing to run from their enemies;
the guards who manned the breach died there,
and defied the enemy with their dying shouts.
The enemies swarmed through the breach and over the walls,
and in her greatest danger Erech called upon
the gods for help, but none came,
while the soldiers of Elam, whipped into a frenzy,
chase them and kill them, and sacked the old city,
screaming for blood and for gold.
Each man that falls the foe decapitates,
And bears the reeking death to Erech's gates.
The gates are hidden 'neath the pile of heads
That climbs above the walls, and outward spreads
A heap of ghastly plunder bathed in blood.
Beside them calm scribes of the victors stood,
And careful note the butcher's name, and check
The list; and for each head a price they make.
Thus pitiless the sword of Elam gleams
And the best blood of Erech flows in streams.
From Erech's walls some fugitives escape,
And others in Euphrates wildly leap,
And hide beneath its rushes on the bank
And many 'neath the yellow waters sank.
The enemies decapitated every man that fell,
and carried the reeking corpses to the gates of Erech.
The gates became hidden beneath a pile of heads
that climbed higher than the walls and spread out
in a ghastly heap of bloodsoaked plunder.
Next to them the calm clerks of the victors stood, and
carefully wrote down the name of the butcher, and ticked
them off the list; and they gave a reward for each head.
So the swords of Elam flashed pitilessly,
and the best blood of Erech ran in rivers.
Some fugitives managed to escape the town,
and others dived wildly into the Euphrates,
and hid beneath the rushes on the bank,
and many drowned in the yellow waters.
The harper of the Queen, an agèd man,
Stands lone upon the bank, while he doth scan
The horizon with anxious, careworn face,
Lest ears profane of Elam's hated race
Should hear his strains of mournful melody:
Now leaning on his harp in memory
Enwrapt, while fitful breezes lift his locks
Of snow, he sadly kneels upon the rocks
And sighing deeply clasps his hands in woe,
While the dread past before his mind doth flow.
A score and eight of years have slowly passed
Since Rim-a-gu, with Elam's host amassed,
Kardunia's ancient capital had stormed.
The glorious walls and turrets are transformed
To a vast heap of ruins, weird, forlorn,
And Elam's spears gleam through the coming morn.
The Queen's harpist, an old man,
stood alone on the bank, while he searched
the horizon with an anxious careworn face,
not wanting the vulgar ears of the hated Elamites
to hear his sad music:
now he leaned on his harp absorbed with
his memories, while sporadic breezes blew his
grey hair, he knelt down sadly on the rocks
and sighing deeply wrung his hands in sorrow,
while the terrible past went through his mind.
Twenty eight years had slowly past
since Rim-a-gu, with the armies of Elam,
had stormed the ancient capital of Kardunia.
The glorious walls and turrets have been smashed
into a great heap of ruins, strange and sad,
and the spears of the Elamites gleamed in the dawn.
From the sad sight his eyes he turns away,
His soul breathes through his harp while he doth play
With bended head his agèd hands thus woke
The woes of Erech with a measured stroke:
He turned his eyes away from the sad sight,
and his soul breathed through his harp as he played;
with his head bowed down his ancient hands
played the song of the sorrows of Erech:
O Erech! dear Erech, my beautiful home,
Accadia's pride, O bright land of the bard,
Come back to my vision, dear Erech, oh, come!
Fair land of my birth, how thy beauty is marred!
The horsemen of Elam, her spearsmen and bows,
Thy treasures have ravished, thy towers thrown down,
And Accad is fallen, trod down by her foes.
Oh, where are thy temples of ancient renown?
Oh Erech! Dear Erech, my beautiful home,
the pride of Accadia, the bright land of poetry,
please come back to my sight, dear Erech, oh come!
My beautiful motherland, how your beauty has been disfigured!
The cavalry of Elam, her lancers and archers,
have raped your treasures, destroyed or towers,
and Accad has fallen, trampled by her enemies.
Oh, where are your temples that were once so famous?
Gone are her brave heroes beneath the red tide,
Gone are her white vessels that rode o'er the main,
No more on the river her pennon shall ride,
Gargan-na is fallen, her people are slain.
Wild asses shall gallop across thy grand floors,
And wild bulls shall paw them and hurl the dust high
Upon the wild cattle that flee through her doors,
And doves shall continue her mournful slave's cry.
Her brave heroes have fallen beneath the tide of blood,
and her white ships that crossed the sea have gone,
and her flag will no longer be seen on the river,
Gargan-na has fallen, her people are killed.
Wild asses will gallop across your great floors,
and wild bulls shall stamp on them and stir up the dust
which will fall on the wild cattle that run through her doors,
and doves will echo the mournful cries of the slaves.
Oh, where are the gods of our Erech so proud,
As flies they are swarming away from her halls,
The Sedu of Erech are gone as a cloud,
As wild fowl are flying away from her walls.
Three years did she suffer, besieged by her foes,
Her gates were thrown down and defiled by the feet
Who brought to poor Erech her tears and her woes,
In vain to our Ishtar with prayers we entreat.
Oh, where are the gods of our proud Erech,
they have fled away from her halls like flies,
the spirits of prosperity have flocked away
like wildfowl flying away from her walls.
She suffered for three years, besieged by her enemies,
her gates were destroyed and defiled by the feet
of the enemies who brought poor Erech her tears and sorrows,
and we vainly beg Ishtar with our prayers.
To Ishtar bowed down doth our Bel thus reply,
"Come, Ishtar, my queenly one, hide all thy tears,
Our hero, Tar-u-man-i izzu Sar-ri,
In Kipur is fortified with his strong spears.
The hope of Kardunia, land of my delight,
Shall come to thy rescue, upheld by my hands,
Deliverer of peoples, whose heart is aright,
Protector of temples, shall lead his brave bands.
Bel spoke to be sorrowing Ishtar;
“Calm, Ishtar, my queen, hide all your tears,
our hero, the son of the fire kings,
is protected in Kipur by strong forces.
The hope of Kardunia, my favourite land,
will come to your rescue, supported by me,
the saviour of peoples, who has a strong heart,
the protector of temples will bring his brave armies.
Awake then, brave Accad, to welcome the day!
Behold thy bright banners yet flaming on high,
Triumphant are streaming on land and the sea!
Arise, then, O Accad! behold the Sami!
Arranged in their glory the mighty gods come
In purple and gold the grand Tam-u doth shine
Over Erech, mine Erech, my beautiful home,
Above thy dear ashes, behold thy god's sign!
So awake, brave Accad, welcome in the day!
See your bright banners are still waving aloft,
triumphantly flying over land and sea!
So arise, oh Accad! Look at the sun!
The mighty gods are coming dressed in glory,
the great Dawn shines purple and gold
over Erech, my Erech, my beautiful home,
see the sign of your god above your dear ashes!