To Erech's palaces returns the Sar,
Rich laden with Khumbaba's spoils of war.
The land of Ur with grandest glories shines--
And gleams with palaces and towers and shrines.
The plain with temples, cities, walls is filled,
And wide canals, and yellow harvests tilled.
Grand Erech to the sight presents no walls
In ruins laid, but glows with turrets, halls;
With splendor proudly shines across the plain.
And now with joy he meets his courtly train;
Their shouts of welcome rend the gleaming skies,
And happiness beams from his people's eyes.
Within the walls he rides with kingly pride,
And all his chiefs and seers beside him ride;
To his grand palace they now lead the way,
To crown him king of Subartu this day.
Arrayed in splendor on his throne, the Sar
Before him eyes the Kassite spoils of war,[paragraph continues]
Khumbaba's crown of gold, and blazing gems,
The richest of the Kassite diadems,
The royal sceptre of all Subartu,
Of Larsa, Ur, Kardunia and Sutu
The Sar upon his brow the crown now bound,
Receives the sceptre while his courts resound
With shouts for Sar-dan-nu of Subartu,
The Sar of Kip-rat arba 1 and Sutu,
Of Sumir, Accad, Nipur, Bar-ili, 2
And Erech, Larsa, Mairu, and Kus-si,
Of Mal-al-nak, Kitu;--the sky resounds--
For Iz-zu-bar-ili, 3 from earth rebounds;
For Nam-mu-rabi, Bar-bels king of fire.
What king to his great glory can aspire?
The Zig-gur-at-u to the skies
His hands have built, where holy fires
To Samas burn; its flame ne'er dies,
To holiness lead man's desires.
He opens wide the fiery gates
Of all the gods at Dintir old,
Ka-ding-ir-a. 4 This day completes
His grandeur--may it far be told
Of our great Sar whose godly gate
Wide opens Heaven's joy for man,
Of Iz-zu-bar-ili the great,
Who rules from Khar-sak to the main.
Within the entrance to the royal rooms,
Queen Ishtar with her train in splendor comes,
Her radiant form with glistening gems ablaze,
And shining crescent with its glorious rays,
Glow with bright Heaven's unremitting flame;
Thus came the Queen of Love of godly fame.
The richest robe of gods her form enshrines,
With every charm of Heaven and earth she shines;[paragraph continues]
of their wide splendors robs the farthest skies,
That she with love her hero may surprise.
Her train she robes with liveries of Heaven,
To her are all the dazzling splendors given.
The glittering court is filled with chiefs and seers,
When Ishtar at the entrance now appears,
The Ner-kalli, 5 her heralds at the door,
As some grand sovereign from a foreign shore,
The goddess proudly enters with her train,
The spirits of the earth, and tossing main,
From mountains, rivers, woods, and running streams;
And every spirit where the sunlight gleams,
Now fill the courts and palaces and halls,
And thousands glowing bright surround the walls;
Each wafting wind brings I-gi-gi 6 that soar
Above An-un-na-ci from every shore,
And herald Ishtar's presence, Queen of Love,
With music through the halls, around, above.
From lyres and lutes their softest wooings bring,
As Ishtar bows before her lover king.
A halo from the goddess fills the halls,
And shines upon the dazzling jewelled walls.
The Sar and seers in wonder were amazed
At the sweet strains, and glorious light that blazed;
Transfixed in silence stood, as she now spoke,
And sweeter music through the palace woke.
Like fragrant zephyrs, warbling from retreats
Of gardens of the gods, she thus entreats
From Izdubar her welcome, or a glance
Of love; and she the Sar would thus entrance:
"Thy wisdom, Sar, surpasses all mankind,
In thee, O king! no blemish do I find.
The Queen of Heaven favor seeks from thee,
I come with love, and prostrate bend the knee.
My follies past, I hope thou wilt forgive,
Alone I love thee, with thee move and live;
My heart's affections to thee, me have led,
To woo thee to thine Ishtar's marriage bed.
O kiss me, my beloved! I adore
Thee! Hear me! I renounce the godly shore
With all its hollow splendor where as queen
I o'er the heavenly hosts, unrivaled reign
In grandest glory on my shining throne;
And yet for thee my heart here pines alone,
I cannot live without my Izdubar!
My husband's love and simple word shall far
Surpass the godly bond. O let me, king,
Rest on thy breast, and happiness will cling
To all the blissful days which shall be thine.
With glory of the skies, my love shall shine.
O Izdubar, my king! this love below
Is grander here than mortals e'er can know,
For this I leave my throne in yonder skies,
And at the feet of love thy queen now lies.
Oh, let me taste with thee the sweets of love,
And I my love for thee will grandly prove,
And thou shalt ride upon a diamond car,
Lined with pure gold; and jeweled horns of war
Shall stud it round like rays of Samas' fire.
Rich gifts whate'er my lover shall desire,
Thy word shall bring to thee, my Sar-dan-nu!
Lo! all the wealth that gods above can view,
I bring to thee with its exhaustless store.
Oh, come my love! within the halls, where more
Than I have named is found, all, all is thine;
Oh, come with me within our halls divine!
Amid the fragrant odors of the pines,
And all shrubs and flowers, vines,
Euphrates' zir-ri there shall sing for thee,
And dance around thy feet with zi-mu-ri 7
And kings and lords and princes I will bring
To bow to thee, beloved, glorious king!
With tribute from the mountains and the plains,
As offerings to thee. Thy flocks shall twins
Bring forth; and herds of fattened, lowing kine
Shall fast increase upon the plains divine.[paragraph continues]
Thy warrior steeds shall prance with flowing manes,
Resistless with thy chariot on the plain.
Vast spoils, thy beasts of burden far shall bear,
Unrivaled then shall be my king of war;
And victory o'er all, thine eyes shall view,
And loud acclaims shall rend the bright Samu."
78:1 "Kip-rat arba," the four races or regions.
78:2 "Bar-ili," from "bar" gate, and "ili," of the gods--Babel, bab--originates from the Accadian word "bar," Semitic "bab;" thus Babel was originally called "bar-ili." See Taylor and Furst. The latter renders it "Bar-(bir-)Bel," "town of Belus."
78:3 "Izzu-bar-ili" we believe to be the original name of Izdubar, afterward shortened to Izdubar, and means literally the fire-king of "bar-ili," or the "fire-king of the gate of the gods." This identifies him with Nimrod, the founder of Par-bet or Babylon.
78:4 Ka-ding-ir-a (Ace.), "gate of God"--Pinches.
79:5 "Ner-kalli," or "Ner-ekalli," chief of the palace.
79:6 "I-gi-gi", pronounced "e-gee-gee," spirits of heaven.
80:7 "Zi-mu-ri," spirits of the light.