Epic of Ishtar and Izdubar: Ishtar’s Midnight Courtship in The Palace Of Izdubar [Part 7]; Assyrian

As Samas’ car sank in the glowing west,
And Sin the moon-god forth had come full drest
For starry dance across the glistening skies,
The sound of work for man on earth now dies,
And all betake themselves to sweet repose.
The silver light of Sin above bright flows,
And floods the figures on the painted walls,
O’er sculptured lions, softly, lightly falls;
Like grim and silent watch-dogs at the door
They stand; in marble check their leaping roar.
The King within his chamber went his way,
Upon his golden jewelled couch he lay.
The silken scarlet canopy was hung
In graceful drapery and loosely clung
Around his couch, and purple damask cloths
Embroidered with rare skill, preserved from moths
By rich perfumes, to the carved lintel clung
In graceful folds; thus o’er the entrance hung.

Queen Ishtar softly comes, and o’er his dreams
A mystic spell she draws, until it seems
While half awake he lies, that she is yet
Close nestling in his arms, as he had met
Her in the wood, and with her there reclined,
While her soft arms around him were entwined.
Thus while he sleeps she hovers o’er his bed
With throbbing heart, and close inclines her head
Until her lips near touch the sleeping King’s,
But daring not to kiss.

She love thus brings,
All through his dreams; until one misty night,
While he yet restless tossed, the lovely sprite
Sunk him to deeper sleep with her soft lyre
While hanging o’er his couch consumed with fire
That nestling around her heart-strings fiercely burned
Until at last lulled by the strain he turned
Upon his couch at rest, and she now lay
Beside him closely, when she heard him say:
“My love thou art, but canst not be!” No more
He murmurs, then inflamed she sought the door.
“Perchance the “su-khu-li”[1] sleep not!” she said;
And satisfied, turned where her lover laid;
And to his royal couch she crept again;
Her bliss will have despite of gods and men.
Her hot and burning lips cannot resist
The tempting treasure lying there, nor missed
Shall be the dearest joys of love from her
Who rules all hearts in Heaven, earth, and air.
Her right divine that blessing sweet to take,
She will assert, her burning thirst to slake.

His couch the Heavenly Queen of Love now graces,
And on his breast her glorious head she places;
Embracing him, she softly through her lips
And his, the sweetest earthly nectar sips,
While he in sleep lies murmuring of love,
And she in blissful ecstasy doth move.
Her lips to his, she wildly places there,
Until to him it seems a fond nightmare.

And thus, against his will, she fondly takes
What he her shall deny when he awakes,
The stolen kisses both the lovers thrill:
Unquenched her warm desire would kiss him still,
But his hot blood now warms him in his dream
Which is much more to him than it doth seem;
And clasping her within convulsing arms,
Receives a thrill that all his nerves alarms,
And wakes him from the dreams she had instilled.
“What means this fantasy that hath me filled,
And spirit form that o’er my pillow leans;
I wonder what this fragrant incense means?
Oh, tush! ’tis but an idle, wildering dream,
But how delightful, joyous it did seem!
Her beauteous form it had, its breath perfume;
Do spirit forms such loveliness assume?”

The goddess yet dares not her form reveal,
And quickly she herself doth now conceal
Behind the damask curtains at the door.
When he awoke, sprang to the chamber floor,
As his own maid the queen herself transforms,
Says entering in haste:

“What wild alarms
Thee, Sar?” and then demure awaits reply,
In doubt to hear or to his bosom fly.
“My maid art thou? ‘Tis well, for I have dreamed
Of spirits, as a Zi-ru fair it seemed.”

[Footnote 1: “Su-khu-li,” guards of the palace.]


SOURCE: Babylonian and Assyrian Literature, ((Alc-1, Tab-2, Col-1)-(1901)); Translated by Leonidas Le Cenci Hamilton, M.A.


World News Headlines: 11-23-2018

GERMANY (DW) Populists attack UN Global Compact on Refugees; The UN migration pact continues to be at the center of political debate in Germany. A second UN agreement on refugees is also now under fire, with the far right saying it will facilitate an unregulated refugee influx.

(DW) Ban on deportations to Syria to remain, says Interior Minister Horst Seehofer; A hopeful to replace German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the head of the Christian Democrats had called for Syrian refugees who commit crimes in Germany to be deported. Germany’s interior minister disagrees.

(DW) Germany prepared for no-deal Brexit: Finance Minister Olaf Scholz; Britain and the European Union are frantically trying to agree on how to avoid a chaotic breakup in March. Germany’s finance minister has said Berlin is prepared for the worst possible outcome.

(DW) New fortified security measures at Berlin Christmas market; Christmas markets are a highlight of the holidays for Germans, but attempts to keep them safe could disrupt the magic. The site of Berlin’s devastating 2016 truck attack has now become a testing area for heavy security.

(DW) Colombia rescues Venezuelan migrants from sex ring; More than 40 women were forced into sex work after being taken from the Venezuelan border to Bogota. The gang that organized the ring hired a doctor to perform abortions on women who got pregnant while they were captive.

(DW) Black Friday: Amazon workers’ union calls strike; German trade union Verdi has called for strikes on one of busiest days of the year for Amazon. Workers want to use the day to draw attention to poor working conditions at the online retail giant.

(DW) Khashoggi case: Saudi crown prince embarks on regional tour, France imposes sanctions; Mohammad bin Salman has left on his first foreign trip since the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The de facto ruler’s tour of friendly Arab states began as France slapped sanctions on 18 Saudis tied to the killing.

(DW) Deadly gun attack at Chinese consulate in Karachi; Unidentified gunmen have stormed the Chinese consulate in the Pakistani port city of Karachi, killing at least two policemen, officials have said. One other security guard was reported to have been critically injured.

(DW) EU officials hit Turkey on rights record in tense exchange; Turkey’s foreign minister has accused the EU of caring for people who want to bring down Erdogan’s government. The EU’s foreign affairs chief has said she hopes Turkey will rectify its state of emergency crackdown.

(DW) Serbia warns Kosovo against escalation in tariff row; Serbia’s president has accused Kosovo of mobilizing security forces in a northern area heavily populated by Serbs. The EU has urged both sides to “end these provocations” before the situation spirals out of control.

(DW) Protest letter urges Iran to treat jailed conservationists fairly; Fair treatment for eight Iranian conservationists jailed since January has been urged by colleagues from 66 nations. They’ve sent a letter to Iran’s UN envoy, endorsing the work of the Asiatic cheetah and bear experts.

(DW) Nissan board votes unanimously to remove Carlos Ghosn; Nissan’s board has voted to dismiss Carlos Ghosn as chairman following his arrest. The board also removed Greg Kelly from his role as representative director.

FRANCE (France24) Tensions rise as migrants gather at Mexico-US border crossing; Tension mounted as hundreds of Central American migrants massed at a Mexican border town headed on Thursday for a bridge crossing to the United States as President Donald Trump renewed his threats to repel them.

(France24) Gunmen attack Chinese consulate in Pakistan’s Karachi; At least two policemen were killed when unidentified gunmen stormed the Chinese consulate in the Pakistani port city of Karachi on Friday, officials said. Up to four gunmen tried to enter the consulate but were intercepted by security guards at a checkpoint, senior local police official Javaid Alam Odho told AFP. An exchange of fire resulted “killing two of our constables and critically wounding another”, he said.

(France24) EU, UK ‘agree’ draft deal on relationship after Brexit, await summit approval; Britain and the European Union agreed a draft text setting out a close post-Brexit relationship, officials said, though wrangling with Spain over control of Gibraltar must still be settled before EU leaders meet on Sunday.

(France24) Millions without healthcare as Cuban doctors leave Brazil; The first of thousands of Cuban doctors left Brazil on Thursday after criticism by Brazil’s far-right President-elect Jair Bolsonaro prompted Cuba’s government to sever a cooperation agreement, leaving millions of Brazilians without medical care.

(France24) France sanctions 18 Saudi citizens over Khashoggi murder; France said on Thursday it had imposed sanctions, including travel bans, on 18 Saudi citizens linked to the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and warned that more could follow depending on results of the current investigation.

JAPAN (NHK) Nissan fires Ghosn as chairman; Nissan Motor’s board of directors has voted unanimously to oust Carlos Ghosn as chairman. The executive was arrested earlier this week on suspicion of underreporting his income by tens of millions of dollars on corporate financial statements.

(NHK) Ghosn scandal: Dutch subsidiary empty shell; The Dutch subsidiary of Nissan that provided high-end residences to disgraced chairman Carlos Ghosn appears to be nothing more than a shell company.

(NHK) Ghosn’s aide: Handling boss’ pay is main job; Informed sources say a close aide to former Nissan Motor chairman Carlos Ghosn used to say he was staying on at Nissan as representative director only because of his role in handling Ghosn’s earnings.

(NHK) Acting Renault head vows to keep alliance stable; The acting head of French carmaker Renault has stressed his commitment to preserving the sustainability of its alliance with Japan’s Nissan Motor and Mitsubishi Motors.

(NHK) Japan, France to support Nissan-Renault alliance; The economy ministers of Japan and France have reaffirmed that their governments will strongly support the alliance between Nissan and Renault.

(NHK) Russia: US key to return of disputed islands; The Russian Foreign Ministry has suggested that Moscow’s possible handover of 2 of 4 disputed islands to Japan may hinge on whether Tokyo can secure a guarantee from the US that Washington won’t deploy any troops there.

(NHK) WSJ: US warns allies against Huawei; The administration of US President Donald Trump is warning wireless and internet providers in allied countries not to use telecommunications equipment from China’s Huawei Technologies, according to the Wall Street Journal.