The counsellors assembled round the throne
Within the council halls of “zam-at” stone,
Now greet their monarch, and behold his face
With trouble written on his brow, and trace
Uneasiness within that eagle eye,
While he with stately tread, yet wearily
His throne approached; he turned to the mu-di,
And swept a glance upon his khas-iz-i.
Uneasy they all eyed his troubled face,
For he had ridden at a furious pace.
The “abuli” had told them on that morn,
How he across the plains had wildly torn
To drive away some vision of the night.
One asked, “Hath our Sardan-nu’s dreams been light?
Or hath dread phantoms o’er thy pillow hung?
For trouble on thy countenance hath clung.”
The monarch startled at the question eyes
The councillor, and to him thus replies:
“‘Tis true, my counsellors and wisest men,
I dreamed a fearful dream Sat mu-si; when
I have disclosed it, if one clear reveals
Its meaning all and naught from me conceals,
On him will I the greatest wealth bestow:
I will ennoble him, and the “sib-zu”
A “ku-bar-ra” for him shall rich prepare;
As my “tur-tan-u” he shall be, and seer,
Decked with a golden chain shall next preside
At every feast, and break his bread beside
The King, and highest rank he shall attain
‘Mong counsellors, and mine own favor gain;
And seven wives to him I will allow,
And a grand palace. This as King I vow,
The scribe it shall enroll above my seal
As Erech’s Sar’s decree beyond repeal.
“I dreamed upon my “dum-khi” fast asleep,
The stars from heaven fell from yonder deep
To earth; and one, with fierceful heat my back
Did pierce as molten fire, and left its track
Of flames like some huge ball along my spine;
And then transformed, it turned its face to mine;
As some fierce god it glowed before my sight
Till agony was lost in dread affright.
I rooted stood, in terror, for its face
Was horrible; I saw in its feet’s place
A lion’s claws. It sprang, my strength it broke,
And slew me, gloating over me! Awoke,
I sprang, methought I was a corpse “ka-ra
Va tal-ka mat sar, talka bu-la sha
Ra-pas-ti sat-ti, ar-id-da! ka-rat
Va hal-li-ka! lik-ru-bu ki-mi-ta!””
The seers in silence stand, perplexed and think;
But from the task at once the wisest shrink.
The King each face soon read: “Ye tell me no?”
And nodding all, concealed from him their woe,
For they beheld within the dream some fate
Impending o’er him born of godly hate,
And durst not to their monarch prate their fears,
For flatterers of kings are all his seers.
The King impatient eyed them all with scorn,
And hid his thoughts by wildest passions born;
And then at last contemptuous to them said,
“So all my seers of trouble are afraid?
Or else in ignorance you turn away;
‘Tis well! I sorely need a seer this day.”
And they now prostrate fall before his throne,
“Forgive thy seers!” one cries, “O mighty One!
For we this dreadful dream do fear portends
Thy harm! a god some message to thee sends!
We know not what, but fear for thee, our Sar,
And none but one can augur it; afar
He lives, Heabani should before the King
Be brought from Za-Ga-bri the “na-bu” bring!”
“‘Tis well! Prince Zaidu for the hermit send,
And soon this mystery your Sar will end.”
The King distressed now to the temple goes
To lay before the mighty gods his woes;
This prayer recites to drive away bad dreams,
While Samas’ holy altar brightly gleams:
 “O Samas! may my prayer bring me sweet rest,
And may my Lord his favor grant to me:
Annihilate the things that me invest!
This day, O God! distressed, I cry to thee!
O goddess! be thou gracious unto me,
Receive my prayer, my sins forgive I pray:
My wickedness and will arrayed ‘gainst thee.
Oh, pardon me! O God, be kind this day,
My groaning may the seven winds destroy,
Clothe me with deep humility! receive
My prayers, as winged birds, oh, may they fly
And fishes carry them, and rivers weave
Them in the waters on to thee, O God!
As creeping things of the vast desert, cry
I unto thee outstretched on Erech’s sod;
And from the river’s lowest depths I pray;
My heart cause thou to shine like polished gold,
Though food and drink of Nin-a-zu this day
Be mine, while worms and death thy servant fold.
Oh, from thine altar me support, protect,
In low humility I pray, forgive!
Feed me with joy, my dreams with grace direct;
The dream I dreamed, oh favorable give
To me its omen filled with happiness!
May Mak-hir, god of dreams, my couch invest!
With visions of Bit-sag-gal my heart bless,
The temple of the gods, of Nin, with rest
Unbroken, and to Merodach I pray!
The favoring one, to prosper me and mine:
Oh, may thy entering exalted be!
And thy divinity with glory shine,
And may our city shine with glowing meads,
And all my people praise thy glorious deeds.”
Now to Euphrates’ banks the Sar and seers
Their footsteps turn to pray into the ears
Of Hea, where, in white, a band of priests
Drawn in a crescent, Izdubar invests.
Now at the water’s edge he leans, his hands
Dips in the waves, and pours upon the sands
The sparkling drops, while all a hymn descant
To Hea, thus the incantation chant:
“O chant our incantation to the waters pure,
Euphrates’ waters flowing to the sea!
Where Hea’s holy face shines bright on every shore,
O Sabit of Timatu to ye
We pray! may your bright waters glowing shine
As Hea’s face, and heaving breast divine!
“O Sabit, to your father Hea take our prayer!
And may Dao-ki-na, your bright mother, hear!
With joy, oh shine, as peaceful as the sleeping light,
O ever may your throbbing waves be bright.
O spirit of the Heaven, hear!
Remember us, Remember!
O spirit of the earth, come near!
Remember us, Remember!
O hear us, Hea! hear us, dear Dao-ki-na!
“Ca-ca-ma u ca-ca-ma u ca-ca-ma!””
[Footnote 1: “Zam-at” stone, diamond, crystal or lapis lazuli.]—[Footnote 2: “Mu-di,” seers.]—[Footnote 3: “Khas-i-zi,” counsellors.]—[Footnote 4: “Ab-u-li,” guard of the great gates of the city.]—[Footnote 5: “Sat mu-si,” in the night-time, or last night.]—[Footnote 6: “Sib-zu,” embroiderer.]—[Footnote 7: “Ku-bar-ra,” robe of a prince.]—[Footnote 8: “Tur-tan-u,” next in rank to the King.]—[Footnote 9: “Dum-khi” or “dun-khi,” couch.]—[Footnote 10: “Ka-ra! va,” etc., “Speak out! and if thou augurest the death of the King, or if thou augurest life of extended years, I have spoken! Speak out! and cast the lots! may they be propitious with us!”]—[Footnote 11: “Za-Ga-bri,” the mountains of Zu, “Ga-bri” (“mountains”),—and “Za,” another form of “zu,” the divine bird of the storm-cloud. They—were at one time called the mountains of Susa, now the Kurdistan range of mountains. The name we have given we believe to be the probable ancient one.]—[Footnote 12: “Na-bu,” prophet, seer.]—[Footnote 13: We have here quoted a prayer after a bad dream, the text of which is lithographed in “C.I.W.A.,” vol. iv. 66, 2, and is supposed to be an ancient Accadian prayer. See “Records of the Past,” vol. ix. p. 151.]—[Footnote 14: “Nin-a-zu,” the goddess of darkness and death.]—[Footnote 15: “Mak-hir,” the daughter of the sun, and goddess of dreams.]—[Footnote 16: Literally, “he that shows favor.” The above prayer was translated for the first time by Rev. A.H. Sayce, M.A., in the “Records of the Past,” vol. ix. p. 151. We have followed as literally as possible the original, and have given it its probable place in the epic.]—[Footnote 17: Hea, god of the ocean, the earth’s surface, brightness, etc., and chief protector of men.]—[Footnote 18: “Sab-it,” or “Sabitu” (“seven”), the seven winds, gods of the abyss or ocean.]—[Footnote 19: “Tiamatu,” the abyss or ocean.]—[Footnote 20: “Dao-ki-na” or “Dao-ci-na,” the wife of Hea, and goddess of the ocean.]—[Footnote 21: “Amen and Amen and Amen!” The Assyrian word is “Amanu.” The original “ca-ca-ma” (“Amen”) concludes the incantation; Heb. [Hebrew: amen] See “C.I.W.A.,” vol. iv. pl. 14; also “Records of the Past,” vol. xi. p. 135)
THE COMMENTARY GAZETTE®
SOURCE: Babylonian and Assyrian Literature, (Alcove 1 Tablet 2, Column 3) (1910)Translated by Leonidas Le Cenci Hamilton, M.A.
CONTRIBUTOR: John Hague