Epic of Ishtar and Izdubar: Heabani’s Wisdom-Song of the Khau-Ik-I [Part 13]; Assyrian

The dark-eyed maids are dancing in the halls
Of Erech’s palace: music fills the walls
Of splendor where the Sar-dan-nu[1] enthroned,
His hours is whiling by the maidens zoned;
A whirling garland chanting forth a song.
Accompanied with harps thus sang the throng:

“Heabani’s wisdom chant and sing
To Erech’s king our mighty Sar.[2]
When Hea did Heabani bring,
Who now to Erech comes afar,
He taught him then all hidden things
Of Ki[3] or bright Samu[4] above,
That to the Mu-di[5] mystery brings.
Oh, how Heabani we shall love!”


“Then sing with joy ye Khau-ik-i![6]
The Khau-ga[7] chant with waving arms,
The Nin-uit[8] sing Au-un-na-ci[9]
Give to our Sar your sweetest charms.

“All knowledge that is visible
Heabani holds it in his glance,
Sees visions inconceivable,
The Zi[10] his wizard eyes entrance.
Sweet peace he brings from troubled dreams,
He comes to El-li-tar-du-si,[11]
From a far road by mountain streams;
Then sing with joy ye Khau-ik-i!


“Then sing with joy ye Khau-ik-i!
The Khau-ga chant with waving arms,
The Nin-uit sing An-un-na-ci!
Give to our Sar your sweetest charms.

“E’en all that on the tablet rests,
In Erech’s tower, the Su-bu-ri,[12]
The beautiful, with glorious crests,
He wrote for far posterity.
We plead with him to leave us not,
But Zi-Gab-ri[13] him led away,
When our great Shal-man[14] joy us brought,
And Elam fled to the blue sea.


“Then sing with joy ye Khau-ik-i!
Il-gi-sa-kis-sat[15] from above,
The Nin-uit sing An-un-na-ci!
Oh, how Heabani we shall love!”

The maidens note their monarch’s moody face,
And turn their songs to him with easy grace,
Of their great ruler tune a joyous lay,
And oft into his eyes hurl glances gay;
And trumpets join the chorus, rolling drums,
And wild applause from all the chieftains comes,
Till the grave seers and councillors now cry
In praise of him they love so tenderly:
With arms upraised the mighty chorus join,
Until his heart is filled with joy divine;
And thus they sing with more than royal praise,
Their love for him in every face doth blaze.

[Footnote 1: “Sar-dan-nu,” the great King.]–[Footnote 2: “Sar,” king.]–[Footnote 3: “Ki,” earth.]–[Footnote 4: “Samu,” heaven.]–[Footnote 5: “Mu-di,” seers or wise men.]–[Footnote 6: “Khau-ik-i,” the choral band.]–[Footnote 7: “Khau-ga,” chorus.]–[Footnote 8: “Nin-uit,” song.]–[Footnote 9: “An-un-na-ci,” spirits of the earth.]–[Footnote 10: “Zi,” spirits of the earth, air, water, etc.]–[Footnote 11: “El-li-tar-du-si,” one of the temples of Erech.]–[Footnote 12: “Su-bu-ri,” the lofty.]–[Footnote 13: “Zi-Gab-ri,” spirits of the mountains.]–[Footnote 14: “Shal-man,” deliverer.]–[Footnote 15: “Il-gi-sa-kis-sat,” spirits of the hosts.]


SOURCE: Babylonian and Assyrian Literature (1901)(Alcove 1, Tablet 3, Column 1);Translated by Leonidas Le Cenci Hamilton, M.A.


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