[and His Instruction to Take Two Maids with Him to Entice the Seer From His Cave]
Prince Zaidu prostrate bows before the Sar,
Arises, thus narrates to Izdubar:
“Thy sovereign, Zaidu hath his king obeyed,
The royal mission I have thus essayed
As Amu’s soldier; I undaunted tried
To urge my mission which the seer denied.
I firmly met the beast that with him came:
Unmanly fear, confess I to my shame,
Came o’er me when I first beheld the beast,
In vain I plead, and in despair I ceased
When he refused, and angry from me passed
Within his cave, where cliffs and rocks are massed;
I climbed, but the wild entrance did not gain,
And for advice have I returned again.”
“‘Tis well, my son,” the Sar to Zaidu said,
“Thy wisdom I commend for thy young head,
Again upon thy mission thou must go.
His might, and strength of purpose, thou dost know,
Before a maiden’s charms will flee away;
For he doth love the Zi-Ga-bri that play
Within the mountain gorges. Turn thy face
Again with manly portance; for I’ll grace
Thine embassy with two of our sweet maids,
Who oft shall cheer thee through the mountain glades,
Whom thou shalt lead before Heabani’s den
With their bright charms exposed within the glen.
Take Sam-kha-tu and sweet Khar-imatu:
They will entice the seer when he shall view
Their charms displayed before his wondering eyes.
With Sam-kha, Joy, the seer you will surprise;
Khar-im-tu will thy plans successful end,
To her seductive glance his pride will bend.
Sweet Sam-kha’s charms are known, she is our Joy,
As Ishtar’s aid her charms ne’er cloy;
Kharun-tu with her perfect face and form,
The hearts of all our court doth take by storm:
When joys by our sweet Sam-kha are distilled,
Kharun-tu’s love overcomes us till we yield.
Thus, armed with Love’s Seduction and her Joy,
The greatest powers of earth thou dost employ;
No flesh can face them but a heart of stone.
And all the world doth lie before them prone.”
Three days Prince Zaidu sat with Kharun-tu
Before the cave within Heabani’s view;
Beside the pool they waited for the seer:
From Erech three days’ journey brought them here,
But where hath Joy, sweet Sam-kha, roving gone?
When they arrived at setting of the sun
She disappeared within with waving arms;
With bright locks flowing she displayed her charms.
As some sweet “zir-ru” did young Sam-kha seem,
A thing of beauty of some mystic dream.
[Footnote 1: “Anu,” the King of Heaven.]—[Footnote 2: “Zi-Gab-ri,” spirits of the mountains.]
THE COMMENTARY GAZETTE®
SOURCE: Babylonian and Assyrian Literature (1901)(Alcove 1, Tablet 3, Column 3): Translated by Leonidas Le Cenci Hamilton, M.A.
CONTRIBUTOR: John Hague