Epic of Ishtar and Izdubar: Ishtar Complains To Anu, King Of Heaven, (Part 27)

(Who Creates A Winged Bull To Destroy Ishtar)

Before the throne of Anu, Ishtar cries,
And Anatu, the sovereigns of the skies:
“O Sar, this king my beauty doth despise,
My sweetest charms beholds not with his eyes.”
And Anu to his daughter thus replied:
“My daughter, thou must crush his vaunting pride,
And he will claim thy beauty and thy charms,
And gladly lie within thy glorious arms.”

“I hate him now, O Sar, as I did love!
Against the strength of Anu let him prove
His right divine to rule without our aid,
Before the strength of Anu let him bleed.
Upon this giant Sar so filled with pride,
Let Anu’s winged bull[1] in fury ride,
And I will aid the beast to strike him prone,
Till he in death shall breathe his dying groan.”
And Anu said: “If thou to it shall join
Thy strength, which all thy noble names define
Thy glories[2] and thy power thus magnified,
Will humble him, who has thy power defied,”
And Ishtar thus: “By all my might as queen
Of war and battles, where I proudly reign,
This Sar my hands shall strike upon the plain,
And end his strength and all his boastings vain.
By all the noble names with gods I hold
As queen of war, this giant monarch bold,
Who o’er mine ancient city thinks to reign,
Shall lie for birds of prey upon the plain.
For answering my love for thee with scorn,
Proud monarch! from thy throne thou shalt be torn!”

For Ishtar, Anu from the clouds creates
A shining monster with thick brazen plates
And horns of adamant;[3] and now it flies
Toward the palace, roaring from the skies.

[Footnote 1: “Anu’s winged bull,” Taurus, constellation of the heavens.]–[Footnote 2: “Glories” (“maskhi”). This word is not translated by Mr. Sayce.]–[Footnote 3: “Horns of adamant.” Sayce translates in I. 22, col. v., horns of crystal–“thirty manehs of crystal,” etc. The meaning probably of “zamat stone,” as given by Smith, was a hard substance, such as the diamond or adamant. By some translators it has been rendered onyx, and others lazuli.]

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

Epic of Ishtar and Izdubar: The Fight With The Winged Bull Of Anu (Part 28); Assyrian

Epic of Ishtar and Izdubar: The King’s Answer And Ishtar’s Rage (Part 26) Assyrian

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