( And Rejoicing of Erech Over the Victory)
The monarch and his seer have cleft the head
From Anu’s bull prone lying on the mead.
They now command to bring it from the plain
Within the city where they view the slain.
The heart they brought to Samas’ holy shrine,
Before him laid the offering divine.
Without the temple’s doors the monster lays,
And Ishtar o’er the towers the bulk surveys;
She spurns the carcass, cursing thus, she cries:
“Woe! woe to Izdubar, who me defies!
My power has overthrown, my champion slain;
Accursed Sar! most impious of men!”
Heabani heard the cursing of the Queen,
And from the carcass cleft the tail in twain,
Before her laid it; to the goddess said:
“And wherefore comest thou with naught to dread?
Since I with Izdubar have conquered thee,
Thou hearest me! Before thee also see
Thine armored champion’s scales! thy beast is dead,”
And Ishtar from his presence furious fled,
And to her maids the goddess loudly calls
Joy and Seduction from the palace halls;
And o’er her champion’s death she mourning cries,
And flying with her maids, sped to the skies.
King Izdubar his summons sends afar
To view the monster slain by Erech’s Sar.
The young and old the carcass far surround,
And view its mighty bulk upon the ground.
The young men eye its horns with wild delight,
And weigh them on the public scales in sight
Of Erech. “Thirty “manehs” weighs!” they cry;
“Of purest “zamat” stone, seems to the eye
In substance, with extremities defaced.”
Six “gurri” weighed the monster’s bulk undressed.
As food for Lugul-turda, their Sar’s god,
The beast is severed, placed upon the wood.
Piled high upon the altar o’er the fires.
Then to Euphrates’ waters each retires
To cleanse themselves for Erech’s grand parade,
As Izdubar by proclamation bade.
Upon their steeds of war with Izdubar
The chiefs and warriors extend afar
With chariots, and waving banners, spears,
And Erech rings with their triumphant cheers.
Before the chariot of their great Sar,
Who with his seer rides in his brazen car,
The seers a proclamation loud proclaim
And cheer their Sar and seer; and laud the name
Of their great monarch, chanting thus his praise,
While Erech’s band their liveliest marches play:
“If anyone to glory can lay claim
Among all chiefs and warriors of fame,
We Izdubar above them all proclaim
Our Izzu-Ul-bar of undying fame.
“Sar gabri la isu, Sar-dannu bu-mas-lu!”
“He wears the diadem of Subartu,
From Bar-ili he came to Eridu;
Our giant monarch, who of all “barri”
Can rival him, our Nin-arad “rabi?”
“Sar-dannu ina mati basi,
Sar bu-mas-la e-mu-ki, nesi.””
Through the grand halls of Erech far resounds
The feast their Sar proclaimed through all the grounds
Of Erech’s palaces; where he now meets
His heroes, seers and counsellors, and greets
Them in his crowded festal halls.
Grand banquets far are spread within the walls,
And sparkling rarest wines each freely drank,
And revels ruled the hour till Samas sank,
And shadows sweep across the joyous plain,
And Samas sleeps with Hea ‘neath the main.
The jewelled lamps are lit within the halls,
And dazzling glory on the feasters falls.
The rays o’er gems and richest garments shone
Upon the lords and ladies round the throne;
While troops of dancing girls around them move
With cymbals, harps and lutes, with songs of love.
Again the board glows with rich food and wines,
Now spread before them till each man reclines
Upon his couch at rest in the far night,
And swimming halls and wines pass from their sight.
[Footnote 1: “Izzu-Ul-bar,” the fire of Bel’s temple.]–[Footnote 2: “The King who has no rival. The powerful giant King.” The royal titles of Izdubar.]–[Footnote 3: “Bar-ili,” temple, or country of the gods.]–[Footnote 4: “Barri,” chieftains, army, soldiers.]–[Footnote 5: “Nin-arad rabi,” “the servant of Nin, the King.”]–[Footnote 6: “Who is the great king (in the land) of all countries, the powerful giant king, the lion!” The royal titles of Izdubar.]
SOURCE: Babylonian and Assyrian Literature; Alcove II, Tablet V (1901): Translated by Leonidas Le Cenci Hamilton, M.A.