(And Offers Her His Hand)
“O Mua! thou bright Waters of the Dawn!
Oh, where art thou?” one cries as he doth run
Through the bright garden. See! ’tis Izdubar!
Immortal! glorious! our King of War!
And now in love is seeking Mua here.
He scarcely treads the ground as he comes near;
A glow of youth immortal on his cheek,
A form that sorrow, death, will never seek
Within these Happy Fields, his eyes with light
That Love alone may give, show his delight.
A dazzling pillared vista round him shines,
Where golden columns bear the bowering shrines,
With gemmed domes that clustering round him rise,
‘Mid fruit-trees, flashing splendors to the skies.
He goes through silver grots along a zone,
And now he passes yonder blazing throne,
O’er diamond pavements, passes shining seats
Whereon the high and holy conclave meets
To rule the empires vast that spread away
To utmost bounds in all their vast array.
Around the whole expanse grand cestes spread
O’er paths sidereal unending lead.
As circling wheels within a wheel they shine,
Enveloping the Fields with light divine.
A noontide glorious of shining stars,
Where humming music rings from myriad cars,
Where pinioned multitudes their harps may tune,
And in their holy sanctity commune.
And see! here Mua comes! she stops and waits
Within a “gesdin” bower beside its gates.
Around, above her spreads a flowering vine,
And o’er a ruby fountain almandine.
And on a graven garnet table grand,
Carved cups of solid pearl and tilpe stand.
A Zadu reservoir stands near, which rounds
The fount wherein the fragrant nectar bounds.
The ground is strewn with pari gems and pearls,
Wherefrom the light now softly backward hurls
Its rays o’er couches of paruti stone,
Soft cushioned, circling in the inner zone
Beside the shining kami-sadi way,
Where nectar fountains in their splendor play.
The path leads far along Life’s beauteous stream,
That ever through this World of Joy doth gleam.
And see! the hero comes! and now doth near
The maiden, where with Love she waits him here.
She flings a flowering garland, weaves it round
His form as he comes by! He turns around,
And she enwraps his breast and arms, and says:
“Dear Izdubar! and thus my lover strays!
I’ll bind thee with this fragrant chain to keep
Thee ever by my side! thy pleasant sleep
Hath kept my lover from my side too long!”
“O thou sweet spirit, like a warbling song
Thy words are to my heart! I sought for thee,
And thy bright face and presence did not see;
I come to tell thee that I must return,
When from thy father all the past shall learn.”
“And wilt thou go from me to earth again?
No! no! dear Izdubar, I thee enchain!”
“‘Tis true, my love, I must return to men;
My duty calls me to my throne again.”
“Dear Izdubar! my friend! my love! my heart!
I cannot let thee from my soul depart!
Thou shinest in my breast as some bright star!
And shall I let thee from me go afar?”
“But Mua, we immortal are, and we
There might return; and thou on earth shalt see
The glories of my kingdom,–be my queen!
Upon a couch I’ll seat thee, there to reign
With me, my beauteous queen,–beside me sit;
And kings will come to us and kiss thy feet.
With all my wealth I’ll clothe thee, ever love
Thee, fairest of these glorious souls that move
Within this Happy World. My people there
Shall love us,–ever drive away all care!”
When Mua heard him offer thus his hand,
She then unbinds him,–thoughtful now doth stand.
[Footnote 1: “Tilpe,” a precious gem known only to the Babylonians.]–[Footnote 2: “Zadu,” a precious gem known only to the Babylonians.]–[Footnote 3: “Pari,” an unknown gem.]–[Footnote 4: “Paruti,” an unknown gem.]–[Footnote 5: “Kami-sadi” way, a path paved with unknown gems. These precious stones are mentioned on the various inscriptions in the list of precious jewels with gold, diamonds, pearls, etc., taken as spoils from their enemies.]
SOURCE: Babylonian and Assyrian Literature; Alcove II, Tablet VIII (1901): Translated by Leonidas Le Cenci Hamilton, M.A.