Heabani, weary, eyes his native land,
And on his harp now lays his trembling hand;
The song has ended in a joyous lay,
And yet, alas! his hands but sadly play:
Unused to hope, the strings refuse their aid
To tune in sympathy, and heartless played.
Again the minstrel bows his head in woe,
And the hot tear-drops from his eyelids flows,
And chanting now a mournful melody,
O'er Erech's fall, thus sang an elegy:"How long, O Ishtar, will thy face be turned,With eyes bedimmed with tears, he careful scans
While Erech desolate doth cry to thee?
Thy towers magnificent, oh, hast thou spurned?
Her blood like water in Ul-bar, oh, see!
The seat of thine own oracle behold!
The fire hath ravaged all thy cities grand,
And like the showers of Heaven them all doth fold.
O Ishtar! broken-hearted do I stand!
Oh, crush our enemies as yonder reed!
For hopeless, lifeless, kneels thy bard to thee,
And, oh! I would exalt thee in my need,
From thy resentment, anger, oh, us free!
The plain, "Perhaps the dust of caravans
It is! But no!! I see long lines of spears!
A warrior from the lifting cloud appears,
And chariots arrayed upon the plain!
And is the glorious omen not in vain?
What! no?" He rubs his eyes in wild surprise,
And drinks the vision while he loudly cries:
"Oh, joy! our standards flashing from afar!
He comes! he comes! our hero Izdubar!"
He grasps his harp inspired, again to wake
In song the cry of battle now doth break."Nin-a-rad, servant of our great Nin,
Shall lead our hosts to victory!
God of the chase and war, o'er him, oh, shine!
Tar-u-ma-ni iz-zu sar-ri!"Let Elam fall! the cause of Accad's woes,The minstrel ceases, lifts his hands on high,
Revenge of Erech, be the cry!
This land our father's blessed, our king they chose,
Tar-u-ma-ni iz-zu sar-ri!
Our holy fathers sleep upon this plain,
We conquer, or we here will die;
For victory, then raise the cry, ye men!
Tar-u-ma-ni iz-zu sar-ri!"
And still we hear his joyful waning cry:
Now echoed by yon hosts along the sky,
"He comes! Tar-u-ma-ni iz-zu sar-ri!
Great Accad's hosts arrayed with spears and shields
Are coming! see them flashing o'er the fields!
And he! bright flashing as the god's attire,
Doth lead in burnished gold, our king of fire.
His armor shines through yonder wood and fen,
That tremble 'neath the tread of armed men.
See! from his jewelled breastplate, helmet, fly
The rays like Samas from the cloudless sky!
How martially he rides his sable steed,
That proudly treads and lifts his noble head,
While eagerly he gallops down the line,
And bears his princely load with porte divine;
And now, along the plains there sounds afar
The piercing bugle-note of Izdubar;
For Erech's walls and turrets are in view,
And high the standards rise of varied hue.
The army halts; the twanging bows are strung;
And from their chariots the chieftains sprung.
The wheeling lines move at each chief's command,
With chariots in front;
On either hand
Extend the lines of spears and cavalry,
A winged storm-cloud waiting for its prey:
And see! while Accad's army ready waits,
The enemy are swarming from the gates.
The charge, from either host, the trumpets sound,
And bristling chariots from each army bound:
A cloud of arrows flies from Accad's bows
That hides the sun, and falls among their foes.
Now roars the thunder of great Accad's cars,
Their brazen chariots as blazing stars
Through Nuk-khu's depths with streams of blazing fire,
Thus fall upon the foe with vengeful ire.
The smoking earth shakes underneath their wheels,
And from each cloud their thunder loudly peals.
Thus Accad on their foes have fiercely hurled
Their solid ranks with Nin-rad's flag unfurled,
The charging lines meet with a fearful sound,
As tempests' waves from rocks in rage rebound;
The foe thus meet the men of Izdubar,
While o'er the field fly the fierce gods of war.
Dark Nin-a-zu her torch holds in her hand.
With her fierce screams directs the gory brand;
And Mam-mit urges her with furious hand,
And coiling dragons poison all the land
With their black folds and pestilential breath,
In fierce delight thus ride the gods of death.
The shouts of Accad mingle with the cries
Of wounded men and fiery steeds, which rise
From all the fields with shrieks of carnage, war,
Till victory crowns the host of Izdubar.
The chariots are covered with the slain,
And crushed beneath lie dead and dying men,
And horses in their harness wounded fall,
With dreadful screams, and wildly view the wall
Of dying warriors piling o'er their heads,
And wonder why each man some fury leads;
And others break across the gory plain
In mad career till they the mountain gain;
And snorting on the hills in wild dismay,
One moment glance below, then fly away;
Away from sounds that prove their masters, fiends,
Away to freedom snuffing purer winds,
Within some cool retreat by mountain streams,
Where peacefully for them, the sun-light gleams.
At last the foe is scattered o'er the plain,
And Accad fiercely slays the flying men;
When Izdubar beholds the victory won
By Accad's grand battalions of the sun,
His bugle-call the awful carnage stays,
Then loud the cry of victory they raise.
A crowd of maidens led a glorious van;
With roses laden the fair heralds ran,
With silver-throated music chant the throng,
And sweetly sang the coronation song:
And now we see the gorgeous cavalcade,
Within the walls in Accad's grand parade
They pass, led by the maidens crowned with flowers,
Who strew the path with fragrance; -- to the towers
And walls and pillars of each door bright cling
The garlands. Hear the maidens joyful sing!
"Oh, shout the cry! Accadians, joyful sing
For our Deliverer! Oh, crown him King!
Then strew his path with garlands, tulips, rose,
And wave his banners as he onward goes;
Our mighty Nin-rad comes, oh, raise the cry!
We crown Tar-u-ma-ni iz-zu sar-ri!
Away to Samas' temple grand, away!
For Accad crowns him, crowns him there!
He is our chosen Sar this glorious day,
Oh, send the Khanga through the air!
Then chant the chorus, all ye hosts above!
O daughters, mothers, sing for him we love!
His glory who can sing, who brings us joy?
For hope and gladness all our hearts employ.
He comes, our hope and strength in every war:
We crown him as our king, our Izdubar!Away to Samas' temple grand, away!Toward the temple filed the long parade,
For Accad crowns him, crowns him there!
He is our chosen Sar this glorious day,
Oh, send the Khanga through the air!
The nobles led while Accad's music played;
The harps and timbrels, barsoms, drums and flutes
Unite with trumpets and the silver lutes.
Surrounded by his chieftains rides the Sar
In purple robes upon his brazen car.
Bedecked with garlands, steeds of whitest snow
The chariot draw in state with movement slow,
Each steed led by a kisib, nobleman,
A score of beauteous horses linked in span.
The army follows with their nodding plumes,
And burnished armor, trumpets, rolling drums,
And glistening spears enwreathed with fragrant flowers,
While scarfs are waving from the crowded towers,
And shouts of joy their welcome loud proclaim,
And from each lip resounds their monarch's name.
And now before the holy temple stands
The chariot, in silence cease the bands.
Around an altar stand the waiting priests,
And held by them, the sacrificial beasts.
The hero from his chair descends,
And bowing to the priests, he lowly bends
Before the sacred altar of the Sun,
And prays to Samas, Accad's Holy One."O Samas, I invoke thee, throned on high!The King then rises, takes the sacred glass,
Within the cedars' shadow bright thou art,
Thy footing rests upon immensity;
All nations eagerly would seek thy heart.
Their eyes have turned toward thee, O our Friend!
Whose brilliant light illuminates all lands,
Before thy coming all the nations bend,
Oh, gather every people with thy hands!
For thou, O Samas, knowest boundaries
Of every kingdom, falsehood dost destroy,
And every evil thought from sorceries
Of wonders, omens, dreams that do annoy,
And evil apparitions, thou dost turn
To happy issue; malice, dark designs;
And men and countries in thy might o'erturn,
And sorcery that every soul maligns.
Oh, in thy presence refuge let me find!
From those who spells invoke against thy King,
Protect one! and my heart within thine, oh, bind!
 Thy breath within mine inmost soul, oh, bring!
That I with thee, O Samas, may rejoice.
And may the gods who me created, take
Thy hands and lead me, make thy will my choice,
 Direct my breath, my hands, and of me make
Thy servant, Lord of light of legions vast,
O Judge, thy glory hath all things surpassed!"
And holds it in the sun before the mass
Of waiting fuel on the altar piled.
The centring rays -- the fuel glowing gild
With a round spot of fire and quickly spring
Above the altar curling, while they sing!"Oh, to the desert places may it fly,
This incantation holy!
O spirit of the heavens, us this day
Remember, oh, remember!
O spirit of the earth, to thee we pray,
Remember! Us remember !
"O God of Fire! a lofty prince doth stand,
A warrior, and son of the blue sea,
Before the God of Fire in thine own land,
Before thy holy fires that from us free
Dread Darkness, where dark Nuk-khu reigns.
Our prince, as monarch we proclaim,
His destiny thy power maintains,
Oh, crown his glory with wide fame!
"With bronze and metal thou dost bless
All men, and givest silver, gold.
The goddess with the horned face
Did bless us with thee from of old.
From dross thy fires change gold to purity;
Oh, bless our fire-king, round him shine
With Heaven's vast sublimity!
And like the earth with rays divine,
As the bright walls of Heaven's shrine."
The king while hunting where a forest grows,
Around sweet hyacinths and budding rose,
Where a soft zephyr o'er them gently flows
From the dark sik-ka-ti where Kharsak glows;
And Sedu softly dances on the leaves,
And a rich odorous breath from them receives;
Where tulips peep with heliotrope and pink,
With violets upon a gleaming brink
Of silver gliding o'er a water-fall
That sings its purling treasures o'er a wall
Of rugged onyx sparkling to the sea:
A spot where Zir-ri sport oft merrily,
Where Hea's arm outstretched doth form a bay,
Wild, sheltered, where his sea-daughters play;
A jasper rock here peeps above the waves
Of emerald hue; with them its summit laves.
Around, above, this cool enchanting cove
Bend amorous, spicy branches; here the dove
Oft coos its sweetest notes to its own mate,
And fragrance pure, divine, the air doth freight,
To sport with gods no lovelier place is found,
With love alone the mystic woods resound.
Here witching Zi-na-ki oft drag within
The waves unwilling Zi-si; here the din
Of roars of sullen storms is never known
When tempests make the mighty waters groan;
Nor sound of strife is heard, but rippling rills,
Or softest note of love, the breezes fills.
And here the king in blissful dreams oft lies
'Mid pure ambrosial odors, and light flies
The tune in bliss; away from kingly care,
And hollow splendor of the courtly glare;
Away from triumphs, battle-fields afar,
The favorite haunt of huntsman Izdubar.
The Queen of Love the glowing spot surveys,
And sees the monarch where he blissful lays;
And watching till he takes his bow and spear
To chase the wild gazelles now browsing near,
She, ere the king returns, near by arrives
With her two maids; with them for love connives,
Joy and seduction thus voluptuous fly
Her Samkhatu, Kharimtu from the sky,
As gently, lightly as a spirit's wing
Oft carries gods to earth while Sedu sing.
Thus, they, with lightest step, expectant stood
Within this lovely spot beneath the wood.
Their snowy limbs they bare, undraped now stand
Upon the rock at Ishtar's soft command.
Like marble forms endued with life they move,
And thrill the air with welcome notes of love.
The its-tu-ri Same mut-tab-ri sang
Their sweetest notes, and the Khar-san-u rang
With songs of thrushes, turtle-doves and jays,
And linnets, with the nightingale's sweet lays,
Goldfinches, magpies and the wild hoopoes;
With cries of green-plumed parrots and cuckoos,
Pee-wits and sparrows join the piercing cries
Of gorgeous herons, while now upward flies
The eagle screaming, joyful spreads his wings
Above the forest; and the woodchuck rings
A wild tattoo upon the trees around;
And humming-birds whirr o'er the flowering ground
In flocks, and beat the luscious laden air
With emerald and gold, and scarlet, where
These perfect forms with godly grace divine,
In loveliness upon the rock recline.
Sweet joy is slender formed, with bright black eyes
That sparkle oft and dance with joy's surprise;
Seduction, with her rare voluptuous form,
Enchanteth all till wildest passions warm
The blood and fire the eye beneath her charm;
All hearts in heaven and earth she doth disarm.
The Queen with every perfect charm displayed
Delights the eye, and fills the heart, dismayed
With fear, lest the bright phantom may dissolve
To airy nothingness, till fierce resolve
Fills each who her beholds, while love doth dart
From liquid eyes and captivates the heart.
She is the queen who fills the earth with love
And reigns unrivalled in her realms above.
Beware, ye hearts! beware! who feel the snare
Of Ishtar, lest ye tread upon the air;
When ye her rosy chain of fragrance wear,
When blindness strikes the eye, and deaf the ear
Becomes, and heartstrings only lead you then,
Till ye return to common sense again;
Enthralled mayhap and captive led in chains,
Ye then will leisure have to bear your pains;
Or if perchance a joy hath come to thee,
Through all thy joyous life, then happy be!
The hour has come when Izdubar will seek
The cool enchantment of the cove, and slake
His thirst with its sweet waters bubbling pure,
Where Love has spread for him her sweetest lure,
The maids expectant listening, watch and wait
His coming; oft in ecstacies they prate
O'er his surprise, and softly sport and splash
The limpid waves around, that glowing flash
Like heaps of snowy pearls flung to the light
By Hea's hands, his Zir-ri to delight.
And now upon the rock each maid reclines,
While Ishtar's form beneath them brightly shines;
Beside the fountain stands the lovely god,
The graceful sovereign of Love's sweet abode.
"He comes; the shrubs of yonder jasmine near
Are rustling, oh, he comes! my Izdubar!"
And thus her love she greets: "Why art thou here?
Thou lovely mortal! king art thou, or seer?
We reck not which, and welcome give to thee;
Wouldst thou here sport with us within the sea?"
And then, as if her loveliness forgot,
She quickly grasped her golden locks and wrought
Them round her form of symmetry with grace
That well became a god, while o'er her face
Of sweetest beauty blushes were o'erspread;
"Thou see-est only Nature's robe," she said.
"Tis all I wish while sporting with my maids,
And all alone no care have we for jades;
And if with thee we can in truth confide,
We here from all the world may cosey hide."
She hurls a glance toward him, smiling naive,
Then bounding from the rock, peeps from a wave;
The waters fondling her surround, embrace
Her charms; and now emerging with rare grace,
She turning says:
"Make haste, my hearts!
Come forth! attend your queen!" and then she parts
The azure waves, to where, in dumb surprise,
The King enchanted stands, and fondly eyes
The Queen divine, while fascinating thrills
Sweep wildly through his breast; as fragrance fills
The rose-tree groves, or gardens of the gods,
Or breezes odorous from the Blest Abodes.
A longing, rising, fills his inmost soul
For this sweet queen who offers him a goal
His stormy life has never known, since he,
His loved one lost beneath the raging sea;
And all his calm resolves to seek no more
A joy which passed and left his heart forlore,
Are breaking, vanishing beneath her charms,
Dissolving as the mists, when sunlight warms
The earth, then scorching drinks the rising dews;
Till he at last no longer can refuse,
And love directs while he the goddess greets:
"Such wondrous beauty here no mortal meets;
But come, thou Zir-ru, with me sweetly rest;
Primroses, gentians, with their charms invest
My mossy couch, with odorous citron-trees
And feathery palms above; and I will please
Thee with a mortal's love thou hast not known;
In pure love mingling let our spirits run,
For earthly joys are sweeter than above,
That rarest gift, the honeyed kiss of love
On earth, is sweeter bliss than gods enjoy;
Their shadowy forms with love cannot employ
Such pleasure as a mortal's sweet caress.
Come, Zi-ru, and thy spirit I will bless;
The Mandrake ripened golden, glows around;
The fruit of Love is fragrant on the ground."
Amid the Dud'im plants he now reclines,
And to his welcome fate himself resigns;
The lovely queen beside him now doth lay,
And leads his soul along the blissful way
That comes to every heart that longs for love,
When purest joy doth bless us from above;
From her soft liquid eyes the love-light speaks,
And her warm hands she lays in his, and wakes
Beneath her touch a thrill of wild desire,
Until his blood now seems like molten fire.
Her eyes half closed begat a passion wild,
With her warm breast, her loves hath beguiled;
She nearer creeps with hot and balmy breath,
And trembling form aglow, and to him saith:
"My lips are burning for a kiss, my love!"
A prize like this, a heart of stone would move,
And he his arms around her fondly placed
Till she reclined upon his breast, embraced,
Their lips in one long thrilling rapture meet.
But hark! what are these strains above so sweet
That float around, above, their love surround?
An-nu-na-ci from forests, mounts around,
And from the streams and lakes, and ocean, trees,
And all that haunt the godly place, to please
The lovers, softly chant and dance around
To cymbals, lyres until the rocks resound,
Of goddess Ishtar chant, and Izdubar,
The Queen of Love wed to the King of War.
And he alarmed starts up and springs away,
And furious cries, to Ishtar's wild dismay:
"What meanest thou, thou wanton brazen thing?
Wouldst thou on me the direst curses bring?"
And lo! the goddess is transformed! the crown
Of her own silver skies shines like the sun,
And o'er her dazzling robes a halo falls;
Her stately form with glory him appals,
For Heaven's dazzling splendor o'er her flows,
With rays celestial; o'er her brow there glows
A single star.
"Have I embraced a god?"
He horrified now cries; and she doth nod
"But, oh! wilt thou thy queen forgive?
I love thee I stay! oh, stay! my heart you grieve!"
He springs beyond the mystic circling ring,
And from their sight thus glides the angry King.
Beneath the wood himself he doth disguise
In tattered garments, on his steed he flies;
And when he comes in sight of Erech's gate,
His beggar's mantle throws aside; in state
Again enrobed, composed his anxious face,
Through Erech's gates he rides with kingly grace;
O'er his adventure thus the King reflects:
"Alas my folly leads, my life directs!
'Tis true, the goddess hath seductive charms,
E'en yet I feel her warm embracing arms.
Enough! her love from me I'll drive away;
Alas! for me, is this unfruitful day!"
As Samas' car sank in the glowing west,
And Sin the moon-god forth had come full drest
For starry dance across the glistening skies,
The sound of work for man on earth now dies,
And all betake themselves to sweet repose.
The silver light of Sin above bright flows,
And floods the figures on the painted walls,
O'er sculptured lions, softly, lightly falls;
Like grim and silent watch-dogs at the door
They stand; in marble check their leaping roar.
The King within his chamber went his way,
Upon his golden jewelled couch he lay.
The silken scarlet canopy was hung
In graceful drapery and loosely clung
Around his couch, and purple damask cloths
Embroidered with rare skill, preserved from moths
By rich perfumes, to the carved lintel clung
In graceful folds; thus o'er the entrance hung.
Queen Ishtar softly comes, and o'er his dreams
A mystic spell she draws, until it seems
While half awake he lies, that she is yet
Close nestling in his arms, as he had met
Her in the wood, and with her there reclined,
While her soft arms around him were entwined.
Thus while he sleeps she hovers o'er his bed
With throbbing heart, and close inclines her head
Until her lips near touch the sleeping King's,
But daring not to kiss.
She love thus brings,
All through his dreams; until one misty night,
While he yet restless tossed, the lovely sprite
Sunk him to deeper sleep with her soft lyre
While hanging o'er his couch consumed with fire
That nestling around her heart-strings fiercely burned
Until at last lulled by the strain he turned
Upon his couch at rest, and she now lay
Beside him closely, when she heard him say:
"My love thou art, but canst not be!" No more
He murmurs, then inflamed she sought the door.
"Perchance the su-khu-li sleep not!" she said;
And satisfied, turned where her lover laid;
And to his royal couch she crept again;
Her bliss will have despite of gods and men.
Her hot and burning lips cannot resist
The tempting treasure lying there, nor missed
Shall be the dearest joys of love from her
Who rules all hearts in Heaven, earth, and air.
Her right divine that blessing sweet to take,
She will assert, her burning thirst to slake.
His couch the Heavenly Queen of Love now gracest
And on his breast her glorious head she places;
Embracing him, she softly through her lips
And his, the sweetest earthly nectar sips,
While he in sleep lies murmuring of love,
And she in blissful ecstasy doth move.
Her lips to his, she wildly places there,
Until to him it seems a fond nightmare.
And thus, against his will, she fondly takes
What he her shall deny when he awakes,
The stolen kisses both the lovers thrill:
Unquenched her warm desire would kiss him still,
But his hot blood now warms him in his dream
Which is much more to him than it doth seem;
And clasping her within convulsing arms,
Receives a thrill that all his nerves alarms,
And wakes him from the dreams she had instilled.
"What means this fantasy that hath me filled,
And spirit form that o'er my pillow leans;
I wonder what this fragrant incense means?
Oh, tush! 'tis but an idle, wildering dream,
But how delightful, joyous it did seem!
Her beauteous form it had, its breath perfume;
Do spirit forms such loveliness assume?"
The goddess yet dares not her form reveal,
And quickly she herself doth now conceal
Behind the damask curtains at the door.
When he awoke, sprang to the chamber floor,
As his own maid the queen herself transforms,
Says entering in haste:
"What wild alarms
Thee, Sar?" and then demure awaits reply,
In doubt to hear or to his bosom fly.
"My maid art thou? 'Tis well, for I have dreamed
Of spirits, as a Zi-ru fair it seemed."
 "Ul-bar," Bel's temple.
 "Nin-a-rad," literally "servant of Nin,"
or "Nin-mar-ad," "Lord of the
city of Marad."
 "Nin," the god of the chase and war, or lord.
 "Tar-u-ma-ni izzu sarri," "son of the faith, the fire-king."
 "Nuk-khu," darkness (god of darkness).
 "Nina-zu," god of fate and death.
 "Mam-mit," or "Mam-mi-tu," goddess of fate.
 "Dragons," gods of chaos and death
 "Sar," king.
 "Khanga," chorus
 One of the Accadian psalms is here quoted from "Chaldean Magic," by Lenormant, pp. 185, 186. See also "Records of the Past," Vol. xi. pl. 17, col. 2.
 Literally, "Right into my marrow, O Lords of breath."
 Literally, "Direct the breath of my mouth!"
 Sacred glass, sun-glass used to light the sacred fire.
 Incantation to Fire ("Records of the Past," vol. xi. p. 137). The Accadian and Assyrian text is found in "C. I. W. A.," Vol. iv, pl. 14, and on tablet K. 49,002, in the British Museum.
 "Sik-ka-ti," narrow mountain gorges
 "Khar-sak," the Deluge mountain, where the ark rested.
 "Se-du," a spirit of the earth, and rivers.
 "Zir-ri," the spirits of the rivers, water-nymphs.
 "Hea," the god of the ocean.
 "Zi-na-ki," pronounced "zee-na-kee" spirits of purity.
 "Zi-si," corn-gods, or spirits of the corn.
 "San-kha-tu," one of the maids of Ishtar, "Joy."
 "Kha-rima-tu," one of the maids of Ishtar, "Seduction."
 "Its-tu-ri Same mut-tab ri," "the winged birds of heaven."
 "Khar-san-u," forest.
 "Hea," god of the ocean.
 "Zir-ri," spirits of the river, the sea-daughters of Hea
 "Zir-ru," water-nymph.
 "Mandrake," the "love-plant."
 "Dud'im" or "dudaim," - "love-plant" or mandrake. (Author has discussion of possible origin of word from Hebrew, Chaldean, Syrian and Arabic words. Without these fonts the discussion is not reproducable)
 "An-nu-na-ci," spirits of the earth.
 "Su-khu-li," guards of the palace