The night is fleeing from the light of dawn,
Which dimly falls upon the palace lawn;
The King upon his royal dum-khi sleeps,
And to his couch again Queen Ishtar creeps.
In spite his dream to dismal thoughts she turns,
Her victim tosses, now with fever burns:
He wildly starts, and from his dum-khi springs,
While loud his voice throughout the palace rings:
"Ho! vassals! haste to me! your King!" he cries,
And stamping fiercely while his passions rise.
The sukhu-li and masari rush in:
"What trouble, Sar? have foes here come within?"
Then searching around they in his chamber rush,
And eagerly aside the curtains push.
The King yet paces on the floor with strides
That show the trouble of his mind, and chides
Them all as laggards; "Soon the sun will rise
My steed prepared bring hence!" he turning cries.
He mounts and gallops through the swinging gates,
Nor for attendance of his vassals waits.
Nor turns his face toward the nam-za-khi,
Who quickly opened for the King to fly
Without the gates; across the plains he rides
Away unmindful where his steed he guides.
The horse's hoofs resound upon the plain
As the lone horseman with bewildered brain,
To leave behind the phantoms of the night,
Rides fiercely through the early morning light,
Beyond the orange orchards, citron groves,
'Mid feathery date-palms he reckless roves.
The fields of yellow grain mid fig-trees flash
Unseen, and prickly pears, pomegranates, dash
In quick succession by, till the white foam
From his steed's mouth and quiv'ring flanks doth come;
Nor heeds the whitened flowing mane, but flies,
While clouds of dust him follow, and arise
Behind him o'er the road like black storm clouds,
While Zu the storm-bird onward fiercely goads
The seven raven spirits of the air,
And Nus-ku opens wide the fiery glare
Of pent-up lightnings for fierce Gibil's hand,
Who hurls them forth at Nergal's stern command,
And Rimmon rides triumphant on the air,
And Ninazu for victims doth prepare,
The King rides from the road into the wild,
Nor thought of danger, his stern features smiled
As the worn steed from a huge lion shied,
Which turning glanced at them and sprang aside;
Now Zi-pis-au-ni fly before the King.
And yellow leopards through the rushes spring.
Upon Euphrates' banks his steed he reins,
And views the rosy wilds of Sumir's plains.
He looked toward the east across the plain
That stretched afar o'er brake and marshy fen,
And clustering trees that marked the Tigris' course;
And now beyond the plain o'er fields and moors,
The mountain range of Zu o'er Susa's land
Is glowing 'neath the touch of Samas' hand;
For his bright face is rising in the east,
And shining clouds from sea and rising mist,
The robes of purple, violet and gold,
With rosy tints the form of Samas fold.
The tamarisk and scarlet mistletoe,
With green acacias' golden summits glow,
And citron, olives, myrtle, climbing vine,
Arbutus, cypress, plane-tree rise divine;
The emerald verdure, clad with brilliant hues,
With rose-tree forests quaffs the morning dews.
The King delighted bares his troubled brow,
In Samas' golden rays doth holy bow.
But see! a shadow steals along the ground!
And trampling footsteps through the copses sound,
And Izdubar, his hand placed on his sword,
"Who cometh o'er mine Erech's sward?"
An armed warrior before him springs;
The King, dismounted, his bright weapon swings.
"'Tis I, Prince Dib-bara, Lord Izdubar,
And now at last alone we meet in war;
My soldiers you o'erthrew upon the field,
But here to Nuk-khu's son thine arm shall yield!
The monarch eyes the warrior evil-born,
And thus reples to him with bitter scorn:
"And dost thou think that Samas' son shall die
By a vile foe who from my host did fly?
Or canst thou hope that sons of darkness may
The Heaven-born of Light and glory slay?
As well mayst hope to quench the god of fire,
But thou shalt die if death from me desire."
The giant forms a moment fiercely glared,
And carefully advanced with weapons bared,
Which flash in the bright rays like blades of fire,
And now in parry meet with blazing ire.
Each firmly stood and rained their ringing blows,
And caught each stroke upon their blades, till glows
The forest round with sparks of fire that flew
Like blazing meteors from their weapons true;
And towering in their rage they cautious sprung
Upon each, foiled, while the deep Suk-ha rung.
At last the monarch struck a mighty blow,
His foeman's shield of gold, his blade cleft through;
And as the lightning swung again his sword,
And struck the chieftain's blade upon the sward,
A Sedu springs from out the tangled copse,
And at his feet the sword still ringing drops.
The King his sword placed at his foeman's throat
"Hal-ca to yon waiting boat!
Or I will send thy body down this stream!
Ca is-kab-bu! va kal-bu! whence you came!"
The chief disarmed now slunk away surprised,
And o'er the strength of Sar-dan-nu surmised.
The King returns, and rides within the gate
Of Erech, and the council entered late.
The counsellors assembled round the throne
Within the council halls of zam-at stone,
Now greet their monarch, and behold his face
With trouble written on his brow, and trace
Uneasiness within that eagle eye,
While he with stately tread, yet wearily
His throne approached; he turned to the mu-di,
And swept a glance upon his khas-iz-i.
Uneasy they all eyed his troubled face,
For he had ridden at a furious pace.
The abuli had told them on that morn,
How he across the plains had wildly torn
To drive away some vision of the night.
One asked, "Hath our Sardan-nu's dreams been light?
Or hath dread phantoms o'er thy pillow hung?
For trouble on thy countenance hath clung."
The monarch startled at the question eyes
The councillor, and to him thus replies:
"'Tis true, my counsellors and wisest men,
I dreamed a fearful dream Sat mu-si; when
I have disclosed it, if one clear reveals
Its meaning all and naught from me conceals,
On him will I the greatest wealth bestow:
I will ennoble him, and the sib-zu
A ku-bar-ra for him shall rich prepare;
As my tur-tan-u he shall be, and seer,
Decked with a golden chain shall next preside
At every feast, and break his bread beside
The King, and highest rank he shall attain
'Mong counsellors, and mine own favor gain;
And seven wives to him I will allow,
And a grand palace. This as King I vow,
The scribe it shall enroll above my seal
As Erech's Sar's decree beyond repeal.
I dreamed upon my dum-khi fast asleep,
The stars from heaven fell from yonder deep
To earth; and one, with fierceful heat my back
Did pierce as molten fire, and left its track
Of flames like some huge ball along my spine;
And then transformed, it turned its face to mine;
As some fierce god it glowed before my sight
Till agony was lost in dread affright.
I rooted stood, in terror, for its face
Was horrible; I saw in its feet's place
A lion's claws. It sprang, my strength it broke,
And slew me, gloating over me! Awoke,
I sprang, methought I was a corpse ka-ra
Va tal-ka mat sar, talka bu-la sha
Ra-pas-ti sat-ti, ar-id-da! ka-ra,
Va hal-li-ka! lik-ru-bu ki-mi-ta!
The seers in silence stand, perplexed and think;
But from the task at once the wisest shrink.
The King each face soon read:
"Ye tell me no?"
And nodding all, concealed from him their woe,
For they beheld within the dream some fate
Impending o'er him born of godly hate,
And durst not to their monarch prate their fears,
For flatterers of kings are all his seers.
The King impatient eyed them all with scorn,
And hid his thoughts by wildest passions born;
And then at last contemptuous to them said,
"So all my seers of trouble are afraid?
Or else in ignorance you turn away;
'Tis well! I sorely need a seer this day."
And they now prostrate fall before his throne,
"Forgive thy seers!" one cries, "O mighty One!
For we this dreadful dream do fear portends
Thy harm! a god some message to thee sends!
We know not what, but fear for thee, our Sar,
And none but one can augur it; afar
He lives, Heabani should before the King
Be brought from Za-Ga-bri the na-bu bring!"
"'Tis well! Prince Zaidu for the hermit send,
And soon this mystery your Sar will end."
The King distressed now to the temple goes
To lay before the mighty gods his woes;
This prayer recites to drive away bad dreams,
While Samas' holy altar brightly gleams:
"O Samas! may my prayer bring me sweet rest,
And may my Lord his favor grant to me:
Annihilate the things that me invest!
This day, O God! distressed, I cry to thee!
O goddess! be thou gracious unto me,
Receive my prayer, my sins forgive I pray:
My wickedness and will arrayed 'gainst thee.
Oh, pardon me! O God, be kind this day,
My groaning may the seven winds destroy,
Clothe me with deep humility! receive
My prayers, as winged birds, oh, may they fly
And fishes carry them, and rivers weave
Them in the waters on to thee, O God!
As creeping things of the vast desert, cry
I unto thee outstretched on Erech's sod;
And from the river's lowest depths I pray;
My heart cause thou to shine like-polished gold,
Though food and drink of Nin-a-zu this day
Be mine, while worms and death thy servant fold.
Oh, from thine altar me support, protect,
In low humility I pray, forgive!
Feed me with joy, my dreams with grace direct;
The dream I dreamed, oh favorable give
To me its omen filled with happiness!
May Mak-hir, god of dreams, my couch invest!
With visions of Bit-sag-gal my heart bless,
The temple of the gods, of Nin, with rest
Unbroken, and to Merodach I pray!
The favoring one, to prosper me and mine:
Oh, may thy entering exalted be!
And thy divinity with glory shine,
And may our city shine with glowing meads,
And all my people praise thy glorious deeds."
Now to Euphrates' banks the Sar and seers
Their footsteps turn to pray into the ears
Of Hea, where, in white, a band of priests
Drawn in a crescent, Izdubar invests.
Now at the water's edge he leans, his hands
Dips in the waves, and pours upon the sands
The sparkling drops, while all a hymn descant
To Hea, thus the intantation chant:
"O chant our incantation to the waters pure,
Euphrates' waters flowing to the sea!
Where Hea's holy face shines bright on every shore,
O Sabit of Timatu to ye
We pray! may your bright waters glowing shine
As Hea's face, and heaving breast divine!
"O Sabit, to your father Hea take our prayer!
And may Dao-ki-na, your bright mother, hear!
With joy, oh shine, as peaceful as the sleeping light,
O ever may your throbbing waves be bright.
O spirit of the Heaven, hear!
Remember us, Remember!
O spirit of the earth, come near!
Remember us, Remember!
O hear us, Hea! hear us, dear Dao-ki-na!
Ca-ca-ma u ca-ca-ma u ca-ca-ma!"
Before a cave within the Gab-ri wild,
A seer is resting on a rock; exiled
By his own will from all the haunts of men,
Beside a pool within a rocky glen
He sits; a turban rests upon his brow,
And meets the lengthened beard of whitest snow.
This morn an omen comes before his eyes,
And him disturbs with a wild eagle's cries
That fierce attacks a fox before his cave;
For he of beasts is the most cunning knave;
In wait upon the ground the fox hath lain
To lure the bird, which flying deems him slain.
He fiercely seizes it, as swooping down,
The bird with its sly quarry would have flown;
But the a-si quick seized it by the throat,
While the wide wings with frantic fury smote
The beast, and the sharp talons deeply tore
Its foe -- both greedy for the other's gore.
And lo! a voice from yonder sky resounds;
Heabani to his feet now quickly bounds,
And bowing, listens to the voice that comes
In gentleness; upon the winds it roams
From yon blue heights like sighing of the trees;
The seer in reverence upon his knees
Now holy bares his head in Samas' rays,
While the soft voice to him thus gently says:
"A messenger, Heabani, soon shall come
With offers rich, to leave thy lonely home.
This eagle sought its food and found a snare,
The messenger will come from Izdubar,
To learn from thee the meaning of his dream
Which goddess Ishtar sent, — a snare for him.
Then to the messenger prove not a snare,
As yonder a-si doth the eagle tear."
The seer in fury tore his beard of snow
And cried —
"Alas! my days shall end in woe
Within these wilds my happiness is mine,
No other joys I seek, my god divine;
I would upon these rocks lie down to die,
Upon my back here sleep eternally."
And Samas urging, to him thus replied:
"Heabani, hast thou not some manly pride?
And thinkest thou no joy thou here wilt lose?
The lovely Sam-kha-tua the seer may choose.
Arrayed in trappings of divinity
And the insignia of royalty,
Heabani then in Erech shall be great,
And live in happiness and royal state;
And Izdubar shall hearken, and incline
His heart in warmest friendship, and recline
With thee upon a couch of luxury,
And seat thee on a throne of royalty,
On his left hand, a crown shall grace thy brow.
Kings of the earth shall to thee subject bow
And kiss thy feet, and Izdubar shall give
Thee wealth, and thou in luxury shalt live.
In silence Erech's men shall bow to thee,
In royal raiment thou shalt happy be."
Heabani listened to the words that came
From Samas, and his brow was lit with shame
To hear the god of war urge him to go
To earthly happiness mayhap to woe;
But he within his cave now listless turns
When Samas ceased; then to his rock returns,
And seats himself with calmness on his brow;
His thoughts in happy memories now flow,
And he recalls the blissful days of yore
When he as seer lived on Euphrates' shore,
As the queen's bard oft tuned a festive lay,
While soft-eyed maidens dance and cymbals play.
Prince Zaidu on his steed now hastes away,
Upon the plains he travelled all that day;
Next morn the Za-Gabri he slow ascends,
Along the mountain sides the horseman wends
Beneath the Eri-ni, and cliffs, and sees
The plains and mountains o'er the misty trees
From the wild summit, and old Khar-sak glow
Above them all with its twin crests of snow.
He plunges in the wild to seek the cave;
Three days unceasing sought young Zaidu brave,
And now at last within the glen he rode,
And near approached Heabani's wild abode.
At last he sees the seer before his home,
And with his monster now toward him come,
That walked subdued beside the hermit seer,
Thus they upon the rocks above appear.
"Why art thou here in warrior's array?"
The hermit cries. "I know thee not! away!"
"O holy seer, 'tis Zaidu, from our Sar!
The king of Erech, chieftain Izdubar."
"What seekest thou within my mountain lair?"
Heabani angry cried. "What brings thee here?"
"For thee! if true Heabani is thy name;
I seek the hermit seer of wondrous fame.
My king doth offer thee rich gifts of state,
And sent me to thee here to make thee great.
No empty honors do I seek, which void
Of all true happiness, all men have cloyed.
Return then to thy haunts of pleasure, pain,
For thy king's embassy is all in vain."
The seer returns within his lonely cave
And leaves the prince alone the beast to brave.
At last it slinks away within the gloom;
No more from their wild home doth either come,
Three days Prince Zaidu watches the dark lair,
But now his courage turns to blank despair:
The seer hath changed his mind since Samas sought
To urge him forth to leave his lonely lot.
The prince the mountain precipice now climbs,
And peers within while clinging to the limbs
Of stunted oaks, and views the mountain lair;
But all in vain his calls ring on the air.
Then mounting wearily his steed he turns
Away, and unsuccessful thus returns.
As Zaidu sadly turns and rides away,
The hermit from his cave comes forth to pray:
"Alas! hath all these wilds their charms here lost?
And is my breast with wild ambition tost?
My lonely cot I look upon with shame;
Again I long to seek the fields of fame,
Where luxury my remaining years
May crown, and happiness may find - or tears;
'Tis true! I should have welcomed the bar-ru;
But he hath since returned to Subartu."
His harp he took from its dust-covered case,
And kissed its carved and well-remembered face;
And tuning it, he glanced toward the wood,
And sang his farewell ode to solitude:Farewell, ye mountains, woods and trees —The holy minstrel bows his head in woe,
My heart doth long again for joy;
I love your wilds and mossy leas,
But oh, your solitude doth cloy!
I love to see the bur-khi-is
Sweep stately o'er the mossy rocks;
And tsabi in a wild like this,
Hear the tattoo of red woodchucks.
I love the cries of lig-bar-ri
The nes-i calling for their prey;
And leaping of the na-a-li,
That fly in wildest fear away.
I love the bu-hir-tser-i all,
Hear cu-uts-tsi with thunder roll
Across the skies within my view.
I love to see the ca-ca-bi
Peep through the pine-trees o'er my home,
And watch the wild tu-ra-a-khi
And arme welcome, to me come.
Farewell! ye solitudes, farewell!
I will not moulder rotting lie
With no one's lips to wish me well;
O give me immortality!
But what is fame? A bubble blown
Upon the breeze, that bursts its shell,
And all our brightest hopes are flown,
And leaves our solitude a hell.
And sweeps the harpstrings with a movement slow;
Then lifts his eyes toward the setting sun,
His evening invocation thus begun:O Samas! to the lifting of my hands
Show favor! unto me thy servant turn!
What man before thy blessed Light withstands?
O thou I what mortal thine own words can learn?
And who can rival them inviolate?
Among the gods no equal thou hast found.
In Heaven who of all the gods is great?
O thou alone! art great through Heaven's bound!
On earth what man is great? alas! no one,
For thou alone art great! through earth's vast bounds.
When wide thy awful voice in Heaven resounds,
The gods fall prostrate to our Holy One;
When on the earth thy voice afar resounds,
The genii bow to thee and kiss the dust.
In thee, O Samas! do I put my trust,
For thy great love and mercy wide abounds!
O my Creator, God, thy watchfulness
O'er me, oh may it never cease!
Keep thou the opening of my lips! the fleece
Of purest snow be my soul's daily dress.
Guard thou my hands! O Samas, Lord of Light!
And ever keep my life and heart aright!
The dark-eyed maids are dancing in the halls
Of Erech's palace: music fills the walls
Of splendor where the Sar-dan-nu enthroned,
His hours is whiling by the maidens zoned;
A whirling garland chanting forth a song,
Accompanied with harps thus sang the throng:
"Heabani's wisdom chant and singThe maidens note their monarch's moody face,
To Erech's king our mighty Sar.
When Hea did Heabani bring,
Who now to Erech comes afar,
He taught him then all hidden things
Of Ki or bright Samu above,
That to the Mu-di mystery brings.
Oh, how Heabani we shall love!
"Then sing with joy ye Khau-ik-i!
The Khau-ga chant with waving arms,
The Nin-uit sing Au-un-na-ci
Give to our Sar your sweetest charms.
All knowledge that is visible
Heabani holds it in his glance,
Sees visions inconceivable,
The Zi his wizard eyes entrance.
Sweet peace he brings from troubled dreams,
He comes to El-li-tar-du-si,
From a far road by mountain streams;
Then sing with joy ye Khau-ik-i!
"Then sing with joy ye Khau-ik-i!
The Khau-ga chant with waving arms,
The Nin-uit sing An-un-na-ci!
Give to our Sar your sweetest charms.
"E'en all that on the tablet rests,
In Erech's tower, the Su-bu-ri,
The beautiful, with glorious crests,
He wrote for far posterity.
We plead with him to leave us not,
But Zi-Gab-ri him led away,
When our great Shal-man joy us brought,
And Elam fled to the blue sea.
"Then sing with joy ye Khau-ik-i!
Il-gi-sa-kis-sat from above,
The Nin-uit sing An-un-na-ci!
Oh, how Heabani we shall love!"
And turn their songs to him with easy grace,
Of their great ruler tune a joyous lay,
And oft into his eyes hurl glances gay;
And trumpets join the chorus, rolling drums,
And wild applause from all the chieftains comes,
Till the grave seers and councillors now cry
In praise of him they love so tenderly:
With arms upraised the mighty chorus join.
Until his heart is filled with joy divine;
And thus they sing with more than royal praise,
Their love for him in every face doth blaze.
 "Su-khu-li rahi." attendants of the King.
 "Masari," guards of the palace.
 "Nam-za-ki, openers of the gates
 "Zu," the divine bird of the storm-cloud, the god worshipped by Izdubar, the god who stole the tablets of heaven.
 The seven wicked spirits in the form of men with faces of ravens.
 "Nus-ku," the gate-keeper of thunder.
 "Gibil," the god of fire and spells and witchcraft.
 "Ner-gal," director of the storms, the giant King of War, the strong begetter.
 "Rimmon." the god of storms and hurricanes.
 "Nin-a-zu," the goddess of fate and death.
 "Zi-pis-au-ni," spirits of the papyri, or reeds.
 Mountain range of Zu. The ancient name is unknown but as Susa takes its name from Zu the divine bird of the storm-cloud, we have given the mountains of Susiana their probable ancient name.
 "Dib-bara" ("the darkening one"), the son of Nuk-khu. He is supposed to have been the viceroy of Khumbaba, and led the attack upon Erech.
 "Nuk-hu," or " Nuk-khu," the god of darkness and sleep. He is sometimes called "Cus-u."
 "Suk-ha," wood or grove, or a forest
 "Hal-ca!" " Go!"
 "Ca is-kab-bu! va kal-bu!" "Thou fool and dog!" "Ca" ("thou") is the short form of "cat-ta" or "ca'a"; generally it appears as "at-ta."
 "Sar-dan-nu," the great King.
 "Zam-at" stone, diamond, crystal or lapis lazuli.
 "Mu-di," seers.
 "Khas-i-zi," counsellors.
 "Ab-u-li," guard of the great gates of the city.
 "Sat mu-si," in the night-time, or last night
 "Sib-zu," embroiderer.
 "Ku-bar-ra," robe of a prince.
 "Tur-tan-u " next in rank to the King.
 "Dum-khi" or "dun-khi," couch.
 "Ka-ra! va," etc., "Speak out! and if thou augurest the death of the King, or if thou augurest life of extended years, I have spoken! Speak out! and cast the lots! may they be propitious with us!"
 "Za-Ga-bri," the mountains of Zu, "Ga-bri" ("mountains"), and "Za," another form of "zu," the divine bird of the storm-cloud. They were at one time called the mountains of Susa, now the Kurdistan range of mountains. The name we have given we believe to be the probable ancient one.
 "Na-bu," prophet, seer.
 We have here quoted a prayer after a bad dream, the text of which is lithographed in "C. I. W. A.," vol. iv. 66, 2, and is supposed to be an ancient Accadian prayer. See "Records of the Past," vol. ix. p. 151.
 "Nin-a-zu," the goddess of darkness and death.
 "Mak-hir," the daughter of the sun, and goddess of dreams.
 Literally, "he that shows favor." The above prayer was translated for the first time by Rev. A. H. Sayce M.A., in the "Records of the Past," vol. ix. p. 151. We have followed as literally as possible the original, and have given it its probable place in the epic.
 Hea, god of the ocean, the earth's surface, brightness, etc., and chief protector of men.
 "Sab-it," or "Sabitu" ("seven"), the seven winds, gods of the abyss or ocean.
 "Tiamatu," the abyss or ocean.
 "Dao-ki-na" or "Dao-cina," the wife of Hea, and goddess of the ocean.
 "Amen and Amen and Amen!" The Assyrian word is "Amamu." The original "ca-ca-ma" ("Amen") concludes the incantation; See "C. I. W, A.," vol. iv. pl. I4; also "Records of the Past" vol xi. P 135.
 "Gab-ri" mountains.
 "A-si," fox.
 "Sam-kha-tu" ("Joy"), one of the maids of Ishtar.
 "Eri-ni," cedar-trees.
 A carnivorous animal supposed to have been either a lion or a tiger, more probably a lion.
 "Bar-ru," an army officer.
 "Su-bar-tu," Syria.
 "Bur-khi-is," antelopes.
 "Tsabi," gazelles.
 "Lig-bar-ri," hyenas.
 "Nes-i " lions.
 "Na-a-li," spotted stags.
 "Bu-hir-tser-i," beasts of the field.
 "Khar-sa-a-nu sa-qu-u-tu" forests thick.
 "Cu-uts-tsi," storms.
 "Ca-ca-bi" stars.
 "Tu-ra-a-khi " deer.
 "Arme," wiid goats.
 This prayer is made up from Assyrian fragments now in the British Museum.
 See "Records of the Past," vol. iii. p. 136.
 "Genii," spirits
 "Sar-dan-nu," the great King.
 "Sar," king.
 "Ki," earth.
 "Samu," heaven.
 "Mu-di," seers or wise men.
 "Khau-ik-i" the choral band.
 "Khau-ga," chorus.
 "Nin-uit," song.
 "An-un-na-ci," spirits of the earth
 "Zi," spirits of the earth, air, water, etc.
 "El-li-tar-du-si," one of the temples of Erech.
 "Su-bu-ri," the lofty.
 "Zi-Gab-ri," spirits of the mountains.
 "Shal-man." deliverer.
 "Il-gi-sa-kis-sat," spirits of the hosts