Thus in Heabani's cave the maiden went,
And o'er the sleeping seer her form she bent;
O'er him who with gazelles oft eats his food;
O'er him who drinks with bhu-ri 1 in the wood;
O'er him who loves the zir-ri,--of them dreams,
And sports with them within the mountain streams.
And when the gay enticer saw the seer
Unconscious sleeping with sweet joy so near,
She clasped him to her breast and kissed his brow.
The seer awakes, with wonder eyes her now:
"Thy glory thou hast brought to me!" he saith,
"Sweet Zir-ru comes to me with fragrant breath!"
And with delight he eyes her beauteous form,
His breast warm moved by the enticer's charm.
He springs upon his feet and her pursues:
She laughing flees; to sport with him doth choose.
And now he eyes his hairy body, arms
Compared to Sam-kha's snowy god-like charms,
She give to him her freshness, blooming youth?
She laughing comes again to him,--Forsooth!
Her glorious arms she opens, flees away,
While he doth follow the enticer gay.
He seizes, kisses, takes away her breath,
And she falls to the ground--perhaps in death
He thinks, and o'er her leans where she now lay;
At last she breathes, and springs, and flees away.
But he the sport enjoys, and her pursues;
But glancing back his arms she doth refuse.
And thus three days and four of nights she played;
For of Heabani's love she was afraid.
Her joyous company doth him inspire
For Sam-kha, joy, and love, and wild desire.
He was not satisfied unless her form
Remained before him with her endless charm.[paragraph continues]
But when his bhu-ri of the field the sight
Beheld, the wild gazelles fled in affright.
And now without the cave they came in view
Of Zaidu waiting with sweet Kharim-tu,
And when Heabani saw the rounded form
Of bright Kharim-tu, her voluptuous charm
Drew him to her, and at her feet he sate
With wistful face, resigned to any fate.
Kharim-tu, smiling sweetly, bent her head,
Enticing him the tempter coyly said,
"Heabani, like a famous god thou art,
Why with these creeping things doth sleep thy heart?
Come thou with me to Erech Su-bu-ri 2
To Anu's temple Elli-tar-du-si,
And Ishtar's city where great Izdubar
Doth reign, the glorious giant king of war;
Whose mighty strength above his chiefs doth tower,
Come see our giant king of matchless power."
Her flashing eyes half languid pierce the seer,
Until his first resolves all disappear.
And rising to his feet his eyes he turned
Toward sweet Joy, 3 whose love for him yet burned;
And eyeing both with beaming face he saith,
"With Sam-kha's love the seer hath pledged his faith;
And I will go to Elli-tar-du-si,
Great Anu's seat and Ishtar's where with thee,
I will behold the giant Izdubar,
Whose fame is known to me as king of war;
And I will meet him there, and test the power
Of him whose fame above all men doth tower.
A mid-dan-nu 4 to Erech I will take,
To see if he its mighty strength can break.
In these wild caves its strength has mighty grown;
If he the beast destroys, I will make known
His dream to him--e'en all the seer doth know;
And now with thee to Erech I will go.
48:1 "Bhu-ri," wild-beasts, pets of the Hermit seer.
49:2 "Su-bu-ri," the lofty.
49:3 Joy. "Sam-kha-tu" or "Samkha."
49:4 "Mid-dan-nu," a carnivorous animal, supposed to be a tiger; the Khorsabad sculpture, however, portrays it as a lion.