He rose and raised the pendant mystic charms
And kissed them, and the jewels of her arms
And ornaments upon her breast divine,
And then her crown with jewels iridine
He placed upon his brow, and it returned;
And from the shrine in reverence he turned;
To Samas' temple all the chiefs of war
And seers, pa-te-si, go with Izdubar.
Before the fire he stands where holy burns
The flames of Samas. In a vase he turns
The crimson wine, to Samas, God, he pours
Libation, and his favor thus implores:
O Samas, why hast thou established, raised
Me in thy heart?--protected? Men have praised
Thee, Holy One! my expedition bless
In thine own will, O God, I acquiesce.
I go, O Samas, on a path afar,
Against Khumbaba I declare this war;
The battle's issue thou alone dost know,
Or if success attends me where I go.
The way is long, O may thy son return
From the vast pine-tree forest, I would earn
For Erech glory and renown! Destroy
Khumbaba and his towers! he doth annoy
All nations, and is evil to thy sight.
To-morrow I will go, O send thy Light
Upon my standards, and dark Nina-zu
Keep thou away, that I may wary view
Mine enemies, and fix for me the hour
When I shall strike and crush Khumbaba's power.
To all the gods I humbly pray
To Izdubar propitious be!
1 Assur Samas u Marduk-u,
Ana Sar bel-ni-ya lik-ru-bu!"
And thus the Oracle with sweetest voice
To him replied, and made his heart rejoice:
"Fear not, O Izdubar,
For I am Bel, thy strength in war. 2
A heart of strength give I to thee!
To trust, we can but faithful be!
As thou hast shown to me.
The sixty gods, our strongest ones,
Will guide thy path where'er it runs;
The moon-god on thy right shall ride,
And Samas on thy left shall guide.
The sixty gods thy will commands
To crush Khumbaba's bands.
In man alone, do not confide,
Thine eyes turn to the gods,
Who rule from their abodes,
And trust in Heaven where powers abide!"
With joyous heart the Sar comes from the shrine
To bathe his brow in Samas' rays divine;
Upon the pyramid he stands and views
The scene below with its bright varied hues.
A peerless pile the temple grandly shone
With marble, gold, and silver in the sun;
In seven stages rose above the walls,
With archways vast and polished pillared halls.
A marble portico surrounds the mass
With sculptured columns, banisters of brass,
And winding stairways round the stages' side,
Grand temples piled on temples upward glide,
A mass of colors like the rainbow hues,
Thus proudly rise from breezy avenues.
The brazen gates lead to the temple's side,
The stairs ascend and up the stages glide.
The basement painted of the darkest blue
Is passed by steps ascending till we view
From them the second stage of orange hue
And crimson third! from thence a glorious view--
A thousand turrets far beneath, is spread
O'er lofty walls, and fields, and grassy mead;
The golden harvests sweep away in sight
And orchards, vineyards, on the left and right;
Euphrates' stream as a broad silver band
Sweeps grandly through the glowing golden land,
Till like a thread of silver still in sight
It meets the Tigris gleaming in the light
That spreads along the glorious bending skies,
The brightest vault of all the emperies.
Now rested from the cushioned seats we rise
And to the stairway turn again our eyes;
The fourth stage plated o'er with beaten gold
We pass, and topaz fifth till we behold
The sixth of azure blue; to seventh glide,
That glows with silvery summit where reside
The gods, within a shrine of silvery sheen
Which brightly glows, and from afar is seen.
Without the temple, burnished silver shines;
Within, pure gold and gems in rare designs.
71:1 "Assur Samas and Merodac" ("Unto the king, my lord may they propitious!"), the response of the priest to the prayer.
71:2 See "Records of the Past," vol. xi. p. 63. These oracles seem to be formulas which are filled in with the monarch's name, and may apply to any king.