Sacred Texts  Ancient Near East  Index  Previous  Next 



The guests are seated round the festal board;
Heabani takes his seat beside his lord.
The choicest viands of the wealthy plain
Before them placed and fishes of the main,
With wines and cordials, juices rich and rare
The chieftains all enjoy--the royal fare.
This day, with Izdubar they laugh and joke
'Mid courtesies and mirth, and oft provoke
The ringing merry laughter through the halls.
When all are satisfied within the walls,
Their fill have eaten of the royal fare,
With wine they banish from them every care.

The Su-khu-li 1 with tinkling bells proclaim,
"Our Sar would speak! Our king of mighty fame."
Who says: "My chieftains, lords, our seer requests
A test of strength before assembled guests;
Unarmed requires your Sar-dan-nu to slay
The Mid-an-nu 2 which he hath brought to-day.
So stand aside, my friends, behold the test!
Your Sar will satisfy his seer and guest."
The monster now is brought before the king,
Heabani him unchains to let him spring
Upon the giant king. His chieftains stand
In terror looking at their monarch grand,
Who smiling stands, his eyes on the beast fixed;
While they in wildest terror are transfixed.

p. 53

Heabani claps his hands towards the king,
And the wild beast upon his form doth spring.
The giant grasps its throat in high mid-air,
 3 And holds it 'neath his arm without a fear.
With sullen choking roars it struggling dies,
While shouts of joy from all the guests arise.
The mighty deed of strength the seer appals,
And at the feet of Izdubar he falls:
"Immortal king! illustrious of men!
Thy glorious strength reveals the gods again
On earth. To thee I bow in reverent fear,
A god returned thou art! O Erech, hear!
Of kingdoms thou art blessed with grandest fame,
That thou among thy kings a god can name."
Again they gathered round the festal board,
And joy and revelry they soon restored.
The revels high are raised o'er sparkling wine;
Through all the night they praise their king divine.


52:1 "Su-khu-li," the attendants.

52:2 "Mid-an-nu," carnivorous animal, supposed to be a lion, the pet of the seer.

53:3 This feat of Izdubar is portrayed on the bas-relief in the Louvre Museum, Paris, from the Khorsabad sculpture, and is also copied in Sayce's edition of Smith's "Chaldean Account of Genesis", opposite p. 175

Next: Tablet IV.--Column I. The Annual Sale of the Maidens of Babylon