Saturday, February 23, 2013


He had seen everything, had experienced all emotions,
from exaltation to despair, had been granted a vision
into the great mystery, the secret places,
the primeval days before the Flood.  He had journeyed
to the edge of the world and made his way back, exhausted
but whole.  He had carved his trials on stone tablets,
had restored the holy Eanna Temple and the massive
wall of Uruk, which no city on earth can equal.
See how its ramparts gleam like copper in the sun.
Climb the stone staircase, more ancient than the mind can 
approach the Eanna Temple, sacred to Ishtar,
a temple that no king has equaled in size or beauty,
walk on the wall of Uruk, follow its course
around the city, inspect its mighty foundations,
examine its brickwork, how masterfully it is built,
observe the land it encloses:  the palm trees, the gardens,
the orchards, the glorious palaces and temples, the shops
and marketplaces, the houses, the public squares.
Find the cornerstone and under it the copper box
that is marked with his name.  Unlock it.  Open the lid.
Take out the tablet of lapis lazuli.  Read
how Gilgamesh suffered all and accomplished all.
-Gilgamesh, as translated by Stephen Mitchell

Ed. Note:  For some quick info on Uruk, go here.  For a
brief description of lapis lazuli, go here

No comments:

Post a Comment