LAMENT OF THE FLUTES FOR TAMMUZ

At his vanishing away she lifts up a lament,

'0h my child!' at his vanishing away she lifts up a lament;

'My Damu!' at his vanishing away she lifts up a lament.

'My enchanter and priest!' at his vanishing away she lifts up a lament,

At the shining red cedar, rooted in a spacious place,

In Eanna, above and below, she lifts up a lament.

Like the lament that a house lifts up for its master, lifts she up a lament,

Like the lament that a city lifts up for its lord, lifts she up a lament.

Her lament is the lament for a herb that grows not in the bed,

Her lament is the lament for the corn that grows not in the ear.

Her chamber is a possession that brings forth not a possession,

a weary woman, a weary child, forspent.

Her lament is for a great river where no willows grow,

Her lament is for a field, where corn and herbs grow not.

Her lament is for a pool, where fishes grow not

Her lament is for a thicket of reeds, where no reeds grow.

Her lament is for woods, where tamarisks grow not.

Her lament is for a wilderness, where no cypresses grow.

Her lament is for the depth of a garden of trees, where honey and wine grow not.

Her lament is for meadows, where no plants grow.

Her lament is for a palace, where length of life grows not."

The Golden Bough. Vol. V, p. 11.

HYMN OF LOVE FROM INANNA TO TAMMUZ

Bridegroom, dear to my heart,
Goodly is your beauty, honeysweet,
Lion, dear to my heart,
Goodly is your beauty, honeysweet.

You have captivated me, let me stand tremblingly before you,
Bridegroom, I would be taken by you to the bedchamber,
You have captivated me, let me stand tremblingly before you,
Lion, I would be taken by you to the bedchamber.

Bridegroom, let me caress you,
My precious caress is more savory than honey,
In the bechamber, honey-filled,
Let me enjoy your goodly beauty,
Lion, let me caress you,
My precious caress is more savory than honey.

Bridegroom, you have taken your pleasure of me,
Tell my mother, she will give you delicacies,
My father, he will give you gifts.

Your spirit, I know where to cheer your spirit,
Bridegroom, sleep in our house until dawn,
Your heart, I know where to gladden your heart,
Lion, sleep in our house until dawn.

You, because you love me,
Give me pray of your caresses,
My lord god, my lord protector,
My (Dumuzi), who gladdens Enlil's heart,
Give me pray of your caresses.

Your place goodly as honey, pray lay (your) hand on it,
Bring (your) hand over it like a gishban-garment,
Cup (your) hand over it like a gishban-sikin-garment.

(From the Era of the reign of Shu-sin)
The Sumerians, by Samuel Noah Kramer

HYMN FROM INANNA TO TAMMUZ

Inanna sang:
"He has sprouted; he has burgeoned;
He is lettuce planted by the water.
He is the one my womb loves best.

My well-stocked garden of the plain,
My barley growing high in its furrow,
My apple tree which bears fruit up to its crown,
He is lettuce planted by the water.

My honey-man, my honey-man sweetens me always.
My lord, the honey-man of the gods,
He is the one my womb loves best.
His hand is honey, his foot is honey,
He sweetens me always.

My eager impetuous caresser of the navel,
My caresser of the soft thighs,
He is the one my womb loves best,
He is lettuce planted by the water."

Inanna - Queen of Heaven and Earth, Wolkstein and Kramer

DUMUZI IS PRESENTED TO INANNA

Ninshubur: "May the lord, the choice of your heart,
may the king, your beloved bridegroom, pass long days in your sweet thing, the pure loins!
Grant him a pleasant reign to come!
Grant him a royal throne, firm in its foundations;
grant him a sceptre righting (wrongs in) the land, all shepherds' crooks;
grant him the good crown, the turban that makes a head distinguished.

From sunrise to sunset
from south to north
from the Upper Sea to the Lower Sea,
from (where grows) the huluppu-tree, from (where grows) the cedar-tree,
and in Sumer and Akkad, grant him all shepherds' crooks,
and may he perform the shepherdship over their dark-headed people.

May he like a farmer till the fields,
may he like a good shepherd make the folds teem,
may there be vines under him, may there be barley under him,
may there be carp-floods in the river under him,
may there be mottled barley in the fields under him,
may fishes and birds sound off in the marshes under him.

May old and new reeds grow in the canebrake under him,
may shrubs grow in the high desert under him,
may deer multiply in the forests under him,
may (well) watered gardens bear honey and wine under him,
may lettuce and cress grow in the vegetable plots under him,
may there be long life in the palace under him.

May the high flood rise (?) in the Tigris and Euphrates under him,
may grass grow on their banks, may vegetables fill the commons,
may the holy lady (of the grains), Nidaba, gather grainpiles there!
O milady, queen of heaven and earth, queen of all heaven and earth,
may he live long in your embrace!"

The Treasures of Darkness, Thorkild Jacobsen

THE DREAM OF DUMUZI

His heart was filled with tears.
The shepherd's heart was filled with tears.
Dumuzi's heart was filled with tears.
Dumuzi stumbled across the steppe, weeping:
"O steppe, set up a wail for me!
O crabs in the river, mourn for me!
O frogs in the river, call for me!
O my mother, Sirtur, weep for me!"

If she does not find the five breads,
If she does not find the ten breads,
If she does not know the day I am dead,
You, O steppe, tell her, tell my mother.
On the steppe, my mother will shed tears for me.
On the steppe, my little sister will mourn for me."

He lay down to rest.
The shepherd lay down to rest.
Dumuzi lay down to rest

As he lay among the buds and rushes,
He dreamed a dream.
He awoke from his dream.
He trembled from his vision.
He rubbed his eyes, terrified.

Dumuzi called out:
"Bring...bring her...bring my sister.
Bring my Geshtinanna, my little sister,
My tablet-knowing scribe,
My singer who knows many songs,
My sister who knows the meaning of words,
My wise woman who knows the meaning of dreams.
I must speak to her.
I must tell her my dream."

Dumuzi spoke to Geshtinanna, saying:
"A dream! My sister, listen to my dream:
Rushes rise all about me; rushes grow thick about me.
A single growing reed trembles for me.
From a double-growing reed, first one, then the other, is removed.
In a wooded grove, the terror of tall trees rises about me.
Water is poured over my holy hearth.
The bottom of my churn drops away.
My drinking cup falls from its peg.
My shepherd's crook has disappeared.
An eagle seizes a lamb from the sheepfold.
A falcon catches a sparrow on the reed fence.

My sister, your goats drag their lapis beards in the dust.
Your sheep scratch the earth with bent feet.

The churn lies silent; no milk is poured.
The cup lies shattered; Dumuzi is no more.
The sheepfold is given to the winds."

Geshtinanna spoke:
"My brother, do not tell me your dream.
Dumuzi, do not tell me such a dream.

The rushes which rise all about you,
The rushes which grow thick about you,
Are your demons, who will pursue and attack you.

The single growing reed which trembles for you
Is our mother; she will mourn for you.

The double-growing reed, from which one, then the other, is removed, Dumuzi,
Is you and I; first one, then the other, will be taken away.

In the wooded grove, the terror of tall trees which rises about you
Is the ugallu; they will descend on you in the sheepfold.

When the fire is put out on your holy hearth,
The sheepfold will become a house of desolation.

When the bottom of your churn drops away,
You will be held by the ugallu.

When your drinking cup falls from its peg,
You will fall to the earth, onto your mother's knees.

When your shepherd's crook disappears,
The ugallu will cause everything to wither.

The eagle who seizes a lamb in the sheepfold
Is the ugallu who will scratch your cheeks.

The falcon who catches a sparrow in the reed fence
Is the ugallu who will climb the fence to take you away.

Dumuzi, my goats drag their lapis beards in the dust.

My hair will swirl around in heaven for you.
My sheep scratch the earth with bent feet.
O Dumuzi, I will tear at my cheeks in grief for you.

The churn lies silent; no milk is poured.
The cup lies shattered; Dumuzi is no more.
The sheepfold is given to the winds----"

Scarcely had she spoken these words
When Dumuzi cried out:
"My sister! Quickly, go up the hill!
Do not go with slow noble steps.
Sister, run!
The ugallu, hated and feared by men,
Are coming on the boats.
They carry wood to bind the hands;
They carry wood to bind the neck.
Sister, run!"

Geshtinanna went up the hill.
Dumuzi's friend went with her.

Dumuzi cried:
"Do you see them?"

The friend cried:
"They are coming;
The large ugallu who carry wood to bind the neck,
They are coming for you."

Geshtinanna cried:
"Quickly, brother!
Hide your head in the grass.
Your demons are coming for you."

Dumuzi said:
"My sister, tell no one my hiding place.
My friend, tell no one my hiding place.
I will hide in the grass.
I will hide among the small plants.
I will hide among the large plants.
I will hide in the ditches of Arali."

Geshtinanna and Dumuzi's friend answered:
"Dumuzi, if we tell your hiding place,
Let your dogs devour us,
Your black dogs of shepherdship,
Your royal dogs of kingship,
Let your dogs devour us!"

The small ugallu spoke to the large ugallu:
"You ugallu, who have no mother, or father,
No sister, brother, wife, or child,
You who flutter over heaven and earth like wardens,
Who cling to a man's side,
Who show no favor,
Who know not good from evil,
Tell us,
Who has ever seen the soul of a frightened man
Living in peace?
Let us not look for Dumuzi in the home of his friend.
Let us not look for Dumuzi in the home of his brother-in-law.
Let us look for Dumuzi in the home of his sister, Geshtinanna."
The ugallu clapped their hands gleefully.
They went searching for Dumuzi.
They came to the home of Geshtinanna. They cried out:
"Show us where your brother is!"

Geshtinanna would not speak.

They offered her the water-gift.
She refused it.
They offered her the grain-gift.
She refused it.

Heaven was brought close.
Earth was brought close.
Geshtinanna would not speak.

They tore her clothes.
They poured pitch into her vulva.
Geshtinanna would not speak.

The small ugallu said to the large ugallu:
"Who since the beginning of time
Has ever known a sister to reveal a brother's hiding place?
Come, let us look for Dumuzi in the home of his friend."

The ugallu went to Dumuzi's friend.
They offered him the water-gift.
He accepted it.
They offered him the grain-gift.
He accepted it.
He said:
"Dumuzi hid in the grass,
But I do not know the place."

The ugallu searched for Dumuzi in the grass.
They did not find him.
The friend said:
"Dumuzi hid among the small plants,
but I do not know the place."

The ugallu searched for Dumuzi among the small plants.
They did not find him.
The friend said:
"Dumuzi hid among the large plants,
But I do not know the place."

The ugallu searched for Dumuzi among the large plants.
They did not find him.
The friend said:
"Dumuzi hid in the ditches of Arali.
Dumuzi fell down in the ditches of Arali."

In the ditches of arali, the ugallu caught Dumuzi.
Dumuzi turned pale and wept.
He cried out:
"My sister saved my life.
My friend caused my death.
If my sister's child wanders in the street,
Let the child be protected - let the child be blessed.
If my friend's child wanders in the street,
Let the child be lost - let the child be cursed."

The ugallu surrounded Dumuzi.
They bound his hands; they bound his neck.
They beat the husband of Inanna.
Dumuzi raised his arms to heaven, to Utu, the God of Justice, and cried out:

"O Utu, you are my brother-in-law,
I am the husband of your sister.
I am the one who carried food to the holy shrine.
I am the one who brought wedding gifts to Uruk.
I kissed the holy lips,
I danced on the holy knees, the knees of Inanna.

Change my hands into the hands of a gazelle.
Change my feet into the feet of a gazelle.
Let me escape from my demons.
Let me flee to Kubiresh!"

The merciful Utu accepted Dumuzi's tears.
He changed his hands into the hands of a gazelle.
He changed his feet into the feet of a gazelle.
Dumuzi escaped from his demons.
He fled to Kubiresh.

The ugallu said:
"Let us go to Kubiresh!"

The ugallu arrived in Kubiresh.
Dumuzi escaped from his demons.
He fled to Old Belili.

The ugallu said:
"Let us go to Old Belili!"

Dumuzi entered the house of Old Belili. He said to her:
"Old woman. I am not a mere mortal.
I am the husband of the goddess Inanna.
Pour water for me to drink.
Sprinkle flour for me to eat."

After the old woman poured water
And sprinkled flour for Dumuzi,
She left the house.

When the ugallu saw her leave, they entered the house.
Dumuzi escaped from his demons.
He fled to the sheepfold of his sister, Geshtinanna.

When Geshtinanna found Dumuzi in the sheepfold, she wept.
She brought her mouth close to heaven.
She brought her mouth close to earth.
Her grief covered the horizon like a garment.

She tore at her eyes.
She tore at her mouth.
She tore at her thighs.

The ugallu climbed the reed fence.
The first ugallu struck Dumuzi on the cheek with a piercing nail,
The second ugallu struck Dumuzi on the other cheek with the shepherd's crook,
The third ugallu smashed the bottom of the churn,
The fourth ugallu threw the drinking cup down from its peg,
The fifth ugallu shattered the churn,
The sixth ugallu shattered the cup,
The seventh ugallu cried:

"Rise, Dumuzi!
Husband of Inanna, son of Sirtur, brother of Geshtinanna!
Rise from your false sleep!
Your ewes are seized! Your lambs are siezed!
Your goats are seized! Your kids are seized!
Take off your holy crown from your head!
Take off your me-garment from your body!
Let your royal sceptre fall to the ground!
Take off your holy sandals from your feet!
Naked, you go with us!"

The ugallu seized Dumuzi.
They surrounded him.
They bound his hands. They bound his neck.

The churn was silent. No milk was poured.
The cup was shattered. Dumuzi was no more.
The sheepfold was given to the winds.

Inanna - Queen of Heaven and Earth, Wolkstein and Kramer

BACK