Kenneth Sublett, Piney.com, Hohenwald, Tennessee

The Meeting of Gilgamesh and Enkidu
Columns I - VI
Column I
Then Gilgamesh explained his dream to Ninsun:
"Last night a vision filled my head
with sights of stars and one sent down from heaven.
At first I tried and failed to carry forth
these signs with me. Then all citizens
of Uruk here assisted in my efforts.
So I was able then to bring these omens near to you."
And she said in reply:
"Wisely done, fair son, and rightly so
10. for one well reared as you were.
All others too will soon acclaim
this god-sent gift to you."
Then Gilgamesh concluded:
"In another dream I saw an ax
and bent toward it with manly interest;
so fair was its appearance
that it seemed wholesome, young and
ready as a woman."
Column II
Soon the day came when the fine lover of Enkidu said:
20. "Now come with me to enter into Uruk
where we shall meet the mighty king,
enormous Gilgamesh.
Now you are as if a god, my boy,
with no more need of dumb beasts, however fair.
We can ascend the road to Uruk's palace,
the immaculate domicile, where Anu and Ishtar dwell
and there we will see Gilgamesh, the powerful,
who rides over the herd like any great king.
You will see in him a power rare
30. and fairly learn to love him like yourself."
They journeyed from the forest far and wide
to venture on toward Uruk.
The girl led forth the naked boy
as gently as a mother would,
tearing her garment right in two
to hide their native beauty
and clothed his splendid body then
with her own cloak as they approached.
Column III
Along the way he learned new human ways
40. tracking down the gentle sheep
and using weapons for the first time
to fight away the savage beasts
that do attack the herds and
farms of men.
Column IV
Along the way he also learned to eat and drink
as men and women do. The girl did
teach all these things too for Enkidu's first lessons.
And with a man upon the road they spoke
to learn of customs new. to one from
50. far off woods. So Enkidu came then
to know of Gilgamesh who harshly
ruled and was not loved by those men whose girls
he often played with all night long.
And before they entered through the
gates of Uruk's mighty, walls, Enkidu
was hailed as one who might
be sent to rival any king who
might treat gentle folk unfairly.
Column V
In the alleys of Uruk
60. during a display of force
the approach of Enkidu stopped everything.
Uruk rose before him.
The mountain beyond stretched skyward.
All creatures worshiped him.
Youths rallied round.
People adored him as they adore a newborn babe.
For so it is when one comes from nowhere
to do what no one thought could be done.
For Ishara then a wedding bed is set this night
70. because a guest has come who is as strong as any king.
And Enkidu stood before the gate where new lovers go
and stopped Gilgamesh from coming with nighttime girls.
It is there where they first fight
throughout the night and round about Urukís walls
which they chipped and wrecked in places.
Column VI
So the mighty brothers fought at first
pushing and shoving each other
for hours and hours enraged.
Then a calm force gently soothed
80. then well-matched spirits
to bring a peace and rest their strife.
It was Enkidu who sued for rest saying:
"Gilgamesh, enough! I am here to
match some fate with you, not
to destroy or rival any king."
Tablet I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII

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