A Mother's Prayer, Journy to the Cedar Forest, An Ominous Wound
Columns I - VI
Column I, II
Ten miles into the march, they stopped to eat,
After thirty miles, they rested,
then finished another twenty miles that day.
Within three days they covered
what would take others a month and a half to travel.
They dug for water where
there appeared to be none
in the dry desert on their way
to challenge Humbaba.
Column III, IV
10. Onward ventured Gilgamesh and Enkidu
And they both knew where danger lurked
at their first destination.
As up they climbed upon the final hill,
they saw a guard put out by Humbaba
as fierce as any watchdog.
Gilgamesh pursued first.
Column V
Gilgamesh heard shouts from
Enkidu who said to his companion:
"Remember promises we made
20. in the city where we live. Recall
the courage and the force
we vowed to bring upon this mission."
These words dispelled the fear felt
in his heart and Gilgamesh in
return then shouted back:
"Quick. Grab the guard
and don't let go.
Race fearlessly and don't let go.
Our enemy, Humbaba, has set out seven uniforms
30. but has only dressed in one
so far. So six layers of strength
are yet unused by him."
As one mad brute he is enraged,
bellowing loudly while the foresters warn each other
what he's like.
Column VI
Wounded in combat with the guard they killed,
Enkidu uses words to say:
"I lost my strength in this crushed hand when the gate
slammed shut.
What shall I do?"
40. Then Gilgamesh spoke: "Brother,
as a man in tears would, you transcend all the rest who've gathered,
for you can cry and kill
with equal force.
Hold my hand in yours,
and we will not fear what hands like ours can do
Scream in unison, we will ascend
to death or love, to say in song what we shall do.
Our cry will shoot afar so
50. this new weakness, awful doubt,
will pass through you.
Stay, brother, let us ascend as one."
Tablet I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII
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