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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
VI. The Flight of Etana
Accadian-Babylonian and Assyrian Literature
 
THE PRIESTS have offered my sacrifice
With joyful hearts to the gods.
O Lord, issue thy command,
Give me the plant of birth, show me the plant of birth.
Bring the child into the world, grant me a son.        5
Samas opened his mouth and spake to Etana:—
Away with thee, go to the mountain….
The eagle opened his mouth and spake to Etana:—
Wherefore art thou come?
Etana opened his mouth and said to the eagle:—        10
My friend, give me the plant of birth, show me the plant of birth,
Bring the child into the world, grant me a son….
      To Etana then spake the eagle:—
      My friend, be of good cheer.
      Come, let me bear thee to Anu’s heaven,        15
      On my breast lay thy breast,
      Grasp with thy hands the feathers of my wings.
      On my side lay thy side.
      On his breast he laid his breast,
      On his feathers he placed his hands,        20
      On his side laid his side,
      Firmly he clung, great was his weight.
      Two hours he bore him on high.
      The eagle spake to him, to Etana:—
      See my friend, the land, how it lies,        25
      Look at the sea, the ocean-girded,
      Like a mountain looks the land, the sea like petty waters.
      Two hours more he bore him up.
      The eagle spake to him, to Etana:—
      See my friend the land, how it lies,        30
      The sea is like the girdle of the land.
      Two hours more he bore him up.
      The eagle spake to him, to Etana:—
      See my friend the land, how it lies,
      The sea is like the gardener’s ditches.        35
      Up they rose to Anu’s heaven,
      Came to the gate of Anu, Bel and Ea….
      Come, my friend, let me bear thee to Ishtar,
      To Ishtar, the queen, shalt thou go, and dwell at her feet.
      On my side lay thy side,        40
      Grasp my wing-feathers with thy hands.
      On his side he laid his side,
      His feathers he grasped with his hands.
      Two hours he bore him on high.
      My friend see the land, how it lies,        45
      How it spreads itself out.
      The broad sea is as great as a court.
      Two hours he bore him on high.
      My friend see the land, how it lies,
      The land is like the bed of a garden,        50
      The broad sea is as great as a [.]
      Two hours he bore him on high.
      My friend see the land, how it lies.

  [Etana, frightened, begs the eagle to ascend no further; then, as it seems, the bird’s strength is exhausted.]
 
      To the earth the eagle fell down
      Shattered upon the ground.        55
 
 
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