Reference > Anthologies > Warner, et al., eds. > The Library > Verse

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
VIII. Adapa and the Southwind
Accadian-Babylonian and Assyrian Literature
UNDER the water the Southwind blew him
Sunk him to the home of the fishes.
O Southwind, ill hast thou used me, thy wings I will break.
As thus with his mouth he spake the wings of the Southwind were broken.
Seven days long the Southwind over the earth blew no more.        5
To his messenger Ila-Abrat
Anu then spake thus:—
Why for seven days long
Blows the Southwind no more on the earth?
His messenger Ila-Abrat answered and said: My lord,        10
Adapa, Ea’s son, hath broken the wings of the Southwind.
When Anu heard these words,
“Aha!” he cried, and went forth.

  [Ea, the ocean-god, then directs his son how to proceed in order to avert Anu’s wrath. Some lines are mutilated.]
At the gate of Anu stand.
The gods Tammuz and Iszida will see thee and ask:—        15
Why lookest thou thus, Adapa,
For whom wearest thou garments of mourning?
From the earth two gods have vanished, therefore do I thus.
Who are these two gods who from the earth have vanished?
At each other they will look, Tammuz and Iszida, and lament.        20
A friendly word they will speak to Anu
Anu’s sacred face they will show thee.
When thou to Anu comest,
Food of death will be offered thee, eat not thereof.
Water of death will be offered thee, drink not thereof.        25
A garment will be offered thee, put it on.
Oil will be offered thee, anoint thyself therewith.
What I tell thee neglect not, keep my word in mind.
Then came Anu’s messenger:—
The wing of the Southwind Adapa has broken,        30
Deliver him up to me.
Up to heaven he came, approached the gate of Anu.
At Anu’s gate Tammuz and Iszida stand,
Adapa they see, and “Aha!” they cry.
O Adapa, wherefore lookest thou thus,        35
For whom wearest thou apparel of mourning?
From the earth two gods have vanished
Therefore I wear apparel of mourning.
Who are these two gods who from the earth have vanished?
At one another look Tammuz and Iszida and lament.        40
Adapa go hence to Anu.
When he came, Anu at him looked, saying, O Adapa,
Why hast thou broken the Southwind’s wing?
Adapa answered: My lord,
’Fore my lord’s house I was fishing,        45
In the midst of the sea, it was smooth,
Then the Southwind began to blow
Under it forced me, to the home of the fishes I sank.

  [By this speech Ann’s anger is turned away.]
    A beaker he set before him.
    What shall we offer him? Food of life        50
    Prepare for him that he may eat.
    Food of life was brought for him, but he ate not.
    Water of life was brought for him, but he drank not.
    A garment was brought him, he put it on,
    Oil they gave him, he anointed himself therewith.        55
    Anu looked at him and mourned:—
    And now, Adapa, wherefore
    Has thou not eaten or drunken?
    Now canst thou not live forever …
    Ea, my lord, commanded me:—        60
    Thou shalt not eat nor drink.

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