Friday, November 19, 2010

"A Curse on Uruk" by Enheduanna (Sumerian, 2300 B.C.)

What am I in the place of nourishment
and sleep?
What am I now?
That city of Uruk has become an evil rebel
against your god.
An, make it surrender.  Cut it in two!
Let Enlil curse it!
Let its whining child go without a pampering
O lady, the harp of mourning is on the ground.
Your ship of mourning is on a hostile shore,
dragged over the rocks.
When the people of the city hear my sacred song,
they are ready to die.

(Adapted by A. and W. Barnstone from the translations by W. Hallo and J.J.A. van Dijk)