After the cattle pen
had been built for the foremost divine powers -- how did it
become a haunted place? When will it be restored? Where once the
brick of fate had been laid -- who scattered its divine powers?
The lamentation is reprised: how did the storeroom of Nibru, the
shrine Dur-an-ki, become a haunted place? When will it be
restored? After Ki-ur, the sanctuary, had been built, after the
brickwork of E-kur had been built, after Ubcu-unkena had been
built, after the shrine Egal-mah had been built -- how did they
become haunted? When will they be restored?
How did the true city become empty? Its precious designs have
been defiled! How were the city's festivals neglected? Its
magnificent rites have been thrown into disorder! In the heart
of Nibru, where the divine powers were allotted and the
black-headed people prolificly multiplied, the city's heart no
longer revealed any sign of intelligence -- there where the
Anuna used to give advice! In Ubcu-unkena, the place for making
great judgments, they no longer impart decisions or justice!
Where its gods had established their dwellings, where their
daily rations were offered, their daises erected, where the
sacred royal offering (?) and the evening meal in their great
banquet hall were destined for the pouring out of choice beer
and syrup -- Nibru, the city where the black-headed people used
to cool themselves in its spreading shade -- in their dwellings
Enlil fell upon them as if they were criminals. It was he who
sent them scattering, like a scattered herd of cattle. How long
until its lady, the goddess Ninlil, would ask after the inner
city, whose bitter tears were overwhelming?
As though it were empty wasteland, no one enters that great
temple whose bustle of activity was famous. As for all the great
rulers who increased the wealth of the city of Nibru -- why did
they disappear? For how long would Enlil neglect the Land, where
the black-headed people ate rich grass like sheep? Tears,
lamentation, depression and despair! How long would his spirit
burn and his heart not be placated? Why were those who once
played the cem and ala drums spending their time in bitter
lamenting? Why were the lamenters sitting in its brick
buildings? They were bewailing the hardship which beset them.
The men whose wives had fallen, whose children had fallen, were
singing "Oh! Our destroyed city!". Their city gone, their homes
abandoned -- as those who were singing for the brick buildings
of the good city, as the lamenters of wailing, like the
foster-children of an ecstatic no longer knowing their own
intelligence, the people were smitten, their minds thrown into
disorder. The true temple wails bitterly.
...... built the temple, Ninlil .......
The true temple gave you only tears and lamentation -- it sings
a bitter song of the proper cleansing-rites that are forgotten!
The brickwork of E-kur gave you only tears and lamentation -- it
sings a bitter song of the proper cleansing-rites that are
forgotten! It weeps bitter tears over the splendid rites and
most precious plans which are desecrated -- its most sacred food
rations neglected and ...... into funeral offerings, it cries
"Alas!". The temple despairs of its divine powers, utterly
cleansed, pure, hallowed, which are now defiled! The true
temple, which it is bitter to enter on one's own, passes the
time ...... tears.
Because the sealings of the abundant materials stored in the
temple have been broken open, they have placed the loads on the
ground. Because the property in its well-tended storehouses has
been sent back, it says "What will they weigh out for me now?";
because the enemies who do not know good from evil have cut off
all good things, it sings a bitter dirge; because they have
finished off its populace there like animals, it cries "Oh! my
Land!". Because they have piled up the young women, young men
and their little children like heaps of grain, it cries "Woe!"
for them. Because they have splashed their blood on the ground
like a rain-storm, there is no restraint to its crying.
The temple, like a cow whose calf is cut off, groans bitterly to
itself; it is grief-stricken, and the sweet-voiced lamenters,
like nursemaids singing a lullaby, respond tearfully with its
name. In anguish they bewail the fact that the city's lord has
smashed heads there, that he has looked away from it and toward
a foreign land instead. The true temple of all the countries,
which had come before him -- what have the black-headed people,
who had taken a true path, done, what have they forsaken, that
their lord has become enraged with them and walks in anger?
It voices bitter cries because he has removed the great divine
powers from within it.
How long will the city's lord who became angry with it not turn
to it, not say "Alas!" for it? Why did he cut off the road to
its brickwork? He made the noisy pigeons fly away from their
windows. Why did he transform the appearance of the temple which
knew voices, where they used to while away the days in sweet
playing of tigi drums in the brick buildings? The temple, once a
place to offer salutations in humility, is now as deathly silent
as a temple which no one reveres!
As though its purification priest's equipment were not utterly
sacred, as though its cleansing-rites did not bring calm in all
countries, he has abandoned it, turned his breast away from it,
among dejection and lamentation he has made it a sacrilege.
After its fate, how long till his face would be streaked with
teardrops? He rejected it thus as though it were a blasphemy!
Why has joy left its brickwork? Night and day he has filled its
heart with tears! Even now, he has made it foreign and a
Its lord, who has despoiled it like an evil wind, has destroyed
that city and its temples! He has ripped out their foundations,
struck them with the adze, killed wives and their children
within it, he has turned that city into a deserted city -- when
would he restore its ancient property? Its possessions have been
carried off by the wind! Enlil turned the city which used to be
there into a city no longer!
He made its mind wander! He threw its intelligence into disorder
and made it haunted! He took away its food and its water! He
brought to an end its days of familiarity with milk and with
beer! The temple which he has made a sacrilege utters bitter
lamentations; he has made its eyes blurred with tears. The
lamenters who perform the dirges respond to it sorrowfully. No
one touches the arm of the city's lord who has removed its
divine powers! No one intercedes!
How did Enlil make all his greatest divine powers fly away! No
one ever touches his arm! No one ever intercedes!
I am going down to my dirge singer of bitter fates and I shall
weep tearfully to him. Even now the lamenters who are expert in
song make ululating wails over me! Now my people who are
overcome by hardship voice laments for me one by one! Even now
the places of refuge of my people whose hearts are burning in
dark distress have been made known to me! My people whose hearts
have been broken on the bitter way perform the lullabies of my
young ones for me in tears!
The well-built houses, ladies' dwellings, were falsely founded,
and they have been eroded by the winds! They are making a lament
for me of how the foe has finished off my Land! They are
addressing the cries of my heart, overwhelmed with bitterness,
in order to soothe it! They are beginning their laments about my
lord Enlil! He will have mercy and compassion on me -- Enlil,
father of the black-headed people, he who will give the order to
My heart is dark, I am destroyed, I am in chaos, I have been
In the foremost brick buildings they sing that your fate is
bitter! Even now, to Enlil who will accept your tears for you,
weeping bitter tears of your own accord, speak supplications to
your lord himself concerning what he did to you, concerning that
fate! Say to him "My lord, how long? Look upon me with favour,
my lord!". Say "Why ......?". Say "May your heart be soothed for
me -- overturn this sacrilege for your own good! The day is
......!". Say "Re-enter for me your dwelling in my darkened
shrines!". Say "Like a bright, cleansed, sacred day, give ......
for your own good!". Say "......!". Say "Your misfortunes ......
will rebuild it!".
Perhaps by this means I can make him have compassion and mercy
for you. Depression has weakened your heart, but I am the one
who has established good cheer for you. He will fix it forever
as your lot that you shall lift your head high, he will make
good again the hostilities he is directing against you.
In the city which does not know freedom he struck them down.
Even now your lord has smitten the enemy fury for you! He has
had mercy on you and decreed your fate! He has said "Enough", so
that he has removed lamentation from your brick buildings! In
good mood and with a joyful heart he has entered in there again
for you! Ninurta, the mighty commissioner, has looked after
things! He stood there before the hero, his provider Icme- Dagan,
and issued the command to him to completely rebuild the E-kur,
the most precious shrine! He has restored its ancient property!
Enlil has ordered Icme- Dagan to restore its ziggurat temple, to
make it shine like the day, to make fitting the dais upon its
He has put back in their place the rites which the enemy
disordered and desecrated, along with the scattered divine
powers! He has given him his sacred unchangeable decision that
they should sanctify and purify again the cleansing-rites which
the enemy had put a stop to! He has told Icme- Dagan, his
beloved shepherd, that spirited bulls and spirited bucks should
be slaughtered! When decrees the fate of the sacred royal
offering place (?), he will offer salutations and stand there
daily in supplication and prayer.
2 lines fragmentary
How long before you will rest at ease?
How long will the brickwork strain its eyes upwards in tears and
lamentations? Even now your lord, the Great Mountain Enlil,
supreme in the universe, has removed lamentation from your brick
buildings and made favourable your humour!
Now, city, your lord who has had compassion and mercy for you,
Father Enlil, lord of all countries, who has commanded that you
be restored, and the great mother Ninlil, who entreated him in
prayer there, and the brickwork itself which said to him "Steady
the trembling of Nibru!" and said to him "Rebuild my women's
quarters for me! Re-establish my temples for me!" -- he who
mulled things over so that he came to a decision about them,
Enlil, who found agreeable his command of true words, who
beneficently entered the true temple which had suffered
destruction -- he himself is removing what he turned upon you in
Just as he silenced you, when he made joy enter again he decreed
as your fate the sound of choice beer and syrup being poured out
to overflowing. "Enough! It is time to stifle the lament" he
said to you himself. Because you have been living in a state of
neglect, Enlil who has decreed your fate has said "My city, you
have placated my sacred heart towards you!". He has returned to
you! "Nibru, you have placated my sacred heart towards you!". He
has returned to you! True city, he has decreed your great fate
and made your reign long! Nibru, he has decreed your great fate
and made your reign long!
Enlil himself has commanded Icme- Dagan that the E-kur should
shine like the day! Steady sunlight shines into the Ki-ur; he
has brought daylight in there again for you! Ninlil has decreed
your fate in the Jajiccua! Enlil and Ninlil together founded
daises in the E-kur! They dined there and enjoyed choice beer!
They deliberated how to make the black-headed people secure in
their dwellings! They have brought back to you the people who
had been completely devastated! They have gathered back together
the children whom they turned away from their mothers! The
populace goes with you in their secure strongholds! Shrine Nibru,
Great Mountain Enlil has returned to you!
How you suffer! How depression exhausts you!
Even now, they command Icme- Dagan that Sumer and Akkad should
be restored at your feet, that their scattered people should be
returned to their nests! They have brought the news that the
magnificent rites of Eridug would not be forgotten, its heart
sending forth wisdom, so that good sense should be allotted! The
Anuna, the lords who decree fates, order that Adab should be
rebuilt, the city whose lady fashions living things, who
An and Enlil have advised that Urim should be restored, founded
in a pasture, its divine powers distinct from the rest! They
command the prince of the city Larsa, the herald of the
universe, the judge of the numerous people, to secure its
foundations, to follow the proper path! They have taken a
decision concerning Unug- Kulaba, the sacred city, the handiwork
of the gods, and restored it. They have brought news of the
removal of all foes and enemies from the region of Zabalam, the
city where the Mistress of Heaven concentrated her forces.
An and Enlil have looked with their beneficent gaze on Lagac,
the mooring-pole of heaven, and the shrine Jirsu, established
long ago. They have removed the treacherous Tidnum from that
temple in Umma, Sig-kur-caga, which had been ill treated! It is
the great gods who have commanded that the foundations of Kic
should be secured, at the edge of Sumer and Akkad, its dominion
superlative! Marad, the city in whose river water flows, in
whose fields is fine grain -- the Anuna who took those things
away from it returned them to it again!
Isin, the provisioner of the Anuna, awe-inspiring since times of
old -- An, Enlil, Enki and Ninmah have made its reign long! By
their command they have handed it over and expressed their
approval! They have entrusted it to Ninurta, the champion, the
strong hero! They have told Ninisina, the exalted child of An,
the incantation priest of the Land, to rest calmly in her sacred
dwelling, Egal-mah! They have told Damu, the chief barber of
Nunamnir, healer of the living, to make the foreign countries
bow at the feet of his father and mother!
An, Enlil, Enki and Ninmah have given their orders!
Now see! Enlil has fixed a good day in the land! He has even now
ordered the day for Nibru to raise its neck to heaven! He
himself has provided a good day for the E-kur to shine! He
himself has raised up the day for the Ki-ur's magnificent
manifestation! He himself has restored the day for Sumer and
Akkad to expand! He himself has set aside the day for houses to
be built and storerooms to be enclosed! He himself has brought
out the day for seeds to sprout and living things to be born! He
has brought out the day for building cattle pens and founding
The ewes which bore lambs have filled the pens! (1 ms. has
instead the line: Ewes have given birth in the folds, their
lambs have filled the pens!) The goats which bore kids have
filled the folds! The ewes which flocked with their lambs have
swelled the sheepfold! The goats which flocked with their kids
have caused the pens to be widened! He himself has set the day
for turning destruction to the good! He has ...... the day
...... evil! He has brought in Icme- Dagan as assistance for the
day for establishing justice in the land!
Although Sumer and Akkad had been desecrated by the foe,
afterwards hearts were appeased, spirits soothed! All the great
gods thus had compassion! They looked upon those sunk in
exhaustion and brought them up out of it! They restored your
city which had been razed to ruins! Enlil, king of all
countries, restored its shining property which had been
scattered, which had been devastated! There where the populace
rested in the cool after building their nests, in Nibru, the
mountain of the greatest divine powers, from where they had
taken an unfamiliar path -- at Enlil's word the Anuna, those
very lords who determine the fates, ordered that the temples
which they had forsaken and the jewels, put there long ago,
which had been carried off by the wind, should all be restored!
He has established there dining in joy within! Enlil has given
the command to Icme- Dagan, his joyous, reverent sacral
officiant, who daily serves, to sanctify its food, to purify its
water! He has commanded him to purify its defiled divine powers!
He has put in order its disordered and scattered rites, he has
put back in their place the most sacred things, neglected and
defiled. He decrees as a fate the offering of daily rations and
the grinding up of fine meal and flour. He has decided to make
bread plentiful on the table, to make loaves numerous!
Father Enlil, the lord whose command cannot be altered, prince
of all countries, has fixed among the black-headed people, and
commanded for their benefit, a time when no one is to speak
hostile words to another, when a son is to respect his father, a
time to establish humility in the Land, for the inferior to be
as important as the mighty, a time when the younger brother,
fearing his big brother, is to show humility, a time when the
elder child is to treat the younger child reasonably and to pay
heed to his words, a time to take neither weak nor strong away
into captivity, but to serve with great acts of good, a time to
travel the disordered roadways, to extirpate evil growths, a
time when anyone is to go where they will, to hurl no insults at
one's fellow, (1 ms. has instead the line:a time when anyone is
to go where they will, to carry oneself humbly in the plain, to
perform no sacrilege,) a time no one is to speak hostile words
to another, to perform no sacrilege, (1 ms. has instead the
line:a time to go from one's own city to a foreign city, to have
no fear on the plain, to perform no sacrilege,) a time to remove
bitterness from the Land, to establish light therein, a time
when darkness is to be lifted in the Land, so that living things
Now, see! After that time, Enlil, the prince who is full of
pity, has been beneficent to his hero who had laid the ......
brick! He put in order again for him the divine powers which had
been desecrated by the enemy! He sanctified again the defiled
rites for him! He purified its ziggurat temple and made it
resplendent for him! Within he made abundance plentiful, he
filled it with choice beer and syrup! He established there at
that time the pleasing of hearts, the appeasing of spirits, the
ameliorating of moods!
Icme- Dagan himself stood in prayer to Enlil and offered
salutations! When he had begun the lament and spoken the
supplication, the prince of all countries treated his body with
oil of abundance as if it were the sweetest syrup! And his
prayer was heard -- Enlil looked upon him with favour, Icme-
Dagan whose words bring Enlil pleasure! Enlil's constant
attendant, with whose thoughts he agrees! Because the humble one
prostrated himself in his devotions and served there, because he
will entreat him in supplication and will do obeisance, because
he will complete and honour the royal offering and will return,
because he will keep watch over everything and will not be
negligent, Enlil has promised to Icme- Dagan his dominion of
He promised him that he will be a man of pre-eminent kingship!
He promised him that he will be a king whose reign is good! He
promised him that he shall have the people inhabit safe
dwellings! Enlil found agreement in what he had said to the
numerous people! On the day for decreeing fates, every part of
Sumer and Akkad, among the black-headed people flocking like
sheep, among their well-tended people, will praise forever the
majesty of the Great Mountain Nunamnir, enkara weapon of the
universe! It is his awe-inspiring way!