Babylon

The Descent of Inanna – Part 2

THE DREAM OF DUMUZI

  • His heart was filled with tears.
  • The shepherd’s heart was filled with tears.
  • Dumuzi’s heart was filled with tears.
  • Dumuzi stumbled across the steppe, weeping:
  • “O steppe, set up a wail for me!
  • O crabs in the river, mourn for me!
  • O frogs in the river, call for me!
  • O my mother, Sirtur, weep for me!
  • If she does not find the five breads,
  • If she does not find the ten breads,
  • If she does not know the day I am dead,
  • You, O steppe, tell her, tell my mother.
  • On the steppe, my mother will shed tears for me.
  • On the steppe, my little sister will mourn for me.”
  • He lay down to rest.
  • The shepherd lay down to rest.
  • Dumuzi lay down to rest.
  • As he lay among the buds and rushes,
  • He dreamed a dream.
  • He awoke from his dream.
  • He trembled from his vision.
  • He rubbed his eyes, terrified.
  • Dumuzi called out:
  • “Bring… bring her… bring my sister.
  • Bring my Geshtinanna, my little sister,
  • My tablet-knowing scribe,
  • My singer who knows many songs,
  • My sister who knows the meaning of words,
  • My wise woman who knows the meaning of dreams.
  • I must speak to her.
  • I must tell her my dream.”
  • Dumuzi spoke to Geshtinanna, saying:
  • “A dream! My sister, listen to my dream:
  • Rushes rise all about me; rushes grow thick about me.
  • A single growing reed trembles for me.
  • From a double-growing reed, first one, then the other, is removed.
  • In a wooded grove, the terror of tall trees rises about me.
  • Water is poured over my holy hearth.
  • The bottom of my churn drops away.
  • My drinking cup falls from its peg.
  • My shepherd’s crook has disappeared.
  • An eagle seizes a lamb from the sheepfold.
  • A falcon catches a sparrow on the reed fence.
  • My sister, your goats drag their lapis beards in the dust.
  • Your sheep scratch the earth with bent feet.
  • The churn lies silent; no milk is poured.
  • The cup lies shattered; Dumuzi is no more.
  • The sheepfold is given to the winds.”
  • Gesthinanna spoke:
  • “My brother, do not tell me such a dream.
  • Dumuzi, do not tell me such a dream.
  • The rushes which rise all about you,
  • The rushes which grow thick about you,
  • Are your demons, who will pursue and attack you.
  • The single growing reed which trembles for you
  • Is our mother; she will mourn for you.
  • The double-growing reed, from which one, then the other, is removed, Dumuzi,
  • Is you and I; first one, then the other, will be taken away.
  • In the wooded grove, the terror of tall trees which rises about you
  • Is the galla; they will descend on you in the sheepfold.
  • When the fire is put out on your holy hearth,
  • The sheepfold will become a house of desolation.
  • When the bottom of your churn drops away,
  • You will be held by the galla.
  • When your drinking cup falls from its peg,
  • You will fall to the earth, onto your mother’s knees.
  • When your shepherd’s crook disappears,
  • The galla will cause everything to wither.
  • The eagle who seizes a lamb in the sheepfold
  • Is the galla who will scratch your cheeks.
  • The falcon who catches a sparrow in the reed fence
  • Is the galla who will climb the fence to take you away.
  • Dumuzi, my goats drag their lapis beards in the dust.
  • My hair will swirl around in heaven for you.
  • My sheep scratch the earth with bent feet.
  • O Dumuzi, I will tear at my cheeks in grief for you.
  • The churn lies silent; no milk is poured.
  • The cup lies shattered; Dumuzi is no more.
  • The sheepfold is given to the winds -“
  • Scarcely had she spoken these words
  • When Dumuzi cried out:
  • “My sister! Quickly, go up the hill!
  • Do not go with slow noble steps.
  • Sister, run!
  • The galla, hated and feared by men,
  • Are coming on the boats.
  • They carry wood to bind the hands;
  • They carry wood to bind the neck.
  • Sister, run!”
  • Gesthinanna went up the hill.
  • Dumuzi’s friend went with her.
  • Dumuzi cried:
  • “Do you see them?”
  • The friend cried:
  • “They are coming;
  • The large galla who carry wood to bind the neck,
  • They are coming for you.”
  • Gesthinanna cried:
  • “Quickly, brother!
  • Hide your head in the grass.
  • Your demons are coming for you.”
  • Dumuzi said:
  • “My sister, tell no one my hiding place.
  • My friend, tell no one my hiding place.
  • I will hide in the grass.
  • I will hide among the small plants.
  • I will hide among the large plants.
  • I will hide in the ditches of Arali.”
  • Geshtinanna and Dumuzi’s friend answered:
  • “Dumuzi, if we tell your hiding place,
  • Let your dogs devour us,
  • Your black dogs of shepherdship,
  • Your royal dogs of kingship,
  • Let your dogs devour us!”
  • The small galla spoke to the large galla:
  • “You galla, who have no mother, or father,
  • No sister, brother, wife, or child,
  • You who flutter over heaven and earth like wardens,
  • Who cling to a man’s side,
  • Who show no favor,
  • Who know not good from evil,
  • Tell us,
  • Who has ever seen the soul of a frightened man
  • Living in peace?
  • Let us not look for Dumuzi in the home of his friend.
  • Let us not look for Dumuzi in the home of his brother-in-law.
  • Let us look for Dumuzi in the home of his sister, Geshtinanna.”
  • The galla clapped their hands gleefully.
  • They went searching for Dumuzi.
  • They came to the home of Geshtinanna. They cried out:
  • “Show us where your brother is!”
  • Geshtinanna would not speak.
  • They offered her the water-gift.
  • She refused it.
  • They offered her the grain-gift.
  • She refused it.
  • Heaven was brought close.
  • Earth was brought close.
  • Geshtinanna would not speak.
  • They tore her clothes.
  • They poured pitch into her vulva.
  • Geshtinanna would not speak.
  • The small galla said to the large galla:
  • “Who since the beginning of time
  • Has ever known a sister to reveal a brother’s hiding place?
  • Come, let us look for Dumuzi in the home of his friend.”
  • The galla went to Dumuzi’s friend.
  • They offered him the water-gift.
  • He accepted it.
  • They offered him the grain-gift.
  • He accepted it.
  • He said:
  • “Dumuzi hid in the grass,
  • But I do not know the place.”
  • The galla searched for Dumuzi in the grass.
  • They did not find him.
  • The friend said:
  • “Dumuzi hid among the small plants,
  • But I do not know the place.”
  • The galla searched for Dumuzi among the small plants.
  • They did not find him.
  • The friend said:
  • “Dumuzi hid among the large plants,
  • But I do not know the place.”
  • The galla searched for Dumuzi among the large plants.
  • They did not find him.
  • The friend said:
  • “Dumuzi hid in the ditches of Arali.
  • Dumuzi fell down in the ditches of Arali.”
  • In the ditches of Arali, the galla caught Dumuzi.
  • Dumuzi turned pale and wept.
  • He cried out:
  • “My sister saved my life.
  • My friend caused my death.
  • If my sister’s child wanders in the street,
  • Let the child be protected – let the child be blessed.
  • If my friend’s child wanders in the street,
  • Let the child be lost – let the child be cursed.”
  • The galla surrounded Dumuzi.
  • They bound his hands; they bound his neck.
  • They beat  the husband of Inanna.
  • Dumuzi raised his arms to heaven, to Utu, the God of Justice, and cried out:
  • “O Utu, you are my brother-in-law,
  • I am the husband of your sister.
  • I am the one who carried food to the holy shrine.
  • I am the one who brought wedding gifts to Uruk.
  • I kissed the holy lips,
  • I danced on the holy knees, the knees of Inanna.
  • Change my hands into the hands of a gazelle.
  • Change my feet into the feet of a gazelle.
  • Let me escape from my demons.
  • Let me flee to Kubiresh!”
  • The merciful Utu accepted Dumuzi’s tears.
  • He changed his hands into the hands of a gazelle.
  • He changed his feet into the feet of a gazelle.
  • Dumuzi escaped from his demons.
  • He fled to Kubiresh.
  • The galla said:
  • “Let us go to Kubiresh!”
  • The galla arrived in Kubiresh.
  • Dumuzi escaped from his demons.
  • He fled to old Belili.
  • The galla said:
  • “Let us go to old Belili!”
  • Dumuzi entered the house of Old Belili. He said to her:
  • “Old woman. I am not a mere mortal.
  • I am the husband of the goddess Inanna.
  • Pour water for me to drink.
  • Sprinkle flour for me to eat.”
  • After the old woman poured water
  • And sprinkled flour for Dumuzi,
  • She left the house.
  • When the galla saw her leave, they entered the house.
  • Dumuzi escaped from his demons.
  • He fled to the sheepfold of his sister, Geshtinanna.
  • When Geshtinanna found Dumuzi in the sheepfold, she wept.
  • She brought her mouth close to heaven.
  • She brought her mouth close to earth.
  • Her grief covered the horizon like a garment.
  • She tore at her eyes.
  • She tore at her mouth.
  • She tore at her thighs.
  • The galla climbed the reed fence.
  • The first galla struck Dumuzi on the cheek with a piercing nail,
  • The second galla struck Dumuzi on the other cheek with the shepherd’s crook,
  • The third galla smashed the bottom of the churn,
  • The fourth galla threw the drinking cup down from its peg,
  • The fifth galla shattered the churn,
  • The sixth galla shattered the cup,
  • The seventh galla cried:
  • “Rise, Dumuzi!
  • Husband of Inanna, son of Sirtur, brother of Geshtinanna!
  • Rise from your false sleep!
  • Your ewes are seized! Your lambs are seized!
  • Your goats are seized! Your kids are seized!
  • Take off your holy crown from your head!
  • Take off your me-garment from your body!
  • Let your royal sceptre fall to the ground!
  • Take off your holy sandals from your feet!
  • Naked, you go with us!”
  • The galla seized Dumuzi.
  • They surrounded him.
  • They bound his hands. They bound his neck.
  • The churn was silent. No milk was poured.
  • The cup was shattered. Dumuzi was no more.
  • The sheepfold was given to the winds.

HER ENDS PART 2 OF THE DESCENT OF INANNA.

This particular version of the Descent of Inanna comes from the book Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth – Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer written by Diane Wolkstein and Samuel Noah Kramer.

Diane Wolkstein is a gifted storyteller and professional folklorist who made the myths about Inanna really come back to life in such a way that the stories of this great Goddess are very enjoyable to read.

Everyone who worships this Venusian Deity, or feels a strong connection to this beautiful Goddess will certainly enjoy this book, and should, therefore, consider to add this great work to his or her library.

Nightcaller.

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