THE SECOND TABLET
OF THE MEETING OF GILGAMISH AND ENKIDU.
2. While Gilgamish (thus) is the vision revealing
Enkidu sitteth before the hetaera, and she [displaying 2 her] bosom,
5.Shewing [her beauty (?)], the place of his birth he 3 forgetteth.
(So) Enkidu dallied
(Thus) for six days, seven nights, with the courtesan-girl in his mating.
10.Broke into [speech] then, the nymph, and (thus) unto Enkidu spake she:
“(Yea, as) I view thee, (e’en) like a god, O Enkidu, shalt be,
Why with the beasts (of the field) dost thou (ever) range over the desert?
15.Up, for I’ll lead thee to [Erech] broad-marketed, (aye), to the Temple
Sacred, the dwelling of Anu—O Enkidu, come, that I guide thee,
Unto E-Anna, the dwelling of Anu, where [Gilgamish] (liveth),
20.(He), the supreme of creation; and thou, aye, thou wilt [embrace him]
Like [to a woman], (and e’en) [as] thyself thou shalt [love him].
O, rouse thee
Up from the ground—’tis a shepherd’s bed 4 (only).”
Her utterance heard he,
25.Welcomed her rede: the advice of the woman struck home in his bosom.
She one garment took off wherewith she might clothe him: the other 5
30.She herself wore, (and so) taking her hand like a brother 6 she led him
(Thus) to the booths(?) of the shepherds, the place of the sheepfolds. The shepherds
35.Gather]d at sight of him 7
(Gap of four or five lines.)
(How the Hetaera schooled Enkidu).
He (in the past) of the milk of the wild things to suck was accustom’d!
5.Bread which she set before him he broke, but he gazed and he stared:
Enkidu bread did not know how to eat, nor had he the knowledge
Mead how to quaff!
10. (Then) the woman made answer, to Enkidu speaking,
“Enkidu, taste of the bread, (for) of life ’tis; (forsooth), the essential,
Drink thou, (too), of the mead, ’tis the wonted use of the country.”
15.Enkidu ate of the bread, (aye, ate) until he was gorged,
Drank of the mead seven bumpers; his spirits rose, (and), exultant,
20.Glad was his heart, and cheerful his face: [himself(?)] was he rubbing,
25.Oil on the hair of his body anointed: and (thus) became human.
Donn’d he a garment to be like a man 1, (and) taking his weapon,
30.Hunted the lions, which harried the shepherds o’ nights: and the jackals
Caught he. (So) he, having mastered the lions, the shepherds slept soundly 2.
35.Enkidu—(he) was their warden—(becometh) a man of full vigour.
(Now) is one of the heroes speaking to [Gilgamish(?)] . . . .
(About thirteen lines are missing, a gap in which a sinister figure has evidently appeared, sent evidently by Gilgamish to learn the meaning of the arrival of the strangers in Erech. Enkidu sees him and speaks).
10.(Then while) he pleasured, he lifted his eyes, (and), observing the fellow,
Spake he unto the woman: “O doxy, bring me (this) fellow,
15.Why hath he come? I would know his intention.”
The woman the fellow
Call’d that he come to him, that he might see him: “O, why art thou seeking,
Sir? (Pray), which is the way to thy rest-house?”
20. The man spake, addressing
Enkidu: “You to the House of Community 3 [Gilgamish calleth],
(This is) the custom of men, and a homage (too) to the great ones:
25.Come, then, and heap up the offerings such as are due to the city,
Come, on behalf of the common weal bring in the food of the city.
(’Tis) for the king of broad-marketed Erech to look on thy greeting,
30.Gilgamish, king of broad-marketed Erech to look on thy greeting;
First doth he mate with the woman allotted by fate, and then after
Speak by the counsel of god, and so from the shape of the omens 1
(Utter the rede of) his destiny.”
(So) at the words of the fellow
Went they before him.
(Gap of about nine lines).
(The Entry of Enkidu into Erech).
7.[Enkidu] going [in front], with the courtesan coming behind him,
10.Enter’d broad-marketed Erech; the populace gather’d behind him,
(Then), as he stopp’d in the street of broad-marketed Erech, the people
15.Thronging, behind him exclaim’d “Of a truth, like to Gilgamish is he,
Shorter in stature a trifle, [his] composition is stronger.
20.. . . . . . . [(once)] like a [weakling] baby he suck’d the milk of the wild things!
Ever the bread-cakes in Erech give glorious (climax) to manhood!
25.He a (mere) savage becometh a hero of proper appearance,
(Now) unto Gilgamish, god-like, his composition is equal.”
(How Enkidu fought with Gilgamish for the Hetaera).
30.Strewn is the couch for the love-rites, 2 and Gilgamish (now) in the night-time
Cometh to sleep, to delight in the woman 3: (but) [Enkidu], coming
35.(There) in the highway, doth block up the passage to Gilgamish, [threat’ning]
He with his strength . . . . .
(Gap of seven or eight lines).
6.Gilgamish . . . behind him . . . . . . . . . .
10.Burgeon’d [his rage], (and) he rush’d to [attack] him: they met in the highway.
Enkidu barr’d up the door with his foot, (and) to Gilgamish entry—
15.Would not concede: they grappled and snorted(?) like bulls, (and) the threshold
Shatter’d: the (very) wall quiver’d as Gilgamish 1, Enkidu grappled,
20.Snorting(?) like bulls, (and) the threshold they shatter’d, the (very) wall quiver’d.
(The Birth of Friendship).
25.Gilgamish bent his leg to the ground: (so) his fury abated,
(Aye, and) his ardour 2 was quell’d: so soon as was quelled his ardour,
30.Enkidu (thus) unto Gilgamish spake: “(Of a truth), did thy mother
Bear thee as one, and one only: (that choicest) cow of the steer-folds,
35.Nin-sun 3 exalted thy head above heroes, and Enlil hath dower’d
Thee with the kingship o’er men.”
16:1 Old Babylonian Version.
16:3 Lit. “Enkidu.”
16:4 Read ma-a-[a]-lum.?
16:5 Text adds “garment.”
16:7 Read i-na [be]-ri-shu [ip]-hu-ru ri-ia-u.
17:1 Or “bridegroom.”
17:2 Use of rabutum “greatness.” It has no meaning if it is applied as an epithet to the shepherds.
17:3 The common meeting place of the men of the town, as sometimes in Arab villages to this day.
18:1 I have used a euphemism here. From l. 1 to l. 29 the text is very difficult.
18:2 Lit. “for Ishhara,” the goddess of love.
18:3 Lit. “her.”
19:1 Lit. “and.”
19:2 Or perhaps “rage, or valour,” lit. “breast.”
19:3 The mother of Gilgamish.