King Gilgamesh and Enkidu, the Sasquatch

Now, Enkidu strode in front and the woman followed behind.
He entered Uruk, that great market, and all the folk thronged round him,

where he stood in the street, in strong-walled Uruk.
The people jostled; speaking of him they said,

"He is the spitting image of Gilgamesh.
He is shorter. He is bigger of bone.

This is the one who was reared on the milk of wild beasts.
His is the greatest strength."

The men rejoiced:
"Now Gilgamesh has met his match. This great-one,

this hero whose beauty is like a god,
he is a match even for Gilgamesh..."

Together Gilgamesh and Enkidu went down into the forest
and they came to the green mountain.

There they stood still, they were struck dumb;
they stood still and gazed at the forest.

They saw the great height of the cedar,
they saw the way into the forest,

they saw the track where the giant Humbaba walked,
the way was broad and the going was good.

They gazed at the mountain of cedars, the dwelling-
place of the gods, and the throne of Ishtar.

The hugeness of the cedar rose in front of the mountain,
its shade was beautiful, and full of comfort;

mountain and glade were green with brushwood.
Gilgamesh and Enkidu felled the giant Humbaba, watcher of the forest.

Now the mountains were moved, and all the hills,
for the guardian of the forest was killed.

They then attacked the cedars, and the seven splendors
of Humbaba were extinguished.

So they pressed on into the forest,
bearing their swords of eight talents.

They uncovered the sacred dwellings of the Anunnaki,
and while Gilgamesh felled the first

of the trees of the forest,
Enkidu cleared their roots as far

as the banks of the Euphrates...
Then Enkidu looked far and wide

and lamented, and cried..
"We have reduced the forest to a wasteland."

They then set Humbaba before the gods,
before Enlil; they kissed the ground

and dropped the shroud,
and set the head before him...

Gilgamesh washed out his long locks,
and cleaned his weapons;

he flung back his long hair from his shoulders;
he threw off his stained clothes,

and changed them for new.
He put on his royal robes and made them fast...

When the daylight came Enkidu got up and cried to Gilgamesh,
"O my brother, such a dream I had last night,

Anu, Enlil, Ea and heavenly Shamash
took counsel together, and Anu said to Enlil,

"Because they have killed the 'Bull' of
Heaven, and because they have killed

Humbaba who guarded the Cedar Mountain
one of the two must die.

"Then glorious Shamash answered the hero
Enlil, "It was by your command

they killed the Bull of Heaven,
and killed Humbaba,

and now Enkidu must die,
although innocent?"...

Now, "The warriors of strong-walled Uruk,
Where the 'Bull of Heaven' was killed,

Weep for you.
All the people of Eridu

Weep for you,

Hear ancient Gilgamesh story tune

Short Excerpts from 'Epic of Gilgamesh' about 2,700 BC:   Continued in Part 1

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