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THE DREAM OF GUDEA

[LITERATURE OF THE EAST]


Translation by S. Langdon, Reader of Assyriology at Ox- ford University, in his
"Sumerian Grammar and Chrestomathy."

COLUMN I
When in determining fate in heaven and earth he exalted Lagash with great decrees,
Enlil upon the lord Ningirsu looked faithfully. "In my city property exists not. The
waters return not to their bank, the waters of Enlil return not to their bank, the waters
return not to their bank,
"The high flood gleams not full of strength, the waters of Enlil, like the Tigris, flow
not with fresh water. The temple its kings shall proclaim, Eninnu, in heaven and earth,
he shall cause to arise in splendor."
The Patesi, who is a man of vast understanding, exercised understanding. Great
things he burnt as offering. Seemly oxen and kids he caused to be brought directly.
He exalted the brick of destiny. To build the holy temple he elevated it toward him
(i.e., Ningirsu). Unto his lord during the day and at midnight Gudea unto the lord
Ningirsu gazed. He commanded him concerning the building of his temple ; upon
Eninnu, whose decrees are great, he looked.
Gudea, whose heart is profound, sighed these words, "Verily, verily I will speak,
verily, verily I will speak, with this command I will go. A shepherd am I; unto me hath
one given majesty. That which midnight hath brought unto me its meaning I
understand not. Unto my mother my dream verily I will report.

COLUMN II
"My prophetess instructed in what is proper, my Nina, the sister who is goddess in
Sirara, verily its meaning will announce unto me." In her boat she embarked not. In her
city Nina, upon the river flowing at Nina, she caused her boar to remain. The river
bright and glad, morning and evening rejoiced. In the Baga, house of the bright river,
where water is taken, a sacrifice he made, pure water he poured out. "Hero, raging
panther, whom none can oppose, O Ningirsu, who arises from the nether sea, in Nippur
thou art glorious. O hero, what command shall I perform for thee faithfully? Ningirsu,
thy house I will build for thee. The decrees fit- tingly I will perform for thee. Thy sister,
the child whom Eridu created, wise in what is fitting, lady prophetess of the gods, my
Nina thy sister, goddess in Sirara, may she embark."
Gudea was heard. His prayer from Gudea, his king the lord Ningirsu received. In the
house Baga he performed sacred rituals.
The patesi to the temple of Gatumdug, her chamber of repose, went away. Sacrifices
he made, pure water he poured out. Unto the sacred Gatumdug he went. This prayer he
spoke to her. "Oh my lady, child whom sacred Anu created, wise in what is fitting,
eminent in heaven,

COLUMN III
"Giving life to the land of Sumer, enlightener of her city, lady, mother who founded
Lagash art thou. If thou lookest upon the people there is abundance in plenty. The pious
hero whom thou lookest upon life is lengthened unto him. A mother I have not, my
mother thou art; a father I have not, my father thou art. My father made evil his heart
against me; in the great chamber thou hast nurtured me. O my Gatumdug, thou art wise
in goodness. If in the night I recline myself, my great sword thou art; at my side thou
standest. With a shining torch . . . thou. The breath of life thou createst for me. The
protection of a mother art thou. Thy shadow I reverence. With thy mighty hand whose
faithful power is supreme,
"Oh my lady, Gatumdug, me thou wilt make humble. Unto the city I will go. May my
omen be favorable. Unto Nina, who rises above the world, may thy good genius go
before me. May thy good angel go at my heel. Verily, verily I will speak; verily, verily I
will speak. With these words I will go. Unto my mother my dream I will bring. My
prophetess, wise in what is fitting, my Nina, the sister, goddess in Sirara, its meaning
verily will reveal." Gudea was heard.

COLUMN IV
His lady, holy Gatumdug, received from Gudea his prayer.
In her boat she embarked not. At her city Nina, she left the boat fixed. The patesi in
the court of the goddess of Sirara lifted his head heavenward. A sacrifice he made, pure
water he poured out. Unto Nina he went, a prayer he brought. "O Nina, lady of priestly
rights, lady of precious decrees. O lady, like Enlil, deciding fates, O Nina, thy word is
faithful; above all it excels. Prophetess of the gods art thou; mistress of the lands art
thou. O mother, let me relate now the dream. The meaning of the dream I know not.
There was a man like heaven was his form, like earth was his form; as to the crown
of his head a god was he; at his side was the storm-bird; at his feet was the hurricane; at
his right and at his left a panther lay. He commanded me to build his temple. His
meaning I understand not. The sun arose from the world. There was a woman, who was
it not, who was it? . . . she made. The sacred stylus she held in her hand. She possessed
the tablet of the good stars.

COLUMN V
"She counseled with herself.
"Secondly, there was a strong man ; . . . a tablet of lapis lazuli he held in his hand. For
the temple a plan he made. Before me an holy head basket he placed; the holy mold he
arranged. The brick of fate in the mold he made. By the sacred . . . placed before me the
. . . bird brought morn- ing light to me. An ass crouched at the right of my lord."
The patesi his mother Nina answered. "My shepherd, thy dream I will interpret for
thee. As for the man in form like heaven, in form like the earth, as to his head a god, at
his side the storm-bird, at his feet the hurricane, at whose right and at whose left a
panther lay, verily my brother Ningirsu it is. Thee he hast commanded the building of
the abode of his Eninnu. The sun which arose from the world is thy god Gishzida; like
the sun from the world he arose for thee. The maiden who . . . made, who in her hand
held the sacred stylus, who possessed the tablet of the favorable stars, who counseled
with herself, verily it is my sister Nidaba.

COLUMN VI
"By the bright star she announced unto thee the building of the temple. In the second
place there is the strong man . . . who held in his hand a plate of lapis lazuli; it is the god
Nindub. He fixes for thee the plan of the temple. The sacred head basket which was
placed before thee, the sacred mold which was arranged, the brick of fate which was in
the mold, verily, the holy brick of Eninnu it is. As for the holy . . . placed before thee in
which the bird . . . brings the light of dawn to men, it means pleasant things shall not
pre- vent thee from building the temple.
"As for the ass which crouched at the side of my lord, it is thee; in Eninnu, like . . .
thou crouchest. May mason pro- vide my purification. In Girsu, in the sanctuary of the
land of Lagash, thou shalt set thy foot. In thy treasure-house change the tablets of
accounts, remove therefrom wood. For thy king prepare a chariot. The ass yoke thereto.
The sacred chariot with lapis lazuli adorn. The quiver like day- light shall shine. The
divine sword of heroism adorn.
"His sacred emblem make, thy name write thereon. His beloved lyre, the usumgal of
the land, instrument which has a sweet sound, which gives counsel, unto the hero who
loves gifts,

COLUMN VII
"Thy King, the lord Ningirsu, in Eninnu, of the glorious storm-bird, cause to be
brought in. Thy little words as great words he has received. Inasmuch as he whose heart
is as profound as heaven, Ningirsu, the son of Enlil, appeases thee with his word, and
reveals unto thee the plan of his temple; the hero whose decrees are great has blessed
thee."