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ENLIL AND NINLIL


From "The Harps That Once...: Sumerian Poetry in Translation" by Thorkild Jacobsen. Yale University Press, Publishers; Copyright 1987.
It was just a city, just a city
But these chose to come settle,
Nippur was just a city,
but these chose to come settle,
Durgishimmar was just a city,
but these chose to come settle.
 
Just Idsalla was its pure river,
just Kargeshtina its harbor quay,
just Karusar its mooring quay,
just Pulal its well of sweet water,
just Nunbirdu its shimmering canal,
if measured out, just fifty sar each
were its arable lands.
 
Just Enlil was its young man
just Ninlil was its young maiden
just Ninbarshegunu, was its matron.
 
In those days
did the mother who gave her birth
advise the girl,
Ninbarshegunu
advised Ninlil:
May you not, 'o woman,
bathe in the pure canal,
in the pure canal,
may you not 'o Ninlil,
come stepping back
unto the bank of Nunbirdu!
He who is all bright eyes,
will be laying eyes upon you,
the great mountain, father Enlil,
who is all bright eyes,
will be laying eyes upon you,
the shepherd, the decision maker,
who is all bright eyes,
will be laying eyes upon you.
Forthwith that cock
will come burgeoning
he will be kissing you
and, happy, will gladly leave with you
the glorious sperm filled into the womb.
 
To the mother who advised her
she on her part lent ear.
In that selfsame pure canal,
in that selfsame pure canal,
the woman came and bathed,
and Ninlil was about to come stepping
back unto the bank of Nunbirdu.
 
He who is all bright eyes,
the master, who is all bright eyes,
laid eyes upon her,
the great mountain, father Enlil,
who is all bright eyes,
laid eyes upon her,
the shepherd, the decision maker,
who is all bright eyes,
laid eyes upon her:
 
"Let me make love with you!"
he was saying to her,
but was not thereby able
to make her agree to it.
"Let me kiss you!"
Enlil was saying to her,
but was not thereby able
to make her agree to it.
 
"My parts are little,
know not how to stretch,
my lips are little,
know not how to kiss!
If my mother learned about it
she would be slapping my hand,
if my father learned about it,
he would be grabbing hold of me harshly,
and it would not be for me,
now, to tell my girlfriend,
I should be drying up on her!
 
Enlil said to his page, Nusku:
Nusku, my page!
"Yes, pray!"
Great trust of the Ekur!
"Yes, my master!"
With a girl so nice, so shapely,
with Ninlil, so nice, so shapely,
one gets an urge
to make love
one gets an urge to kiss!
 
The page brought to his master
the likes of a boat
brought to him the likes of a towline
of a small boat
brought to him the likes of a big boat:
My master, willing,
let me float him down on it,
so he can follow the urge
to make that love,
follow the urge to kiss those lips,
father Enlil willing
let me float him down on it
so he can follow the urge
to make that love,
follow the urge to kiss those lips!
 
As he was hugging her
he held her hands,
followed the urge to kiss those lips;
and she for her part
was making lie up next to him
the bottom and the little moist place.
He followed the urge
to make that love,
followed the urge to kiss those lips,
and at his first making love,
at his first kiss,
he poured into the womb for her
the sperm, germ of Suen the moon,
the bright lone divine traveler!
 
Enlil was passing through Kiur,
and as Enlil was passing through Kiur
the fifty great gods,
and the seven gods
of formulating the decisions,
were seizing Enlil in Kiur:
The sex offender Enlil
will leave the town!
The sex offender Nunamnir
will leave the town!
Enlil, in accordance
with what has been decided about him,
left town.
 
Enlil was walking along,
Ninlil was following,
Nunamnir was walking along,
the girl was pursuing.
Enlil said to the man
in charge of the city gate:
Man of the city gate,
man of the bolt,
man of the lock,
man of the holy bolt!
Your mistress Ninlil
will be coming
an she ask you about me
do you not show her where I am!
 
Ninlil said to the man
in charge of the city gate:
Man of the city gate,
man of the bolt,
man of the lock,
man of the holy bolt!
Where did Enlil your master go?
 
Enlil had the man of the city gate answer her.
 
My master never deigned
to exchange pleasantries with me,
Enlil never deigned
to exchange pleasantries with me!
 
Having decided in my mind,
I made my plans,
and was filling from him
my empty womb,
Enlil, king of all lands
made love with me.
As Enlil is your master
so also am I your mistress!
 
An you be my mistress
let my hand touch your pudenda!
 
A sperm, your future master,
a lustrous sperm, is in my womb,
a sperm, germ of Suen the moon,
a lustrous sperm is in my womb!
 
May the sperm, my future master,
go heavenward,
and may my sperm
go to the netherworld,
may my sperm
instead of the sperm, my future master
come to the netherworld!
 
Enlil, as the man of the city gate
had her lie down in the latter's chamber,
made love with her, kissed her;
and at his lovemaking,
at his first kiss,
he poured into the womb for her
the sperm, germ of Nergal,
the one issuing forth from Meslam!
 
Enlil was walking along,
Ninlil was following,
Nunamnir was walking along,
the girl was pursuing.
Enlil drew near
the river of the mountains,
the man-nourishing river,
and to the man in charge
of the river of the mountains,
the man-nourishing river,
Enlil said:
Your mistress Ninlil
will be coming
an she ask you about me
do you not show her where I am!
 
Ninlil was nearing
the river of the mountains,
the man-nourishing river,
and to the man in charge
of the river of the mountains,
the man-nourishing river,
Ninlil said:
Where did Enlil
your master go?
 
Enlil had the man of the river of the mountains answer her.
 
My master never deigned
to exchange pleasantries with me,
Enlil never deigned
to exchange pleasantries with me!
 
Having decided in my mind,
I made my plans,
and was filling from him
my empty womb,
Enlil, king of all lands
made love with me.
As Enlil is your master
so also am I your mistress!
 
An you be my mistress
let my hand touch your pudenda!
 
A sperm, your future master,
a lustrous sperm, is in my womb,
a sperm, germ of Suen the moon,
a lustrous sperm is in my womb!
 
May the sperm, my future master,
go heavenward,
and may my sperm
go to the netherworld,
may my sperm
instead of the sperm, my future master
come to the netherworld!
 
Enlil, as the man in charge of the river of the mountains
had her lie down in the latter's chamber,
made love with her, kissed her;
and at his lovemaking,
at his first kiss,
he poured into the womb for her
the sperm, germ of Ninazu,
owner of the temple manor Egida!
 
Enlil was walking along,
Ninlil was following,
Nunamnir was walking along,
the girl was pursuing.
Enlil drew near Silulim the ferryman
Enlil said:
Your mistress Ninlil
will be coming
an she ask you about me
do you not show her where I am!
 
Ninlil drew near the ferryman
and said to him:
'O ferryman, where did Enlil
your master go?
 
Enlil had the man Silulim
make answer:
 
My master never deigned
to exchange pleasantries with me,
Enlil never deigned
to exchange pleasantries with me!
 
Having decided in my mind,
I made my plans,
and was filling from him
my empty womb,
Enlil, king of all lands
made love with me.
As Enlil is your master
so also am I your mistress!
 
An you be my mistress
let my hand touch your pudenda!
 
A sperm, your future master,
a lustrous sperm, is in my womb,
a sperm, germ of Suen the moon,
a lustrous sperm is in my womb!
 
May the sperm, my future master,
go heavenward,
and may my sperm
go to the netherworld,
may my sperm
instead of the sperm, my future master
come to the netherworld!
 
Enlil, as Silulim
had her lie down in the latter's chamber,
made love with her, kissed her;
and at his lovemaking,
at his first kiss,
he poured into the womb for her
the sperm, germ of Enbilulu,
the river warden!
 
Thou art lord! Thou art master!
Enlil, thou art lord! Thou art master!
Nunamnir, thou art lord! Thou art master!
A lord, carrying great weight,
lord of the storehouse,
art thou!
The lord making the barley sprout forth,
the lord making the vines sprout forth,
art thou!
Lord of heaven, lord making yields be,
and lord of the earth,
art thou!
Lord of the earth, lord making yields be,
and lord of heaven
art thou!
Enlil being lord, Enlil being master,
and inasmuch as a lord's word
cannot be changed!
 
Give praise unto Mother Ninlil!
Father Enlil, praise!

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