10 May 2011


why do you grieve because of a mortal father?

How long does a building stand before it falls?
How long does a contract last? How long will brothers

share the inheritance before they quarrel?
How long does hatred, for that matter, last?

Time after time the river has risen and flooded.
The insect leaves the cocoon to live but a minute.

How long is the eye able to look at the sun?
From the very beginning nothing at all has lasted.

See how the dead and the sleeping resemble each other.
Seen together, they are the imaged of death.

The simple man and the ruler resemble each other.
The face of one will darken like that of the other.

The Annunaki gathered in assembly:
Mammetum, Mother Goddess, she was with them.

There they established that there is life and death.
The day of death is set, though not made known.

Gilgamesh, translated by David Ferry

The epic dates from about 3000 BC and was inscribed on tablets.
Its theme is the mortality of man.
Nothing changes very much.

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