Belânu and Iltani - Part 15

Belânu to Iltani who is all his as he is all hers, by the decree of Marduk and Ishtar which changes not:
Beloved, I have heard, I have been told. May Ishtar's terrible sister Ereshkigal, Queen of the place of darkness, by the power of Namtar, her dire messenger, god of Pestilence, torment the perfidious Nabu-zer-ibini, through countless ages. Forgive me, O my beloved, that I do not write to you a song. Gone is song from my heart, fled far away like a bird that urchins stone with pebbles from a sling. In the temple of my heart resound only cries of mourning, lamentations of one who has no hope. For though my love for you is of such strength that it moves the gods, it cannot avail to move the heart thrice petrified of your seven times accursed uncle, the false Nabu-zer-ibini. In your father's stead the law gives him power of a father over you. Implacable is the law. Even love may not avail against the law, love that maketh to relent the hearts of gods.
Therefore since the bright world has become to us as the dark Cave of Arala, since in this darkened world we may not even be together, let us descend hand in hand to Arala, where none can divide us. Damgula, my mother of compassion who bears you this message, will show you the way. Go forth with her, O my beloved, if your love be strong as Belânu's.
At that gate of the city which is nearest your mother's house, a litter awaits you. Go with Damgula and mount within it. Thence my runners will bear you to my house " The Envy of Princes " in my fair gardens near Borsippa. You shall be sacred to me as the memory of my mother's face in the last sleep. This is what I would do, my beloved. From India I brought with me a potent drink — " Rest of Brahma " it is called. It brings death without pain. Like a lover's kiss it stills the anguish of the heart without torment. I will have saddled my white horse Z├┤r, who is without blemish like our love — my horse Z├┤r that I captured alone in the mountains, — that I tamed alone. Having put the vial of soft release in the breast of my garment, I will mount upon Z├┤r, lifting you to the saddle before me. His fleet hoofs shall bear us far from trouble, toward the North, toward the mountains for which he neighs in dreams, deep into the forests that lie between Babylon and the hills of the North. There we will free him to his delight, and hand in hand, having drunk of " The Rest of Brahma, " we will sink together to the dim Kingdom of Arala. We will dwell together there. Better together in the Shadow, than apart in the light of the Sun. Let us do this thing for the sake of our love, Iltani, if your love be strong as mine. Afterwards, our Mother of Pity, Damgula, will pray the prayer for release to Ishtar. But if Ishtar will not grant our release, then to Tammuz, the lover of her youth; with a festival garment adorning his image, that he may at least play for us on his flute of lapis-lazuli, with his ring of porphyry.
May Ishtar strengthen your heart, O my beloved, and send you to me quickly.
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