The Hymn of Enheduanna, Daughter of Sargon II of Akkad, Princess Imperial
of Sumer and Akkad and Priestess of Inanna and the Moon in Ur: c. 2300
b.c., to Inanna, goddess of love, war and life.
O Queen of the Seven Gods, O radiant splendor
of light, fountain of life, darling of Heaven
and Earth, priest, daughter and servant of Heaven!
Jewelled and crowned with life, born to be Lord,
in your hand are the guardian spirits of the Seven Gods,
and you yourself guard and protect the guardian spirits,
you have taken them up and tied them to your hands,
have gathered them in and pressed them to your breast.
You can fill the land with poison like a snake,
plants vanish from the earth when you thunder like Anu,
at your command the floods come down from the mountain.
Supreme in power, Inanna of Heaven and Earth,
whose mouth rains sparkles of lightning over the land,
mistress of beasts, given the gods’ life-spirits
by An, by An given the unfailing Word
to speak at his fateful command: who can fathom your glory?
...O wild and rampant, eldest daughter of the Moon,
Queen greater than An, who can pay you sufficient homage?
Queen of Queens, who in accordance with the spirits
were greater than your mother the moment you were born,
wise and knowing queen of all the lands,
mother of men and animals, I sing your praise...
I have entered before you in my holy garments,
I the princess imperial, Enheduanna,
singing as I carried your ritual baskets,
High Priestess of the Moon. But now no longer
can I serve the goodly temple that I established,
for the day that dawns in Ur scorches my skin
and the sand of the Southwind overwhelms me at nightfall,
My honey sweet voice is hoarse and strident
and all that gave me pleasure has fallen to dust.
I, what am I among living creatures!
An, An, give to punishment the rebels
that hate Inanna, and split their cities’ walls!
Enlil, curse them, and let their children perish
with no mother there to soothe them!
...The queen of queens, the prop of all the nations,
accepted Enheduanna’s prayers. Her heart
was again as of old, the day became propitious,
Inanna showered her beauty and allure
and joy like silver moonlight over our land!
Ancient Nanu in wonder and awe, and Ningal
her mother, worshiped her at the templ’s doorstep.
Priestess, queen, noble commander of gods,
destroyer of barbarians, whom An made protector of spirits,
Queen, clothed in allure and attraction, Inanna: Praise!