One day there will be no snake, no scorpion,
There will be no hyena, nor lion,
There will be neither wild dog nor wolf,
And thus there will be neither fear nor trembling,
For man will then have no enemy.
On that day the lands of Shubur and Hamazi,
As well as twin-tongued Sumer—great mound of the power of lordship—
Together with Akkad—the mound that has all that is befitting—
And even the land Martu, resting in green pastures,
Yea, the whole world of well-ruled people,
Will be able to speak to Enlil in one language!
For on that day, for the debates between lords and princes and kings,
Shall Enki, for the debates between lords and princes and kings,
For the debates between lords and princes and kings,
Shall Enki, lord of abundance, lord of steadfast decisions,
Lord of wisdom and knowledge in the land,
Expert of the gods,
Chosen for wisdom, lord of Eridug,
Change the tongues in their mouth, as many as he once placed there,
And the speech of mankind shall be truly one!
©2003 by Society of Biblical Literature. Used with permission of the Society of Biblical Literature.
From “Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta.” Considered by scholars to be among the finest poetic narratives of old Babylonia, the story relates Enmerkar’s attempts to procure precious metals for his city of Unug from that of Aratta, the lord of which devises a series of trials that Enmerkar must overcome in order to begin trade. Enmerkar tells the first messenger from Aratta of his vision of an ideal world united in speaking Sumerian; he calls it “the spell of Nudimmud.”
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