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The message of Lu-dijira to his mother

1-8. Royal courier, start the journey! I want to send you to Nibru -- deliver this message! You are going on a long journey. My mother {is worried, she cannot sleep} {(1 ms. has instead:) is too (?) ...... to sleep}. Although the way to {her} {(1 ms. has instead:) the closed} woman's domain is blocked, deliver my letter of greeting into her hands, {as she keeps asking} {(1 ms. has instead:) and then she will not keep asking} the {travellers} {(1 ms. has instead:) wayfarers} about my well-being. Then my mother will be delighted, and will treat you most kindly (?) for it.

9-20. In case you should not recognise my mother, let me describe her to you. Her name is {Cat-Ectar} {(1 ms. has instead:) Cimat-Ectar}, {...... by her words} {(some mss. have instead:) ......} ....... Her body, face and limbs, and outer appearance are ....... She is the fair goddess of her city-quarter. Her fate has been decided since the days of her youth. Single-handed she keeps in order the house of her father-in-law. She serves humbly before her divine mistress. She knows how to look after Inana's place. She never disobeys the {orders} {(1 ms. has instead:) wishes} of the king. She is energetic and causes possessions to multiply. She is loving, gentle, and lively. By nature she is a lamb, sweet butter, honey, flowing ghee.

21-31. Let me give you another description of my mother: My mother is like the bright light {in the sky} {(1 ms. has instead:) on the horizon}, a doe on the hillsides. She is the morning star, {shining even at noon-time} {(1 ms. has instead:) providing plenty of light}. She is precious cornelian, a topaz from Marhaci. She is the jewellery of a king's brother, full of beauty. She is {a cylinder seal of nir stone, an ornament like the sun} {(1 ms. has instead:) a cornelian jewel, an ornamental drinking cup} {(1 ms. has instead:) a cornelian ......, an ornament of nir stone} {(1 ms. has instead:) a ...... jewel, a beautiful drinking cup}. She is a bracelet of tin, a ring of antasura metal. She is a nugget of shining gold and silver, {but which is living and draws breath ......} {(1 ms. has instead:) ...... and breathing} {(1 ms. has instead:) ...... place ......}. She is an alabaster statuette of a protective goddess standing on a pedestal of lapis lazuli. She is {a polished rod of ivory} {(2 mss. have instead:) a living figurine (?)}, {with limbs full of beauty} {(1 ms. has instead:) ......} {(1 ms. has instead:) full of pleasure}.

32-39. Let me give you a third description of my mother: My mother is {rain from heaven} {(1 ms. has instead:) timely rain}, water for the finest seeds. She is a bountiful harvest of {fully-grown fine barley} {(1 ms. has instead:) ripe, exceedingly fine barley} {(1 ms. has instead:) heavenly ......} {(1 ms. has instead:) ripe maturity (?) ......}. She is a garden of {......} {(1 ms. has instead:) delights}, {full of laughter} {(1 ms. has instead:) filled with rejoicing}. She is a well-irrigated pine tree, {an adorned juniper} {(1 ms. has instead:) adorned with pine-cones}. She is early fruit, the {products} {(1 ms. has instead:) garden's yield} of the first month. She is an irrigation ditch bringing fertilising water to the garden plots. She is a sweet Dilmun date, a prime date much sought after.

40-46. Let me give you a fourth description of my mother: My mother fills the festivals and offerings with joy. She is {an akitum offering} {(1 ms. has instead:) the akitum festival}, awesome (?) to look upon. She is the offspring, {the child} {(1 ms. has instead:) the daughter} of the king, a song of abundance. She is a place of entertainment set up for delights. {(1 ms. adds:) ...... fruit ...... abundance.} She is a lover, a loving heart who never becomes sated with pleasure. She is the good news that the captive will return {to his mother} {(1 ms. has instead:) to celebrate}.

47-52. Let me give you a fifth description of my mother: My mother is a palm-tree, with the sweetest fragrance. She is a chariot of juniper wood, a sedan chair of boxwood. She is {a fine cloth} {(1 ms. has instead:) a good ......} perfumed with refined oil. She is a bunch of grapes, a garland (?) {growing luxuriantly} {(1 ms. has instead:) perfect in luxuriant growth}. {She} {(1 ms. has instead:) My mother} is a phial made from an ostrich egg, {overflowing} {(1 ms. has instead:) full} with {finest} {(1 ms. has instead:) perfumed} oil. {(1 ms. adds:) She is a fair woman, accompanied by a protective goddess ....... She is a woman who will show you compassion like (?) Aruru, ...... born .......}

53-54. {When, thanks to the descriptions I have given you, you stand in her (?) radiant presence, tell her: "Your beloved son Lu-dijira is in good health."} {(1 ms. has instead:) The descriptions I have given you describe (?) her (?) appearance. A most fair woman accompanied by many protective goddesses, she is my mother. Pay attention, ...... joyfully ......: "Your beloved son Lu-dijira is in good health ......", tell her .......
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Revision history

17.viii.2000: GZ, editor: adapting translation
30.ix.2000: JAB, editor: proofreading
04.x.2000: GC, editor: SGML tagging
13.x.2000: ER, editor: web publication GC/JE, editor/technical developer: XML/TEI conversion

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