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A balbale to Nanna (Nanna A): translation

1-14How many there are! How many cows there are! How many cattle of Suen there are! The dark ones are translucent lapis lazuli; the pale cows are the light of the risen moon. The little ones trickle down like barleycorns for you; the large ones throng together like wild bulls for you. The Glory of Heaven (Suen) has undone the halters of the numerous cows in his teeming herd. He has poured out milk from the beautiful cows at the offering table; his bright hands ever pour the milk. After my king has completed the work, Suen ...... the shining halter ...... the cows, he ...... the cows, he ...... the cows. He acts as the herder of the cows.

15-20His own mother, the lady of Nibru, speaks a prayer to the lord in his desert: "A prayer, o shepherd! A prayer! May the cows be numerous for you in the good desert. When you arrive at nightfall, may you renew the E-kur, the highly prized sanctuary."

21-24He is its lover, he is its lover, he is the lord, the E-kur's lover! He is the man of delight to Enlil, he is Suen, the cry of joy of his own mother.

25-36The mother who bore him speaks kindly from her loving heart to Suen: "You are the beloved of the heart who calms the heart, Suen, shining calf who grew fat on the holy lap; you can wish in your heart for anything! You can desire everything precious to the heart! ......, splendour of the E-kur, make your wish on Enlil's lap. May you create glory in heaven! May the E-kur sing a song of joy about you, may the people call upon your life, Suen, may you be supreme in heaven and earth!"

37-40He has poured out milk from the ...... cows at the offering table, Suen has ordained the purification rites: "Everything that I do is brilliant! My father Enlil has fed me well."

41-49His mother speaks kindly in joy to the king, the holy barge which travels across the sky: "My wild bull whom An has well called, your name is respected in all lands. Lord of the holy herd who consecrates the purification rites, seed engendered in a holy shrine, shining halter, heroic child born by Ninlil! Nanna, seed engendered in the fields, beloved of holy An! An has conferred on you the shepherding of the Land!

50-60"Enlil has named you with a good renown -- you are the son of Enlil whose speech is just. In his elevated heart An has bestowed kingship on you. He has chosen your city Urim in his heart. For you he has brought fish and birds to the princely river. First-born of Enlil, who ...... the rank of lord, he has bestowed on you the kingship of heaven. You are a god dressed in beauty in the heavens. Your moonlight is holy and bright, and as like Utu you are a shepherd of the Land, Nanna, it shines forth for the king like the daylight. "

61A balbale to Suen.

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Revision history : GC : adapting translation
13.xii.1999 : JAB : proofreading
14.xii.1999 : GC : tagging
28.i.2000 : ER : proofreading SGML
28.i.2000 : ER : converting to HTML 4.0
7.ix.2001 : ER : header and footer reformatted; substantive content of file not changed