Epic of Gilgamesh (109)
1. Urshanabi spoke to Gilgamesh, saying:’
“Why are your cheeks emaciated, your expression desolate!
2. Gilgamesh spoke to Urshanabi, saying:
“Urshanabi, should not my cheeks be emaciated, my expression
3. My friend who chased wild asses in the mountain, the panther
of the wilderness…
4. My friend, whom I love deeply, who went through every hardship with me,
5. Enkidu, my friend, whom I love deeply, who went through
every hardship with me, has died.
6. Six days and seven nights I mourned over him
and would not allow him to be buried until a maggot fell out of his nose.
7. I was terrified by his appearance(!),
8. I began to fear death, and so roam the wilderness.
9. The issue of my friend oppresses me,
so I have been roaming long trails through the wilderness.
10.The issue of Enkidu, my friend, oppresses me,
so I have been roaming long roads through the wilderness.
11.How can I stay silent, how can I be still!
12.My friend whom I love has turned to clay;
13.Enkidu, my friend whom I love, has turned to clay!
14.Am I not like him! Will I lie down, never to get up again!”
15.Utanapishtim spoke to Gilgamesh, saying:
“Gilgamesh, you came here exhausted and worn out.
What can I give you so you can return to your land?
I will disclose to you a thing that is hidden, Gilgamesh,
a… I will tell you.
16.There is a plant… like a boxthorn,
whose thorns will prick your hand like a rose.
17.If your hands reach that plant you will become a young
18.….He took the plant, though it pricked his hand,
and cut the heavy stones from his feet,
letting the waves(?) throw him onto its shores.
19.Gilgamesh spoke to Urshanabi, the ferryman, saying:
“Urshanabi, this plant is a plant against decay
by which a man can attain his survival.
I will bring it to Uruk-Haven,
and have an old man eat the plant to test it.
20.The plant’s name is ‘The Old Man Becomes a Young Man.'”
21.Then I will eat it and return to the condition of my youth.”
At twenty leagues they broke for some food,
at thirty leagues they stopped for the night.
22.Seeing a spring and how cool its waters were,
Gilgamesh went down and was bathing in the water.
23.A snake smelled the fragrance of the plant,
silently came up and carried off the plant.
While going back it sloughed off its casing.’
24.At that point Gilgamesh sat down, weeping,
his tears streaming over the side of his nose.
(109) Academy of Ancient Texts. The Epic of Gilgamesh is in the Public Domain.
Source URL: http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/mesopotamian/gilgamesh/tab11.ht