Dr. Zeus – Book I – Canto II

Of some of the gods
With whom we’re at odds
Of the strongest of men
We encountered back then
Of the man of the wild
That wonderful child
Of the monster of cedars
Who’s the greatest of breeders
-Oh Halcyon Muses nine-
For your version I simply haven’t the time
With those of the east you’ve not been concerned
You feel they’ve not that great honour earned
You ignore how they played a great part
In helping us to get our very own start
So the truth to all now I shall bring
For on the children of Abzu now I do sing

Them We Owe More Than Most Know

All ‘cross the world first we did roam
Striding away from our mountainous home

Prometheus and I explored to the east
For then I knew not how his morals were creased

He still at that time was one I called friend
So we thought to travel to the Earth’s farthest end

But wait – first a surprise we did find
There were more of us – there were more of our kind

Thus Sumeria we approached with unease
As we knew we couldn’t just do as we please

But soon we found our attention held rapt
Our curiosity soon was entrapped

He found interest in unusual creatures
Ones that shared our most godly features

These things – these humans – they held him entranced
How in short lives they toiled and danced

I, though, was concerned with a only a few
And wished to know what they would do

There were three that I wished well to observe
Three I watched intensely with verve

Gilgamesh who then was the greatest of men
Did call for note again and again

As did his friend, the beast Enkidu
The greatest of deeds did those two do

And together they worked ‘gainst the monster, the third
Huwawa who himself with glories did gird

But let me begin at the start of this tale
And show how the gods did Enkidu fail

For made, was he, to tame that arrogant King
To be his outlet, to joyous peace bring

No rival he had – no companion – no equal
And unkempt strength brought pain to his people

With no match he did whatever he pleased
He’d harrang every son, fill all daughters with seed

So Aruru – their own goddess of birth –
Created Enkidu from the mud of the earth

With care Prometheus studied this part
Oh! that I’d realized his plan at the start

But myself, I kept eye on the beast Enkidu
For truly I wished to see what he’d do

At first he lived alone among all of the beasts
He broke every trap – those caught he released

This, the trapper, did not himself like
But he lacked strength to take Enkidu’s strike

So he asked and followed his father’s advice
A solution in tandem devious and nice

To mighty walled Uruk for a harlot he went
And meeting Shamhat he her to him sent

He gave her great pleasure when she lay with him then
For his stamina was beyond that of all other men

For seven days and nights they together did breed
‘Til both had filled that desire that need

The trapper’s father was the wisest of wise
And knew the beasts would their old friend despise

And when he saw them away form him run
He couldn’t catch up – she’d sapped strength with fun

But Shamhat, that harlot, that whore of the city
Looked ‘pon Enkidiu with the greatest of pity

“Come now” she said “done is their plan
Let me show you how to be a true man”

She took him to town, cleaned him right up
Give him food ‘pon which to sup

There he heard of great Gilgamesh
Heard of his deeds which required redress

So Enkidu went to set this man straight
Not knowing ‘twas his reason, his fate

But when at Uruk he finally arrived
Of his strength he still was deprived

Though still he put up a good fight
He couldn’t match the kings power and might

Before the king he fell to the floor
But for his life he didn’t emplore

Gilgamesh though stayed his strong hand
Instead Enkidu he helped then to stand

“You,” he said, “can stand next to me
So our glory all them can see

“In fact, I know, we shall go on a quest
One to show we are truly the best

“Of a forest of Cedars I am aware
And all alone a monster lives there

“Him, together, we two shall kill
Cut down a tree to prove our great skill”

With horror though was Enkidu struck
But to dissuade the king, well, he wouldn’t have luck

But still he thought to speak and object
“Of Huwawa I know, attacks he’ll reflect”

“His breath is death, his cry is a flood
Us two he’ll grind into the mud

“For Enlil gave seven glories to him
And when he’s in them dressed there’s no hope to win”

But despite the fact his companion knew better
The king’s desire no one could fetter

Insults he hurled at the one he called friend
‘Til to his will did Enkidu bend

They travelled past mountains, numbered in seven
And we followed, us two, them into their heaven

At the edge of the forest did those two sleep
But into the king fear decided to creep

He had no rest but dream after dream
Showing ill omens, or so it would seem

Thus in the morning he wished to return
Forgetting before he did Enkidu spurn

But Enkidu searched for truer portent
Hoping to keep their prior intent

For each dream he found a better outlook
As hidden meaning can be easily mistook

Reassured those two did to the forest descend
Huwawa’s life hoping to end

They were lucky, though, for his power was less
In one glory only did he have time to dress

So Gilgamesh, helped by his friend and his father
Defeated the monster and prepared for the slaughter

But Huwawa still wanted to live
Thus sweet words to the king he did give

But Enkidu being from the wild as well
Could a duplicitous animal easily tell

So he slashed – struck down at the terrible beast
Unaware of the pain they then had unleashed

For while the lashing of cedars proved them both great
It did as well seal Enkidu’s fate

For Ishtar had no love for what they then did
And ‘gainst the will of a god – oh who can we kid

Someone must pay and though it wasn’t his choice
In Enkidu’s death did Ishtar rejoyce

So stricken with sickness he slowly did die
And with lamentation did then Gilgamesh cry

For the rest of his days he was obsessed with his end
How all deeds it would from him rend

He went to the end of the earth to continue his life
But found no cure for humanities strife

So, in the end, he accepted his fate
Existence unjust he’d no longer berate

Now no more tales would they there produce
But for me, myself, for each I could find use

And dead or alive I could each something proffer
Something they wanted thus they must each take my offer

To Enkidu I promised the wild
To make it so he, by them, was no longer reviled

As he moved from beast to man I made him a god
I changed his form to fit with the furred and the clawed

A new name I then to him gave
And all who see Pan do jibber and rave

Huwawa those two hadn’t quite killed
But his purpose was done, destiny filled

And so while I refused to restore all his glories
I offered him children who’d have many stories

For all beastmen from him do descend
They share his visage, his skill to offend

For Gilgamesh though, the greatest of men
Nothing solid could I give to him then

So instead to his spirit I gave a great oath
His strength and glory would continue in growth

All three seduced we five turned toward west
Looking forward to home – looking forward to rest

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