Sumeria

El duelo de Gilgamesh por Enkidu


.
Ellos le dijeron a Gilgamesh:
«¿Por qué parecen tus mejillas hundidas y tu cara demacrada?
¿Por qué se ha roto tu corazón y arruinado tu semblante?
¿Por qué se revuelven tus tripas de desesperación?
¿Por qué tienes aspecto de estar tan hastiado del mundo?
¿Por qué pareces quemado por el sol y la cellisca,
merodeando por el desierto, vestido como una alimaña?»

Gilgamesh les dijo:
«¿Cómo no parecerán mis mejillas hundidas y mi cara demacrada?
¿Cómo no se habrá roto mi corazón y arruinado mi semblante?
¿Cómo no se revolverán mis tripas de desesperación?
¿Cómo no he de tener aspecto de estar hastiado del mundo?
¿Cómo no he de parecer quemado por el sol y la cellisca,
merodeando por el desierto, vestido como una alimaña?

Mi amigo, tenaz como el mulo, ágil como el onagro, veloz como el leopardo;
Enkidu, tenaz como el mulo, ágil como el onagro, veloz como el leopardo;
nosotros éramos los que se unían para escalar montañas,
los que capturaron y dieron muerte al Toro Sagrado,
los que vencieron a Humbaba, el rey del Bosque de Cedros,
los que mataban leones en los desfiladeros.

Mi amigo, al que quiero con gran fuerza,
el que siempre me acompañaba en las adversidades;
Enkidu, mi amigo, al que quiero con gran fuerza,
el que siempre me acompañaba en las adversidades:
el destino de todos los seres humanos lo ha vencido.

Lo he estado llorando durante seis días y siete noches.
No podía entregarlo para que fuera enterrado;
tan solo después de que un gusano cayera de su nariz lo hice.
Enkidu, mi amigo, no podía entregarlo para que fuera enterrado;
tan solo después de que un gusano cayera de su nariz lo hice.

Merodeo por el desierto porque me he vuelto temeroso de la muerte.
Lo que le sucedió a mi amigo fue demasiado duro de soportar,
y por eso merodeo por los caminos, hastiado del mundo.
Lo que le sucedió a Enkidu, mi amigo, fue demasiado duro de soportar,
y por eso merodeo por los caminos, hastiado del mundo.

¿Cómo podría callar? ¿Cómo podría, entre toda la gente, guardar silencio?
Mi amigo, aquel que amo, se ha convertido en barro.
Enkidu, mi amigo, aquel que amo, se ha convertido en barro.
¿No soy yo como él? ¿No me tenderé también yo en reposo,
sin moverme otra vez, para siempre jamás?»
.


Gilgamesh’s Lament for Enkidu
Versión de Enrique Gutiérrez Mirandasobre la traducción al inglés de Slightly Alive Translations

Gilgamesh’s Lament for Enkidu (SB VIII.42-64, X.212-248

This translation begins in the eighth tablet of the Standard Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic, when Gilgamesh is mourning the death of his lover Enkidu. The first 41 lines of this tablet list the people, places, and objects whom Gilgamesh exhorts to mourn Enkidu: “may ___ weep over you!” He lists them in order of increasing intimacy: first strangers, then friends, then parents, and finally Gilgamesh himself.

“Listen, young men. Listen to me.
Listen, elders of great Uruk. Listen to me.
I weep for my friend Enkidu;
like a grief-stricken woman, I howl in despair. [1]
The shaft at my side, the bedrock of my strength, [2]
the sword at my belt, the shield before me,
the clothing for my festivals, the sash on my pleasure: [3]
A fiendish force sprang up to snatch him from me.

“My friend, stubborn as a mule, nimble as a donkey, swift as a panther —
oh Enkidu, my friend, stubborn as a mule, nimble as a donkey, swift as a panther —
We were the ones who joined together to scale mountains,
who captured and killed the Sacred Bull,
who vanquished Humbaba, king of the Cedar Forest.

“So what kind of sleep steals you away now?
Darkness cloaks you; you cannot hear me.”

Yet still [Enkidu] did not lift his head.
He felt for his pulse: utterly still.

He veiled his friend’s face like a bride;
like an eagle, he circled over him.
Like a lioness robbed of her cubs,
he circled back and forth, back and forth.
He tore at his curly hair until it piled up around him;
he stripped off his finery and cast it away as anathema.

[Much of what follows is broken, but the remainder of Tablet 8 seems to consist of funeral rites, in which Gilgamesh gives gifts to various deities, so that they will welcome Enkidu in the afterlife. After completing his mourning rituals, Gilgamesh becomes distraught at his own mortality, and he begins to wander the world, looking for an answer to the problem of death. When he meets people, they ask him about his haggard appearance; this composite text was pieced together by Andrew George from fragmented repetitions of the interchange.]

They said to Gilgamesh,
“Why do your cheeks look sunken, your face gaunt?
Why is your heart broken, your appearance wrecked?
Why does your gut churn in despair?
Why does your face seem so world-weary?
Why do you look scorched by sleet and sun,
prowling the wilderness, dressed like a predator?”

Gilgamesh said to them,
“Why wouldn’t my cheeks look sunken, my face gaunt?
Why wouldn’t my heart be broken, my appearance wrecked?
Why wouldn’t my gut churn in despair?
Why wouldn’t my face seem world-weary?
Why wouldn’t I look scorched by sleet and sun,
prowling the wilderness, dressed like a predator?

“My friend, stubborn as a mule, nimble as a donkey, swift as a panther —
Enkidu, my friend, stubborn as a mule, nimble as a donkey, swift as a panther —
We were the ones who joined together to scale mountains,
who captured and killed the Sacred Bull,
who vanquished Humbaba, king of the Cedar Forest,
who killed lions in the mountain passes.

“My friend, whom I love fiercely,
who accompanied me through every trial —
Enkidu, my friend, whom I love fiercely,
who accompanied me through every trial –
The fate of all humans has vanquished him.

“For six days and seven nights, I wept over him.
I could not give him up to be buried.
Only after a maggot dropped out of his nose
did I […]

“I prowl the wilderness because I’ve become afraid of death. [4]
What happened to my friend was too heavy to endure,
and so I prowl the roads, world-weary.
What happened to Enkidu, my friend, was too heavy to endure,
and so I prowl the paths, world-weary.

“How could I keep quiet? How could I, of all people, fall silent?
My friend, the one I love, has turned to clay.
Enkidu, my friend, the one I love, has turned to clay.
Am I not like him? Will I not lie in rest,
never to stir again, forever and ever?”

[1] “A grief-stricken woman”: some translators render this as a professional mourner, but the word need not have that specific connotation. Moreover, the gender is quite notable, since this word for “mourner” usually appears in the masculine. It may imply that women are more vocal and expressive in their grief, or that Gilgamesh’s bond with Enkidu was as close as a wife’s would have been.
[2] The word I translate as “shaft” (haṣṣinnu, literally an axe) has three different connotations. First, it is a physical weapon that one might carry, parallel to the sword and shield in the following line. Second, back in Tablet 1, Enkidu’s arrival was prophesied when Gilgamesh dreamed about encountering an axe that he would caress like a wife, so this alludes back to their first meeting. Third, as I note in that section, the word sounds like assinnu, a male role with feminine or homosexual connotations. Thus, the single term alludes to Enkidu as warrior, partner, and lover.
[3] Both of these allude back to Tablet 1, where the courtesan Shamhat entices Enkidu to Uruk by promising him that “men belt their waits with sashes,” and “a festival is held every day.” Since the following lines in Tablet 1 describe the sexual allure of Uruk’s courtesans, these lines may also have an erotic connotation; either way, they clearly indicate that Enkidu was integral to Gilgamesh’s times of joy and celebration.
[4] This line is poignant on two levels. First, it explains Gilgamesh’s travels: he is traveling in an attempt to find immortality and avoid Enkidu’s fate. But second, Enkidu’s bravery had always dispelled fear; for instance, in Tablet V, Gilgamesh confesses to having fear in his heart, and Enkidu bolsters him with confidence. Now Gilgamesh is afraid, and no one can calm his fear.