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Horns of gold

Love charm (Alternate Title)

Love charm, love charm! ~(1)
His horns are of gold,
His tail is of pure lapis,
It is placed in Ishtar's heart.

I called to her, but she did not come back to me, ~(5)
I whistled* at her,[1] but she did not look at me.
If she is "consecrated," may her lover fall,
If she has been taken, may her accuser fall.[2]

(May this) marriageable girl, a young lady of good family,
Fall at my clamor, at my call. [3] ~(10)
May the dough fall from her hands,[4]
May the young man fall who is at her side.

Don't lock your house against me,
Don't even look at the latchstring in your hand!
Look at me as if I were (your) tether,
Lick me over as if I were (your newborn) calf!*~(15)
Why did you wrap your head with my love,
like a headband?
Tie it around your waist, like a belt?
Stroke your [body] with [the happly glow]
of my fa[ce],* as if it were oil?[5]
(fragmentary lines)

Explanatory Notes:  [1] This may refer to the prolonged hiss that serves throughout the Near East today as a “wolf whistle.”<br />[2] As WGL suggests, this couplet seems to refer to the speaker's proprietary attitude toward the girl's virginity. If she is pure, may any would-be lover not deflower her; if she has been deflowered, may her accuser not prove his case.<br />[3] “Call” has a double meaning here, as it was also the term for claiming the bride at her father's house (Finkelstein, RA 61 [1967], 127–136).<br />[4] This and the next line may refer to domestic tasks, one involving food preparation and the other child care (her younger brother?), that the beloved will be unable to perform while the charm affects her heart.<br />[5] That is, by what power does she appropriate his love and well-being to herself, leaving him with nothing?<br />Literature: Westenholz, OrNS 46 (1977), 206–207; Cavigneaux, ASJ 18 (1996), 36; N.A.B.U. 1998/74.<br />*Notes to Text: (3) Cavigneaux, ASJ 18 (1996), 36 note 10. (6) Reading a-aÓ-zu-Íi and deriving from azû, Óezû (etc.) “hiss.” (15) Cavigneaux, ASJ 18 (1996), 36. (18) WGL; z[i-mi]-ja? (collated).
Publication:  Benjamin R. Foster, Before the Muses, 3rd edition; 2005, (p. 199)
Source:  Text: Hussey-van Dijk, YOS 11 87.
See all in category Incantation texts