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A Hymn to Ninkasi

Borne by the flowing water [...],
Tenderly cared for by Ninhursag.
Ninkasi, borne by the flowing water [...]
Tenderly cared for by Ninhursag.
Having founded your town by the sacred lake,
She finished its great walls for you,
Ninkasi, having founded your town by the
                                      sacred lake,
She finished its great walls for you.
Your father is Enki, the lord Nudimmud,
Your mother is Ninti, the queen of the abzu.
You are the one who handles dough [and]...
                                      with a big shovel,
Mixing, in a pit, the bappir with sweet aromatics.
Ninkasi, you are the one who handles dough
[and]...with a big shovel,
Mixing, in a pit, the bappir with [date]-honey.
You are the one who bakes the bappir in the
                                      big oven,
Puts in order the piles of hulled grain.
Ninkasi, you are the one who bakes the bappir
                                      in the big oven,
Puts in order the piles of hulled grain.
You are the one who waters the malt set
                                      on the ground,
The noble dogs keep away even the potentates.
Ninkasi, you are the one who waters the malt set
                                      on the ground,
The noble dogs keep away even the potentates.
You are the one who soaks the malt in a jar,
The waves rise, the waves fall.
Ninkasi, you are the one who soaks the malt in a jar,
The waves rise, the waves fall.
You are the one who spreads the cooked mash on
                                      large reed mats,
                                      Coolness overcomes...
Ninkasi, you are the one who spreads the cooked
mash on large reed mats,
                                      Coolness overcomes...
You are the one who holds with both hands
                                      the great sweetwort,
Brewing [it] with honey [and] wine...
The fermenting vat, which makes a pleasant sound,
You place appropriately on [top of]
                                      a large collector vat.
Ninkasi, the fermenting vat, which makes
a pleasant sound,
You place appropriately on [top of]
                                      a large collector vat.
When you pour out the filtered beer
                                      of the collector vat,
It is [like] the onrush of the Tigris and the Euphrates.
Ninkasi, you are the one who pours out
                                      The filtered beer of the collector vat,
It is [like] the onrush of the Tigris and the Euphrates.

The gakkul vat, the gakkul vat,
The gakkul vat, the lam-sá-re vat,
The gakkul vat, which makes the liver happy,
The lam-sá-re vat, which rejoices the heart,
The ugur-bal jar, a fitting thing in the house
The sa-gub jar, which is filled with beer,
The am-am jar, which carries the beer
                                      of the lam-sá-re vat...
The beautiful vessels, are ready on [their] pot stands!
May the heart of your god be well
                                      disposed towards you!
Let the eye of the gakkul vat be our heart!
What makes your heart feel wonderful,
Makes [also] our heart feel wonderful.
Our liver is happy, our heart is joyful.
You poured a libation over the brick of destiny,
You placed the foundation in peace [and] prosperity,
May Ninkasi live together with you!
Let her pour for you beer [and] wine,
Let [the pouring] of the sweet liquor resound
                                      pleasantly for you!
In the...reed buckets there is sweet beer,
I will make cupbearers, boys, [and]
                                      brewers stand by,
While I circle around the abundance of beer,
While I feel wonderful, I feel wonderful,
Drinking beer, in a blissful mood,
Drinking liquor, feeling exhilarated,
With joy in the heart [and] a happy liver--
While my heart full of joy,
[And] [my] happy liver I cover with a
                                      garment fit for a queen!
The heart of Inanna is happy again,
The heart of the queen of heaven is happy again!

Revised: February 7, 2007

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