I made your destiny a destiny of kingship, but I did not make it a destiny of eternal life

The Sumerian Death of Bilgames (Gilgamesh), as Bilgames on his deathbed learns his fate in a god-sent dream (Andrew George’s Penguin edition, pg 200-201).  Bilgames’ end is of course highly privileged but the overall feel of the Netherworld here is more cheerful than in Enkidu’s from the later standard Babylonian Gilgamesh – though much (to most) of that cheer can be undercut by the earlier question and answer session on the fates of various types of people:

[Great Mountain Enlil, the father of the gods,]
[conversed in the dream with the lord Bilgames:]
[‘O Bilgames, I made your destiny a destiny of kingship, but I did
not make it a destiny of eternal life. ]
[For mankind, whatever life it has, be not sick at heart,]
[be not in despair, be not heart-stricken!]
[The bane of mankind is thus come, I have told you,]
[what (was fixed) when your navel-cord was cut is thus come, I have told you.]
[The darkest day of mortal man has caught up with you,]
[the solitary place of mortal man has caught up with you,]
[the flood-wave that cannot be breasted has caught up with you,]
[the battle that cannot be fled has caught up with you,]
[the combat that cannot be matched has caught up with you,]
[the fight that shows no pity has caught up with you!]
[But do not go down to the Great City with heart knotted (in anger) ,]
[let it be undone before Utu,]
[let it be unravelled like palm-fibre and peeled like an onion!]
Go ahead, [when the great] Anunna [gods sit down] to the funerary banquet,
to the place where the en-priests lie, where the [lagar-priests lie,]
to where the lumak-priests and nindingir-priestesses lie,
to where the nindingir-priestesses lie, where the ‘true one’ lies,
to where the guda-priests lie, where the linen-clad priests lie,
the place where your father is, and your grandfathers,
your mother, your sisters, your siblings,
your precious friend, your little brother,
your friend Enkidu, the young man your companion!
[(There) in the Great City, dwell] governors and kings,
there chiefs of armies [lie,]
[there captains of troops lie.]
[When in the Great City Aralli a man … ,]
[the man …… will not … ]
[From the sister’s house the sister will come to you,]
[from the sibling’s] house [the sibling will come to you,]
your own [will come to you, your precious one will come to you,]
the elders of your city will come to you!
Be not in despair, be not heart-stricken,
for now you will number among the Anunna gods,
you will be accounted one of the lesser gods,
you will act as the governor of the Netherworld,
you will pass judgement, you will render verdicts,
what [you say] will be as weighty [as the word of Ningishzida and] Dumuzi.’
Then the young [lord,] the lord Bilgames,
arose, it had been a [dream,] he shuddered, [it had been a deep
sleep.]
[He rubbed] his eyes with his hands, there was desolate [silence.]

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