Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Kolbrin - The Book of gleanings - Chpt 7 Death of Yadol

WE have herein described pretty serious battle in which there is scant metal in evidence at all.  however throwing axes are in plenty along with willow spears likely hardened in fire.  Bows and sling men abound as well.

In its midst, Yodol speaks to the futility of such war.  Thus this is meant to act as a counter to the war dream.  Rather good and also a reminder of the key hindu text as well.

Also observe we have no mention of walls and seige works at all and less mention of a serious baggage train.  These are serious constraints in early warfare..

The hero Harmanetar has risen hugely in public stature at this point.



Hurmanetar married Astmeth, daughter of Anukis, governor of all the Western parts of Hamanas, and the mother of Astmeth was Neforobtama, daughter of Hahuda, prince of Kerami. In those days, Daydee, daughter of Samshu, king of all the lands to the North, even to the land of everlasting night, ruled all the Eastern parts of Hamanas, and of all women she was the most beautiful.

Now, as time passed Hurmanetar grew rich and he built himself a great house of cedar wood and had many servants and concubines. In these, the days of his greatness, he forgot the teachings of Nintursu, and the Great Key lay hidden, for the hours of his days were filled with worldly matters.

The overseer of Hurmanetar's cornfields was Noaman, a man of Loza, a man whose word was not worth an obal of sand, for he falsified the measure. Therefore, fingers were removed fi-om him and he was driven forth out of the lands of Hurmanetar, and he became the servant of one Sabitur. This Sabitur dwelt on the road to Milikum, outside the city of Kithim where Daydee ruled, and Daydee was a great queen.

In the days when men came to Kithim and Lodar to buy and sell, before the feast when new-milled com was offered to the Bull of Yahana, Hurmanetar went up into the city of Kithim to pay his tribute.

Now, Gilamishoar, the king, had died because of the thing hidden in an earthenware box, and the new king, wishing to know where he stood with the gods, sent for wise men who threw bundles of cedar wood before him.

They saw he was destined to reign in greatness and prosperity, providing that he never quarreled with a queen or killed a child. Therefore, the king deemed it wise to strengthen his peace with Daydee and sent his son to her with many gifts.

The prince journeyed some days then stopped at an inn a day's journey from Kithim, and supped there; and while he ate word was brought to him that someone wished to speak with him. It was Noaman, and he spoke poisoned words regarding Hurmanetar, so these should be brought to the ear of the queen. Thus, when Hurmanetar entered the city of Kithim he was seized and brought before the queen. But when she saw him and spoke with him, Daydee found no fault with him and looked upon him with favour. Therefore, though the prince departed, Hurmanetar dallied at the court of queen Daydee.

Time passed and Hurmanetar came frequently to the court and he was well favoured, but it came about that strife arose in the lands about, for the Mother of the Gods strove with the Father of the Gods. It was a time of turmoil, when the hand of brother was against brother, and all the while Hurmanetar rose in the esteem of the queen. So it came about that a son was bom to Hurmanetar and Daydee. While the lands about had been ravaged by war there was peace in Kithim, but when the son of Hurmanetar and Daydee was scarce one year old, men came bearing tidings of war; the hosts of the king had gathered and voices were crying in the market place. "Prepare to die, for those who are mightier than the Humbala are upon us. None shall be spared from the fire of the pit, neither old men nor women and children". For those who came were The Children of Githesad the Serpent, the Cunning One, whose mother was one of those who brought defilement into the race of men. These people knew neither justice nor mercy.

The priests and the people went up into the mountain to gather before the cave of Yahana. They cried out to be delivered, they were overpowered with weakness and their teeth shook, their knees became weak. But Daydee remained in the city and she appointed Hurmanetar captain of her war hosts, and he gave the orders. The armsmakers bent to the task, making spears of willow wood and casting axes. Hurmanetar freed Turten who, because he had renounced his father, had become a slave, and gave him command of the bowmen. For Turten was a man of might and a bowman of renown.

In the days when men feared because of the bull of Heaven, the war hosts of The Children of Githesad gathered on the plain and the fires of their encampment were, at night, numbered like stars. The men of Hurmanetar encamped against them, and when he led the war hosts of queen Daydee out in the moming light the men of blood faced one another. Turten, the bowman, had been made a war captain and he went out before the host of Daydee to see how those who stood against them were arrayed. When he retumed he spoke thus to Hurmanetar, "Behold my Lord, great is the host of The Children of Githesad and well set in their order of battle. Behold the long-limbed spearman, Kami the Mighty, far famed among men, leads them. See the powerful bowmen whose wide ranging arrows speed from behind tall shields which stand before them.

What has Hoames failed to teach these people? Behold the hosts of the Husigen who are with them, led by Aknim of the firm standard. See to their left the spearmen of ever mighty Marduka, they stand firm in line; they are like the point of a nail, ready to thrust inward. See, already the homs of the bull spread out for the encircling clash. Slingers already harass our foreguard, while bowmen sting us on either side".

"Still let us take heart. Have we not ourselves many mighty men ready to give their life's blood for you? Are they not all armed with every kind of weapon and masters of war? There are far throwing slingers and keen- eyed bowmen, there is tall Lugal with the flashing weapons of fire. Yet we can number our host, while the number of those who stand against us seem countless as the sands".

Then Hurmanetar raised his voice, calling upon his men to stand firm-footed in line to await the clash and bear up before it. He said, "Think of your duty and do not waver before the trusts. To step back in battle is to step back from manhood. To take flight would cause men to tell of your dishonour now and in the days to come, and to an honourable man the disgrace of dishonour is worse than death itself. If any of you run, the staunch ones who stood firm will say you have fled the battle through fear, and your comrades who expected your support will treat your name with scorn. Those who stand against us on the field of blood will speak of you with contempt and derision. They will mock your courage, and for a true man there can be no more shameful fate".

Then, to encourage those who were faint-hearted, Humanetar sounded the loud thunderous war cry. It resounded like the roar often bulls. Then he caused his companion of the shield to blow the far sounding war horn. After this came a rolling boom of war drums, the ringing sound of clashing cymbals, the loud shrilling of trumpets and even louder trumpets filled the sky above with thunder.

Turten, of the powerful bow, and Lugal, of the bright weapons, prepared their men to meet the clash. The war hosts drew closer and the flight of arrows and slingstones began, followed by the hurling of flight spears.

Heaven and Earth trembled under the fearful sound of war cries and the clamour of war horns; even the hearts of stout fighting men shook before they commanded themselves. Yet those with Hurmanetar stood firm, eager for the clash and saying, "Let us smite those who come full of fight and fury to do the evil will of their dark king".

Now I, Ancheti, stood behind the sUngers' wall and my limbs trembled and my mouth was dry, my tongue craved for water. My scalp moved in fear and my hands loosened their grip through moisture. My heart thumped in confusion and I saw a mist of redness before my eyes, for this was my first battle and I was but a youth.

Beside me stood Yadol, the wild tender man, and he said, "I see no gladness in victory, if victory be granted. I crave no kingdom that I may rule over other men. What would be its pleasures to one such as I? For what do men slay one another? Which man seeks spoil and its pleasure and which man the joys of life? Against us stand men of living flesh and blood, men who have mothers and wives, men who have children, men who are good, even if those who lead them are evil. These good men I have no wish to slay, better would it be were I to be slain myself Not a man will I slay with these hands, not even for the kingdom of the three spheres would I do it, much less an earthly kingdom. Were those who stand against us all men of evil, it would perhaps be a good deed to slay them; but in the clash of war the good slay the good and the evil ones live safely behind the shields".

"Can we slay men made in our own likeness, brother beings? What peace shall we henceforth enjoy in our hearts? Will not the memory make our hearts heavy, so that Kfe becomes an unbearable burden? Even if there are others among these great war hosts who are so overcome with greed for spoil that they see no evil in the slaying of men, shall we not withhold our blows from this awful deed of blood?"

"O doom of darkness, O day of sorrows, what evil has moved the hearts of rulers that men be slain in thousands for the gain of treasure and the rule of an earthly kingdom? What do we here on this field of blood, we who are men of peace and goodwill? Better by far that I stood unarmed, my breast bared, unresisting, and let them slay me, that I might lay in my own innocent blood". Thus spoke Yadol as the clash drew nigh, but only I, Ancheti, heard him.

Then the lunge and thrust was upon us and I heard another voice beside me, that of my uncle, Hurmanetar, who was there, red sword in hand. The press of the foe drew back and in the lull Hurmanetar stood beside Yadol, the companion of his wanderings, and placed a hand on his shoulder in compassion, for Yadol was a man without fear, a man of more courage than Ancheti. On the field of blood the craven-hearted are truly separated fi-om the men of peace and goodwill.

The foe swept upon the thinning ranks again, they came like waves breaking upon a beach. They swept in, then sullenly, tardily, they rolled back, only to reform and crash again. As they cam I heard Hurmanetar open his mouth and cry out, "They come yet again, they are upon us, arise and greet them; arise above this field of blood like men, for this is the day of heroes. This is the final test, this is the last trial of strength, the last effort to cast back. Why this lifeless rejection of all that is manly? Strong men cannot despair in their hearts when facing conflict and death, this gains neither victory on Earth nor peace in Heaven. Stand as you have done, firm- footed, rising to the battle clash like the whirlwind that carries all before it. We are but men who know nothing of the causes of gods and their ways. 1 fight for the cause of loyalty and honour, I know not whether their victory or ours be best for the true cause of God, but I fight. Come, rise to the clash".

Then the remnants of the war hosts came together in the clash of arms. The cruel weapons struck on against the other, blow and counter blow. There were dull cries of death, the shrieks of pain and the shrill shout of victory, the last efforts of weary bodies, the last cries of dry-throated voices. The men of Hurmanetar stood firm in the line and the war hosts of those who sought to overwhelm them broke like a wave upon the seashore, they came no more. Hurmanetar stood blooded and proud in the exultation of victory, but it passed in a moment when he saw Yadol lying among the dead and dying, wounded to death but not yet dead. He had taken upon himself the spear thrust meant for Ancheti.

Hurmanetar lifted him up, his knee under his head, and Yadol opened his mouth and said, "The Great One has given you the victory, and for you, behind and beyond the victory, I see a great destiny, and therefore a difficult one. Be not heavy-hearted, nor let your spirit grieve, heavy-laden with sorrow because of me. Weep not, for this I know, he who thinks he can slay another or be slain by him is devoid of enlightening truth. The spirit of man cannot perish by the sword or be overwhelmed by death".

"The sharp weapon of war cannot harm the spirit, nor can fire bum it. Waters cannot drown it and soil cannot bury it. My spirit departs to its abode beyond the power of sharp sword, beyond the reach of thrusting spear, beyond the range of swift arrow. Now, face to face with what must be and caimot be altered, face to face with the ultimatum of destiny, cease from sorrow".

"What is this passing thing called life? This fragile flower so tenderly cherished, seen in its true frailty here on the field of blood. Does it have any real meaning? Here on the field of blood the dead sleep to awake to glory.

To the victorious ones remaining alive there is glory on Earth. So do not dally here with the dying. Arise, go to your proper reward and lay me down to mine. Fear not for me, already I see the welcoming light beyond the veil. We shall meet again".

Thus Yadol departed from Earth and he was laid to rest in glory. He sleeps among the hills and trees, among the wild birds and beasts which were his friends. These words are cut on his tomb, 'He was a man of peace and died because other men were not as he'. 

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