The Wild Bull

Cover

From the Soundhead blog, which has posted Morton Subotnick's intriguing 1968 electronica album The Wild Bull, here is the ancient Sumerian poem on which the composition is based:

THE WILD BULL

The wild bull, who has lain down, lives no more
the wild bull, who has lain down, lives no more,
Dumuzi, the wild bull, who has lain down, lives no more,
the wild bull, who has lain down, lives no more.

O you wild bull, how fast you sleep!
How fast sleep ewe and lamb!
O you wild bull, how fast you sleep!
How fast sleep goat and kid!

I will ask the hills and the valleys,
I will ask the hills of the Bison:
"Where is the young man, my husband?"
I will say,
"He whom I no longer serve food"
I will say,
"He whom I no longer give to drink"
I will say,
"And my lovely maids"
I will say,
"And my lovely young men?"

"The Bison has taken thy husband away,
up into the mountains!"

"The Bison has taken thy young man away,
up into the mountains!"

"Bison of the mountains, with the mottled eyes!
Bison of the mountains, with the crushing teeth!
Bison!-He sleeps sweetly, he sleeps sweetly,
He whom I no longer serve sleeps sweetly,
He whom I no longer give to drink sleeps sweetly,
My lovely maids sleep sweetly,
My lovely young men sleep sweetly!"

"My young man who perished from me
(at the hands of) your men,
My young Ababa who perished from me
(at the hands of) your men,
Will never more calm me (with) his loving glance
Will never more unfasten his lovely bright clasp
(at night)
On his couch you made the jackals lie down,
In my husband's fold you made the raven dwell,
His reed pipe-the wind plays it,
My husband's songs-the north wind sings them."

Sumerian, c. 1700 BC, translated by Thorkild Jacobsen.

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