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Epic of Gilgamesh book cover

Epic of Gilgamesh Quotes

Gilgamesh, where are you hurrying to? You will never find that life for which you are looking. When the gods created man they allotted to him death, but life they retained in their own keeping. As for you, Gilgamesh, fill your belly with good things; day and night, night and day, dance and be merry, feast and rejoice. Let your clothes be fresh, bathe yourself in water, cherish the little child that holds your hand, and make your wife happy in your embrace; for this too is the lot of man.
Strange things have been spoken, why does your heart speak strangely? The dream was marvellous but the terror was great; we must treasure the dream whatever the terror.
As for man, his days are numbered, whatever he might do, it is but wind.
How long does a building stand before it falls? How long does a contract last? How long will brothers share the inheritance before they quarrel? How long does hatred, for that matter, last? Time after time the river has risen and flooded. The insect leaves the cocoon to live but a minute. How long is the eye able to look at the sun? From the very beginning nothing at all has lasted.
How can I keep silent? How can I stay quiet? My friend, whom I loved, has turned to clay, my friend Enkidu, whom I loved has turned to clay. Shall I not be like him, and also lie down, never to rise again, through all eternity?.
Gilgamesh was called a god and a man; Enkidu was an animal and a man. It is the story of their becoming human together.
He looked at the walls, Awed at the heights His people had achieved And for a moment -- just a moment -- All that lay behind him Passed from view.
There is the house whose people sit in darkness; dust is their food and clay is their meat. They are clothed like birds with wings for covering, they see no light, they sit in darkness. I entered the house of dust and I saw the kings of the earth, their crowns put away for ever...
The dream was marvellous but the terror was great; we must treasure the dream whatever the terror; for the dream has shown that misery comes at last to the healthy man, the end of his life is sorrow.
You have known, O Gilgamesh, What interests me, To drink from the Well of Immortality. Which means to make the dead Rise from their graves And the prisoners from their cells The sinners from their sins. I think love's kiss kills our heart of flesh. It is the only way to eternal life, Which should be unbearable if lived Among the dying flowers And the shrieking farewells Of the overstretched arms of our spoiled hopes.
I will set up my name in the place where the names of famous men are written, and where no man’s name is written yet I will raise a monument to the gods.
Humans are born, they live, then they die, this is the order that the gods have decreed. But until the end comes, enjoy your life, spend it in happiness, not despair. Savor your food, make each of your days a delight, bathe and anoint yourself, wear bright clothes that are sparkling clean, let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand, and give your wife pleasure in your embrace. That is the best way for a man to live.
The river rises, flows over its banks and carries us all away, like mayflies floating downstream: they stare at the sun, then all at once there is nothing.
Everything had life to me,’ he heard Enkidu murmur, ‘the sky, the storm, the earth, water, wandering, the moon and its three children, salt, even my hand had life. It’s gone. It’s gone.