GUDEA A PRINCE OF PEACE
Through mists of time in my distant dreaming,
Gudea has been softly speaking to me
About the time when he could see
His beloved city, Lagarsh, in terrible
Disorder - the people fighting and starving
- With crops failing and cattle dying.
“Anne, I unsealed my treasury
Then gathered all our people together
- To strive as one for the common good.
They cleared their chosen site of thistles
And rubble; they carried timber from
The Eastern mountains, limestone from
The Western mountains, gold dust from
Nubia, copper from the Euphrates
- And precious diorite from Arabia.
Soon a building stood gleaming in the sun
So all the people could gather together
- To resolve their many differences.
Thus I, a simple man, was able
To bring peace to Sumer and harmony
- And to my city, prosperity.
Now through these lines in your poem I pray
That love will command the coming day!”
Gudea ceased to call himself king,
Since he considered that he was chosen
- To be a shepherd to his people.
Believing in compassion and forgiveness,
He always refused to sow violence;
As every statue of Gudea attests
He also refused to bear arms
- Neither a war-club nor heavy scimitar -
He carried only the frond of a palm tree.
So birds sang once more over Babylon
- As peace returned to the Land of Two Rivers.
Thus Gudea has reaped over thousands of years
- Joyful praise from everyone.
From no statue of this Prince of Peace
- Has the head been struck off.
Dedicated to Iraqi Australians who are bringing to their new country, Australia, their superb creative gifts from the Cradle of Civilization.