Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BABYLONIAN LYRIC, by GORDON BOTTOMLEY

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

BABYLONIAN LYRIC, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: Nimroud was a hunter, striding
Last Line: Tressed with life, with deep death shod.
Subject(s): Babylon

NIMROUD was a hunter, striding
A belated mastodon;
Forests where he took his riding
Lay like corn when night came on.

Nimroud slid beneath the table
After seven vats of drink:
When he rose he builded Babel
Tottering on heaven's brink.

Babel fell in storm, but Nimroud
Went to sleep among his vats,
Where his body hid a dim rood,
Drawing down a plague of gnats.

By his elemental snoring
Baffled gnats swirled in his nose;
Thick ones up his brain crept boring,
Where their bodies swelled and rose.

Such his pain and such his clamour
That an Ethiop grey from fears
With a giant's wooden hammer
Beat his head four hundred years.

On his eagle's-breast-filled pallet
Nimroud swore that he was god
('Twixt the wearings of the mallet)
Tressed with life, with deep death shod.

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