With laughter so light and black dagger in hand,

Lilith in dance and in shadow enters the land,

To Inanna she turns and draws tall to command,

‘O Lilith does deliver the Queen a sweet message to understand:

‘O ripe maiden Inanna, the glory of the night,

She is the one who makes the heron take flight,

She is the one who makes my eye sparkle bright,

This evening you follow me where the Sun cannot alight;

To the darkest of places we go, where seekers avoid,

Where the creatures that dwell are savage and annoyed,

Where the shadow does eat all and maketh a void,

To the darkness we go, the Lady Lilith will not be toyed;

Where the creatures that dwell do defend you from rescue,

And the shadows that play will devour your virtue,

Where Lilith will disrobe and lie with you,

And there be no windows, no light in which to take view;

In the depths of the dark we dwell together in peace,

Your skin of velvet, your lips of cerise,

My ardour for the Goddess shall seldom cease,

Inanna my love; now come to the Lady Lilith, my scanty clad tease!’

Inanna does recoil from the Lady of the Night,

‘O scoundrel, O crook, Inanna surely will fight,

To battle we commence, I will not suffer this sleight,

My blade will fall on thee Lilith, fall from great height.’

The maiden Inanna draws her dagger and does battle,

Thrust and parry, metal on metal,

Back and forth, the Queen Inanna in fine fettle,

The Lady Lilith steps back laughing ‘O your blows are most estimable!’

‘Fight me you hag, you creature of shadow,

I shall be the victor of this tale of woe,

Inanna shall win, leaving Lady Lilith nought but sorrow,

For the Queen Inanna shall strike you, with death in one blow!’

The Queen Inanna raises her dagger and does fight,

The Lady Lilith is stronger and strikes her with might,

The Queen Inanna does flee and change to a Kite,

The Lady Lilith conjures a cage and stops her from flight;

 ‘In my golden cage lies Inanna, the Queen of the Sky,

For what Lilith does claim and no rival will vie,

The enchantments of the Lady Inanna mine to untie,

O glory this night, the Lady Lilith and the Queen Inanna together shall lie!’

To the ruined Temple did the Lady Lilith go,

With Golden cage, mirthful laughter and chaos in tow,

To the Temple ruins, from where the beginnings did grow,

To the World, Lady Lilith waved goodbye and made for a barrow;

To the darkest place they fled, ever to remain,

The cursed Plateau and Valley where life is in vain,

Death and bereavement where the people are slain,

Led to cheap death by those of scant restrain;

The death of Pero – a fate most deserved,

The life of Guzu, with innocence preserved,

The horror of wars, morality wavered,

The lies of man, so thoroughly undeterred;

The Everlasting Night does fall on the Plateau,

The place will remain one forever of sorrow,

Darkness lingers while Inanna lays victim to harrow,

To the end we must travel, to the end we must go.

The Black Ballad of Lilith

 

To Chapter Seventy-Seven – The Everlasting Night

 

Cover: The Assembly of the Gods around Jupiter’s Throne by Giulio Romano
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