The Gilgamesh Prologue

Kramer's Translation of a Gilgamesh Prologue

This passage is the oldest known reference to Lilith. For more info, research Sumerian Mythology.

Kramer, Samuel Noah. "Gilgamesh and the Huluppu-Tree: A reconstructed Sumerian Text." Assyriological Studies of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago 10. Chicago: 1938.

The translation is from Kramer38:1f

      After heaven and earth had been separated
           and mankind had been created,
      after Anûum, Enlil and Ereskigal had taken posesssion
               of heaven, earth and the underworld;
      after Enki had set sail for the underworld
           and the sea ebbed and flowed in honor of its lord;
      on this day, a huluppu tree
           which had been planted on the banks of the Euphrates
           and nourished by its waters
      was uprooted by the south wind
           and carried away by the Euphrates.
      A goddess who was wandering among the banks
           siezed the swaying tree
      And -- at the behest of Anu and Enlil --
           brought it to Inanna's garden in Uruk.
      Inanna tended the tree carefully and lovingly
           she hoped to have a throne and a bed
           made for herself from its wood.
      After ten years, the tree had matured.
      But in the meantime, she found to her dismay
           that her hopes could not be fulfilled.
      because during that time
           a dragon had built its nest at the foot of the tree
           the Zu-bird was raising its young in the crown,
           and the demon Lilith had built her house in the middle.[1]
      But Gilgamesh, who had heard of Inanna's plight,
           came to her rescue.
      He took his heavy shield
           killed the dragon with his heavy bronze axe,
           which weighed seven talents and seven minas.
      Then the Zu-bird flew into the mountains
           with its young,
      while Lilith, petrified with fear,
           tore down her house and fled into the wilderness 

[1] In a subsequent translation with Wolkstein, this passage is given as:

    ...a serpent who could not be charmed
         made its nest in the roots of the tree,
    The Anzu bird set his young in the branches of the tree,
         And the dark maid Lilith built her home in the trunk.
    (Wolkstein83: p. 8)