Utnapishtim stood on the other shore, his old rugged features worn by the seas and deserts he himself had crossed. The eyes of Utnapishtim seemed so full of hospitality when Gilgamesh awoke from his exhaustion.
There is a plant in the river. Its thorns will prick your hands as a rose thorn pricks but it will give to you new life.
When he saw the plant of rich rose color and ambrosial shimmering in the water like a prism of the sunlight, he seized it, and cut it into his palms.
I have it! I have it!
He stopped to drink and rest beside a pool, leaving the plant unguarded on the ground. A serpent had smelled its sweet fragrance and saw its chance to come from the water, and devoured the plant, shedding its skin as slough.
The plant was gone; the discarded skin of a serpent was all he saw. He sat down on the ground, and wept.
Upon his return to Uruk, he looked at the walls, awed at the heights his people had achieved.