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The Assyrian came down like the wolf on...

Language: English

The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea, 
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.

Like the leaves of the forest when summer is green,
That host with their banners at sunset were seen:
Like the leaves of the forest when autumn hath blown, 
That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.

For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed;
And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and forever grew still!

And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide, 
But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride; 
And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,
And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.

And there lay the rider distorted and pale, 
With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail:
And the tents were all silent, the banners alone, 
The lances unlifted, the trumpets unblown.

And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail, 
And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal; 
And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!



Translation(s): GER GER RUS RUS FRE FRE

Note: first published as "The Destruction of Semnacherib"

Authorship

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Set in German, a translation by Franz Theremin (1780 - 1846) , title unknown, from Hebräische Gesänge, published 1820 RUS FRE Set in German, a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist , title unknown RUS FRE [text unavailable] Set in Russian, a translation by Modest Petrovich Musorgsky (1839 - 1881) , title unknown [an adaptation] GER FRE GER Set in Russian, a translation by Modest Petrovich Musorgsky (1839 - 1881) , title unknown [an adaptation] GER FRE GER
Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):
    * FRE French (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "La destruction de Sennachérib", copyright © 2011, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
    * FRE French (Alexis Paulin Pâris) , title 1: "La destruction de Sennachérib", from Mélodies hébraïques, no. 18

Text added to the website: 2003-11-15.

Notes about what "text verified" means can be found here.

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