The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold, And his cohorts were gleaming with 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 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.
Then the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and forever grew still.
Then there lay the steed with his nostril all wide;
Yet through it there rolled not the breath of his pride;
But the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,
And cold as the spray on the rock beaten 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,
And the lances uplifted, the trumpet un-blown.
And the widows of Asher were loud in their wail,
And the idols were broke in the temple of Baal;
For the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Lay melted like snow in the glance of the Lord.
by Lord George Gordon Byron