1 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.
2 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.
3 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 for ever grew still!
4 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.
5 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 trumpet unblown.
6 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.
Byron, George Gordon Noel, Lord, born in London, Jan. 22, 1788, died at Missolonghi, April 19, 1824. Lord Byron's name is associated with hymnody through a few pieces from his Hebrew Melodies, 1815, being in use in a limited number of hymnals, and these mainly in America. These include:—
1. The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold.
2. The king was on his throne.
3. The wild gazelle o'er Judah's hills.
Lord Byron's Works with Life and Letters, by T. Moore, in 17 vols., was published by J. Murray, London, 1832.
-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)
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