Translation by Alexis Paulin Pâris (1800 - 1881)

The Assyrian came down like the wolf on...
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE
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!

About the headline (FAQ)

Note: first published as "The Destruction of Semnacherib"

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

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website: 2003-11-15 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:59
Line count: 24
Word count: 236

La destruction de Sennachérib
Language: French (Français)  after the English 
L'Assyrien fondit sur nous comme le loup sur la bergerie:
ses cohortes étaient resplendissantes de pourpre et d'or;
leurs lances brillaient, comme les étoiles de la nuit brillent sur la mer
qui frappe de ses vagues bleues les rivages de la Galilée.

Comme les feuilles de la forêt, lorsque règne la verdure d'été,
ainsi parut un soir cette armée avec ses bannières déployées:
comme les feuilles de la forêt lorsque la bise d'automne a soufflé,
ainsi le lendemain cette armée joncha-t-elle le sol, toute flétrie et dispersée.

Car l'ange de la mort étendit ses ailes sur le vent,
et dans son rapide passage frappa de son haleine la face de l'ennemi.
Les yeux des guerriers endormis s'éteignirent et se glacèrent:
leurs cœurs ne battirent qu'une fois, et se reposèrent pour toujours.

Là gisait le coursier dont les naseaux, largement ouverts,
avaient cessé d'aspirer l'air avec orgueil:
l'écume de sa bouche agonisante blanchissait le gazon,
froide comme les bouillons de la vague qui se brise contre le roc.

Là gisait le cavalier roide et pâle,
le front humide de rosée, la cuirasse rongée de rouille.
Les tentes étaient muettes, les étendards abandonnés,
les lances immobiles, la trompette silencieuse.

Les veuves d'Assur poussent mille cris de douleur;
les idoles sont brisées dans le temple de Baal:
la puissance des Gentils, sans être atteinte par le glaive,
s'est fondue comme la neige devant le regard du Seigneur.

Authorship

Based on

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

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Researcher for this text: Guy Laffaille [Guest Editor]

Text added to the website: 2012-01-15 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:04:45
Line count: 24
Word count: 234