Weapons flash in the sun,
the soldiers splendid in battle dress,
Chariots burnished and glistening,
ready to charge,
A spiked forest of brandished spears,
lethal on the horizon.
The chariots pour into the streets.
They fill the public squares,
Flaming like torches in the sun,
like lightning darting and flashing.
The Assyrian king rallies his men,
but they stagger and stumble.
They run to the ramparts
to stem the tide, but it’s too late.
Soldiers pour through the gates.
The palace is demolished.
Soon it’s all over:
Nineveh stripped, Nineveh doomed,
Maids and slaves moaning like doves,
beating their breasts.
Nineveh is a tub
from which they’ve pulled the plug.
Cries go up, “Do something! Do something!”
but it’s too late. Nineveh’s soon empty—nothing.
Other cries come: “Plunder the silver!
Plunder the gold!
A bonanza of plunder!
Take everything you want!”
Doom! Damnation! Desolation!
So, what happened to the famous
and fierce Assyrian lion
And all those cute Assyrian cubs?
To the lion and lioness
Cozy with their cubs,
fierce and fearless?
To the lion who always returned from the hunt
with fresh kills for lioness and cubs,
The lion lair heaped with bloody meat,
blood and bones for the royal lion feast?
* * *