Hath Melted Like Snow In The Glance Of The Lord
I have never cared for Lord Byron, his poetry or the way he misled his life, with one massive exception. From the first time I read this poem in grammar school it has had immense significance for me.
The Destruction of Sennacherib
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 for ever 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 trumpet 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!
I found the poem absolutely stunning. It brought home to me forever that God is the Lord of History and the final lines ” And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword, Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!” are an unforgettable statement of the omnipotence of God. The poem is of course about the siege of Jersalem by the Assyrian Empire in 701 BC and God’s intervention to destroy that invasion. “And the angel of the Lord went out, and slew in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and eighty-five thousand. And they arose in the morning, and behold they were all dead corpses.”
I am curious as to what poems have had a religious impact on our readers? Feel free to discuss them in the combox.