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! Hearts sink, knees fold, stomachs retch, faces blanch. 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?
Where now is Nineveh’s famous and deadly lion’s den? The place where they nourish their young lions into killing machines? The place where the lion and the lioness go, along with their cubs, to feed on victims? The place where they had nothing to fear?
Where is the dwelling of lions, and [the] pastures of whelps of lions? To which city the lion went, that the whelp of the lion should enter thither, and there is not that shall make afeared. (Where now is the lions’ den, and the pastures of the lion’s cubs? To which city the lion went in first, so that the lion’s cubs could enter in there afterward, and there would be no one who would make them afraid.)
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