It has been ·announced [decreed] that ·the people of Nineveh [L she] will be ·captured [exiled; or stripped; exposed] and carried away. The slave girls moan like doves and beat their breasts [C a sign of grief].
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?
A decree is set and goes out: Nineveh will be ransacked. She is stripped and will be carried far away from home. You can hear the young girls pounding their breaking hearts and moaning like terrified doves.
And a knight is led away captive, and the handmaids thereof shall be driven sorrowing as culvers, grutching in their hearts. (And their horsemen be led away captive, and the slave-girls there be driven away, sorrowing like doves, grumbling in their hearts.)
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