The Reconstruction of Sennacherib

The rider passed as nightly stars
melted, distorted – silent and still.
On and on his pale steed heaved,
gasping, unbreathing, in the deep of the chill.

There, beyond, the rock-beating host;
The spray of surf – leaves blown from the tree.
The rider dismounted with rust on his mail
and there lay his lances into the sea.

The Angel white and gleaming came,
of dew, of snow, of wolf, of Death.
The rider looked upon his face
and neither rider nor Angel drew breath.

And now alone, on deadly wings
The Angel rose, withered and pale
And passed as nightly stars returned
And breathing wind, O deathly wail.


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