Breathing COVID-19

Letters to the Editor

Breathing COVID-19

Thursday, April 23, 2020

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Dear Editor,

As Jamaica is besieged by COVID-19, this brings to mind the following lines of Lord Byron's poem The Destruction of Sennacherib: “The Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, and breathed in the face of the foe as he pass'd.”

Spare a while for a few stanzas:

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 wither'd and strown.

For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,

And breathed in the face of the foe as he pass'd;

And the eyes of the sleepers wax'd 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 roll'd 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.

FMG

At Home


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