1 While in sad anguish, Babylon, we sat
By thy Euphrates' stream, and mourn'd our fate,
Bewail'd our killing griefs, our galling chains,
And, fruitless, call'd to mind our natal plains,
Those plains, alas! we fear'd to see no more,
What tongue can speak the cruel pangs we bore?
2 Our harps, that wont to tune our maker's praise,
That sweetly answer'd to our joyous lays,
Our idle harps, that long had been unstrung,
Then silent, on the mournful willows hung.
3 'Twas then our tyrants thus their taunts exprest;
(E'en they who laid our glorious Salem waste)
"Now tune your voices to the heav'nly strains
"That us'd to glad your hearts on Judah's plains."
4 Shall Babylon our heav'nly anthems hear,
The praises of our God, with impious sneer?
Shall they with blasphemy our songs deride,
While thus we sing to sooth their barb'rous pride?
5 O dear-lov'd Salem, if I thee forget,
And that bright hill, where fix'd our God his seat;
If I not thee 'bove ev'ry good desire,
May then my hand forget to tune the lyre;
May fail my voice, when I, as wont, wou'd sing
My daily hymns to our Almighty king.
Nor thou, Jehovah, thou forget the wrongs,
That fell from Edoms vile invenon'd tongues;
When with unbated malice they egg'd on
The rageful foe to raze the sacred town.
8 Thou too, O Babylon, thy fate shalt mourn,
And sure destruclion waits thee in thy turn;
Happy is he, who in our cause shall rise,
And well repay thy horrid cruelties!
9 Happy, who, deaf unto the matron's moans,
Shall dash thy tender infants 'gainst the stones!