By the Rivers of Babylon
We sat down and wept by the waters
Of Babel, and thought of the day
When our foe, in the hue of his slaughters,
Made Salem's high places his prey;
And Ye, oh her desolate daughters!
Were scattered all weeping away.
While sadly we gazed on the river
Which rolled on in freedom below,
They demanded the song; but, oh never
That triumph the Stranger shall know!
May this right hand be withered for ever,
Ere it string our high harp for the foe!
On the willow that harp is suspended,
Oh Salem! its sound should be free;
And the hour when thy glories were ended
But let me that token of thee:
And ne'er shall its soft tones be blended
With the voice of the Spoiler by me!
Lord George Gordon Byron, 1788-1824
English romantic poet