Verse > Anthologies > Joseph Friedlander, comp. > The Standard Book of Jewish Verse
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Joseph Friedlander, comp.  The Standard Book of Jewish Verse.  1917.
 
Song of the Jewish Captives
By Henry Neile
 
WE sat us down by Babel’s streams
And dreamed soul-saddening memory’s dreams;
And dark thoughts o’er our spirits crept
Of Sion—and we wept, we wept!
Our harps upon the willows hung        5
Silent, and tuneless, and unstrung;
For they who wrought our pains and wrongs,
Asked us for Sion’s pleasant songs.
 
How can we sing Jehovah’s praise
To those who Baal’s altars raise?        10
How warble Judah’s freeborn hymns,
With Babel’s fetters on our limbs?
How chant thy lays, dear Fatherland,
To strangers on a foreign strand?
Ah no! we’ll bear grief’s keenest string,        15
But dare not Sion’s anthems sing.
 
Place us where Sharon’s roses blow;
Place us where Siloe’s waters flow;
Place us on Lebanon, that waves
Its cedars o’er our fathers’ graves:        20
Place us upon that holy mount,
Where stand the temple, gleams the fount;
And love and joy shall loose our tongues,
To warble Sion’s pleasant songs.
 
 
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