By Babel’s streams we sat and wept,
For memory still to Zion clung;
The winds alone our harp-strings swept,
That on the drooping willows hung.
There our rude captors, flushed with pride,
A song required to mock our wrongs;
Our spoilers called for mirth and cried,
Come, sing us one of Zion’s songs.
Not songs but sighs to us belong
When Zion’s walls in ruin lie;
How shall we sing Jehovah’s song
While in an alien land we die?
O Zion fair, God’s holy hill,
Wherein our God delights to dwell,
Let my right hand forget her skill
If I forget to love thee well.
If I do not remember thee,
Then let my tongue from utterance cease,
If any earthly joy to me
Be dear as Zion’s joy and peace.
Remember, Lord, the dreadful day
Of Zion’s cruel overthrow;
How happy he who shall repay
The bitter hatred of her foe.