Verse > Anthologies > Joseph Friedlander, comp. > The Standard Book of Jewish Verse
Joseph Friedlander, comp.  The Standard Book of Jewish Verse.  1917.
By Babel’s Streams
By H. Pereira Mendes
(Paraphrase of Psalm 137.)

BY Babel’s streams we sat, we wept,
  Rememb’ring Zion’s fallen state:
We hung the harp whose music slept
  On willows ’neath whose solemn shade
We talked of Zion’s glory.        5
The captor cruel mocked the sigh
  And bade us sing of Zion’s songs.
With breaking hearts we made reply
  “To Zion’s land alone belongs
The sounds of Zion’s glory.”        10
How can we from the harp-string wake
  In stranger’s land the sacred lay?
Each harp-string, aye, our hearts would break
  Before our fingers would obey,
For lost is Zion’s glory.        15
O Salem! If thy sacred land
  Forgotten be, if false we prove
May memory fail,—may palsied hand
  And dastard tongues refuse to move,
If we forget thy glory.        20

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