Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Elizabethan Poetry
Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth.  1845.
VI. Sir Philip Sidney and the Countess of Pembroke
Super flumina.

NIGH seated where the river flowes,
  That watreth Babell’s thanckfull plaine,
Which then our teares in pearled rowes
  Did help to water with their raine:
The thought of Sion bred such woes,        5
  That though our harpes we did retaine,
Yet uselesse and untouched there
On willowes only hang’d they were.
Now while our harpes were hanged soe,
  The men, whose captives then we lay,        10
Did on our griefs insulting goe,
  And, more to grieve us, thus did say:
“You that of musique make such shew,
  Come sing us now a Sion lay.”
O no! we have nor voice, nor hand,        15
For such a song, in such a land.
Though farre I lye, sweete Sion hill,
  In forraine soile, exil’d from thee,
Yet let my hand forgett his skill,
  If ever thou forgotten be:        20
Yea, lett my tongue fast glued still
  Unto my roofe lye mute in me,
If thy neglect within me spring,
Or ought I do but Salem sing.
But thou, O Lord, will not forgett        25
  To quit the paines of Edom’s race,
Who causelessly, yet hottly sett
  Thy holy citty to deface,
Did thus the bloody victors whet
  What time they entred first the place:        30
“Downe, downe with it, at any hand,
Make all flatt plaine, lett nothing stand.”
And Babilon, that didst us wast,
  Thy selfe shalt one daie wasted be:
And happy he, who what thou hast        35
  Unto us done, shall do to thee;
Like bitterness shall make thee tast,
  Like wofull objects cause thee see:
Yea, happy who thy little ones
Shall take, and dash against the stones.        40

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.