Verse > Anthologies > Edward Farr, comp. > Jacobean Poetry
Edward Farr, ed.  Select Poetry of the Reign of King James the First.  1847.
II. John Donne
BY Euphrates’ flowry side
          We did bide,
From deare Juda faire absented,
Tearing the aire with our cryes;
          And our eyes        5
With their streames his streame augmented.
When, poore Syon’s dolefull state,
Sacked, burned, and inthrall’d,
And the temple spoil’d, which wee        10
          Ne’er should see,
To our mirthlesse mindes wee call’d:
Our mute harpes, untun’d, unstrung,
          Up wee hung
On greene willowes neere beside us,        15
Where we, sitting all forlorne,
          Thus in scorne
Our proud spoylers ’gan deride us:
Come, sad captives, leave your moanes,
          And your groanes        20
Under Syon’s ruines bury;
Tune your harps, and sing us layes
          In the praise
Of your God, and let’s be merry.
Can, ah! can we leave our moanes,        25
          And our groanes
Under Syon’s ruines bury?
Can we in this land sing layes
          In the praise
Of our God, and here be merry?        30
No; deare Syon, if I yet
          Do forget
Thine affliction miserable,
Let my nimble joynts become
          Stiffe and numme,        35
To touch warbling harpe unable.
Let my tongue lose singing skill,
          Let it still
To my parched roofe be glewed,
If in either harpe or voice        40
          I rejoice
Till thy joyes shall be renewed.
Lord, curse Edom’s traiterous kinde;
          Beare in minde
In our ruines how they revell’d:        45
Sack, kill, burne! they cryed out still,
          Sack, burne, kill!
Downe with all, let all be levell’d.
And thou Babel, when the tide
          Of thy pride,        50
Now a flowing, growe to turning;
Victor now, shall then be thrall,
          And shall fall
To as low an ebbe of mourning.
Happy he who shall thee waste,        55
          As thou hast
Us, without all mercy, wasted,
And shall make thee taste and see
          What poore wee
By thy meanes have seene and tasted.        60
Happy who thy tender barnes,
          From the armes
Of their wailing mothers tearing,
’Gainst the walls shall dash their bones,
          Ruthlesse stones        65
With their braines and blood besmearing.

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