Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PSALM 137, by OLD TESTAMENT BIBLE

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

PSALM 137, by            
First Line: Sitting by the streams that glide
Last Line: Of the rocks and stony places.

SITTING by the streams that glide
Down by Babel's tow'ring wall,
With our tears we fill'd the tide,
Whilst our mindful thoughts recall
Thee, O Sion, and thy fall.

Our neglected harps unstrung,
Not acquainted with the hand
Of the skilful tuner, hung
On the willow-trees that stand
Planted in the neighbour land.

Yet the spiteful foe commands
Songs of mirth, and bids us lay
To dumb harps our captive hands;
And, to scoff our sorrows, say,
"Sing us some sweet Hebrew lay!"

But say we, "Our holy strain
Is too pure for heathen land;
Nor may we God's hymns profane,
Or move either voice or hand
To delight a savage band."

Holy Salem, if thy love
Fall from my forgetful heart,
May the skill by which I move
Strings of music tun'd with art,
From my wither'd hand depart.

May my speechless tongue give sound
To no accents, but remain
To my prison-roof fast bound,
If my sad soul entertain
Mirth, till thou rejoice again.

In that day remember, Lord!
Edom's breed, that in our groans
They triumph; with fire and sword
Burn their city, hew their bones,
And make all one heap of stones.

Cruel Babel! thou shalt feel
The revenger of our groans,
When the happy victor's steel,
As thine ours, shall hew thy bones,
And make thee one heap of stones.

Men shall bless the hand that tears
From the mothers' soft embraces
Sucking infants, and besmears
With their brains the rugged faces
Of the rocks and stony places.

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