Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SONNET: 239, by LUIS DE CAMOENS

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SONNET: 239, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Beside the streams of babylon, in tears
Last Line: May my right hand forget its cunning too!
Alternate Author Name(s): Camoes, Luis De; Camoens, Luiz Vaz De
Subject(s): Travel

BESIDE the streams of Babylon, in tears
Of vain desire, we sat; remembering thee,
O hallowed Sion! and the vanished years,
When Israel's chosen sons were blest and free:

Our harps, neglected and untuned, we hung
Mute on the willows of the stranger's land;
When songs, like those that in thy fanes we sung,
Our foes demanded from their captive-band.

How shall our voices, on a foreign shore,
(We answered those whose chains the exile wore,)
The songs of God, our sacred songs, renew?
If I forgot, 'midst grief and wasting toil,
Thee, O Jerusalem! my native soil!
May my right hand forget its cunning too!

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