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WHEN as we sat all sad and desolate,
By Babylon upon the river's side,
Eas'd from the tasks which in our captive state
We were enforced daily to abide,

Our harps we had brought with us to the field,
Some solace to our heavy souls to yield.

But soon we found we fail'd of our account,
For when our minds some freedom did obtain,
Straightways the memory of Sion Mount

Did cause afresh our wounds to bleed again;

So that with present griefs, and future fears,
Our eyes burst forth into a stream of tears.

As for our harps, since sorrow struck them dumb, We hang'd them on the willow-trees were near; Yet did our cruel masters to us come,

Asking of us some Hebrew songs to hear:
Taunting us rather in our misery,
Than much delighting in our melody.

Alas, said we, who can once force or frame
His grieved and oppressed heart to sing
The praises of Jehovah's glorious name,

In banishment, under a foreign king?

In Sion is his seat and dwelling place,
Thence doth he shew the brightness of his face.

Jerusalem, where God his throne hath set,

Shall any hour absent thee from my mind?
Then let my right-hand quite her skill forget,

Then let my voice and words no passage find;
Nay, if I do not thee prefer in all,
That in the compass of my thoughts can fall.

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Remember thou, O Lord, the cruel cry

Of Edom's children, which did ring and sound, Inciting the Chaldean's cruelty,

"Down with it, down with it, even unto the ground."
In that good day repay it unto them,
When thou shalt visit thy Jerusalem.

And thou, O Babylon, shalt have thy turn
By just revenge, and happy shall he be,

That thy proud walls and tow'rs shall waste and burn,
And as thou didst by us, so do by thee.

Yea, happy he, that takes thy children's bones,
And dasheth them against the pavement stones.


O SING a new song to our God above,

Avoid prophane ones, 'tis for holy quire: Let Israel sing songs of holy love

To him that made them, with their hearts on fire :
Let Sion's sons lift up their voice and sing
Carols and anthems to their heav'nly King.

Let not your voice alone his praise forth tell,
But move withal, and praise him in the dance;
Cymbals and harps let them be tuned well,
'Tis he that doth the poor's estate advance:
Do this not only on the solemn days,

But on your secret beds your spirits raise.
O let the saints bear in their mouth his praise,
And a two-edged sword drawn in their hand,
Therewith for to revenge the former days
Upon all nations that their zeal withstand;
To bind their kings in chains of iron strong,
And manacle their nobles for their wrong.
Expect the time, for 'tis decreed in heav'n,
Such honour shall unto his saints be giv'n.


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