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The LiederNet Archive

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We sat down and wept by the waters

Language: English

We sat down and wept by the waters
Of Babel, and thought of the day
When our foe in the hue of his slaughters
Made Salem's high places his prey;
And ye, oh her desolate daughters!
Were scatter'd all weeping away.

While sadly we gazed on the river
Which roll'd on in freedom below,
They demanded the song: but oh
Never that triumph the stranger shall know!
May this right hand be wither'd for ever
Ere it string our high harp for the foe!

On the willow that harp is suspended,
Oh Salem! its sound should be free;
And the hour when thy glories were ended
But left me that token of thee:
And ne'er shall its soft tones be blended
With the voice of the spoiler by me!

Translation(s): FRE GER GER GER

List of language codes

About the headline (FAQ)

Submitted by Emily Ezust [Administrator]


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Franz Theremin (1780 - 1846) , "An den Wassern zu Babel", appears in Hebräische Gesänge, first published 1820 FRE ; composed by M. Henle, Johann Karl Gottfried Loewe.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist FRE ; composed by Ferruccio Busoni.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Adolf Böttger (1815 - 1870) FRE ; composed by Carl Georg Peter Grädener.

Other available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

Text added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:01:23

Line count: 18
Word count: 129

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Sur les rives de Babylone nous nous assîmes et pleurâmes

Language: French (Français) after the English

Nous nous sommes assis auprès des ondes
de Babylone, et, nous avons pleuré en songeant à ce jour
où notre ennemi, teint du sang qu'il répandit à flots,
fit des hauts lieux de Jérusalem sa misérable proie, où vous-mêmes,
hélas ! filles désolées de Sion,
fûtes dispersées et fondîtes en larmes.

Tandis que nous contemplions tristement la rivière
qui roulait ses libres flots sous nos regards;
les tyrans nous demandèrent un cantique:
mais l'étranger n'obtiendra jamais ce triomphe.
Oh ! puisse ma main droite se flétrir pour toujours,
avant qu'elle n'ébranle pour l'ennemi les cordes de notre noble harpe.

Cette harpe est suspendue aux rameaux du saule:
pour résonner, elle a besoin de liberté, ô Jérusalem !
L'heure où périt ta gloire
ne m'a laissé de toi que ce gage unique:
jamais je n'en mêlerai la douce mélodie
à la voix de ton désolateur.

Submitted by Guy Laffaille [Guest Editor]


Based on

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

    [ None yet in the database ]

Text added to the website: 2012-01-15 00:00:00.

Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:04:45

Line count: 18
Word count: 144