Thus spake Isaiah: Thy sons that thou shalt beget They shall be taken away, And be eunuchs In the palace of the King of Babylon Howl ye, howl ye, therefore: For the day of the Lord is at hand! By the waters of Babylon, There we sat down: yea, we wept And hanged our harps upon the willows. For they that wasted us Required of us mirth; They that carried us away captive Required of us a song. Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How shall we sing the Lord's song In a strange land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, Let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth. Yea, if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy. By the waters of Babylon There we sat down: yea, we wept. O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed, Happy shall he be that taketh thy children And dasheth them against a stone, For with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down And shall be found no more at all. Babylon was a great city, Her merchandise was of gold and silver, Of precious stones, of pearls, of fine linen, Of purple, silk and scarlet, All manner vessels of ivory, All manner vessels of most precious wood, Of brass, iron and marble, Cinnamon, odours and ointments, Of frankincense, wine and oil, Fine flour, wheat and beasts, Sheep, horses, chariots, slaves And the souls of men. In Babylon Belshazzar the King made a great feast, Made a feast to a thousand of his lords, And drank wine before the thousand. Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, Commanded us to bring the gold and silver vessels: Yea! the golden vessels, which his father, Nebuchadnezzar, Had taken out of the temple that was in Jerusalem. He commanded us to bring the golden vessels Of the temple of the house of God, That the King, his Princes, his wives And his concubines might drink therein. Then the King commanded us: Bring ye the cornet, flute, sackbut, psaltery And all kinds of music: they drank wine again, Yea, drank from the sacred vessels, And then spake the King: Praise ye The God of Gold! Praise ye The God of Silver! Praise ye The God of Iron! Praise ye The God of Wood! Praise ye The God of Stone! Praise ye The God of Brass! Praise ye the Gods! Thus in Babylon, the mighty city, Belshazzar the King made a great feast, Made a feast to a thousand of his lords And drank wine before the thousand. Belshazzar whiles he tasted the wine Commanded us to bring the gold and silver vessels That his Princes, his wives and his concubines Might rejoice and drink therein. After they had praised their strange gods, The idols and the devils, False gods who can neither see nor hear, Called they for the timbrel and the pleasant harp To extol the glory of the King. Then they pledged the King before the people, Crying, Thou, O King, art King of Kings: O King, live for ever... And in that same hour, as they feasted Came forth fingers of a man's hand And the King saw The part of the hand that wrote. And this was the writing that was written: "MENE, MENE, TEKEL UPHARSIN" "THOU ART WEIGHED IN THE BALANCE AND FOUND WANTING." In that night was Belshazzar the King slain And his Kingdom divided. Then sing aloud to God our strength: Make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob. Take a psalm, bring hither the timbrel, Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, Blow up the trumpet in Zion For Babylon the Great is fallen, fallen. Alleluia! Then sing aloud to God our strength: Make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob, While the Kings of the Earth lament And the merchants of the Earth Weep, wail and rend their raiment. They cry, Alas, Alas, that great city, In one hour is her judgement come. The trumpeters and pipers are silent, And the harpers have ceased to harp, And the light of a candle shall shine no more. Then sing aloud to God our strength. Make a joyful noise to the God of Jacob. For Babylon the Great is fallen. Alleluia!
See also Byron's Vision of Belshazzar
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by William Walton (1902 - 1983), "Belshazzar's Feast" [baritone, chorus, brass bands, and orchestra] [text verified 1 time]
Researcher for this text: Ahmed E. Ismail
This text was added to the website: 2005-03-01
Line count: 117
Word count: 725