Translation by Adolf Böttger (1815 - 1870)

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!

About the headline (FAQ)

Authorship

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 ; composed by M. Henle, Johann Karl Gottfried Loewe.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Anonymous/Unidentified Artist ; composed by Ferruccio Busoni.
  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Adolf Böttger (1815 - 1870) ; composed by Carl Georg Peter Grädener.

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


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 18
Word count: 129

Wir sassen am Wasser in Thränen
Language: German (Deutsch)  after the English 
Wir saßen am Wasser in Tränen
bei Babel und dachten den Tag,
wo den Schlächtern, den Feindes-Hyänen
die Feste von Salem erlag,
und die Töchter, gleich trauernden Schwänen,
zerstreute der grässliche Schlag.

Da traurig wir sah'n in den Schimmer
des Stromes, den Freiheit verklärt;
verlangt' man ein Lied, doch o nimmer
wird Feinden die Ehre gewährt!
Eh' welke die Rechte für immer,
eh' über die Harfe sie fährt!

Die Harfe wollen wir hängen
hier unter den Weiden am Strand.
Frei bleib' sie mit ihren Gesängen,
o Salem, dein einziges Pfand;
nie soll sie ertönen in Klängen
den Räubern vom heiligen Land!

Authorship

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)


Researcher for this text: Johann Winkler

This text was added to the website: 2020-06-09
Line count: 18
Word count: 101