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)
- by George Gordon Noel Byron, Lord Byron (1788 - 1824), "By the rivers of Babylon we sat down and wept", appears in Hebrew Melodies, no. 14, first published 1815 [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Alexander Lee (1802 - 1851), "By the waters of Babylon", published 1851 [ vocal duet with piano ] [sung text not yet checked]
- by B. L. Moseley , "By the rivers of Babylon we sat down and wept", published 1875 [ voice and piano ], also set in German, translation by Friedrich Marc [sung text not yet checked]
- by Isaac Nathan (1790 - 1864), "We sate down and wept by the waters", published 1815 [ voice and piano ], from A Selection of Hebrew Melodies No. I, no. 14 [sung text checked 1 time]
- by Bryceson Treharne (1879 - 1948), "By Babel's stream", published 1944 [ three-part women's chorus and piano ] [sung text not yet checked]
- by Samuel Sebastian Wesley (1810 - 1876), "By the rivers of Babylon", published c1834 [ soprano or tenor and piano ] [sung text checked 1 time]
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):
- FRE French (Français) (Alexis Paulin Pâris) , "Sur les rives de Babylone nous nous assîmes et pleurâmes", appears in Mélodies hébraïques, no. 14
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