Edward Farr, ed. Select Poetry of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth. 1845.


II. John Donne

BY Euphrates’ flowry side

We did bide,

From deare Juda faire absented,

Tearing the aire with our cryes;

And our eyes

With their streames his streame augmented.

When, poore Syon’s dolefull state,


Sacked, burned, and inthrall’d,

And the temple spoil’d, which wee

Ne’er should see,

To our mirthlesse mindes wee call’d:

Our mute harpes, untun’d, unstrung,

Up wee hung

On greene willowes neere beside us,

Where we, sitting all forlorne,

Thus in scorne

Our proud spoylers ’gan deride us:

Come, sad captives, leave your moanes,

And your groanes

Under Syon’s ruines bury;

Tune your harps, and sing us layes

In the praise

Of your God, and let’s be merry.

Can, ah! can we leave our moanes,

And our groanes

Under Syon’s ruines bury?

Can we in this land sing layes

In the praise

Of our God, and here be merry?

No; deare Syon, if I yet

Do forget

Thine affliction miserable,

Let my nimble joynts become

Stiffe and numme,

To touch warbling harpe unable.

Let my tongue lose singing skill,

Let it still

To my parched roofe be glewed,

If in either harpe or voice

I rejoice

Till thy joyes shall be renewed.

Lord, curse Edom’s traiterous kinde;

Beare in minde

In our ruines how they revell’d:

Sack, kill, burne! they cryed out still,

Sack, burne, kill!

Downe with all, let all be levell’d.

And thou Babel, when the tide

Of thy pride,

Now a flowing, growe to turning;

Victor now, shall then be thrall,

And shall fall

To as low an ebbe of mourning.

Happy he who shall thee waste,

As thou hast

Us, without all mercy, wasted,

And shall make thee taste and see

What poore wee

By thy meanes have seene and tasted.

Happy who thy tender barnes,

From the armes

Of their wailing mothers tearing,

’Gainst the walls shall dash their bones,

Ruthlesse stones

With their braines and blood besmearing.