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BY THE RIVERS OF BABYLON WE SAT DOWN AND WEPT. 403

When our foe, in the hue of his slaughters,

Made Salem's high places his prey;
And Ye, oh her desolate daughters !

Were scattered all weeping away.

II.
While sadly we gazed on the river

Which rolled on in freedom below,
They demanded the song; but, oh never

That triumph the Stranger shall know !!
May this right hand be withered for ever,

Ere it string our high harp for the foe!

III.
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!

Jan, 15, 1813.

i. Our mute harps were hung on the willow

That grew by the stream of our foe,
And in sadness we gazed on each billow

That rolled on in freedom below.-[MS. erased.]
ii. On the willow that harp still hangs mutely

Oh Salem its sound was for thee.-[MS. erased.] (Works, 1846, i. 69), attempted to throw ridicule on the opening lines of this “ Melody."

“A prey in 'the hue of his slaughters'! This is very pathetic ; but not more so than the thought it suggested to me, which is plainer,

"We sat down and wept by the waters

Or Camus, and thought of the day
When damsels would show their red garters

In their hurry to scamper away.'"]

“BY THE WATERS OF BABYLON.”

1.
In the valley of waters we wept on the day
When the host of the Stranger made Salem his prey ;
And our heads on our bosoms all droopingly lay,
And our hearts were so full of the land far away!

II. The song they demanded in vain-it lay still In our souls as the wind that hath died on the hill — They called for the harp—but our blood they shall spill Ere our right hands shall teach them one tone of their

skill.

III.
All stringlessly hung in the willow's sad tree,
As dead as her dead-leaf, those mute harps must be:
Our hands may be fettered-our tears still are free
For our God—and our Glory—and Sion, Oh Thee !

1815.

THE DESTRUCTION OF SENNACHERIB.

1.

The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold, And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold; And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea, When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.

II.
Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green,
That host with their banners at sunset were seen:

Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown,' That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.

III. For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed; And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved-and for ever grew still!

IV. And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide, But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride ; And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,'

. And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.ii.

V. And there lay the rider distorted and pale, With the dew on his brow, and the rust on his mail : i. And the tents were all silent—the banners aloneThe lances unlifted--the trumpet unblown.

VI. And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,!". And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal; And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword," Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord !

Seahain, Feb. 17, 1815.

i. And the foam of his bridle lay cold on the earth.--[MS.] ii. of the cliff-beating surf.-[MS.) ii. With the crow on his breast :-(MS.) iv. And the widows of Babel :-(MS. erased.] v. And the voices of Israel are joyous and high.-(MS. crased.] 1. (Compare

“As leaves in autumn, so the bodies fell.” The Barons' Wars, by Michael Drayton, Bk. II. stanza lvii. ;

Anderson's British Poits, iii. 38.)

A SPIRIT PASSED BEFORE ME.

FROM JOB.

I. A SPIRIT passed before me: I beheld The face of Immortality unveiledDeep Sleep came down on every eye save mineAnd there it stood, -all formless—but divine: Along my bones the creeping flesh did quake; And as my damp hair stiffened, thus it spake :

II.

“Is man more just than God? Is man more pure
Than he who deems even Seraphs insecure ?
Creatures of clay--vain dwellers in the dust !
The moth survives you, and are ye more just ?
Things of a day ! you wither ere the night,
Heedless and blind to Wisdom's wasted light ! ”

POEMS 1814-1816.

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