By Babel's riverside we sat in tears,
Rememb'ring Zion's pride in former years,
While on the weeping willows there were hung
The harps our grief had silenced and unstrung.
For they who led us there a captive throng
Required that we prepare for them a song;
Yea, there our captors asked for mirth and praise,
Required a song of Zion's happy days.
O how shall we thus sing at their command
Songs of the Lord, our King, in this strange land?
O Zion, if I e'er forget thy woe,
Let my right hand its skill no longer know.
Yea, let my tongue, I pray, all silent be,
If I do not always remember thee;
If I prefer not thee, though in thy grief,
Above all other joys my very chief.