Wednesday, March 30, 2005

By the Rivers of Babylon...

עַל נַהֲרֹות בָּבֶל
שָׁם יָשַׁבְנוּ
בְּזָכְרֵנוּ אֶת־צִיֹּון׃

עַל־עֲרָבִים בְּתֹוכָהּ
תָּלִינוּ כִּנֹּרֹותֵינוּ׃

כִּי שָׁם שְׁאֵלוּנוּ שֹׁובֵינוּ דִּבְרֵי־שִׁיר וְתֹולָלֵינוּ שִׂמְחָה
שִׁירוּ לָנוּ מִשִּׁיר צִיֹּון׃

אֵיךְ נָשִׁיר אֶת־שִׁיר־יְהוָה
עַל אַדְמַת נֵכָר׃

אִם־אֶשְׁכָּחֵךְ יְרוּשָׁלִָם
תִּשְׁכַּח יְמִינִי׃

תִּדְבַּק־לְשֹׁונִי לְחִכִּי
אִם־לֹא אֶזְכְּרֵכִי
אִם־לֹא אַעֲלֶה אֶת־יְרוּשָׁלִַם
עַל רֹאשׁ שִׂמְחָתִי׃

זְכֹר יְהוָה לִבְנֵי אֱדֹום
אֵת יֹום יְרוּשָׁלִָם
הָאֹמְרִים עָרוּ עָרוּ
עַד הַיְסֹוד בָּהּ׃

בַּת־בָּבֶל הַשְּׁדוּדָה
אַשְׁרֵי שֶׁיְשַׁלֶּם־לָךְ
אֶת־גְּמוּלֵךְ שֶׁגָּמַלְתְּ לָנוּ׃

אַשְׁרֵי שֶׁיֹּאחֵז וְנִפֵּץ אֶת־עֹלָלַיִךְ אֶל־הַסָּלַע׃
-תהלים קלז

By the Rivers of Babylon We Sat Down and Wept
by George Gordon Noel, Lord Byron

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 scattered all weeping away.

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!

On the willow that harp is suspended,
Oh Salem! its sound should be free;
And the hour when thy glories were
But left me that token of thee:
And ne'er shall its soft tones be blended
With the voice of the spoiler by me!

by Don McLean

By the waters, the waters of Babylon
We lay down and wept, and wept, for thee Zion
We remember thee, remember thee, remember thee Zion

If I Forget Thee
by John W. Leys

Kneeling on the riverbank
Where the sand turns to mud
Droplets of saltwater
Mingle with the fresh.

Led away in chains
From the land of promise
To the land of our father’s father.

Muted lyres and flutes
Drop to the dust, useless and broken.
Garments rent above the heart.
Howls of despair fill the ears
Of uncircumcised jailers.

Memories of home
Burn like a branding iron,
Searing, Scorching;
Scarring us for all time.

But the light of that fire
Illuminates the path ahead of us,
Guiding us like a pillar of fire
In the wilderness.

[Note: This post contains the name of God. If you print it out, please treat it with the proper respect. Thank you.]

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The background image on this page is a Hebrew translation of the verse from Bob Dylan's song  It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding), from which the title of this blog is taken. Translation courtesy of Yoram Aharon of Hod-HaSharon's page--found via YudelLine-- which has many Dylan lyrics in Hebrew.