Down by the River's Verdant Side

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Lyrics from Hymns: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1948

1. Down by the river's verdant side, . . .

Lyrics from A Collection of Sacred Hymns for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Europe, 1840

Hymn 268
1. By the river's verdant side,
By the solitary tide,
While the peaceful waters slept,
Pensively we sat and wept:
And on the bending willows hung,
Our silent harps through grief unstrung.

2. For they who wasted Zion's bowers,
And laid in dust her ruined towers,
In scorn their weary slaves desire,
To strike the chords of Israel's lyre;
And in their impious ears to sing,
The sacred songs of Zion's king.

3. How shall we tune those lofty strains,
On Babylon's polluted plains?
When low in ruin on the earth,
Lies the place that gave us birth,
And stern destruction's iron hand,
Sways our desolated land.

4. Oh! never shall our harps awake,
Laid in the dust for Zion's sake,
For ever on the willows hung,
Their music hushed, their chords unstrung.
Lost Zion! city of our God,
While groaning 'neath the tyrant's rod;

5. Still mould'ring lie thy levelled walls,
And ruin stalks along thy halls,
And brooding o'er thy ruined towers,
Desolation sternly lowers;
For when we muse upon thy woe,
Fast the gushing sorrows flow.

6. And while we toil through wretched life,
Drinking the bitter cup of strife;
Until we yield our weary breath,
And sleep, released from woe, in death,
Will Zion in our memory stand,
Our lost, our ruined native land.