by Rudolf Hagelstange
By the waters of Babylon
We did not sit and weep.
But the pulse of the plaint lifted there
Let us keep — let us keep.
We did not blow the blast before Jericho
Made walls sunder and spill.
But even under the turf those walls tumbling
Appal us still.
Not by us in Jerusalem’s temple
Was one prayer said.
Yet the blood of Seth and of Shem is kneaded
With our daily bread.

Translated by Babette Deutsch