The Lamentation

Edward Bairstow

How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people:
how is she become as a widow!
She that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces:
how is she become tributary!
She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks:
among all her lovers, she hath none to comfort her.
The ways of Zion do mourn, because none come to the solemn assembly:
all her gates are desolate, and she herself is in bitterness.
The Lord hath afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions:
her children are gone into captivity before the enemy.
All they that go by clap their hands at her:
they hiss, and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem saying,
“Is this the city that men called the perfection of beauty;
the joy of the whole earth?”
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, return unto the Lord thy God.

For these things I weep:
mine eye runneth down with water.
From on high hath the Lord sent fire into my bones, and it prevaileth against them:
he hath made me desolate and faint all the day.
My flesh and my skin hath he made old:
he hath broken my bones.
He hath builded against me;
and compassed me with gall and travail.
He hath made me to dwell in dark places:
as those that have been long dead.
I am become a derision to all my people:
and their song all the day.
Let him give his cheek to him that smiteth him:
let him be filled full with reproach.
Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by:
behold and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow.
Remember mine affliction and my misery:
the wormwood and the gall.
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, return unto the Lord thy God.

Remember, O Lord, what is come upon us:
behold and see our reproach.
The joy of our heart is ceased:
our dance is turned into mourning.
The crown is fallen from our head:
woe unto us, for we have sinned.
For this our heart is faint:
for these things our eyes are dim.
Let us search and try our ways:
and turn again unto the Lord.
Turn thou us unto thee, O Lord, and we shall be turned:
renew our days as of old.
It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed:
because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning:
great is thy faithfulness.
The Lord is my portion, saith my soul:
therefore will I hope in him.
O Lord, thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul:
thou hast redeemed my life.
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, return unto the Lord thy God.

from the Lamentation of Jeremiah, selected by Eric Milner-White

Other songs by this Composer:
Back to Anthems Archive