(1) Come down . . .—The virgin daughter of Babylon, i.e., Babylon itself, personified as till now unconquered, is called to leave her throne and sit in the dust as a menial slave. The epithets “tender” (better, perhaps, wanton) and “delicate” point to the luxury which had been identified with Babylon, and which was now to cease.
Uncover thy locks.—The picture of suffering is heightened by the fact that the female slave has to wade unveiled, and bare-legged, all sense of shame outraged, to the scene of her labours. The picture is, of course, to be taken symbolically, not literally.
Sit thou silent.—Another contrast between the stir of the rejoicing city and the stillness of its later desolation. “The lady” (we might almost say, the empress) “of kingdoms” was reduced to the loneliness of widowhood.
For the multitude of thy sorceries.—Better, in spite of . . .