1
But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to set with the dogs of my flock.
2
Yea, whereto [should] the strength of their hands [profit] me, [men] in whom vigour hath perished?
3
Withered up through want and hunger, they flee into waste places long since desolate and desert:
4
They gather the salt-wort among the bushes, and the roots of the broom for their food.
5
They are driven forth from among [men] — they cry after them as after a thief
6
To dwell in gloomy gorges, in caves of the earth and the rocks:
7
They bray among the bushes;
under the brambles they are gathered together:
8
Sons of fools, and sons of nameless sires, they are driven out of the land.
9
And now I am their song, yea, I am their byword.
10
They abhor me, they stand aloof from me, yea, they spare not to spit in my face.
11
For he hath loosed my cord and afflicted me;
so they cast off the bridle before me.
12
At [my] right hand rise the young brood;
they push away my feet, and raise up against me their pernicious ways;
13
They mar my path, they set forward my calamity, without any to help them;
14
They come in as through a wide breach: amid the confusion they roll themselves onward.
15
Terrors are turned against me;
they pursue mine honour as the wind;
and my welfare is passed away like a cloud.
16
And now my soul is poured out in me;
days of affliction have taken hold upon me.
17
The night pierceth through my bones [and detacheth them] from me, and my gnawing pains take no rest:
18
By their great force they have become my raiment;
they bind me about as the collar of my coat.
19
He hath cast me into the mire, and I have become like dust and ashes.
20
I cry unto thee, and thou answerest me not;
I stand up, and thou lookest at me.
21
Thou art changed to a cruel one to me;
with the strength of thy hand thou pursuest me.
22
Thou liftest me up to the wind;
thou causest me to be borne away, and dissolvest my substance.
23
For I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and into the house of assemblage for all living.
24
Indeed, no prayer [availeth] when he stretcheth out [his] hand: though they cry when he destroyeth.
25
Did not I weep for him whose days were hard?
was not my soul grieved for the needy?
26
For I expected good, and there came evil;
and I waited for light, but there came darkness.
27
My bowels well up, and rest not;
days of affliction have confronted me.
28
I go about blackened, but not by the sun;
I stand up, I cry in the congregation.
29
I am become a brother to jackals, and a companion of ostriches.
30
My skin is become black [and falleth] off me, and my bones are parched with heat.
31
My harp also is [turned] to mourning, and my pipe into the voice of weepers.