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1“But now they make sport of me,

men who are younger than I,

whose fathers I would have disdained

to set with the dogs of my flock.

2What could I gain from the strength of their hands,

men whose vigor is gone?

3Through want and hard hunger

they gnaw the dry and desolate ground;

4they pick mallow and the leaves of bushes,

and to warm themselves the roots of the broom.

5They are driven out from among men;

they shout after them as after a thief.

6In the gullies of the torrents they must dwell,

in holes of the earth and of the rocks.

7Among the bushes they bray;

under the nettles they huddle together.

8A senseless, a disreputable brood,

they have been whipped out of the land.

9“And now I have become their song,

I am a byword to them.

10They abhor me, they keep aloof from me;

they do not hesitate to spit at the sight of me.

11Because God has loosed my cord and humbled me,

they have cast off restraint in my presence.

12On my right hand the rabble rise,

they drive me forth,

they cast up against me their ways of destruction.

13They break up my path,

they promote my calamity;

no one restrains them.

14As through a wide breach they come;

amid the crash they roll on.

15Terrors are turned upon me;

my honor is pursued as by the wind,

and my prosperity has passed away like a cloud.

16“And now my soul is poured out within me;

days of affliction have taken hold of me.

17The night racks my bones,

and the pain that gnaws me takes no rest.

18With violence it seizes my garment;

it binds me about like the collar of my tunic.

19God has cast me into the mire,

and I have become like dust and ashes.

20I cry to thee and thou dost not answer me;

I stand, and thou dost not heed me.

21Thou hast turned cruel to me;

with the might of thy hand thou dost persecute me.

22Thou liftest me up on the wind, thou makest me ride on it,

and thou tossest me about in the roar of the storm.

23Yea, I know that thou wilt bring me to death,

and to the house appointed for all living.

24“Yet does not one in a heap of ruins stretch out his hand,

and in his disaster cry for help?

25Did not I weep for him whose day was hard?

Was not my soul grieved for the poor?

26But when I looked for good, evil came;

and when I waited for light, darkness came.

27My heart is in turmoil, and is never still;

days of affliction come to meet me.

28I go about blackened, but not by the sun;

I stand up in the assembly, and cry for help.

29I am a brother of jackals,

and a companion of ostriches.

30My skin turns black and falls from me,

and my bones burn with heat.

31My lyre is turned to mourning,

and my pipe to the voice of those who weep.

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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