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1“But now those who are younger than I have me in derision,

whose fathers I considered unworthy to put with my sheep dogs.

2Of what use is the strength of their hands to me,

men in whom ripe age has perished?

3They are gaunt from lack and famine.

They gnaw the dry ground, in the gloom of waste and desolation.

4They pluck salt herbs by the bushes.

The roots of the broom tree are their food.

5They are driven out from amongst men.

They cry after them as after a thief,

6so that they live in frightful valleys,

and in holes of the earth and of the rocks.

7They bray amongst the bushes.

They are gathered together under the nettles.

8They are children of fools, yes, children of wicked men.

They were flogged out of the land.

9“Now I have become their song.

Yes, I am a byword to them.

10They abhor me, they stand aloof from me,

and don’t hesitate to spit in my face.

11For he has untied his cord, and afflicted me;

and they have thrown off restraint before me.

12On my right hand rise the rabble.

They thrust aside my feet.

They cast their ways of destruction up against me.

13They mar my path.

They promote my destruction

without anyone’s help.

14As through a wide breach they come.

They roll themselves in amid the ruin.

15Terrors have turned on me.

They chase my honour as the wind.

My welfare has passed away as a cloud.

16“Now my soul is poured out within me.

Days of affliction have taken hold of me.

17In the night season my bones are pierced in me,

and the pains that gnaw me take no rest.

18My garment is disfigured by great force.

It binds me about as the collar of my tunic.

19He has cast me into the mire.

I have become like dust and ashes.

20I cry to you, and you do not answer me.

I stand up, and you gaze at me.

21You have turned to be cruel to me.

With the might of your hand you persecute me.

22You lift me up to the wind, and drive me with it.

You dissolve me in the storm.

23For I know that you will bring me to death,

to the house appointed for all living.

24“However doesn’t one stretch out a hand in his fall?

Or in his calamity therefore cry for help?

25Didn’t I weep for him who was in trouble?

Wasn’t my soul grieved for the needy?

26When I looked for good, then evil came.

When I waited for light, darkness came.

27My heart is troubled, and doesn’t rest.

Days of affliction have come on me.

28I go mourning without the sun.

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

29I am a brother to jackals,

and a companion to ostriches.

30My skin grows black and peels from me.

My bones are burnt with heat.

31Therefore my harp has turned to mourning,

and my pipe into the voice of those who weep.

PUBLIC DOMAIN
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