1 “But now those who are younger than I have me in derision,
whose fathers I would have disdained to put with my sheep dogs.
2 Of what use is the strength of their hands to me,
men in whom ripe age has perished?
3 They are gaunt from lack and famine.
They gnaw the dry ground, in the gloom of waste and desolation.
4 They pluck salt herbs by the bushes.
The roots of the broom are their food.
5 They are driven out from among men.
They cry after them as after a thief;
6 So that they dwell in frightful valleys,
and in holes of the earth and of the rocks.
7 Among the bushes they bray;
and under the nettles they are gathered together.
8 They are children of fools, yes, children of base men.
They were flogged out of the land.
9 “Now I have become their song.
Yes, I am a byword to them.
10 They abhor me, they stand aloof from me,
and don’t hesitate to spit in my face.
11 For he has untied his cord, and afflicted me;
and they have thrown off restraint before me.
12 On my right hand rise the rabble.
They thrust aside my feet,
They cast up against me their ways of destruction.
13 They mar my path,
They set forward my calamity,
without anyone’s help.
14 As through a wide breach they come,
in the middle of the ruin they roll themselves in.
15 Terrors have turned on me.
They chase my honor 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 on me.
17 In the night season my bones are pierced in me,
and the pains that gnaw me take no rest.
18 By great force is my garment disfigured.
It binds me about as the collar of my coat.
19 He has cast me into the mire.
I have become like dust and ashes.
20 I cry to you, and you do not answer me.
I stand up, and you gaze at me.
21 You have turned to be cruel to me.
With the might of your hand you persecute me.
22 You lift me up to the wind, and drive me with it.
You dissolve me in the storm.
23 For 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?
25 Didn’t I weep for him who was in trouble?
Wasn’t my soul grieved for the needy?
26 When I looked for good, then evil came;
When I waited for light, there came darkness.
27 My heart is troubled, and doesn’t rest.
Days of affliction have come on me.
28 I go mourning without the sun.
I stand up in the assembly, and cry for help.
29 I am a brother to jackals,
and a companion to ostriches.
30 My skin grows black and peels from me.
My bones are burned with heat.
31 Therefore my harp has turned to mourning,
and my pipe into the voice of those who weep.