But now those younger than I mock me, whose fathers I refused to put beside my sheepdogs.
Their strength, what's it to me, their energy having perished?
Stiff from want and hunger, those who gnaw dry ground, yesterday's desolate waste,
who pluck off the leaves on a bush, the root of the broom— a shrub is their food.
People banish them from society, shout at them as if to a thief;
so they live in scary ravines, holes in the ground and rocks.
Among shrubs, they make sounds like donkeys; they are huddled together under a bush,
children of fools and the nameless, whipped out of the land.
And now I'm their song; I'm their cliché!
They detest me, keep their distance, don't withhold spit from my face.
Because he loosened my bowstring and afflicted me, they throw off restraint in my presence.
On the right, upstartsa rise and target my feet, build their siege ramps against me,
destroy my road, profit from my fall, with no help.
They advance as if through a destroyed wall;b they roll along beneath the ruin.
Terrors crash upon me; they sweep away my honor like wind; my safety disappears like a cloud.
Now my life is poured out on me; days of misery have seized me.
At night he bores my bones; my gnawing pain won't rest.
With great force he graspsc my clothing;d it binds me like the neck of my shirt.
He hurls me into mud; I'm a cliché, like dust and ashes.
I cry to you, and you don't answer; I stand up, but you just look at me.
You are cruel to me, attack me with the strength of your hand.
You lift me to the wind and make me ride; you melt me in its roar.
I know you will return me to death, the house appointed for all the living.
Surely he won't strike someone in ruins if in distress he cries out to him,
if I didn't weep for those who have a difficult day or my soul grieve for the needy;
for I awaited good, but evil came; I expected light, but gloom arrived.
My insides, churning, are never quiet; days of affliction confront me.
I walk in the dark, lacking sunshine; I rise in the assembly and cry out.
I have become a brother to jackals, a companion to young ostriches.
My skin is charred; my bones are scorched by the heat.
My lyre is for mourning, my flute, a weeping sound.