"But now those younger than I hold me in derision, men whose fathers I wouldn't even have put with the dogs that guarded my sheep.
What use to me was the strength in their hands? All their vigor had left them.
Worn out by want and hunger, they gnaw the dry ground in the gloom of waste and desolation.
They pluck saltwort and bitter leaves; these, with broom tree roots, are their food.
They are driven away from society, with men shouting after them as after a thief,
to live in gullies and vadis, in holes in the ground and caves in the rocks.
Among the bushes they howl like beasts and huddle among the nettles,
irresponsible nobodies driven from the land.
"Now I have become their song; yes, I am a byword with them.
They loathe me, they stand aloof from me; they don't hesitate to spit in my face!
For God has loosened my bowstring and humbled me; they throw off restraint in my presence.
At my right the street urchins attack, pushing me from place to place, besieging me with their ways of destruction,
breaking up my path, furthering my calamity -even those who have no one to help them.
They move in as through a wide gap; amid the ruin they roll on in waves.
Terrors tumble over me, chasing my honor away like the wind; my [hope of] salvation passes like a cloud.
"So now my life is ebbing away, days of grief have seized me.
At night pain pierces me to the bone, so that I never rest.
My clothes are disfigured by the force [of my disease]; they choke me like the collar of my coat.
[God] has thrown me into the mud; I have become like dust and ashes.
"I call out to you [God], but you don't answer me; I stand up to plead, but you just look at me.
You have turned cruelly against me; with your powerful hand you keep persecuting me.
You snatch me up on the wind and make me ride it; you toss me about in the tempest.
For I know that you will bring me to death, the house assigned to everyone living.
"Surely [God] wouldn't strike at a ruin, if in one's calamity one cried out to him for help.
Didn't I weep for those who were in trouble? Didn't I grieve for the needy?
Yet when I hoped for good, what came was bad; when I expected light, what came was darkness.
My insides are in turmoil; they can't find rest; days of misery confront me.
I go about in sunless gloom, I rise in the assembly and cry for help.
I have become a brother to jackals and a companion of ostriches.
My skin is black and falling off me, and my bones are burning with heat.
So my lyre is tuned for mourning, my pipe to the voice of those who weep.