But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to set with the dogs of my flock.
Yea, whereto [should] the strength of their hands [profit] me, [men] in whom vigour hath perished?
Withered up through want and hunger, they flee into a waste places long since desolate and desert:
They gather the salt-wort among the bushes, and the roots of the broom for their food.
They are driven forth from among [men] -- they cry after them as after a thief --
To dwell in gloomy gorges, in caves of the earth and the rocks:
They bray among the bushes; under the brambles they are gathered together:
Sons of fools, and sons of nameless sires, they are driven out of the land.
And now I am their song, yea, I am their byword.
They abhor me, they stand aloof from me, yea, they spare not to spit in my face.
For he b hath loosed my c cord and afflicted me; so they cast off the bridle before me.
At [my] right hand rise the young brood; they push away my feet, and raise up against me their pernicious ways;
They mar my path, they set forward my calamity, without any to help them;
They come in as through a wide breach: amid the confusion they roll themselves onward.
Terrors are turned against me; they pursue mine honour as the wind; and my welfare is passed away like a cloud.
And now my soul is poured out in me; days of affliction have taken hold upon me.
The night pierceth through my bones [and detacheth them] from me, and my gnawing pains take no rest:
By their great force they have become my raiment; they bind me about as the collar of my coat.
He hath cast me into the mire, and I have become like dust and ashes.
I cry unto thee, and thou answerest me not; I stand up, and thou lookest at me.
Thou art changed to a cruel one to me; with the strength of thy hand thou pursuest me.
Thou liftest me up to d the wind; thou causest me to be borne away, e and dissolvest my substance. f23
For I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and into the house of assemblage for all living.
Indeed, no prayer [availeth] when he g stretcheth out [his] hand: though they cry when he destroyeth. h25
Did not I weep for him whose days were hard? was not my soul grieved for the needy?
For I expected good, and there came evil; and I waited for light, but there came darkness.
My bowels well up, and rest not; days of affliction have confronted me.
I go about blackened, but not by the sun; I stand up, I cry in the congregation.
I am become a brother to jackals, and a companion of ostriches.
My skin is become black [and falleth] off me, and my bones are parched with heat.
My harp also is [turned] to mourning, and my pipe into the voice of weepers.