"May the day of my birth perish, and the night it was said, 'A boy is born!'1
That day--may it turn to darkness; may God above not care about it; may no light shine upon it.
May darkness and deep shadow2 claim it once more; may a cloud settle over it; may blackness overwhelm its light.
That night--may thick darkness3 seize it; may it not be included among the days of the year nor be entered in any of the months.
May that night be barren; may no shout of joy4 be heard in it.
May those who curse days curse that day,5 those who are ready to rouse Leviathan.6
May its morning stars become dark; may it wait for daylight in vain and not see the first rays of dawn,7
for it did not shut the doors of the womb on me to hide trouble from my eyes.
"Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb?8
Why were there knees to receive me9 and breasts that I might be nursed?
For now I would be lying down10 in peace; I would be asleep and at rest11
with kings and counselors of the earth,12 who built for themselves places now lying in ruins,13
with rulers14 who had gold, who filled their houses with silver.15
Or why was I not hidden in the ground like a stillborn child,16 like an infant who never saw the light of day?17
There the wicked cease from turmoil,18 and there the weary are at rest.19
Captives20 also enjoy their ease; they no longer hear the slave driver's21 shout.22
The small and the great are there,23 and the slave is freed from his master.
"Why is light given to those in misery, and life to the bitter of soul,24
to those who long for death that does not come,25 who search for it more than for hidden treasure,26
who are filled with gladness and rejoice when they reach the grave?27
Why is life given to a man whose way is hidden,28 whom God has hedged in?29
For sighing30 comes to me instead of food;31 my groans32 pour out like water.33
What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded34 has happened to me.35
I have no peace,36 no quietness; I have no rest,37 but only turmoil."38