"But now I am mocked by those who are younger than I, by young men whose fathers are not worthy to run with my sheepdogs.
A lot of good they are to me -- those worn-out wretches!
They are gaunt with hunger and flee to the deserts and the wastelands, desolate and gloomy.
They eat coarse leaves, and they burn the roots of shrubs for heat.
They are driven from civilization, and people shout after them as if they were thieves.
So now they live in frightening ravines and in caves and among the rocks.
They sound like animals as they howl among the bushes; they huddle together for shelter beneath the nettles.
They are nameless fools, outcasts of civilization.
"And now their sons mock me with their vulgar song! They taunt me!
They despise me and won't come near me, except to spit in my face.
For God has cut the cords of my tent. He has humbled me, so they have thrown off all restraint.
These outcasts oppose me to my face. They send me sprawling; they lay traps in my path.
They block my road and do everything they can to hasten my calamity, knowing full well that I have no one to help me.
They come at me from all directions. They rush upon me when I am down.
I live in terror now. They hold me in contempt, and my prosperity has vanished as a cloud before a strong wind.
"And now my heart is broken. Depression haunts my days.
My weary nights are filled with pain as though something were relentlessly gnawing at my bones.
With a strong hand, God grabs my garment. He grips me by the collar of my tunic.
He has thrown me into the mud. I have become as dust and ashes.
"I cry to you, O God, but you don't answer me. I stand before you, and you don't bother to look.
You have become cruel toward me. You persecute me with your great power.
You throw me into the whirlwind and destroy me in the storm.
And I know that you are sending me to my death -- the destination of all who live.
"Surely no one would turn against the needy when they cry for help.
Did I not weep for those in trouble? Was I not deeply grieved for the needy?
So I looked for good, but evil came instead. I waited for the light, but darkness fell.
My heart is troubled and restless. Days of affliction have come upon me.
I walk in gloom, without sunlight. I stand in the public square and cry for help.
But instead, I am considered a brother to jackals and a companion to ostriches.
My skin has turned dark, and my bones burn with fever.
My harp plays sad music, and my flute accompanies those who weep.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)