"Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.
He comes forth like a flower, and withers; he flees like a shadow, and continues not.
And dost thou open thy eyes upon such a one and bring him into judgment with thee?
Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? There is not one.
Since his days are determined, and the number of his months is with thee, and thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass,
look away from him, and desist, that he may enjoy, like a hireling, his day.
"For there is hope for a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease.
Though its root grow old in the earth, and its stump die in the ground,
yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth branches like a young plant.
But man dies, and is laid low; man breathes his last, and where is he?
As waters fail from a lake, and a river wastes away and dries up,
so man lies down and rises not again; till the heavens are no more he will not awake, or be roused out of his sleep.
Oh that thou wouldest hide me in Sheol, that thou wouldest conceal me until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me!
If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my service I would wait, till my release should come.
Thou wouldest call, and I would answer thee; thou wouldest long for the work of thy hands.
For then thou wouldest number my steps, thou wouldest not keep watch over my sin;
my transgression would be sealed up in a bag, and thou wouldest cover over my iniquity.
"But the mountain falls and crumbles away, and the rock is removed from its place;
the waters wear away the stones; the torrents wash away the soil of the earth; so thou destroyest the hope of man.
Thou prevailest for ever against him, and he passes; thou changest his countenance, and sendest him away.
His sons come to honor, and he does not know it; they are brought low, and he perceives it not.
He feels only the pain of his own body, and he mourns only for himself."
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (Revised Standard Version w/ Apocrypha)