1“But now those who are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to put with my sheep dogs.
2Of what use is the strength of their hands to me, men in whom ripe age has perished?
3They are gaunt from lack and famine. They gnaw the dry ground in the gloom of waste and desolation.
4They pluck salt herbs by the bushes. The roots of the broom are their food.
5They are driven out from the midst of men. They cry out after them as after a thief,
6so that they dwell in frightful valleys and in holes of the earth and of the rocks.
7Among the bushes they bray, and under the nettles they are gathered together.
8They are children of fools, yes, children of base men. They were flogged out of the land.
9“Now I have become their song. Yes, I am a byword to them.
10They abhor me, they stand aloof from me and do not hesitate to spit in my face.
11For he has untied his cord and afflicted me, and they have thrown off restraint before me.
12On my right hand rise the rabble. They thrust aside my feet, they cast up against me their ways of destruction.
13They mar my path, they set forward my calamity without anyone’s help.
14As through a wide breach they come, in the midst of the ruin they roll themselves in.
15Terrors have turned on me. They chase my honor as the wind. My welfare has passed away as a cloud.
16“Now my soul is poured out within me. Days of affliction have taken hold on me.
17In the night season my bones are pierced in me, and the pains that gnaw me take no rest.
18By great force is my garment disfigured. It binds me about as the collar of my coat.
19He has cast me into the mire. I have become like dust and ashes.
20“I cry out to you, and you do not answer me. I stand up, and you gaze at me.
21You have turned to be cruel to me. With the might of your hand you persecute me.
22You lift me up to the wind and drive me with it. You dissolve me in the storm.
23For I know that you will bring me to death, to the meeting-house for all the living.
24“However doesn’t one stretch out a hand in his fall? Or in his calamity therefore cry out for help?
25Didn’t I weep for him who was in trouble? Wasn’t my soul grieved for the needy?
26When I looked for good, then evil came; when I waited for light, there came darkness.
27My heart is troubled and doesn’t rest. Days of affliction have come on me.
28I go mourning without the sun. I stand up in the assembly and cry out for help.
29I am a brother to jackals, and a companion to ostriches.
30My skin grows black and peels from me. My bones are burned with heat.
31Therefore my harp has turned to mourning and my pipe into the voice of those who weep.”