1 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. 2 Yea, whereto should the strength of their hands profit me, men in whom vigour hath perished? 3 Withered up through want and hunger, they flee into waste places long since desolate and desert: 4 They gather the salt-wort among the bushes, and the roots of the broom for their food. 5 They are driven forth from among men they cry after them as after a thief -- 6 To dwell in gloomy gorges, in caves of the earth and the rocks: 7 They bray among the bushes; under the brambles they are gathered together: 8 Sons of fools, and sons of nameless sires, they are driven out of the land.
9 And now I am their song, yea, I am their byword. 10 They abhor me, they stand aloof from me, yea, they spare not to spit in my face. 11 For he hath loosed my cord and afflicted me; so they cast off the bridle before me. 12 At my right hand rise the young brood; they push away my feet, and raise up against me their pernicious ways; 13 They mar my path, they set forward my calamity, without any to help them; 14 They come in as through a wide breach: amid the confusion they roll themselves onward. 15 Terrors are turned against me; they pursue mine honour as the wind; and my welfare is passed away like a cloud.
16 And now my soul is poured out in me; days of affliction have taken hold upon me. 17 The night pierceth through my bones and detacheth them from me, and my gnawing pains take no rest: 18 By their great force they have become my raiment; they bind me about as the collar of my coat. 19 He hath cast me into the mire, and I have become like dust and ashes.
20 I cry unto thee, and thou answerest me not; I stand up, and thou lookest at me. 21 Thou art changed to a cruel one to me; with the strength of thy hand thou pursuest me. 22 Thou liftest me up to the wind; thou causest me to be borne away, and dissolvest my substance. 23 For I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and into the house of assemblage for all living.
24 Indeed, no prayer availeth when he stretcheth out his hand: though they cry when he destroyeth. 25 Did not I weep for him whose days were hard? was not my soul grieved for the needy? 26 For I expected good, and there came evil; and I waited for light, but there came darkness. 27 My bowels well up, and rest not; days of affliction have confronted me. 28 I go about blackened, but not by the sun; I stand up, I cry in the congregation. 29 I am become a brother to jackals, and a companion of ostriches. 30 My skin is become black and falleth off me, and my bones are parched with heat. 31 My harp also is turned to mourning, and my pipe into the voice of weepers.