1 But now they that are younger than I hold me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to have set with the dogs of my flock. 2 Yea, how might the strength of their hands profit me, in whom vigor has perished? 3 From want and famine they are gaunt; fleeing of late into the wilderness, desolate and waste. 4 Who pick mallows by the bushes, and juniper roots for their food. 5 They were driven forth from among men, (they cried after them as after a thief;) 6 To dwell in the clefts of the valleys, in caves of the earth, and in the rocks. 7 Among the bushes they brayed; under the nettles they were gathered together. 8 They were children of fools, yea, children of base men: they were viler than the earth.
9 And now am I their song, yea, I am their byword. 10 They abhor me, they flee far from me, and hesitate not to spit in my face. 11 Because he has loosed my cord, and afflicted me, they have also cast off restraint before me. 12 Upon my right hand rise the youth; they push away my feet, and they raise up against me the ways of their destruction. 13 They mar my path, they set forward my calamity, they have no helper. 14 They came upon me as a wide breaking in of waters: in the desolation they rolled themselves upon me. 15 Terrors are turned upon me: they pursue my honor as the wind: and my welfare passes away as a cloud.
16 And now my soul is poured out upon me; the days of affliction have taken hold upon me. 17 My bones are pierced in me in the night season: and my sinews take no rest. 18 By the great force of my disease is my garment changed: it binds me about as the collar of my coat. 19 He has cast me into the mire, and I am become like dust and ashes.
20 I cry unto you, and you do not hear me: I stand up, and you regard me not. 21 You have become cruel to me: with your strong hand you oppose yourself against me. 22 You lift me up to the wind; you cause me to ride upon it, and spoil my substance. 23 For I know that you will bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living.
24 Yet he will not stretch out his hand to the grave, though they cry out in his destruction. 25 Did I not weep for him that was in trouble? was not my soul grieved for the poor? 26 When I looked for good, then evil came unto me: and when I waited for light, there came darkness. 27 My heart is in turmoil, and rests not: the days of affliction confront me. 28 I went mourning but not in the sun: I stood up, and I cried in the congregation. 29 I am a brother to jackals, and a companion to ostriches. 30 My skin is black upon me, and my bones are burned with heat. 31 My harp also is turned to mourning, and my flute into the voice of them that weep.