¶ But now they that are mine inferiors and younger then I, have me in derision: yea even they, whose fathers I would have thought scorn to have set with the dogs of my cattle. The power and strength of their hands might do me no good, and as for their age, it is spent and past away without any profit. For very misery and hunger, they went about in the wilderness like wretches and beggars, plucking up herbs from among the bushes, and the Iunipers root was their meat. And when they were driven forth, men cried after them, as it had been after a thief. Their dwelling was beside foul brooks, yea in the caves and dens of the earth. Upon the dry heath went they about crying, and in the broom hills they gathered them together. They were children of fools and villains, which are dead away from the world. Now am I their song, and am become their jesting stock: they abhor me, they flee far from me, and stain my face with spittle, for the Lord hath opened his quiver, he hath hit me and put a bridle in my mouth. Upon my right hand they rose together against me, they have hurt my feet, made a way to destroy me, and my path have they clean marred. It was so easy for them to do me harm, that they needed no man to help them. They fell upon me, as it had been the breaking in of waters, and came in by heaps to destroy me.
¶ Fearfulness is turned against me. Mine honour vanisheth away more swiftly than wind, and my prosperity departeth hence like as it were a cloud. Therefore is my mind poured full of heaviness, and the days of trouble have taken hold upon me. My bones are pierced thorow in the night season, and my sinews take no rest. With all their power have they changed my garment, and girded me therewith, as it were with a coat. I am even as it were clay, and am become like ashes and dust. When I cry unto thee, thou doest not hear me: and though I stond before thee, yet thou regardest me not. Thou art become mine enemy, and with thy violent hand thou takest part against me. In times past thou didst set me up on high, as it were above the wind, but now hast thou given me a very sore fall. Sure I am, that thou wilt deliver me unto death: whereas a lodging is prepared for all men living. Now use not me to do violence unto them, that are destroyed already: but where hurt is done, there use they to help. Did not I weep in the time of trouble? Had not my soul compassion upon the poor? Yet nevertheless where as I looked for good, evil happened unto me: and where as I waited for light, there came darkness. My bowels seeth within me, and take no rest, for the days of my trouble are come upon me. Meekly and lowly came I in, yea and without any displeasure: I stood up in the congregation, and communed with them. But now I am a companion of dragons, and a fellow of Ostriches. My skin upon me is turned to black, and my bones are brent with heat: my harp is turned to sorrow, and my pipe to weeping.