The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Job
At last, Job himself broke into utterance, and fell to cursing the day on which he was born.
And this was his plaint:
Blotted out for ever be the day of my birth; that night, too, which gave word that a human life had been conceived in the womb!
Plunged be that day in darkness; may God on high forget it, and grant it never shine of sun;
shades, like the shades of death, claim it for their own; deep gloom lie heavy on it, and wrap it all in desolation.
Shrouded be that night in a black storm, let it not be reckoned among the days of the year, nor marked in the moon’s calendar;
a night doomed to exile, a night that never wakes the sound of praise.
Wizards that can overcast the sun, and rouse old Chaos from his lair, on that night lay your ban;
blacken its starlight, let it wait for the morning light, and see it never, nor break of rising dawn;
the night that should have closed the doors of the womb against me, shut these eyes forever to sights of woe!
Had but the womb been the tomb of me, had I died at birth,
had no lap ever cherished me, no breast suckled me,
all would be rest now, all would be silence. Deeply I would take my repose,
with the old kings and senators, that once restored cities for their whim,✻
the chieftains that had such wealth of gold, houses full of silver;
with babe still-born and babe unborn, hidden away in the sunless grave.
There the unquietness of the wicked is stilled, and the weary are at rest;
untroubled the thrall sleeps, his tyrant’s bidding cannot reach him now;
master and slave are there, and the slave masterless.
Why should they see the light, that groan to see it; why should they live, that must live in bitterness of soul?
Why should they be like treasure-seekers, longing for the death that still cheats them,
a grave the prize they covet?
Such men as I, that must tread blindfold in a maze of God’s making!
Ever as I sit down to meat the sighs come, grief floods over me unrestrained.
Must I have nothing left to daunt me? Must each calamity be felt as soon as feared?
And still I kept my own counsel, still patient and silent I, till my angry mood overcame me at last.✻
The Holy Bible