The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Job
And thus Job continued to lay bare his thought:
Alas for the changes the months have brought with them! Alas for the old days, when God was my protector,
when his light shone above me, its rays guiding me through the darkness!
Days of ripe manhood, when God was my home’s familiar guest,
he, the Almighty, at my side! I had my children still about me;
the milk frothed in pools at my feet, no rock so hard but my olives bathed it in oil.
Went I to the city gate, there was my seat ready for me in the open square;
rose the young men to make place for me, rose the aged to do me honour;
nobles fell silent, and waited, finger on lip,
words failed the chieftains, and counsel they gave no more.
None heard the fame of me then, but called me a happy man; none watched my doings then, but spoke in my praise.
Poor man nor helpless orphan cried to me in vain;
how they blessed me, souls reprieved from instant peril; with what comfort the widow’s heart rejoiced!
Dutiful observance was still the vesture I wore, my robe and crown integrity;
in me, the blind found sight, the lame strength,
the poor a father. None so ready to give the stranger’s cause a hearing,
break open the fangs of the wrong-doer and snatch the prey from his teeth.
Here, thought I, I have built myself a nest to die in; here, like some palm-tree, I shall defy the years,
palm-tree that spreads out its roots to the river-bank, on whose leaves lodges the dew;
my fame never diminishing, never worn out the bow I bear.
How eagerly men hung upon my words, intent to learn what counsel I would give,
nor ventured to speak when I had done! A gracious influence my words fell,
like autumn rain or the spring showers on lips athirst.
Were they faint-hearted, they found me smiling still, and the encouragement of my glance never failed them.
Deigned I to be their leader, the first place was mine; yet ever when I sat like a king with his retinue about him, I would comfort the mourner’s tears.
The Holy Bible