The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Job
What is man’s life on earth but a campaigning? Like a hired drudge, he passes his time away;
nor ever was slave so weary, longing for the shade, or drudge so weary, waiting to earn his hire,
as I have been, counting these months of emptiness, these nights that never brought rest.
Lie I down to sleep, I weary to be up with the day; comes the day, I weary for the evening, comfortless until dark.
Overgrown my flesh with worms, matted with dust; my skin dried up and shrivelled.
Frail as the weaver’s thread my years vanish away, spent without hope.
Bethink thee, Lord, it is but a breath, this life of mine, and I shall look on this fair world but once;
when that is done, men will see me no more, and thou as nothing.
Like a cloud dislimned in passing, man goes to his grave never to return;
never again the home-coming, never shall tidings of him reach the haunts he knew.
And should I utter no word? Nay, the crushed spirit will find a voice, the embittered heart will not keep its own counsel.
Am I a raging sea, a ravening monster, that thou guardest me so close?
When I would find rest on my pillow, take refuge in night thoughts,
what dreams thou sendest to daunt me, what sights of terror to unman me!
The rope for me! Death only will content this frame.
To despair I yield myself, I will live on no more; loose thy hold of me; this life of mine is but the shadow of a life.
Why is it that thou wilt make so noble a thing of man, wilt pay so much heed to him?
Never a day dawns but thou wilt surprise him at his post; never a moment when thou art not making proof of him.
Nay, gaze on me no more; leave me, though it were but for a breathing-space, to myself!
If sinned I have, does human act of mine claim thy watchful regard? Must my path always cross thine, my life always be a burden to me?✻
Would it cost thee much to forgive sin of mine, pass over fault of mine, when I, so soon, shall be lying in the dust, missing at my post, as thou makest thy rounds at dawn?
The Holy Bible