The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Lamentations of the Prophet Jeremias
Bethink thee, Lord, of our ill case; see where we lie humiliated, and seeing take pity!
New tenants our lands have, our homes foreign masters;
orphaned sons of widowed mothers were not more defenceless.
Ours to buy the very water we drink, pay a price for every stick of fire-wood;
led hither and thither under the yoke, with no respite given,
we must make our peace with men of Egypt or Assyria, for a belly-full of bread.
So must we bear the guilt of our fathers, that sinned and are gone!
Slaves for our masters now, and none to ransom us;
bread won out in the desert, and at peril of our lives from the sword’s point!
What wonder if our skins are burnt dry as an oven, seared by long famine?
Never a woman in Sion, never a maid in all Juda’s cities, but has met with dishonour;
merciless hands hurry our princes to the gallows; reverence is none for grey hairs.
Toiling at the mill, the flower of our youth, or staggering under loads of wood;✻
never an old man left to sit at the gate, or a young man to wake the echoes of the harp;
gone, all our mirth, all our music drowned in sadness.
Alas, we are sinners; the wreath has faded from our brows;
there are sad hearts everywhere, and dim eyes.
What, does not the hill of Sion lie desolate, ravaged by the foxes?
Lord, thou abidest ever; age after age thy throne endures;
and wilt thou still be forgetful of us, through the long years leave us forsaken?
Bring us back to thee, Lord, and let us find our home; bring back to us the days of our youth;
wouldst thou altogether abandon us, shall thy indignation know no measure?
The Holy Bible