Your tears for Sion! Not more pitiful work is gleaning when the vintage is done; never a cluster to eat; for the ripe figs belly craves in vain.
Fled is piety, vanished honesty, from human kind; murderous plots afoot; the hunt is up everywhere, man spreading his nets for man.
Ever the wrong done, and fair names devised for it; ruler must have his benevolence, and judge his gratuity, and tyrant makes known what is his earnest wish; they know well how to wrap it up.✻
Cruel as thorns they be, that are kindliest of them, close as thorn-hedge, that are honest above the rest. Surely this is the day thy watchmen foretold, surely thou wilt call them to account; not long delayed their last extremity!
Trust no man, give thy heart to no man, though he be friend and counsellor of thine; against the wife that lies on thy bosom, guard the entry of thy lips;
here, where son fools father, and daughter her mother, and son’s wife her mother-in-law, where a man’s own household are his enemies!
On the Lord my eyes are set; it is to God I look for my protection; my own God, and will he deny me audience?
City that Sion hatest, never triumph over her fall; fall I, it is but to rise again, sit I in darkness, the Lord will be my light.
The Lord’s displeasure I must bear, I that have sinned against him, till at last he admits my plea, and grants redress. Out into the light he will bring me, to find him faithful still.
Sore abashed that enemy of mine shall behold it; only yesterday she was crying, What is become of thy God now? Welcome the sight, when she is trampled down like mire in the streets!✻
Day of pell-mell disorder it shall be, the day of thy walls’ rebuilding;
a day when folk shall resort to thee from all the lands that lie between Assyria and the towns of Egypt, between Egypt and … Euphrates, between sea and sea, mountain-range and mountain-range.✻
By then, the whole country-side will be lying desolate, such reward the inhabitants of it have earned by their ill-doing.
With that staff of thine gather thy people in, the flock that is thy very own, scattered now in the forest glades, with rich plenty all around them; Basan and Galaad for their pasture-grounds, as in the days of old.
Now for such wondrous evidences of power as marked thy rescuing of them from Egypt!
Here is a sight to make the Gentiles hold their valour cheap, stand there dumb; ay, and why not deaf too?
Let them lick the dust, serpent-fashion, crawl out from their homes, like scared reptiles, in terror of the Lord our God; much cause they shall have to fear him.
Was there ever such a God, so ready to forgive sins, to overlook faults, among the scattered remnant of his chosen race? He will exact vengeance no more; he loves to pardon.
He will relent, and have mercy on us, quashing our guilt, burying our sins away sea-deep.
Thou wilt keep thy promise to Jacob, shew mercy to Abraham, thy promised mercies of long ago.
The Holy Bible