The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Psalms
(A prayer for the friendless man, when he is troubled, and is pouring out his griefs before the Lord.)
O Lord, hear my prayer, and let my cry come unto thee.
Do not turn thy face away from me, but lend me thy ear in time of affliction; give me swift audience whenever I call upon thee.
See how this life of mine passes away like smoke, how this frame wastes like a tinder!
Drained of strength, like grass the sun scorches, I leave my food untasted, forgotten;
I am spent with sighing, till my skin clings to my bones.
I am no better than a pelican out in the desert, an owl on some ruined dwelling;
I keep mournful watch, lonely as a single sparrow on the house top.
Still my enemies taunt me, in their mad rage make a by-word of me.
Ashes are all my food, I drink nothing but what comes to me mingled with my tears;
I shrink before thy vengeful anger, so low thou hast brought me, who didst once lift me so high.
Like a tapering shadow my days dwindle, wasting away, like grass in the sun!
Lord, thou endurest for ever, thy name, age after age, is not forgotten;
surely thou wilt bestir thyself, and give Sion redress! It is time, now, to take pity on her, the hour has come.
See how thy servants love her even in ruin, how they water her dust with their tears!
Will not the heathen learn reverence, Lord, for thy glorious name, all those monarchs of the earth,
when they hear that the Lord has built Sion anew; that he has revealed himself there in glory,
has given heed to the prayer of the afflicted, neglects their appeal no more?
Such legend inscribe we for a later age to read it; a new people will arise, to praise the Lord;
the Lord, who looks down from his sanctuary on high, viewing earth from heaven,
who has listened to the groans of the prisoners, delivered a race that was doomed to die.
There will be talk of the Lord’s name in Sion, of his praise in Jerusalem,
when peoples and kings meet there to pay him their homage.
Here, on my journey, he has brought my strength to an end, cut short my days.
What, my God, wilt thou snatch me away, my life half done? Age after age thy years endure;
it was thou, Lord, that didst lay the foundations of earth when time began, it was thy hand that built the heavens.
They will perish, but thou wilt remain; they will all be like a cloak that grows threadbare, and thou wilt lay them aside like a garment, and exchange them for new;
thou art unchanging, thy years can never fail.
The posterity of thy servants shall yet hold their lands in peace, their race shall live on in thy keeping.
The Holy Bible