This burden following was revealed to the prophet Habacuc.
Lord, must I ever cry out to thee, and gain hearing never? Plead against tyranny, and no deliverance be granted me?
Must I nothing see but wrong and affliction; turn where I will, nothing but robbery and oppression; pleading at law everywhere, everywhere contention raising its head?
What marvel if the old teachings are torn up, and redress is never to be found? Innocence by knavery circumvented still, and false award given!
Have you no eyes for the world about you? Look upon it with wonder and awe; in your own days here be strange deeds a-doing, so strange, a man would scarce credit them if they were told in story.
What a nation is this I am spurring on to battle, the Chaldaean folk, so implacable, so swift! Ready to march the wide world over, so there be lands, not theirs, to covet!
A grim nation and a terrible; no right they acknowledge, no title, but what themselves bestow.
Not leopard so lithe as horse of theirs, not wolf at evening so fast; wide the sweep of their horsemen, that close in, close in from afar, flying like vultures hungry for their prey.
Plunderers all; eager as the sirocco their onset, whirling away, like sand-storm, their captives.
Here be men that hold kings in contempt, make princes their sport; no fortress but is a child’s game to such as these; let them but make a heap of dust, it is theirs.
Veers wind, and he is gone; see him fall down and ascribe the victory to his god!
But thou, Lord, my God and all my worship, thou art from eternity! And wilt thou see us perish? Warrant of thine they hold, take their strength from thee, only to make known thy justice, thy chastening power!
So pure those eyes, shall they feast on wrong-doing? Wilt thou brook the sight of oppression, look on while treason is done? Innocence the prey of malice, and no word from thee?
As well had men been fishes in the sea, or creeping things, that ruler have none!
And indeed it nothing spares, hook of yonder Chaldaean; seine and drag he spreads for all, and great joy has he of his sport.
Nay, seine must have its victims, incense be offered to drag; whom else thanks he for the rich fare on his plate, viands most dainty?
Trust me, wider still yonder net shall be flung; sword of his will never have done with massacre.