1 ‘Now young men are cruel to me and they say bad things about me.
I would not even let their fathers help me with my sheep.
2 These fathers were strong when they were young. But now they are old.
And they are so weak that they cannot do any work for me.
3 They are thin because they do not have anything to eat.
At night, they run and hide in the desert.
4 In the desert, they eat leaves or roots.
And to keep warm at night, they burn the roots of trees and they light fires with them.
5 People tell them to go away from the towns and cities.
The same people shout at them as they would shout at robbers.
6 They live among the rocks in dry valleys where there had been rivers.
Or they live in holes that they make in the sides of hills.
7 The sounds that they make are like the sounds of wild animals.
And they hide together among the bushes to try to get warm.
8 They are like fools and no one recognises them.
And people do not want them to live near them.
9 Now their sons sing songs about me that are not nice.
They enjoy it when they are cruel to me.
10 They do not like me and they stay away from me.
But if they see me, they spit at me.
11 God has made me weak and he has nearly killed me.
So they can do to me anything that they want.
12 From one side, the crowd attacks me. They push me so that I have to run away.
They are like an army that waits to beat the enemy. And I am their enemy.
13 They do not let me get away from them. When they attack, they really want to kill me.
And they know that no one will come to help me.
14 I cannot stop them when they come near me.
When I fall down, they rush to attack me.
15 Every day that I live, I am afraid. No one thinks that I am an important man now.
And my money has gone as quickly as a cloud passes across the sky.
16 My life will soon end.
Every day I have pains in my body.
17 At night, my bones are painful.
The pains that I feel never go away.
18 Because of the things that God has done to me, my clothes do not fit me.
And my skin does not seem to be the right shape any more.
19 He knocks me down and I fall in the dirt.
I am no better than ashes on the ground.
20 I shout to you, God, but you do not answer me.
When I stand to pray, you do not listen to me.
21 You have become cruel to me.
You are strong. And you can attack me when you choose.
22 You send a strong wind to attack me.
And you destroy me in the storm.
23 I know that you will cause me to die soon.
That happens to everyone who lives on this earth.
24 People do not usually attack someone who has fallen.
They do not refuse to help someone who asks for help.
25 I wept when I saw people with troubles in their lives.
I was sorry to see poor people who needed help.
26 I hoped that I would be happy. But bad things happened to me.
And when I looked for light, everything round me was dark.
27 There is never a day when I feel well.
Every day I have pain and I feel sick.
28 I feel sad. And even when the sun shines it seems to me to be dark.
I stand up in a public place and there I shout to ask for help.
29 My voice is like a jackal's voice.
After dark, I make noises like birds in the night.
30 There are holes in my skin, which has become black.
And I have a fever.
31 Before all these things happened to me, I was happy. And I enjoyed music.
Now I am not happy. So I only sing songs that are sad.’