1 Do you know how mountain goats breed?
1 Have you observed the hinds in labor,
2 numbered the months they must fulfill,
2 and fixed the time they must give birth?
3 Have you watched them end their labor
3 as they crouch and drop their young,
4 how they wait for them to grow,
4 until they leave never to return?
5 Who has given the wild ass his freedom,
5 and loosed the bonds of the wild donkey?
6 I have given him the desert for a home,
6 the salt plains for a shelter.
7 For he scorns the city’s tumult,
7 and is free of the driver’s shout and insult;
8 he prefers the hills for his pasture,
8 ranging for food in the rich verdure.
9 Is the wild ox willing to serve you,
9 to pass the night by your manger?
10 Can you make him work with a plow or harrow
10 if you provide him with the proper gear?
11 Can you rely on his great strength
11 and leave him to do your heavy work?
12 Can you depend on him to come home alone,
12 carrying your grain to your threshing floor?
13 Can the wing of the ostrich be compared
13 with the plumage of the stork or falcon?
14 She lays her eggs on the ground
14 and lets them warm in the sand,
15 not knowing that a foot may step on them
15 or some wild beast may crush them.
16 Cruel to her chicks as if they were not hers,
16 she cares not that her labor be in vain,
17 for God has given her no wisdom
17 nor a share of good sense.
18 Yet in the swiftness of foot,
18 she makes sport of horse and rider.
19 Is it you who give the horse strength
19 and clothe his neck with splendor,
20 who make him leap like a grasshopper
20 and his proud snorting strike terror?
21 Rejoicing in his strength, he fiercely paws
21 and charges into the fray,
22 afraid of nothing, laughing at fear,
22 not shying away from the sword.
23 Against his side rattles the quiver,
23 along with the lance and flashing spear.
24 In frenzied excitement he eats up the ground;
24 there is no holding him when the trumpets sound.
25 He cries “Hurrah!” at each trumpet blast.
25 He catches the scent of battle from afar,
25 the shout of commanders and the battle cry.
26 Is it by your wisdom that the hawk takes flight
26 and spreads his wings toward the south?
27 Is it at your command that eagles fly
27 and build their nests on high?
28 They dwell on cliffs and spend the night;
28 their stronghold is the rocky crag.
29 From there they look out for food,
29 which they detect even from afar.
30 They and their young feast on blood,
30 and where the slain lie, there they are.