1 Man’s life on earth is a thankless job, his days are those of a mercenary.
2 Like a slave he longs for the shade of evening,
2 like a hireling waiting for his wages.
3 Thus I am allotted months of boredom and nights of grief and misery.
4 In bed I say, “When shall the day break?”
4 On rising, I think, “When shall evening come?”
4 and I toss restless till dawn.
5 My body is full of worms and scabs;
5 my skin festers with its boils and cracks.
6 My days pass swifter than a weaver’s shuttle,
6 heading without hope to their end.
7 My life is like wind, you well know it,
7 O God; never will I see happiness again.
8 The eye that saw me will see me no more;
8 when you look for me, I shall have gone.
9 As a cloud dissolves and vanishes,
9 so he who goes to the grave never returns.
10 He will never come back to his house;
10 or be seen by his household.
11 So I will not restrain my words,
11 I will speak out in anguish;
11 and complain with embittered soul,
12 “Am I the sea or a monster of the deep,
12 that you keep me under watch?”
13 When I think my bed will comfort me
13 and my couch will soothe my pain,
14 then you frighten me with dreams
14 and terrify me with visions,
15 I would prefer death by strangling
15 rather than such a trial.
16 See I am dying, never to live again.
16 Leave me alone; I am finished.
17 What is man that you make much of him,
17 that you give him so much attention,
18 that every morning you examine him
18 and check him all the time?
19 Will you never take your eyes off me
19 and give me respite to swallow my spittle?
20 Suppose I sinned, what has it done to you,
20 O keeper of humans?
20 Why choose me as your target?
20 Have I become a burden to you?
21 Why not pardon my sin
21 and take away my guilt?
21 For in the dust I will soon lie down;
21 when you search for me, I shall have gone.