1Isn’t each person consigned to forced labor on earth?
Are not his days like those of a hired worker?
2Like a slave he longs for shade;
like a hired worker he waits for his pay.
3So I have been made to inherit months of futility,
and troubled nights have been assigned to me.
4When I lie down I think,
“When will I get up?”
But the evening drags on endlessly,
and I toss and turn until dawn.
5My flesh is clothed with maggots and encrusted with dirt.
My skin forms scabs and then oozes.
6My days pass more swiftly than a weaver’s shuttle;
they come to an end without hope.
7Remember that my life is but a breath.
My eye will never again see anything good.
8The eye of anyone who looks on me
will no longer see me.
Your eyes will look for me, but I will be gone.
9As a cloud fades away and vanishes,
so the one who goes down to Sheol will never rise again.
10He will never return to his house;
his hometown will no longer remember him.
11Therefore I will not restrain my mouth.
I will speak in the anguish of my spirit;
I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
12Am I the sea or a sea monster,
that you keep me under guard?
13When I say, “My bed will comfort me,
and my couch will ease my complaint,”
14then you frighten me with dreams,
and terrify me with visions,
15so that I prefer strangling —
death rather than life in this body.
16I give up! I will not live forever.
Leave me alone, for my days are a breath.
17What is a mere human, that you think so highly of him
and pay so much attention to him?
18You inspect him every morning,
and put him to the test every moment.
19Will you ever look away from me,
or leave me alone long enough to swallow?
20If I have sinned, what have I done to you,
Watcher of humanity?
Why have you made me your target,
so that I have become a burden to you?
21Why not forgive my sin
and pardon my iniquity?
For soon I will lie down in the grave.
You will eagerly seek me, but I will be gone.