1Human life is like forced army service,
like a life of hard manual labor,
2like a slave longing for cool shade;
like a worker waiting to be paid.
3Month after month I have nothing to live for;
night after night brings me grief.
4When I lie down to sleep, the hours drag;
I toss all night and long for dawn.
5My body is full of worms;
it is covered with scabs;
pus runs out of my sores.
6My days pass by without hope,
pass faster than a weaver's shuttle.
7Remember, O God, my life is only a breath;
my happiness has already ended.
8You see me now, but never again.
If you look for me, I'll be gone.
9-10 Like a cloud that fades and is gone,
we humans die and never return;
we are forgotten by all who knew us.
11No! I can't be quiet!
I am angry and bitter.
I have to speak.
12Why do you keep me under guard?
Do you think I am a sea monster?
13I lie down and try to rest;
I look for relief from my pain.
14But you—you terrify me with dreams;
you send me visions and nightmares
15until I would rather be strangled
than live in this miserable body.
16I give up; I am tired of living.
Leave me alone. My life makes no sense.
17 Why are people so important to you?
Why pay attention to what they do?
18You inspect them every morning
and test them every minute.
19Won't you look away long enough
for me to swallow my spit?
20Are you harmed by my sin, you jailer?
Why use me for your target practice?
Am I so great a burden to you?
21Can't you ever forgive my sin?
Can't you pardon the wrong I do?
Soon I will be in my grave,
and I'll be gone when you look for me.