1. And now I am the laughing-stock of people who are younger than I am and whose parents I would have disdained to put with the dogs guarding my flock.

2. And what use to me was the strength of their hands? - enfeebled as they were,

3. worn out by want and hunger, for they used to gnaw the roots of the thirsty ground -- that place of gloom, ruin and desolation-

4. they used to pick saltwort among the scrub, making their meals off roots of broom.

5. Outlawed from human company, which raised hue and cry against them, as against thieves,

6. they made their homes in the sides of ravines, in holes in the earth or in clefts of rock.

7. You could hear them braying from the bushes as they huddled together in the thistles.

8. Children of scoundrels, worse, nameless people, the very outcasts of society!

9. And these are the ones who now make up songs about me and use me as a byword!

10. Filled with disgust, they keep their distance, on seeing me, they spit without restraint.

11. And since God has loosened my bow-string and afflicted me, they too throw off the bridle in my presence.

12. Their brats surge forward on my right, to see when I am having a little peace, and advance on me with threatening strides.

13. They cut off all means of escape seizing the chance to destroy me, and no one stops them.

14. They move in, as if through a wide breach, and I go tumbling beneath the rubble.

15. Terror rounds on me, my confidence is dispersed as though by the wind, my hope of safety vanishes like a cloud.

16. And now the life in me trickles away, days of grief have gripped me.

17. At night-time sickness saps my bones I am gnawed by wounds that never sleep.

18. Violently, he has caught me by my clothes, has gripped me by the collar of my coat.

19. He has thrown me into the mud; I am no more than dust and ashes.

20. I cry to you, and you give me no answer; I stand before you, but you take no notice.

21. You have grown cruel to me, and your strong hand torments me unmercifully.

22. You carry me away astride the wind and blow me to pieces in a tempest.

23. Yes, I know that you are taking me towards death, to the common meeting-place of all the living.

24. Yet have I ever laid a hand on the poor when they cried out for justice in calamity?

25. Have I not wept for those whose life is hard, felt pity for the penniless?

26. I hoped for happiness, but sorrow came; I looked for light, but there was darkness.

27. My stomach seethes, is never still, days of suffering have struck me.

28. Sombre I go, yet no one comforts me, and if I rise in the council, I rise to weep.

29. I have become brother to the jackal and companion to the ostrich.

30. My skin has turned black on me, my bones are burnt with fever.

31. My harp is tuned to dirges, my pipe to the voice of mourners.

Livros sugeridos

“Comunguemos com santo temor e com grande amor.” São Padre Pio de Pietrelcina


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