1. a human being, born of woman, whose life is short but full of trouble.
2. Like a flower, such a one blossoms and withers, fleeting as a shadow, transient.
3. And this is the creature on whom you fix your gaze, and bring to judgement before you!
4. But will anyone produce the pure from what is impure? No one can!
5. Since his days are measured out, since his tale of months depends on you, since you assign him bounds he cannot pass,
6. turn your eyes from him, leave him alone, like a hired labourer, to finish his day in peace.
7. There is always hope for a tree: when felled, it can start its life again; its shoots continue to sprout.
8. Its roots may have grown old in the earth, its stump rotting in the ground,
9. but let it scent the water, and it buds, and puts out branches like a plant newly set.
10. But a human being? He dies, and dead he remains, breathes his last, and then where is he?
11. The waters of the sea will vanish, the rivers stop flowing and run dry:
12. a human being, once laid to rest, will never rise again, the heavens will wear out before he wakes up, or before he is roused from his sleep.
13. Will no one hide me in Sheol, and shelter me there till your anger is past, fixing a certain day for calling me to mind-
14. can the dead come back to life? - day after day of my service, I should be waiting for my relief to come.
15. Then you would call, and I should answer, you would want to see once more what you have made.
16. Whereas now you count every step I take, you would then stop spying on my sin;
17. you would seal up my crime in a bag, and put a cover over my fault.
18. Alas! Just as, eventually, the mountain falls down, the rock moves from its place,
19. water wears away the stones, the cloudburst erodes the soil; so you destroy whatever hope a person has.
20. You crush him once for all, and he is gone; first you disfigure him, then you dismiss him.
21. His children may rise to honours -- he does not know it; they may come down in the world -- he does not care.
22. He feels no pangs, except for his own body, makes no lament, except for his own self.