1 ALEPH. I am a man watching my own poverty by the rod of his indignation.
2 ALEPH. He has driven me and led me into darkness, and not into light.
3 ALEPH. Against me only, he has turned and turned again his hand, all day long.
4 BETH. My skin and my flesh, he has made old; he has crushed my bones.
5 BETH. He has built all around me, and he has encircled me with gall and hardship.
6 BETH. He has gathered me into darkness, like those who are forever dead.
7 GHIMEL. He has built against me all around, so that I may not depart. He has increased the burden of my confinement.
8 GHIMEL. Yet even when I cry out and beg, he excludes my prayer.
9 GHIMEL. He has enclosed my ways with square stones; he has subverted my paths.
10 DALETH. He has become to me like a bear lying in ambush, like a lion in hiding.
11 DALETH. He has subverted my paths, and he has broken me. He has placed me in desolation.
12 DALETH. He has bent his bow, and he has positioned me like a target for his arrows.
13 HE. He has shot into my kidneys the daughters of his quiver.
14 HE. I have become a derision to all my people, their song throughout the day.
15 HE. He has filled me with bitterness; he has inebriated me with wormwood.
16 VAU. And he has broken each one of my teeth; he has fed me with ashes.
17 VAU. And my soul has been driven away from peace; I have forgotten what is good.
18 VAU. And I said, “My end and my hope from the Lord has perished.”
19 ZAIN. Remember my poverty and my transgression, the wormwood and the gall.
20 ZAIN. I will call to mind the past, and my soul shall languish within me.
21 ZAIN. These recollections are in my heart; therefore, I shall hope.
22 HETH. By the mercies of the Lord, we are not consumed. For his compassion has not passed away.
23 HETH. I know it at first light; great is your faithfulness.
24 HETH. “The Lord is my portion,” said my soul. Because of this, I will wait for him.
25 TETH. The Lord is good to those who hope in him, to the soul that seeks him.
26 TETH. It is good to stand ready in silence for the salvation of God.
27 TETH. It is good for a man, when he has carried the yoke from his youth.
28 JOD. He shall sit solitary and silent. For he has lifted it upon himself.
29 JOD. He shall place his mouth in the dirt, if perhaps there may be hope.
30 JOD. He shall give his cheek to those who strike him; he shall be saturated with reproaches.
31 CAPH. For the Lord will not rebuke forever.
32 CAPH. For, if he has cast down, he will also have compassion, according to the multitude of his mercies.
33 CAPH. For he has not humiliated from his heart, nor has he thrown aside the sons of men,
34 LAMED. as if to crush under his feet all the prisoners of the land,
35 LAMED. as if to turn aside the judgment of a man in the sight of the presence of the Most High,
36 LAMED. as if to pervert a man in his judgment: the Lord does not do this.
37 MEM. Who is this, who said to do what the Lord did not command?
38 MEM. Does not both misfortune and good proceed from the mouth of the Most High?
39 MEM. Why has a living man murmured, a man suffering for his sins?
40 NUN. Let us examine our ways, and seek out, and return to the Lord.
41 NUN. Let us lift up our hearts, with our hands, toward the Lord in the heavens.
42 NUN. We have acted sinfully, and we have provoked to wrath. About this, you are relentless.
43 SAMECH. You have covered us in your fury, and you have struck us. You have killed, and have not spared.
44 SAMECH. You have set a cloud opposite you, lest our prayer pass through.
45 SAMECH. In the midst of the peoples, you have uprooted me and cast me out.
46 PHE. All our enemies have opened their mouths over us.
47 PHE. Prediction has become for us a dread, and a snare, and a grief.
48 PHE. My eye has brought forth streams of water at the contrition of the daughter of my people.
49 AIN. My eye has been afflicted, and it has not been quieted, because there would be no rest
50 AIN. until the Lord looked down and saw from the heavens.
51 AIN. My eye has exhausted my soul over every one of the daughters of my city.
52 SADE. My enemies have chased me, and they have caught me like a bird, without reason.
53 SADE. My life has fallen into a pit, and they have placed a stone over me.
54 SADE. The waters have flooded over my head. I said, “I am lost.”
55 COPH. I called upon your name, O Lord, from the furthest pit.
56 COPH. You have heard my voice. Do not turn away your ear from my sobbing and my cries.
57 COPH. You drew near in the daytime, when I called upon you. You said, “Fear not.”
58 RES. You have judged, O Lord, the case of my soul. You are the Redeemer of my life.
59 RES. You have seen, O Lord, their iniquity against me. Judge my case.
60 RES. You have seen all their fury, every one of their thoughts is against me.
61 SIN. You have heard their reproach, O Lord, all their thoughts are against me.
62 SIN. The lips of those who rise up against me, and their meditations, are against me all day long.
63 SIN. Watch their sitting down and their rising up: I am their psalm.
64 THAU. You shall pay a recompense to them, O Lord, according to the works of their hands.
65 THAU. You shall give them a heavy shield of the heart: your hardship.
66 THAU. You shall pursue them in fury, and you shall destroy them under the heavens, O Lord.