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Lamentations 4

 
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1 πῶς ἀμαυρωθήσεται χρυσίον ἀλλοιωθήσεται τὸ ἀργύριον τὸ ἀγαθόν ἐξεχύθησαν λίθοι ἅγιοι ἐ{P'} ἀρχῆς πασῶν ἐξόδων 1 All dim, now, and discoloured, the gold that once shone so fair! Heaped up at every street-corner lie hallowed stones. 1

Aleph. Quomodo obscuratum est aurum,
mutatus est color optimus!
dispersi sunt lapides sanctuarii
in capite omnium platearum!
2 υἱοὶ Σιων οἱ τίμιοι οἱ ἐπηρμένοι ἐν χρυσίῳ πῶς ἐλογίσθησαν εἰς ἀγγεῖα ὀστράκινα ἔργα χειρῶν κεραμέως 2 Bright they shone once in all their renown, the men of Sion, and now what are they? Little regarded as common earthenware, of the potter’s fashioning. 2
Beth. Filii Sion inclyti,
et amicti auro primo:
quomodo reputati sunt in vasa testea,
opus manuum figuli!
3 καί γε δράκοντες ἐξέδυσαν μαστούς ἐθήλασαν σκύμνοι αὐτῶν θυγατέρες λαοῦ μου εἰς ἀνίατον ὡς στρουθίον ἐν ἐρήμῳ 3 Cub of jackal[1] is fed at its dam’s breast; and has my people grown unnatural towards its own children, like some ostrich in the desert? 3
Ghimel. Sed et lamiæ nudaverunt mammam,
lactaverunt catulos suos:
filia populi mei crudelis
quasi struthio in deserto.
4 ἐκολλήθη ἡ γλῶσσα θηλάζοντος πρὸς τὸν φάρυγγα αὐτοῦ ἐν δίψει νήπια ᾔτησαν ἄρτον ὁ διακλῶν οὐκ ἔστιν αὐτοῖς 4 Dry throat and parching tongue for babe at the breast; children asking for bread, and never a crust to share with them! 4
Daleth. Adhæsit lingua lactentis
ad palatum ejus in siti;
parvuli petierunt panem,
et non erat qui frangeret eis.
5 οἱ ἔσθοντες τὰς τρυφὰς ἠφανίσθησαν ἐν ταῖς ἐξόδοις οἱ τιθηνούμενοι ἐπὶ κόκκων περιεβάλοντο κοπρίας 5 Ever they fared daintily, that now lie starved in the streets; ever went richly arrayed, and now their fingers clutch at the dung-hill. 5
He. Qui vescebantur voluptuose,
interierunt in viis;
qui nutriebantur in croceis,
amplexati sunt stercora.
6 καὶ ἐμεγαλύνθη ἀνομία θυγατρὸς λαοῦ μου ὑπὲρ ἀνομίας Σοδομων τῆς κατεστραμμένης ὥσπερ σπουδῇ καὶ οὐκ ἐπόνεσαν ἐν αὐτῇ χεῖρας 6 Faithless Juda! Heavier punishment she must needs undergo than guilty Sodom, that perished all in a moment, and never a blow struck. 6
Vau. Et major effecta est iniquitas filiæ populi mei
peccato Sodomorum,
quæ subversa est in momento,
et non ceperunt in ea manus.
7 ἐκαθαριώθησαν ναζιραῖοι αὐτῆς ὑπὲρ χιόνα ἔλαμψαν ὑπὲρ γάλα ἐπυρρώθησαν ὑπὲρ λίθους σαπφείρου τὸ ἀπόσπασμα αὐτῶν 7 Gone, the fair bloom of princely cheeks,[2] snowy-pure, cream-white, red as tinted ivory,[3] and all sapphire-clear; 7
Zain. Candidiores Nazaræi ejus nive,
nitidiores lacte,
rubicundiores ebore antiquo,
sapphiro pulchriores.
8 ἐσκότασεν ὑπὲρ ἀσβόλην τὸ εἶδος αὐτῶν οὐκ ἐπεγνώσθησαν ἐν ταῖς ἐξόδοις ἐπάγη δέρμα αὐτῶν ἐπὶ τὰ ὀστέα αὐτῶν ἐξηράνθησαν ἐγενήθησαν ὥσπερ ξύλον 8 Here is no recognizing them, out in the streets, coal-black, skin clinging to bones, dry as wood! 8
Heth. Denigrata est super carbones facies eorum
et non sunt cogniti in plateis;
adhæsit cutis eorum ossibus:
aruit, et facta est quasi lignum.
9 καλοὶ ἦσαν οἱ τραυματίαι ῥομφαίας ἢ οἱ τραυματίαι λιμοῦ ἐπορεύθησαν ἐκκεκεντημένοι ἀπὸ γενημάτων ἀγρῶν 9 It were better to have fallen at the sword’s point than yield thus to the stab of hunger, wasted away through famine. 9
Teth. Melius fuit occisis gladio
quam interfectis fame,
quoniam isti extabuerunt consumpti
a sterilitate terræ.
10 χεῖρες γυναικῶν οἰκτιρμόνων ἥψησαν τὰ παιδία αὐτῶν ἐγενήθησαν εἰς βρῶσιν αὐταῖς ἐν τῷ συντρίμματι τῆς θυγατρὸς λαοῦ μου 10 Juda brought low, and mother-love forgotten; that women should eat their own children, cooked with their own hands! 10
Jod. Manus mulierum misericordium
coxerunt filios suos;
facti sunt cibus earum
in contritione filiæ populi mei.
11 συνετέλεσεν κύριος θυμὸν αὐτοῦ ἐξέχεεν θυμὸν ὀργῆς αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀνῆψεν πῦρ ἐν Σιων καὶ κατέφαγεν τὰ θεμέλια αὐτῆς 11 Kindled at last is the Lord’s anger; rains down from heaven the storm of his vengeance, lighting a flame that burns Sion to the ground. 11
Caph. Complevit Dominus furorem suum,
effudit iram indignationis suæ:
et succendit ignem in Sion,
et devoravit fundamenta ejus.
12 οὐκ ἐπίστευσαν βασιλεῖς γῆς πάντες οἱ κατοικοῦντες τὴν οἰκουμένην ὅτι εἰσελεύσεται ἐχθρὸς καὶ ἐκθλίβων διὰ τῶν πυλῶν Ιερουσαλημ 12 Little dreamed they, king and common folk the world over, that any assault of the foe should storm Jerusalem gates; 12
Lamed. Non crediderunt reges terræ,
et universi habitatores orbis,
quoniam ingrederetur hostis et inimicus
per portas Jerusalem.
13 ἐξ ἁμαρτιῶν προφητῶν αὐτῆς ἀδικιῶν ἱερέων αὐτῆς τῶν ἐκχεόντων αἷμα δίκαιον ἐν μέσῳ αὐτῆς 13 Malice and lawlessness it was of priest and prophet, whereby innocent men came to their deaths, that brought such punishment. 13
Mem. Propter peccata prophetarum ejus,
et iniquitates sacerdotum ejus,
qui effuderunt in medio ejus
sanguinem justorum.
14 ἐσαλεύθησαν ἐγρήγοροι αὐτῆς ἐν ταῖς ἐξόδοις ἐμολύνθησαν ἐν αἵματι ἐν τῷ μὴ δύνασθαι αὐτοὺς ἥψαντο ἐνδυμάτων αὐτῶν 14 Now, as they walk blindly through the streets, they are defiled with blood; no help for it, gather their skirts about them as they may; 14
Nun. Erraverunt cæci in plateis,
polluti sunt in sanguine;
cumque non possent,
tenuerunt lacinias suas.
15 ἀπόστητε ἀκαθάρτων καλέσατε αὐτούς ἀπόστητε ἀπόστητε μὴ ἅπτεσθε ὅτι ἀνήφθησαν καί γε ἐσαλεύθησαν εἴπατε ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν οὐ μὴ προσθῶσιν τοῦ παροικεῖν 15 Out of my way! cries one to another; Back, pollution, do not touch me! The very Gentiles protest in alarm, Here is no place for them! 15
Samech. Recedite polluti, clamaverunt eis;
recedite, abite, nolite tangere:
jurgati quippe sunt, et commoti dixerunt inter gentes:
Non addet ultra ut habitet in eis.
16 πρόσωπον κυρίου μερὶς αὐτῶν οὐ προσθήσει ἐπιβλέψαι αὐτοῖς πρόσωπον ἱερέων οὐκ ἔλαβον πρεσβύτας οὐκ ἠλέησαν 16 Protection the Lord gives them no longer, they are dispersed under his frown; the priesthood no honour claims, old age no pity.[4] 16
Phe. Facies Domini divisit eos,
non addet ut respiciat eos;
facies sacerdotum non erubuerunt,
neque senum miserti sunt.
17 ἔτι ὄντων ἡμῶν ἐξέλιπον οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ ἡμῶν εἰς τὴν βοήθειαν ἡμῶν μάταια ἀποσκοπευόντων ἡμῶν ἀπεσκοπεύσαμεν εἰς ἔθνος οὐ σῷζον 17 Quenched is the hope our eyes strained for, while hope was left us; looking for help so eagerly to a nation that had none to give! 17
Ain. Cum adhuc subsisteremus, defecerunt oculi nostri
ad auxilium nostrum vanum;
cum respiceremus attenti ad gentem
quæ salvare non poterat.
18 ἐθηρεύσαμεν μικροὺς ἡμῶν τοῦ μὴ πορεύεσθαι ἐν ταῖς πλατείαις ἡμῶν ἤγγικεν ὁ καιρὸς ἡμῶν ἐπληρώθησαν αἱ ἡμέραι ἡμῶν πάρεστιν ὁ καιρὸς ἡμῶν 18 Refuge for us in the treacherous highways is none; we are near the end; all is over, this is the end; 18
Sade. Lubricaverunt vestigia nostra
in itinere platearum nostrarum;
appropinquavit finis noster, completi sunt dies nostri,
quia venit finis noster.
19 κοῦφοι ἐγένοντο οἱ διώκοντες ἡμᾶς ὑπὲρ ἀετοὺς οὐρανοῦ ἐπὶ τῶν ὀρέων ἐξήφθησαν ἐν ἐρήμῳ ἐνήδρευσαν ἡμᾶς 19 Swifter than flight of eagles the pursuit; even on the mountains they give chase, even in the desert take us by surprise. 19
Coph. Velociores fuerunt persecutores nostri
aquilis cæli;
super montes persecuti sunt nos,
in deserto insidiati sunt nobis.
20 πνεῦμα προσώπου ἡμῶν χριστὸς κυρίου συνελήμφθη ἐν ταῖς διαφθοραῖς αὐτῶν οὗ εἴπαμεν ἐν τῇ σκιᾷ αὐτοῦ ζησόμεθα ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν 20 Through our fault he who is breath of life to us, our anointed king, is led away captive;[5] under his shadow we hoped our race should thrive. 20
Res. Spiritus oris nostri, christus Dominus,
captus est in peccatis nostris,
cui diximus: In umbra tua
vivemus in gentibus.
21 χαῖρε καὶ εὐφραίνου θύγατερ Ιδουμαίας ἡ κατοικοῦσα ἐπὶ γῆς καί γε ἐπὶ σὲ διελεύσεται τὸ ποτήριον κυρίου καὶ μεθυσθήσῃ καὶ ἀποχεεῖς 21 Until thy turn comes, shout on, Edom, triumph on, land of Hus; the same cup thou too shalt drink, and be drunken, and stripped bare. 21
Sin. Gaude et lætare, filia Edom,
quæ habitas in terra Hus!
ad te quoque perveniet calix: inebriaberis,
atque nudaberis.
22 ἐξέλιπεν ἡ ἀνομία σου θύγατερ Σιων οὐ προσθήσει ἔτι ἀποικίσαι σε ἐπεσκέψατο ἀνομίας σου θύγατερ Εδωμ ἀπεκάλυψεν ἐπὶ τὰ ἀσεβήματά σου 22 Vengeful audit-day! Sion’s account closed, recovered her fortunes; Edom called to account, discovered her guilt! 22
Thau. Completa est iniquitas tua, filia Sion:
non addet ultra ut transmigret te.
Visitavit iniquitatem tuam, filia Edom;
discooperuit peccata tua.
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Copyright © 2013 by Kevin Knight. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.