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Lamentations 3

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1 ἐγὼ ἀνὴρ ὁ βλέπων πτωχείαν ἐν ῥάβδῳ θυμοῦ αὐτοῦ ἐ{P'} ἐμέ 1 Ah, what straits have I not known, under the avenging rod![1] 1

Aleph. Ego vir videns paupertatem meam
in virga indignationis ejus.
2 παρέλαβέν με καὶ ἀπήγαγεν εἰς σκότος καὶ οὐ φῶς 2 Asked I for light, into deeper shadow the Lord’s guidance led me; 2
Aleph. Me minavit, et adduxit in tenebras,
et non in lucem.
3 πλὴν ἐν ἐμοὶ ἐπέστρεψεν χεῖρα αὐτοῦ ὅλην τὴν ἡμέραν 3 Always upon me, none other, falls endlessly the blow. 3
Aleph. Tantum in me vertit et convertit
manum suam tota die.
4 ἐπαλαίωσεν σάρκας μου καὶ δέρμα μου ὀστέα μου συνέτριψεν 4 Broken this frame, under the wrinkled skin, the sunk flesh. 4
Beth. Vetustam fecit pellem meam et carnem meam;
contrivit ossa mea.
5 ἀνῳκοδόμησεν κα{T'} ἐμοῦ καὶ ἐκύκλωσεν κεφαλήν μου καὶ ἐμόχθησεν 5 Bitterness of despair fills my prospect, walled in on every side; 5
Beth. Ædificavit in gyro meo, et circumdedit me
felle et labore.
6 ἐν σκοτεινοῖς ἐκάθισέν με ὡς νεκροὺς αἰῶνος 6 Buried in darkness, and, like the dead, interminably. 6
Beth. In tenebrosis collocavit me,
quasi mortuos sempiternos.
7 ἀνῳκοδόμησεν κα{T'} ἐμοῦ καὶ οὐκ ἐξελεύσομαι ἐβάρυνεν χαλκόν μου 7 Closely he fences me in, beyond hope of rescue; loads me with fetters. 7
Ghimel. Circumædificavit adversum me, ut non egrediar;
aggravavit compedem meum.
8 καί γε κεκράξομαι καὶ βοήσω ἀπέφραξεν προσευχήν μου 8 Cry out for mercy as I will, prayer of mine wins no audience; 8
Ghimel. Sed et cum clamavero, et rogavero,
exclusit orationem meam.
9 ἀνῳκοδόμησεν ὁδούς μου ἐνέφραξεν τρίβους μου ἐτάραξεν 9 Climb these smooth walls I may not; every way of escape he has undone. 9
Ghimel. Conclusit vias meas lapidibus quadris;
semitas meas subvertit.
10 ἄρκος ἐνεδρεύουσα αὐτός μοι λέων ἐν κρυφαίοις 10 Deep ambushed he lies, as lurking bear or lion from the covert; 10
Daleth. Ursus insidians factus est mihi,
leo in absconditis.
11 κατεδίωξεν ἀφεστηκότα καὶ κατέπαυσέν με ἔθετό με ἠφανισμένην 11 Drawn aside from my path, I fall a lonely prey to his ravening. 11
Daleth. Semitas meas subvertit, et confregit me;
posuit me desolatam.
12 ἐνέτεινεν τόξον αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐστήλωσέν με ὡς σκοπὸν εἰς βέλος 12 Dread archer, of me he makes a target for all his arrows; 12
Daleth. Tetendit arcum suum, et posuit me
quasi signum ad sagittam.
13 εἰσήγαγεν τοῖς νεφροῖς μου ἰοὺς φαρέτρας αὐτοῦ 13 Each shaft of his quiver at my vitals taught to strike home! 13
He. Misit in renibus meis
filias pharetræ suæ.
14 ἐγενήθην γέλως παντὶ λαῷ μου ψαλμὸς αὐτῶν ὅλην τὴν ἡμέραν 14 Evermore for me the taunts of my neighbours, their songs of derision. 14
He. Factus sum in derisum omni populo meo,
canticum eorum tota die.
15 ἐχόρτασέν με πικρίας ἐμέθυσέν με χολῆς 15 Entertainment of bitter herbs he gives me, and of wormwood my fill, 15
He. Replevit me amaritudinibus;
inebriavit me absinthio.
16 καὶ ἐξέβαλεν ψήφῳ ὀδόντας μου ἐψώμισέν με σποδόν 16 Files all my teeth with hard gravel-stones, bids me feed on ashes.[2] 16
Vau. Et fregit ad numerum dentes meos;
cibavit me cinere.
17 καὶ ἀπώσατο ἐξ εἰρήνης ψυχήν μου ἐπελαθόμην ἀγαθὰ 17 Far away is my old contentment, happier days forgotten; 17
Vau. Et repulsa est a pace anima mea;
oblitus sum bonorum.
18 καὶ εἶπα ἀπώλετο νεῖκός μου καὶ ἡ ἐλπίς μου ἀπὸ κυρίου 18 Farewell, my hopes of long continuance, my patient trust in the Lord! 18
Vau. Et dixi: Periit finis meus,
et spes mea a Domino.
19 ἐμνήσθην ἀπὸ πτωχείας μου καὶ ἐκ διωγμοῦ μου πικρίας καὶ χολῆς μου 19 Guilt and suffering, gall and wormwood, keep all this well in memory. 19
Zain. Recordare paupertatis, et transgressionis meæ,
absinthii et fellis.
20 μνησθήσεται καὶ καταδολεσχήσει ἐ{P'} ἐμὲ ἡ ψυχή μου 20 God knows it shall be remembered, and with sinking of the heart; 20
Zain. Memoria memor ero, et tabescet
in me anima mea.
21 ταύτην τάξω εἰς τὴν καρδίαν μου διὰ τοῦτο ὑπομενῶ 21 Gage there can be none other of remaining confidence. 21
Zain. Hæc recolens in corde meo,
ideo sperabo.
22 22 His be the thanks if we are not extinguished; his mercies never weary; 22
Heth. Misericordiæ Domini, quia non sumus consumpti;
quia non defecerunt miserationes ejus.
23 23 Hope comes with each dawn; art thou not faithful, Lord, to thy promise? 23
Heth. Novi diluculo,
multa est fides tua.
24 24 Heart whispers, The Lord is my portion; I will trust him yet. 24
Heth. Pars mea Dominus, dixit anima mea;
propterea exspectabo eum.
25 ἀγαθὸς κύριος τοῖς ὑπομένουσιν αὐτόν ψυχῇ ἣ ζητήσει αὐτὸν ἀγαθὸν 25 In him be thy trust, for him thy heart’s longing, gracious thou shalt find him; 25
Teth. Bonus est Dominus sperantibus in eum,
animæ quærenti illum.
26 καὶ ὑπομενεῖ καὶ ἡσυχάσει εἰς τὸ σωτήριον κυρίου 26 If deliverance thou wouldst have from the Lord, in silence await it. 26
Teth. Bonum est præstolari cum silentio
salutare Dei.
27 ἀγαθὸν ἀνδρὶ ὅταν ἄρῃ ζυγὸν ἐν νεότητι αὐτοῦ 27 It is well thou shouldst learn to bear the yoke, now in thy youth, 27
Teth. Bonum est viro cum portaverit jugum
ab adolescentia sua.
28 καθήσεται κατὰ μόνας καὶ σιωπήσεται ὅτι ἦρεν ἐ{F'} ἑαυτῷ 28 Just burden, in solitude and silence justly borne. 28
Jod. Sedebit solitarius, et tacebit,
quia levavit super se.
29 29 Joy may yet be thine, for mouth that kisses the dust, 29
Jod. Ponet in pulvere os suum,
si forte sit spes.
30 δώσει τῷ παίοντι αὐτὸν σιαγόνα χορτασθήσεται ὀνειδισμῶν 30 Jeering of the multitude, and cheek buffeted in scorn, bravely endured. 30
Jod. Dabit percutienti se maxillam:
saturabitur opprobriis.
31 ὅτι οὐκ εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα ἀπώσεται κύριος 31 Know for certain, the Lord has not finally abandoned thee; 31
Caph. Quia non repellet
in sempiternum Dominus.
32 ὅτι ὁ ταπεινώσας οἰκτιρήσει κατὰ τὸ πλῆθος τοῦ ἐλέους αὐτοῦ 32 Kind welcome the outcast shall have, from one so rich in kindness. 32
Caph. Quia si abjecit, et miserebitur,
secundum multitudinem misericordiarum suarum.
33 ὅτι οὐκ ἀπεκρίθη ἀπὸ καρδίας αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐταπείνωσεν υἱοὺς ἀνδρός 33 Kin of Adam he will not crush or cast away wantonly; 33
Caph. Non enim humiliavit ex corde suo
et abjecit filios hominum.
34 τοῦ ταπεινῶσαι ὑπὸ τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ πάντας δεσμίους γῆς 34 Let there be oppression of the poor under duress, 34
Lamed. Ut conteret sub pedibus suis
omnes vinctos terræ.
35 τοῦ ἐκκλῖναι κρίσιν ἀνδρὸς κατέναντι προσώπου ὑψίστου 35 Law’s right denied, such as the most High grants to all men, 35
Lamed. Ut declinaret judicium viri
in conspectu vultus Altissimi.
36 καταδικάσαι ἄνθρωπον ἐν τῷ κρίνεσθαι αὐτὸν κύριος οὐκ εἶπεν 36 Lying perversion of justice, then he cannot overlook it.[3] 36
Lamed. Ut perverteret hominem in judicio suo;
Dominus ignoravit.
37 τίς οὕτως εἶπεν καὶ ἐγενήθη κύριος οὐκ ἐνετείλατο 37 Man may foretell; only the Lord brings his word to pass; 37
Mem. Quis est iste qui dixit ut fieret,
Domino non jubente?
38 ἐκ στόματος ὑψίστου οὐκ ἐξελεύσεται τὰ κακὰ καὶ τὸ ἀγαθόν 38 Mingled good and evil proceed both from the will of the most High; 38
Mem. Ex ore Altissimi non egredientur
nec mala nec bona?
39 τί γογγύσει ἄνθρωπος ζῶν ἀνὴρ περὶ τῆς ἁμαρτίας αὐτοῦ 39 Mortal is none may repine; let each his own sins remember. 39
Mem. Quid murmuravit homo vivens,
vir pro peccatis suis?
40 ἐξηρευνήθη ἡ ὁδὸς ἡμῶν καὶ ἠτάσθη καὶ ἐπιστρέψωμεν ἕως κυρίου 40 Narrowly our path scan we, and to the Lord return; 40
Nun. Scrutemur vias nostras, et quæramus,
et revertamur ad Dominum.
41 ἀναλάβωμεν καρδίας ἡμῶν ἐπὶ χειρῶν πρὸς ὑψηλὸν ἐν οὐρανῷ 41 Never hand or heart but must point heavenward this day! 41
Nun. Levemus corda nostra cum manibus
ad Dominum in cælos.
42 ἡμαρτήσαμεν ἠσεβήσαμεν καὶ οὐχ ἱλάσθης 42 Nothing but defiant transgression on our part; and shouldst thou relent? 42
Nun. Nos inique egimus, et ad iracundiam provocavimus;
idcirco tu inexorabilis es.
43 ἐπεσκέπασας ἐν θυμῷ καὶ ἀπεδίωξας ἡμᾶς ἀπέκτεινας οὐκ ἐφείσω 43 Over our heads thy angry vengeance lowered; smiting, thou wouldst not spare. 43
Samech. Operuisti in furore, et percussisti nos;
occidisti, nec pepercisti.
44 ἐπεσκέπασας νεφέλην σεαυτῷ εἵνεκεν προσευχῆς 44 Oh, barrier of cloud, our prayers had no strength to pierce! 44
Samech. Opposuisti nubem tibi,
ne transeat oratio.
45 καμμύσαι με καὶ ἀπωσθῆναι ἔθηκας ἡμᾶς ἐν μέσῳ τῶν λαῶν 45 Offscouring and refuse of mankind thou hast made us, 45
Samech. Eradicationem et abjectionem posuisti me
in medio populorum.
46 διήνοιξαν ἐ{F'} ἡμᾶς τὸ στόμα αὐτῶν πάντες οἱ ἐχθροὶ ἡμῶν 46 Put to shame by the mocking grimaces of our enemies. 46
Phe. Aperuerunt super nos os suum
omnes inimici.
47 φόβος καὶ θυμὸς ἐγενήθη ἡμῖν ἔπαρσις καὶ συντριβή 47 Prophets we had, but their word was peril and pitfall, and ruin at the last.[4] 47
Phe. Formido et laqueus facta est nobis
vaticinatio, et contritio.
48 ἀφέσεις ὑδάτων κατάξει ὁ ὀφθαλμός μου ἐπὶ τὸ σύντριμμα τῆς θυγατρὸς τοῦ λαοῦ μου 48 Poor Sion, for thy calamity these cheeks are furrowed with tears; 48
Phe. Divisiones aquarum deduxit oculus meus,
in contritione filiæ populi mei.
49 ὁ ὀφθαλμός μου κατεπόθη καὶ οὐ σιγήσομαι τοῦ μὴ εἶναι ἔκνηψιν 49 Quell if thou wouldst the restless fever of my weeping, 49
Ain. Oculus meus afflictus est, nec tacuit,
eo quod non esset requies.
50 ἕως οὗ διακύψῃ καὶ ἴδῃ κύριος ἐξ οὐρανοῦ 50 Quickly, Lord, look down from heaven and pay heed to us, 50
Ain. Donec respiceret et videret
Dominus de cælis.
51 ὁ ὀφθαλμός μου ἐπιφυλλιεῖ ἐπὶ τὴν ψυχήν μου παρὰ πάσας θυγατέρας πόλεως 51 Quite forspent, eye and soul, with grief Jerusalem’s daughters bear.[5] 51
Ain. Oculus meus deprædatus est animam meam
in cunctis filiabus urbis meæ.
52 θηρεύοντες ἐθήρευσάν με ὡς στρουθίον οἱ ἐχθροί μου δωρεάν 52 Relentless as hawk in air they pursued me, enemies unprovoked, 52
Sade. Venatione ceperunt me quasi avem
inimici mei gratis.
53 ἐθανάτωσαν ἐν λάκκῳ ζωήν μου καὶ ἐπέθηκαν λίθον ἐ{P'} ἐμοί 53 Reft me of life itself, sealed with a stone my prison door. 53
Sade. Lapsa est in lacum vita mea,
et posuerunt lapidem super me.
54 ὑπερεχύθη ὕδωρ ἐπὶ κεφαλήν μου εἶπα ἀπῶσμαι 54 Round my head the waters closed, and I had given myself up for lost, 54
Sade. Inundaverunt aquæ super caput meum;
dixi: Perii.
55 ἐπεκαλεσάμην τὸ ὄνομά σου κύριε ἐκ λάκκου κατωτάτου 55 Save for one hope; to thee, Lord, I cried from the pit’s depth, 55
Coph. Invocavi nomen tuum, Domine,
de lacu novissimo.
56 φωνήν μου ἤκουσας μὴ κρύψῃς τὰ ὦτά σου εἰς τὴν δέησίν μου 56 Sure of thy audience; wouldst thou turn a deaf ear to sighs of complaint? 56
Coph. Vocem meam audisti; ne avertas aurem tuam
a singultu meo et clamoribus.
57 εἰς τὴν βοήθειάν μου ἤγγισας ἐν ᾗ σε ἡμέρᾳ ἐπεκαλεσάμην εἶπάς μοι μὴ φοβοῦ 57 Summoned, thou didst come to my side, whispering, Do not be afraid. 57
Coph. Appropinquasti in die quando invocavi te;
dixisti: Ne timeas.
58 ἐδίκασας κύριε τὰς δίκας τῆς ψυχῆς μου ἐλυτρώσω τὴν ζωήν μου 58 Thine, Lord, to take my part; thine to rescue me from death; 58
Res. Judicasti, Domine, causam animæ meæ,
redemptor vitæ meæ.
59 εἶδες κύριε τὰς ταραχάς μου ἔκρινας τὴν κρίσιν μου 59 The malice of my enemies to discover, my wrongs to redress. 59
Res. Vidisti, Domine, iniquitatem illorum adversum me:
judica judicium meum.
60 εἶδες πᾶσαν τὴν ἐκδίκησιν αὐτῶν εἰς πάντας διαλογισμοὺς αὐτῶν ἐν ἐμοί 60 Thrust away from thy sight, the grudge they bear me, the ill they purpose, 60
Res. Vidisti omnem furorem,
universas cogitationes eorum adversum me.
61 ἤκουσας τὸν ὀνειδισμὸν αὐτῶν πάντας τοὺς διαλογισμοὺς αὐτῶν κα{T'} ἐμοῦ 61 Unheard by thee their taunts, their whispered plottings? 61
Sin. Audisti opprobrium eorum, Domine,
omnes cogitationes eorum adversum me.
62 χείλη ἐπανιστανομένων μοι καὶ μελέτας αὐτῶν κα{T'} ἐμοῦ ὅλην τὴν ἡμέραν 62 Uttered aloud or in secret, their malice assails me from morn till night; 62
Sin. Labia insurgentium mihi, et meditationes eorum
adversum me tota die.
63 καθέδραν αὐτῶν καὶ ἀνάστασιν αὐτῶν ἐπίβλεψον ἐπὶ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτῶν 63 Up in arms, or met in secret conclave, ever against me they raise the battle-song. 63
Sin. Sessionem eorum et resurrectionem eorum vide;
ego sum psalmus eorum.
64 ἀποδώσεις αὐτοῖς ἀνταπόδομα κύριε κατὰ τὰ ἔργα τῶν χειρῶν αὐτῶν 64 Visit them with the punishment their ill deeds have earned; 64
Thau. Redes eis vicem, Domine,
juxta opera manuum suarum.
65 ἀποδώσεις αὐτοῖς ὑπερασπισμὸν καρδίας μόχθον σου αὐτοῖς 65 Veiled be those blind hearts with fresh blindness of thy own making; 65
Thau. Dabis eis scutum cordis,
laborem tuum.
66 καταδιώξεις ἐν ὀργῇ καὶ ἐξαναλώσεις αὐτοὺς ὑποκάτω τοῦ οὐρανοῦ κύριε 66 Vanish from the earth their whole brood, ere thy vengeance leaves off pursuing them! 66
Thau. Persequeris in furore, et conteres eos
sub cælis, Domine.
Copyright © 2020 by Kevin Knight. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.