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The Lamentations of Jeremy




The First Chapter

ALEPH
     Alas, how sits the city so desolate, that once was so full of people? Now she has become like a widow! she was the lady of all nations; Now is she brought under tribute, that ruled all lands.

BETH
     She weeps sore in the night, so that the tears run down her cheeks: for among all her lovers, there is none that give her any comfort: yea her next friends abhor her, and are become her enemies.

GIMEL
     Judah is taken prisoner, because she was defiled: and for serving so many strange gods, she dwells now among the heathen. She finds no rest: all that persecute her, took her, and so she dwells among her enemies.

DALETH
     The streets of Zion mourn, because no man comes to the solemn feasts. All her gates are desolate, her priests make lamentations, her maidens are careful , and she herself is in great heaviness.

HE
     Her enemies are fallen upon her head, and have put her to shame: because the Lord has chastened her for her great wickedness: her children are lead away captive before their enemy.

UAU
     All the beauty of the daughter of Zion is away, her princes have become like wethers (a castrated male sheep) that find no pasture. They are driven away before their enemy, for they have no power.

ZAIN
     Now does Jerusalem remember the time of her misery and disobedience, yes the joy and pleasure that she had in the times past: seeing her people brought down through the power of their enemy, and their is no man for to help her: her enemies staid looking at her and laughing her Sabbath days to scorn.

HETH
     Jerusalem sinned ever more and more, therefore she has come into decay. All they that had her in honor, despise her: for they have seen her filthiness. Yes she sighs, and is shamed of herself.

TETH
     Her skirts are defiled, she remembers not what would follow: therefore is her fall so great, and there is no man to comfort her. O' Lord, consider my trouble, for my enemy has the upper hand.

FOD
     The enemy has put his hand to all the precious things that she had, Yes even before her eyes came the heathen in and out of the sanctuary: whom you never the less have forbidden to come within your congregation.

CAPH
     All her people seek their bread with heavens, and look what precious things every man has, that he gives for meat, to save his life. Consider, O' Lord, and see, how vile I am became.

LAMED
     O you all that go by, behold and see, if there be any sorrow like unto mine, where with the Lord has troubled me, in the day of his fearful wrath.

MEM
     From above has he sent down a fire into my bones and chastened me: he has laid a net for my feet, and thrown me wide open: he has made me desolate, so that I must be ever mourning.

NUN
     The pock of my transgressions is come at last, with his hand he has taken it up and put it about my neck. My strength is gone: the Lord has delivered me into those hands, where from I can not quite my self.

SAMECH
     The Lord has destroyed all the mighty men, that were in me. He has declared a feast , to slaughter all my best men. The Lord has trod down the daughter of Juda, like as it were a wine press.

AIN
     Therefore do I weep, mine eyes gush out of water: for the comforter that should quicken, me is far from me. My children are driven away, for why ?the enemy has gotten the upper hand.

PHE
     Zion casts out her hands, and there is no man to comfort her. The Lord has laid the enemies round about Jacob, and Jerusalem is as a menstruous woman in the middle of them.

ZADE
     The Lord is righteous; for I provoked his countenance into anger. O take heed all you people, and consider my heaviness: My maidens and my young men are lead away to captivity.

KOPH
     I called for my lovers (but they beguiled me) for my Priests and counselors, but they perished: even while they sought for meat, to have their lives.

RES
     Consider (O' Lord) how I am troubled, my womb is disquieted, my heart turns about in me, and I am full of heaviness. The sword hurts me without, and within I am like unto death.

SIN
     They hear my mourning, but there is none that will comfort me. All my enemies have heard of my trouble, and are glad thereof, because you have done it. But you shall bring forth the time, when they also shall be like unto me.

THAU
     From you shall come all their adversity: you shall pluck them away even as you has plucked me because of all my wickedness. For my sorrow is very great, and my heart is heavy.

The Second Chapter

ALEPH
     Alas, how has the Lord darkened the daughter of Sion so sore in his wrath? As for the honor of Israel, he has cast it down from heaven: Now happens it, that he remembered not his own foot stool when he was angry?

BETH
     The Lord has cast down all the glory of Jacob without any favor: all the storage places of the daughter Juda has he broken in his wrath, and thrown them down to the ground: her kingdom and her Princes has he suspended.

GIMEL
     In the wrath of his indignation he has broken all the horn of Israel: he has with drawn his right hand from the enemy: Yes a flame of fire is kindled in Jacob, and has consumed up all round about.

DALETH
     He has bent his bow like an enemy, he fastened his right hand as an adversary: and everything that was pleasant to see, he has smitten it down. He poured out his wrath like fire, into the tabernacle of the daughter of Sion.

HE
     The Lord is become as it were an enemy, he has cast down Israel and all his places: Yes all his strongholds he has destroyed, and filled the daughter of Juda with much sorrow and heaviness.

UAU
     Her tabernacle (which was like a garden of pleasure) has he destroyed: her high solemn feasts has he put down. The Lord has brought it so to pass, that the high solemn feasts and Sabbaths in Sion, are clean forgotten. In his heavy displeasure has he made the king and priests to be defiled.

ZAIN
     The Lord has forsaken his own alter, and is wroth with his own sanctuary, and has given the walls of their towns into the hands of the enemy. Their enemies made a noise in the house of the Lord, as it had been in a solemn feast day.
Neth
     The Lord thought to break down the walls of the daughter of Sion, he spread out his line, and drew not in his hand, till he had destroyed them. Therefore mourn the turrets and the broken walls together.

TETH
     Her ports are cast down to the ground, her bars are broken and smitten in sunder: her king and princes are carried away to the gentiles. They have nether law nor Prophets, nor yet any vision from the Lord.

FOD
     The Senators of the daughter Sion sit upon the ground in silence: they have strewed ashes upon their heads, and girded themselves with sack cloth. The maidens of Jerusalem hang their heads down to the ground.
Caph
     Mine eyes begin to fail me through weeping, my body is disquieted, my lever is poured upon the earth, for the great hurt of my people, saying the children and the babes did swoon in the streets of the city.

LAMED
     Even when they speak to their mothers: where is meat and drink; for while they were speaking, they fell down in the streets of the city, like as they had been wounded, and some died in their mothers bosom.

MEM
     What shall I say of the, O you daughter of Jerusalem, to whom shall I liken you? To whom shall I compare the, O you daughter of Sion, to comfort you withal; your hurt is like a mean sea, who may heal you?
Nun
     Thy prophets have looked for vain and foolish things for you, they have not showed you of your wickedness, to keep you from captivity; and through falsehood scattered you abroad.

SAMECH
     All they that go by you, clap their hands at you: hissing and wagging their heads upon the daughter Jerusalem, and say: is this the city that men call so fair, where in the whole land rejoices.

AIN
     All you enemies gape upon you, whispering and biting their teeth, saying: let us devour, for the time that we looked for, is come: we have found and seen it.

PHE
     The Lord has fulfilled the thing, that he was purposed to do: and performed that he had devised long ago: he has destroyed, and not spared. He has caused your adversaries to triumph over you, and set up the horn of your enemy.
Zade
     Let your heart cry unto the Lord, O you city of the daughter of Zion: let tears run down like a river day and night: rest not, and let not the apple of your eye leave off.

KOPH
     Stand up and make your prayer in the first watch of the night, pour out your heart before the Lord: lift up your hands for the lives of your young children, that die of hunger in the streets.

RES
     Behold, O' Lord, and consider, why have you gathered me up so clean: Shall the women eat their own fruit, even children of a spanne long: Shall the priests and the prophets be slain thus in the Sanctuary of the Lord?

SIN
     Young and old lie behind the streets upon the ground in, my maidens and young men are fallen with the sword: whom you in the day of your wrathful indignation has put to death: yes even you have put them to death, and not spared them.

THAU
     My neighbors that are round about me, have you called, as it were to a feast day: so that in the day of the Lords wrath none escaped, neither was any left behind. Those that I had brought up and nourished, has my enemy destroyed.

The Third Chapter

ALEPH
     I am the man, that (through the rod of his wrath) have experience of misery.
He drove me forth, and led me: yes into the darkness, but not into the light. Against me only he turned his hand, and lays ever upon me.

BETH
     My flesh and my skin has he made old, my bones has he bruised.
     He has builded round about me, and closed me in with gall and travail.
     He has set me in darkness, as they that be dead for ever.

GIMEL
     He has so hedged me in, that I cannot get out, and has laid heavy linches (chains) upon me.
     Though I cry and call piteously, yet hears he not my prayer.
     He has stopped up my ways with four square stones, and made my paths crooked.

DALETH
     He lies wait for me as a bear, and as a lion in a hole.
     He has marred my ways, and broken me in pieces: he has laid me waste altogether.
     He has bent his bow, and made me as it were a mark to shot at.

NE
     The arrows of his quiver has he shot, even into my reins.
     I am laughed to scorn of all my people, they make songs upon me all the day long.
     He has filled me with bitterness, and given me wormwood to drink.

UAU
     He has smitten my teeth in pieces, and rolled me in the dust.
     He has put my soul out of rest, I forget all good things.
     I thought in myself: I am undone, there is no hope for me in the Lord.

ZAIN
     O remember my misery and my trouble, the wormwood and the gall.
     Yes you shall remember them, for my soul melts away in me.
     While I consider these things in my heart, I get a hope again

NETH
     Namely, that the mercies of the Lord are not clean gone, and that his loving kindness ceases not.
     His faithfulness is great and renews it self in the morning.
     The Lord is my portion says my soul, therefore will I hope in him.

TETH
     O how good is the Lord unto them that put their trust in him, and the soul that seeks after him:
     O how good is it with stillness to wait and tarry, for the health of the Lord.
O how good is it for a man, to take the yoke upon him from his youth up.

FOD
     He sits alone, he holds him still, and dwells quietly by himself.
     He lays his face upon the earth, if (percase) there happen to be any hope.
     He offers his cheek to the smiter, he will be content with reproves.

CAPH
     For the Lord will not forsake for ever.
     But though he do cast off, yet according to the multitude of his mercies, he receives to grace again.
     For he does not plague, and cast out the children of men from his heart.

LAMED
     To tread all the prisoners of the earth under his feet ,
     To move the judgement of man before the most highest.
     To condemn a man in his cause; The Lord has no pleasure in such things.

MEM
     What is he then that says: there should something be done without the Lords commandment:
     Out of the mouth of the most Highest goes not evil and good?
Wherefore then murmurs the living man: let him murmur at his own sin.

NUN
     Let us look well upon our own ways, and remember ourselves, and turn again to the Lord.
     Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto the Lord that is in heaven.
     We have been dissemblers, and have offended, will you therefore not be entreated?

SAMECH
     You have covered us in your wrath, and persecuted us, you have slain us, without any favor.
     You have hidden yourself in a cloud, that our prayer should go through.
     You have made us outcasts, and to be despised among the heathen.

AIN
     All our enemies gape upon us.
     Fear and a snare is come upon us, despite and destruction.
     Whole rivers of water gush out of mine eyes, for the great hurt of my people.

PHE
     Mine eyes run, and cannot cease, for there is no rest.
     O' Lord, when will you look down from heaven, and consider.
     Mine eye breaks my heart, because of all the daughters of my city.

ZADE
     Mine enemies hunted me out sharply, like a bird, yes and that without cause.
     They have put down my life into a pit, and laid a stone upon me.
     They poured water upon my head, then thought I: now I am undone.

KOPH
     I called upon your name, O' Lord, out of the deep pit.
     You have heard my voice, and have not turned away your ears from my sighing and crying.
     You have inclined your self unto me, when I called upon you, and have said: fear not.

RES
     You (O' Lord), have maintained the cause of my soul, and have redeemed my life.
     O' Lord, you have seen my blasphemers, take you my cause upon you.
     You have well considered how they go about to do me harm, and that all their councils are against me.

SIN
     You have heard their despiteful words (O' Lord), yes and all their imaginations against me.
     The lips of mine enemies, and their devices that they take against me, all the day long.
     You see also their sitting down and their rising up, they make their songs of nothing but me.

THAU
     Reward them, (O' Lord), according to the work of their hands.
     Give them the thing, that their own heart is afraid of: even your curse.
     Persecute them (O' Lord) with your indignation, and root them out from under heaven.

The Fourth Chapter

ALEPH
     O How is the gold become so dim? How is the goodly color of it so fore changed? and the stones of the sanctuary thus scattered in the corner of the streets ?

BETH
     The children of Zion that were always in honor, and clothed with the most precious gold: how are they now become like the earthen vessels which be made with the potters hand.

GIMEL
     The Lamies give their young ones suck with bare breasts: but the daughter of my people is evil, and dwells in the wilderness: like the Ostriches.

DALETH
     The tongue of the sucking children, cleaves to the roof of their mouths for very thirst. The young children ask bread, but there is no man, that gives it them.

HE
     They that were want to fair delicately, perish in the streets: they that were brought up in purple, make now much of dung.

UAU
     The sin of the daughter of my people is become greater than the wickedness of Sodom, that suddenly was destroyed, and not taken with hands.
Zain
     Her abstainers (or Nazarees) were whiter than the snow or milk: their color was fresh red as the Corall, their beauty like the sapphire.

BETH
     But now their faces are very black: In so much, that you should not know them in the streets. Their skin cleaves to their bones, It is withered, and become like dry stock.

TETH
     They that be slain with the sword, are happier than such as die of hunger, and perish away famishing for the fruits of the field.

FOD
     The women (which of nature are pitiful) have sodden their own children with their hands that they might be their meat, in the miserable destruction of the daughter if my people.

CAPH
     The Lord has performed his terrible wrath: he has poured out the furiousness of his displeasure. He has kindled a fire in Sion, which has consumed the foundations thereof.

LAMED
     Neither kings of the earth, nor all the inhabitors of the world, would have believed that the enemy and adversary should have come at the gates of the city of *Hierusalem. *(this spelling is exact, possibly Jerusalem ATSL)

MEM
     Which nevertheless is come to pass for the sins of her prophets, and for the wickedness of her Priests that have shed innocents blood within her.

NUN
     So that these blind men went stumbling in the streets, and stained themselves with blood, which else would touch no bloody cloth.

SAMECH
     But they cried unto every man: flee the staining, away, get you from here, now, touch it not. Yes (say they) you must be burnt, you must dwell among the Gentiles, and bide no longer her.

AIN
     The countenance of the Lord has banished them, and shall never look more upon them: For they themselves neither regarded the priests, not pitied the elders.

PHE
     Wherefore yet our eyes fail us, while we look for vain help: seeing we be ever waiting upon a people, that can do us no good.

ZADE
     They lay so sharp wait for us, that we can not go safe upon the streets: for our end is come, our days are fulfilled, our end is here.

KOPH
     Our persecutors are swifter then the Aeges (eagles) of the air, they followed upon us over the mountains, and layed wait for us in the wilderness.

RES
     The very breath of our mouth: even the anointed Lord himself shall be taken in our sins, of whom we say: Under his shadow we shall be preserved among the Heathen.

SIN
     And you (O daughter Edom) that dwell in the land of Huz, be glad and rejoice: for the cup shall come unto you also, which when you sup of it you shall be drunk.

THAU
     Thy sin is well punished (O you daughter Sion) he shall not allow you to be carried away any more. But your wickedness (O daughter Edom) shall he visit, and for your sins sake, he shall lead you in to captivity.



The Fifth Chapter

     Call to remembrance, (O' Lord) what we have suffered, consider and see our confusion. Our inheritance is turned to the strangers, and our houses to the aliens. We are become careful and fatherless, and our mothers are as the widows. We have *faine (obliged / willing, happy) to drink our own water for money, and our own wood must we buy with money. Our necks are under persecution, we are weary, and have no rest.
     Before time we yielded to the Egyptians, and to the Assyrians, only that we might have enough bread. Our fathers (which are now gone) have sinned, and we must bear their wickedness. Servants have rule over us, and no man delivers us out of their hands. We must get our living with the peril of our lives because of the drought of the wilderness.
     Our skin is as it had been burnt in an oven, for very sore hunger. The wives are ravished in Sion, and the maidens in the cities of Judah. The princes are hanged up with the hand of the enemies, they have not spared the old *sage (wise) men, they have taken young mens lives from them, and the boys are hanged up upon trees. The elders sit no more under the gates, and the young men use no more the playing of Music. The joy of our heart is gone, our merry *query (seeking) is turned into mourning. The garland of our head is fallen: alas, that ever we sinned so sore.
     Therefore our heart is full of heaviness, and our eyes dim: because of the hill of Sion that is destroyed. In so much that the foxes run upon it. But you, O' Lord, that remains for evermore, and your seat world without end: Wherefore will you still forget us, and forsake us so long? O' Lord, turn you us unto you, and so shall we be turned. Renew our days as in the old times, for you have banished us now long enough, and have been sore displeased at us.

The end of the Lamentations of Jeremy


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