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The Lamentations of Jeremy

 

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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 weepeth 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 dwelleth now among the heathen. She findeth no rest: all that persecute her, took her, and so she dwelleth 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 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 sigheth, and is shamed of herself.

Teth

      Her skirts are defiled, she remembereth 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 hath 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 thou never the less hast forbidden to come within your congregation.

Caph

      All her people seek their bread with heavens, and look what precious things every man hath, 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 hath troubled me, in the day of his fearful wrath.

Mem

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

Nun

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

Samech

      The Lord hath destroyed all the mighty men, that were in me. He hath declared a feast , to slaughter all my best men. The Lord hath 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 casteth out her hands, and there is no man to comfort her. The Lord hath 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 turneth about in me, and I am full of heaviness. The sword hurteth 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 thou hast done it. But thou shalt bring forth the time, when they also shall be like unto me.

Thau

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

 

*wethers (a castrated male sheep)

 

 

 

Chapter 2

Aleph

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

Beth

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

Gimel

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

Daleth

      He hath bent his bow like an enemy, he fastened his right hand as an adversary: and everything that was pleasant to see, he hath 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 hath cast down Israel and all his places: Yes all his strongholds he hath destroyed, and filled the daughter of Juda with much sorrow and heaviness.

Uau

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

Zain

      The Lord hath forsaken his own alter, and is wroth with his own sanctuary, and hath 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 thou daughter of Jerusalem, to whom shall I liken thee? To whom shall I compare the, O thou daughter of Sion, to comfort thee withal; Thy hurt is like a mean sea, who may heal thee?

Nun

      Thy prophets have looked for vain and foolish things for thee, they have not showed thee of thy wickedness, to keep thee from captivity; and through falsehood scattered thee abroad.

Samech

      All they that go by thee, clap their hands at thee: 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 thee enemies gape upon thee, 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 hath fulfilled the thing, that he was purposed to do: and performed that he had devised long ago: he hath destroyed, and not spared. He hath caused thine adversaries to triumph over thee, and set up the horn of thine enemy.

Zade

      Let thine heart cry unto the Lord, O thou city of the daughter of Zion: let tears run down like a river day and night: rest not, and let not the apple of thine eye leave off.

Koph

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

Res

      Behold, O' Lord, and consider, why hast thou 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 thou in the day of thy wrathful indignation hath put to death: yes even thou hast put them to death, and not spared them.

Thau

      My neighbors that are round about me, hast thou 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, hath my enemy destroyed.

 

 

 

Chapter 3

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 layeth ever upon me.

Beth

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

Gimel

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

Daleth

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

Ne

      The arrows of his quiver hath 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 hath filled me with bitterness, and given me wormwood to drink.

Uau

      He hath smitten my teeth in pieces, and rolled me in the dust.
      He hath 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 thou shalt remember them, for my soul melteth 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 reneweth it self in the morning.
      The Lord is my portion saith 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 seeketh 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 sitteth alone, he holdeth him still, and dwelleth quietly by himself.
      He layeth his face upon the earth, if (percase) there happen to be any hope.      
      He offereth 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 receiveth to grace again.
      For he doth 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 hath no pleasure in such things.

Mem

      What is he then that saith: there should something be done without the Lords commandment: Out of the mouth of the most Highest goeth not evil and good?
      Wherefore then murmureth 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 thou therefore not be entreated?

Samech

      Thou hast covered us in thy wrath, and persecuted us, thou hast slain us, without any favor.
      Thou hast hidden thyself in a cloud, that our prayer should go through.
      Thou hast 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 thou look down from heaven, and consider.
      Mine eye breaketh 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 thy name, O' Lord, out of the deep pit.
      Thou hast heard my voice, and hast not turned away thine ears from my sighing and crying.
      Thou hast inclined thy self unto me, when I called upon thee, and hast said: fear not.

Res

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

Sin

      Thou hast 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.
      Thou seest 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 thy curse.
      Persecute them (O' Lord) with thine indignation, and root them out from under heaven.

 

*linches (chains).

 

 

 

Chapter 4

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 dwelleth in the wilderness: like the Ostriches.

Daleth

      The tongue of the sucking children, cleaveth to the roof of their mouths for very thirst. The young children ask bread, but there is no man, that giveth 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 thou shouldest not know them in the streets. Their skin cleaveth 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 of my people.

Caph

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

Lamed

      Neither kings of the earth, ner 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.

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 hence, touch it not. Yee ( say they ) ye must be burnt, ye must dwell among the Gentiles, and bide no longer her.

Ain

      The countenance of the Lord hath 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 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 thou (O daughter Edom ) that dwellest in the land of Huz, be glad and rejoice: for the cup shall come unto thee also, which when thou suppest of it thou shall be drunk.

Thau

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

 

*Hierusalem. *( this spelling is exact, possibly Jerusalem )
*Aeges (eagles)

 

 

 

Chapter 5      

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 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.
      Afore 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 delivereth us out of their hands. We must get our living with the peril of our lives because of the *drouth 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 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 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 thou, O' Lord, that remainest for evermore, and thy seat world without end: Wherefore wilt thou still forget us, and forsake us so long? O' Lord, turn thou us unto thee, and so shall we be turned. Renew our days as in the old times, for thou hast banished us now long enough, and hast been sore displeased at us.

 

*faine (obliged / willing, happy) *drouth (drought) *sage (wise) *query (seeking)

 

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