2“Perish the day I was born
and the night that said, ‘A man is conceived.’
3May that day be darkness,
may God on high not seek it,
may no light shine on it,
4may gloom dark as death defile it,
may clouds settle on it,
may it be terrified by its own blackness.
5“As for that night, may thick darkness seize it,
may it not be joined to the days of the year,
may it not be numbered among the months;
6may that night be desolate,
may no cry of joy be heard in it;
7may those who curse days curse it,
those who[se curses] could rouse Livyatan;
8may the stars of its twilight be dark,
may it look for light but get none,
may it never see the shimmer of dawn —
9because it didn’t shut the doors of the womb I was in
and shield my eyes from trouble.
10“If I had been stillborn,
if I had died at birth,
11had there been no knees to receive me
or breasts for me to suck.
12Then I would be lying still and in peace,
I would have slept and been at rest,
13along with kings and their earthly advisers,
who rebuilt ruins for themselves,
14or with princes who had [plenty of] gold,
who filled their houses with silver.
15Or I could have been like a hidden, miscarried
child that never saw light.
16“There the wicked cease their raging,
there the weary are at rest,
17prisoners live at peace together
without hearing a taskmaster’s yells.
18Great and small alike are there,
and the slave is free of his master.
19“So why must light be given to the miserable
and life to the bitter in spirit?
20They long for death, but it never comes;
they search for it more than for buried treasure;
21when at last they find the grave,
they are so happy they shout for joy.
22[Why give light] to a man who wanders blindly,
whom God shuts in on every side?
23“My sighing serves in place of my food,
and my groans pour out in a torrent;
24for the thing I feared has overwhelmed me,
what I dreaded has happened to me.
25I have no peace, no quiet, no rest;
and anguish keeps coming.”