THE LAMENTATIONS OF JEREMY
For the most part according to Tremelius
HOW sits this citie, late most populous,
Thus solitary, and like a widdow thus!
Amplest of Nations, Queene of Provinces
She was, who now this tributary is!
Still in the night shee weepes, and her teares fall
Downe by her cheeks along, and none of all
Her lovers comfort her; Perfidiously
Her friends have dealt, and now are enemie.
Unto great bondage, and affliction
Juda is captive led; Those nations
With whom shee dwells, no place of rest afford,
In straights shee meets her Persecutors sword.
Emptie are the gates of Sion, and her waies
Mourne, because none come to her solemne dayes.
Her Priests doe groane, her maides are comfortless,
And shee's unto her selfe a bitternesse.
Her foes are growne her head, and live at Peace,
Because when her transgressions did increase,
The Lord strooke her with sadnesse: Th'enemie
Doth drive her children to captivitie.
From Sions daughter is all beauty gone,
Like Harts, which seeke for Pasture, and find none,
Her Princes are, and now before the foe
Which still pursues them, without strength they go.
Now in her daies of Teares, Jerusalem
(Her men slaine by the foe, none succouring them)
Remembers what of old, shee esteemed most,
Whilest her foes laugh at her, for what she hath lost.
Jerusalem hath sinn'd, therefore is shee
Remov'd, as women in uncleannesse bee;
Who honor'd, scorne her, for her foulnesse they
Have seene; her selfe doth groane, and turne away.
Her foulnesse in her skirts was seene, yet she
Remembered not her end; Miraculously
Therefore she fell, none comforting: Behold
O Lord my affliction, for the Foe growes bold.
Upon all things where her delight hath beene,
The foe hath stretch'd his hand, for shee hath seene
Heathen, whom thou command'st, should not doe so,
Into her holy Sanctuary goe.
And all her people groane, and seeke for bread;
And they have given, only to be fed,
All precious things, wherein their pleasure lay:
How cheape I'am growne, O Lord, behold, and weigh.
All this concerns not you, who passe by mee,
O see, and marke if any sorrow bee
Like to my sorrow, which Jehova hath
Done to mee in the day of his fierce wrath?
That fire, which by himselfe is governed
He hath cast from heaven on my bones, and spred
A net before my feet, and mee o'rthrowne,
And made me languish all the day alone.
His hand hath of my sinnes framed a yoake
Which wreath'd, and cast upon my neck, hath broke
My strength. The Lord unto those enemies
Hath given mee, from whom I cannot rise.
He under foot hath troden in my sight
My strong men; He did company invite
To breake my young men; he the winepresse hath
Trod upon Juda's daughter in his wrath.
For these things doe I weepe, mine eye, mine eye
Casts water out; For he which should be nigh
To comfort mee, is now departed farre;
The foe prevailes, forlorne my children are.
There's none, though Sion do stretch out her hand,
To comfort her, it is the Lords command
That Jacobs foes girt him. Jerusalem
Is as an uncleane woman amongst them.
But yet the Lord is just, and righteous still,
I have rebell'd against his holy will;
O heare all people, and my sorrow see,
My maides, my young men in captivitie.
I called for my lovers then, but they
Deceiv'd mee, and my Priests, and Elders lay
Dead in the citie; for they sought for meat
Which should refresh their soules, they could not get.
Because I am in straights, Jehova see
My heart o'rturnd, my bowells muddy bee,
Because I have rebell'd so much, as fast
The sword without, as death within, doth wast.
Of all which heare I mourne, none comforts mee,
My foes have heard my griefe, and glad they be,
That thou hast done it; But thy promis'd day
Will come, when, as I suffer, so shall they.
Let all their wickednesse appeare to thee,
Doe unto them, as thou hast done to mee,
For all my sinnes: The sighs which I have had
Are very many, and my heart is sad.
How over Sions daughter hath God hung
His wraths thicke cloud! and from heaven hath flung
To earth the beauty of Israel, and hath
Forgot his footstools in the day of wrath!
The Lord unsparingly hath swallowed
All Jacob's dwellings, and demolished
To ground the strengths of Juda, and prophan'd
The Princes of the Kingdome, and the land.
In heat of wrath, the home of Israel hee
Hath cleane cut off, and lest the enemie
Be hindred, his right hand he doth retire,
But is towards Jacob, All-devouring fire.
Like to an enemie he bent his bow,
His right hand was in posture of a foe,
To kill what Sions daughter did desire,
'Gainst whom his wrath, he poured forth, like fire.
For like an enemie Jehova is,
Devouring Israel, and his Palaces,
Destroying holds, giving additions
To Juda's daughters lamentations.
Like to a garden hedge he hath cast downe
The place where was his congregation,
And Sions feasts and sabbaths are forgot;
Her King, her Priest, his wrath regardeth not.
The Lord forsakes his Altar, and detests
His Sanctuary, and in the foes hand rests
His Palace, and the walls, in which their cries
Are heard, as in the true solemnities.
The Lord hath cast a line, so to confound
And levell Sions walls unto the ground;
He drawes not back his hand, which doth oreturne
The wall, and Rampart, which together mourne.
Their gates are sunke into the ground, and hee
Hath broke the barres; their King and Princes bee
Amongst the heathen, without law, nor there
Unto their Prophets doth the Lord appeare.
There Sions Elders on the ground are plac'd,
And silence keepe; Dust on their heads they cast,
In sackcloth have they girt themselves, and low
The Virgins towards ground, their heads do throw.
My bowells are growne muddy, and mine eyes
Are faint with weeping: and my liver lies
Pour'd out upon the ground, for miserie
That sucking children in the streets doe die.
When they had cryed unto their Mothers, where
Shall we have bread, and drinke? they fainted there,
And in the streets like wounded persons lay
Till 'twixt their mothers breasts they went away.
Daughter Jerusalem, Oh what may bee
A witnesses or comparison for thee?
Sion, to ease thee, what shall I name like thee?
Thy breach is like the sea, what help can bee?
For thee vaine foolish things thy Prophets sought,
Thee, thine iniquities they have not taught,
Which might disturne thy bondage: but for thee
False burthens, and false causes they would see.
The passengers doe clap their hands, and hisse,
And wag their head at thee, and say, Is this
That citie, which so many men did call
Joy of the earth, and perfectest of all?
Thy foes doe gape upon thee, and they hisse,
And gnash their teeth, and say, Devoure wee this,
For this is certainly the day which wee
Expected, and which now we finde, and see.
The Lord hath done that which he purposed,
Fulfill'd his word of old determined;
He hath throwne downe, and not spar'd, and thy foe
Made glad above thee, and advanc'd him so.
But now, their hearts against the Lord do call,
Therefore, O walls of Sion, let teares fall
Downe like a river, day and night; take thee
No rest, but let thine eye incessant be.
Arise, cry in the night, poure, for thy sinnes,
Thy heart, like water, when the watch begins;
Lift up thy hands to God, lest children dye,
Which, faint for hunger, in the streets doe lye.
Behold O Lord, consider unto whom
Thou hast done this; what, shall the women come
To eate their children of a spanne? shall thy
Prophet and Priest be slaine in Sanctuary?
On ground in streets, the yong and old do lye,
My virgins and yong men by sword do dye;
Them in the day of try wrath thou hast slaine,
Nothing did thee from killing them container
As to a solemne feast, all whom I fear'd
Thou call'st about mee; when his wrath appear'd,
None did remaine or scape, for those which I
Brought up, did perish by mine enemie.
I AM the man which have affliction seene,
Under the rod of Gods wrath having beene,
He hath led mee to darknesse, not to light,
And against mee all day, his hand doth fight.
Hee hath broke my bones, worne out my flesh and skinne,
Built up against mee; and hath girt mee in
With hemlocke, and with labour; and set mee
In darke, as they who dead for ever bee.
Hee hath hedg'd me lest I scape, and added more
To my steele fetters, heavier than before.
When I crie out, he out shuts my prayer: And hath
Stop'd with hewn stone my way, and turn'd my path.
And like a Lion hid in secrecie,
Or Beare which lyes in wait, he was to mee.
He stops my way, teares me, made desolate,
And hee makes mee the marke he shooteth at.
Hee made the children of his quiver passe
Into my reines, I with my people was
All the day long, a song and mockery.
Hee hath fill'd mee with bitternesse, and he
Hath made me drunke with wormewood. He hath burst
My teeth with stones, and covered mee with dust;
And thus my Soule farre off from peace was set,
And my prosperity I did forget.
My strength, my hope (unto my selfe I said)
Which from the Lord should come, is perished.
But when my mournings I do thinke upon,
My wormwood, hemlocke, and affliction,
My Soule is humbled in remembring this;
My heart considers, therefore, hope there is.
'Tis Gods great mercy we'are not utterly
Consum'd, for his compassions do not die;
For every morning they renewed bee,
For great, O Lord, is thy fidelity.
The Lord is, saith my Soule, my portion,
And therefore in him will I hope alone.
The Lord is good to them, who on him relie,
And to the Soule that seeks him earnestly.
It is both good to trust, and to attend
(The Lords salvation) unto the end:
'Tis good for one his yoake in youth to beare;
He sits alone, and doth all speech forbearer
Because he hath borne it. And his mouth he layes
Deepe in the dust, yet then in hope he stayes.
He gives his cheekes to whosoever will
Strike him, and so he is reproched still.
For, not for ever doth the Lord forsake,
But when he'hath strucke with sadnes, hee doth take
Compassion, as his mercy'is infinite;
Nor is it with his heart, that he doth smite;
That underfoot the prisoners stamped bee,
That a mans right the judge himselfe doth see
To be wrung from him, That he subverted is
In his just cause; the Lord allowes not this.
Who then will say, that ought doth come to passe,
But that which by the Lord commanded was?
Both good and evill from his mouth proceeds;
Why then grieves any man for his misdeeds?
Turne wee to God, by trying out our wayes;
To him in heaven, our hands with hearts upraise.
Wee have rebell'd, and falne away from thee,
Thou pardon'st not; Usest no clemencie;
Pursuest us, kill'st us, coverest us with wrath,
Cover'st thy selfe with clouds, that our prayer hath
No power to passe. And thou hast made us fall
As refuse, and off-scouring to them all.
All our foes gape at us. Feare and a snare
With ruine, and with waste, upon us are.
With watry rivers doth mine eye oreflow
For ruine of my peoples daughter so;
Mine eye doth drop downe teares incessantly,
Untill the Lord looke downe from heaven to see.
And for my citys daughters sake, mine eye
Doth breake mine heart. Causles mine enemy,
Like a bird chac'd me. In a dungeon
They have shut my life, and cast on me a stone.
Waters flow'd o'r my head, then thought I, I am
Destroy'd; I called Lord, upon thy name
Out of the pit. And thou my voice didst heare;
Oh from my sigh, and crye, stop not thine eare.
Then when I call'd upon thee, thou drew'st nere
Unto mee, and said'st unto mee, do you feare.
Thou Lord my Soules cause handled hast, and thou
Rescud'st my life. O Lord do thou judge now,
Thou heardst my wrong. Their vengeance all they have wrought;
How they reproached, thou hast heard, and what they thought,
What their lips uttered, which against me rose,
And what was ever whisper'd by my foes.
I am their song, whether they rise or sit,
Give them rewards Lord, for their working fit,
Sorrow of heart, thy curse. And with thy might
Follow, and from under heaven destroy them quite.
HOW is the gold become so dimme? How is
Purest and finest gold thus chang'd to this?
The stones which were stones of the Sanctuary,
Scattered in corners of each street do lye.
The pretious sonnes of Sion, which should bee
Valued at purest gold, how do wee see
Low rated now, as earthen Pitchers, stand,
Which are the worke of a poore Potters hand.
Even the Sea-calfes draw their brests, and give
Sucke to their young; my peoples daughters live,
By reason of the foes great cruelnesse,
As do the Owles in the vast Wildernesse.
And when the sucking child doth strive to draw,
His tongue for thirst cleaves to his upper jaw.
And when for bread the little children crye,
There is no man that doth them satisfies
They which before were delicately fed,
Now in the streets forlorne have perished,
And they which ever were in scarlet cloath'd,
Sit and embrace the dunghills which they loathd.
The daughters of my people have sinned more,
Than did the towne of Sodome sinne before;
Which being at once destroy'd, there did remaine
No hands amongst them, to vexe them againe.
But heretofore purer her Nazarite
Was than the snow, and milke was not so white;
As carbuncles did their pure bodies shine,
And all their polish'dnesse was Saphirine.
They are darker now than blackness none can know
Them by the face, as through the streets they goe,
For now their skin doth cleave unto the bone,
And withered, is like to dry wood growne.
Better by sword than famine 'tis to dye;
And better through pierc'd, than through penury.
Women by nature pitifull have eate
'Their children drest with their owne hand for meat.
Jehova here fully accomplished hath
His indignation, and powr'd forth his wrath,
Kindled a fire in Sion, which hath power
To eate, and her foundations to devour.
Nor would the Kings of the earth, nor all which live
In the inhabitable world beleeve,
That any adversary, any foe
Into Jerusalem should enter so.
For the Priests sins, and Prophets, which have shed
Blood in the streets, and the just murthered:
Which when those men, whom they made blinde, did stray
Thorough the streets, defiled by the way
With blood, the which impossible it was
Their garments should scape touching, as they passe,
Would cry aloud, depart defiled men,
Depart, depart, and touch us not: and then
They fled, and strayd, and with the Gentiles were,
Yet told their friends, they should not long dwell there;
For this they are scattered by Jehovahs face
Who never will regard them more; No grace
Unto their old men shall the foe afford,
Nor, that they are Priests, redeeme them from the sword.
And wee as yet, for all these miseries
Desiring our vaine helpe, consume our eyes:
And such a nation as cannot save,
We in desire and speculation have.
They bunt our steps, that in the streets wee feare
To goe: our end is now approached neere,
Our dayes accomplished are, this the last day.
Eagles of heaven are not so swift as they
Which follow us, o'r mountains tops they flye
At us, and for us in the desart lye.
The annointed Lord, breath of our nostrils, hee
Of whom we said, under his shadow, wee
Shall with more ease under the Heathen dwell,
Into the pit which these men digged, fell.
Rejoyce O Edoms daughter, joyfull bee
Thou which inhabitst Huz, for unto thee
This cup shall passe, and thou with drunkennesse
Shalt fill thy selfe, and shew thy nakednesse.
And then thy sinnes O Sion, shall be spent,
The Lord will not leave thee in banishment.
Thy sinnes O Edoms daughter, hee will see,
And for them, pay thee with captivitie.
REMEMBER, O Lord, what is fallen on us;
See, and marke how we are reproached thus,
For unto strangers our possession
Is turn'd, our houses unto Aliens gone,
Our mothers are become as widowes, wee
As Orphans all, and without father be;
Waters which are our owne, wee drunke, and pay,
And upon our owne wood a price they lay.
Our persecutors on our necks do sit,
They make us travaile, and not intermit,
We stretch our hands unto th'Egyptians
To get us bread; and to the Assyrians.
Our Fathers did these sinnes, and are no more,
But wee do beare the sinnes they did before.
They are but servants, which do rule us thus,
Yet from their hands none would deliver us.
With danger of our life our bread wee gat;
For in the wildernesses the sword did wait.
The tempests of this famine wee liv'd in,
Black as an Oven colour'd had our skinne:
In Judaes cities they the maids abus'd
By force, and so women in Sion us'd.
The Princes with their hands they hung; no grace
Nor honour gave they to the Elders face.
Unto the mill our yong men carried are,
And children fell under the wood they bare.
Elders, the gates; youth did their songs forbearer
Gone was our joy; our dancings, mournings were.
Now is the crowne falne from our head; and woe
Be unto us, because we'have sinned so.
For this our hearts do languish, and for this
Over our eyes a cloudy dimnesse is.
Because mount Sion desolate doth lye,
And foxes there do goe at libertie:
But thou O Lord art ever, and thy throne
From generation, to generation.
Why should'st thou forget us eternally?
Or leave us thus long in this misery?
Restore us Lord to thee, that so we may
Returne, and as of old, renew our day.
For oughtest thou, O Lord, despise us thus,
And to be utterly enrag'd at us?