THE LAMENTATIONS OF JEREMY, FOR THE
PART ACCORDING TO TREMELLIUS.
I. HOW sits this city, late most
Thus solitary, and like a widow thus ?
Amplest of nations, queen of provinces
She was, who now thus tributary is ?
2. Still in the night she weeps, and her tears fall
Down by her cheeks along, and none of
Her lovers comfort her ; perfidiously
Her friends have dealt, and now are
3. Unto great bondage, and afflictions,
Judah is captive led ; those nations
With whom she dwells, no place of rest
In straits she meets her persecutors'
4. Empty are the gates of Sion, and her ways
Mourn, because none come to her solemn
Her priests do groan, her maids are
And she's unto herself a bitterness.
5. Her foes are grown her head, and live at peace,
Because, when her transgressions did
The Lord strook her with sadness ; the
Doth drive her children to captivity.
6. From Sion's daughter is all beauty gone ;
Like harts which seek for pasture, and
Her princes are ; and now before the foe
Which still pursues them, without
strength they go.
7. Now in their days of tears, Jerusalem
—Her men slain by the foe, none
Remembers what of old she esteemed most,
Whiles her foes laugh at her, for what
she hath lost.
8. Jerusalem hath sinn'd, therefore is she
Removed, as women in uncleanness be ;
Who honour'd, scorn her, for her
Have seen ; herself doth groan, and turn
9. Her foulness in her skirts was seen, yet she
Remember'd not her end ; miraculously
Therefore she fell, none comforting ;
O Lord, my affliction, for the foe grows
10. Upon all things where her delight hath been,
The foe hath stretch'd his hand, for she
Heathen, whom thou command'st, should
not do so,
Into her holy sanctuary go.
11. And all her people groan, and seek for bread ;
And they have given, only to be fed,
All precious things, wherein their
pleasure lay ;
How cheap I'm grown, O Lord, behold, and
12. All this concerns not you, who pass by me ;
O see, and mark if any sorrow be
Like to my sorrow, which Jehovah hath
Done to me in the day of His fierce
13. That fire, which by Himself is governed
He hath cast from heaven on my bones,
A net before my feet, and me o'erthrown,
And made me languish all the day alone.
14. His hand hath of my sins framèd a yoke
Which wreathed, and cast upon my neck,
My strength ; the Lord unto those
Hath given me, from whom I cannot rise.
15. He under foot hath trodden in my sight
My strong men ; He did company accite
To break my young men ; He the winepress
Trod upon Judah's daughter in His wrath.
16. For these things do I weep ; mine eye, mine eye
Casts water out ; for He which should be
To comfort me, is now departed far ;
The foe prevails, forlorn my children
17. There's none, though Sion do stretch out her hand,
To comfort her ; it is the Lord's
That Jacob's foes girt him ; Jerusalem
Is as an unclean woman amongst them.
18. But yet the Lord is just, and righteous still ;
I have rebell'd against His holy will ;
O hear all people, and my sorrow see,
My maids, my young men in captivity.
19. I called for my lovers then, but they
Deceived me, and my priests, and elders
Dead in the city ; for they sought for
Which should refresh their souls, and
none could get.
20. Because I am in straits, Jehovah, see !
My heart o'erturn'd, my bowels muddy be
Because I have rebell'd so much, as fast
The sword without, as death within, doth
21. Of all which here I mourn, none comforts me ;
My foes have heard my grief, and glad
That Thou hast done it ; but Thy
Will come, when, as I suffer, so shall
22. Let all their wickedness appear to Thee ;
Do unto them, as Thou hast done to me,
For all my sins ; the sighs which I have
Are very many, and my heart is sad.
I. HOW over Sion's daughter hath God
His wrath's thick cloud ? and from
heaven hath flung
To earth the beauty of Israel, and hath
Forgot His foot-stool in the day of
2. The Lord unsparingly hath swallowed
All Jacob's dwellings, and demolished
To ground the strengths of Judah, and
The Princes of the kingdom, and the
3. In heat of wrath, the horn of Israel He
Hath clean cut off, and lest the enemy
Be hinder'd, His right hand He doth
But is towards Jacob all-devouring fire.
4. Like to an enemy He bent His bow ;
His right hand was in posture of a foe,
To kill what Sion's daughter did desire,
'Gainst whom His wrath He poured forth
5. For like an enemy Jehovah is,
Devouring Israel, and his palaces,
Destroying holds, giving additions
To Judah's daughters' lamentations.
6. Like to a garden hedge He hath cast down
The place where was His congregation,
And Sion's feasts and sabbaths are
Her King, her Priest, His wrath
7. The Lord forsakes His altar, and detests
His sanctuary, and in the foes' hands
His palace, and the walls, in which
Are heard, as in the true solemnities.
8. The Lord hath cast a line, so to confound
And level Sion's walls unto the ground ;
He draws not back His hand, which doth
The wall, and rampart, which together
9. Their gates are sunk into the ground, and He
Hath broke the bar ; their king and
Amongst the heathen, without law, nor
Unto their prophets doth the Lord
10. There Sion's Elders on the ground are placed,
And silence keep ; dust on their heads
they cast ;
In sackcloth have they girt themselves,
The virgins towards ground their heads
11. My bowels are grown muddy, and mine eyes
Are faint with weeping ; and my liver
Pour'd out upon the ground, for misery
That sucking children in the streets do
12. When they had cryed unto their mothers, “Where
Shall we have bread, and drink ?” they
And in the streets like wounded persons
Till 'twixt their mothers' breasts they
13. Daughter Jerusalem, O what may be
A witness, or comparison for thee ?
Sion, to ease thee, what shall I name
like thee ?
Thy breach is like the sea ; what help
can be ?
14. For thee vain foolish things thy prophets sought ;
Thee, thine iniquities they have not
Which might disturb thy bondage ; but
False burthens, and false causes they
15. The passengers do clap their hands, and hiss
And wag their head at thee, and say, “Is
That city, which so many men did call
Joy of the earth, and perfectest of all
16. Thy foes do gape upon thee, and they hiss,
And gnash their teeth, and say, “Devour
For this is certainly the day which we
Expected, and which now we find, and
17. The Lord hath done that which He purposèd ;
Fulfill'd His word of old
He hath thrown down, and not spared, and
Made glad above thee, and advanced him
18. But now their hearts unto the Lord do call ;
Therefore, O walls of Sion, let tears
Down like a river, day and night ; take
No rest, but let thine eye incessant be.
19. Arise, cry in the night, pour out thy sins,
Thy heart, like water, when the watch
Lift up thy hands to God, lest children
Which, faint for hunger, in the streets
20. Behold, O Lord, consider unto whom
Thou hast done this ; what, shall the
To eat their children of a span ? shall
Prophet and priest be slain in sanctuary
21. On ground in streets the young and old do lie ;
My virgins and young men by sword do die
Them in the day of Thy wrath Thou hast
Nothing did Thee from killing them
22. As to a solemn feast, all whom I fear'd
Thou call'st about me ; when Thy wrath
None did remain or scape, for those
Brought up, did perish by mine enemy.
1. I AM the man which have
Under the rod of God's wrath having been
2. He hath led me to darkness, not to light,
3. And against me all day, His hand doth fight.
4. He hath broke my bones, worn out my flesh and skin,
5. Built up against me ; and hath girt me in
With hemlock, and with labour ; 6.
And set me
In dark, as they who dead for ever be.
7. He hath hedged me lest I 'scape, and added more
To my steel fetters heavier than before.
8. When I cry out He outshuts my prayer ; 9. And hath
Stopp'd with hewn stone my way, and
turn'd my path.
10. And like a lion hid in secrecy,
Or bear which lies in wait, He was to
11. He stops my way, tears me, made desolate ;
12. And He makes me the mark He shooteth at.
13. He made the children of His quiver pass
Into my reins. 14. I, with
my people, was
All the day long, a song and mockery.
15. He hath fill'd me with bitterness, and He
Hath made me drunk with wormwood.
16. He hath burst
My teeth with stones, and cover'd me
17. And thus my soul far off from peace was set,
And my prosperity I did forget.
18. My strength, my hope—unto myself I said—
Which from the Lord should come, is
19. But when my mournings I do think upon,
My wormwood, hemlock, and affliction,
20. My soul is humbled in rememb'ring this ;
21. My heart considers, therefore, hope there is.
22. 'Tis God's great mercy we're not utterly
Consumed, for His compassions do not die
23. For every morning they renewed be,
For great, O Lord, is Thy fidelity.
24. The Lord is—saith my soul—my portion,
And therefore in Him will I hope alone.
25. The Lord is good to them, who on Him rely,
And to the soul that seeks Him
26. It is both good to trust, and to attend
The Lord's salvation unto the end.
27. 'Tis good for one His yoke in youth to bear.
28. He sits alone, and doth all speech forbear,
Because he hath borne it.
29. And his mouth he lays
Deep in the dust, yet then in hope he
30. He gives his cheeks to whosoever will
Strike him, and so he is reproached
31. For not for ever doth the Lord forsake ;
32. But when He hath struck with sadness, He doth take
Compassion, as His mercy's infinite ;
33. Nor is it with His heart, that He doth smite,
34. That underfoot the prisoners stamped be,
35. That a man's right the judge himself doth see
To be wrung from him ; 36.
That he subverted is
In his just cause, the Lord allows not
37. Who then will say, that aught doth come to pass,
But that which by the Lord commanded was
38. Both good and evil from His mouth proceeds ;
39. Why then grieves any man for his misdeeds ?
40. Turn we to God, by trying out our ways ;
41. To Him in heav'n our hands with hearts upraise.
42. We have rebell'd, and fallen away from Thee ;
Thou pardon'st not ; 43.
Usest no clemency ;
Pursuest us, kill'st us, cover'st us
with wrath ;
44. Cover'st Thyself with clouds, that our prayer hath
No power to pass. 45. And
Thou hast made us fall
As refuse, and off-scouring to them all.
46. All our foes gape at us. 47. Fear and a snare
With ruin, and with waste upon us are.
48. With watery rivers doth mine eye o'erflow
For ruin of my people's daughters so ;
49. Mine eye doth drop down tears incessantly,
50. Until the Lord look down from heav'n to see.
51. And for my city daughters' sake, mine eye
Doth break mine heart. 52.
Causeless mine enemy
Like a bird chased me. 53. In a
They've shut my life, and cast on me a
54. Waters flow'd o'er my head ; then thought I, I am
Destroy'd ; 55. I called, Lord, upon Thy
Out of the pit ; 56. And Thou my
voice didst hear ;
O from my sigh and cry, stop not Thine
57. Then when I call'd upon Thee, Thou drew'st near
Unto me, and said'st unto me, “Do not
58. Thou, Lord, my soul's cause handled hast, and Thou
Rescuest my life. 59. O
Lord, do Thou judge now.
Thou heardst my wrong, 60. Their
vengeance, all they've wrought ;
61. How they reproach'd, Thou'st heard, and what they thought ;
62. What their lips utter'd, which against me rose,
And what was ever whisper'd by my foes.
63. I am their song, whether they rise or sit ;
64. Give them rewards, Lord, for their working fit,
65. Sorrow of heart, Thy curse ; 66. And with Thy might
Follow, and from under heaven destroy
1. HOW is the gold become so dim?
Purest and finest gold thus changed to
The stones which were stones of the
Scatter'd in corners of each street do
2. The precious sons of Sion, which should be
Valued at purest gold, how do we see
Low rated now, as earthen pitchers,
Which are the work of a poor potter's
3. Even the sea-calfs draw their breasts, and give
Suck to their young ; my people's
By reason of the foes' great cruelness,
As do the owls in the vast wilderness.
4. And when the sucking child doth strive to draw,
His tongue for thirst cleaves to his
upper jaw ;
And when for bread the children cry,
There is no man that doth them satisfy.
5. They which before were delicately fed,
Now in the streets forlorn have perished
And they which ever were in scarlet
Sit and embrace the dunghills which they
6. The daughters of my people have sinn'd more,
Than did the town of Sodom sin before ;
Which being at once destroy'd, there did
No hands amongst them to vex them again.
7. But heretofore, purer her Nazarite
Was than the snow, and milk was not so
As carbuncles did their pure bodies
And all their polish'dness was
8. They're darker now than blackness ; none can know
Them by the face, as through the street
they go ;
For now their skin doth cleave unto
And withered, is like to dry wood grown.
9. Better by sword than famine 'tis to die ;
And better through-pierced, than through
10. Women, by nature pitiful, have eat
'Their children—dress'd with their own
11. Jehovah here fully accomplish'd hath
His indignation, and pour'd forth His
Kindled a fire in Sion, which hath power
To eat, and her foundations to devour.
12. Nor would the kings of th' earth, nor all which live
In the inhabitable world believe,
That any adversary, any foe,
Into Jerusalem should enter so.
13. For the priests' sins, and prophets', which have shed
Blood in the streets and the just
14. Which, when those men whom they made blind did stray
Thorough the streets, defilèd by
With blood, the which impossible it was
Their garment should 'scape touching, as
15. Would cry aloud, “Depart, defilèd men,
Depart, depart, and touch not us !” and
They fled, and stray'd, and with the
Gentiles were ;
Yet told their friends, they should not
long dwell there.
16. For this they're scatter'd by Jehovah's face
Who never will regard them more ; no
Unto their old men shall the foe afford
Nor, that they're priests, redeem them
from the sword.
17. And we as yet, for all these miseries
Desiring our vain help, consume our
And such a nation as cannot save,
We in desire and speculation have ;
18. They hunt our steps, that in the streets we fear
To go ; our end is now approached near.
Our days accomplish'd are ; this the
last day ;
Eagles of heav'n are not so swift as
19. Which follow us ; o'er mountain tops they fly
At us, and for us in the desert lie.
20. Th' Anointed Lord, breath of our nostrils, He
Of whom we said, under His shadow we
Shall with more ease under the heathen
Into the pit which these men digged,
21. Rejoice, O Edom's daughter, joyful be
Thou that inhabit'st Uz, for unto thee
This cup shall pass, and thou with
Shalt fill thyself, and show thy
22. Then thy sins, O Sion, shall be spent,
The Lord will not leave thee in
Thy sins, O Edom's daughter, He will
And for them, pay thee with captivity.
1. Remember, O Lord, what is fall'n on us ;
See, and mark how we are reproached thus
2. For unto strangers our possession
Is turn'd, our houses unto aliens gone.
3. Our mothers are become as widows ; we
As orphans all, and without fathers be ;
4. Waters which are our own, we drink and pay ;
And upon our own wood a price they lay.
5. Our persecutors on our necks do sit ;
They make us travail, and not intermit ;
6. We stretch our hands unto th' Egyptians
To get us bread ; and to th' Assyrians.
7. Our fathers did these sins, and are no more ;
But we do bear the sins they did before.
8. They are but servants, which do rule us thus,
Yet from their hands none would deliver
9. With danger of our life our bread we gat ;
For in the wilderness the sword did
10. The tempests of this famine we lived in,
Black as an oven colour'd had our skin.
11. In Judah's cities they the maids abused
By force, and so women in Sion used.
12. The princes with their hands they hung ; no grace
Nor honour gave they to the elder's
13. Unto the mill our young men carried are,
And children fell under the wood they
14. Elders the gates, youth did their songs forbear ;
Gone was our joy ; our dancings,
15. Now is the crown fall'n from our head ; and woe
Be unto us, because we've sinnèd
16. For this our hearts do languish, and for this
Over our eyes a cloudy dimness is.
17. Because Mount Sion desolate doth lie,
And foxes there do go at liberty ;
18. But Thou, O Lord, art ever, and Thy throne
From generation to generation.
19. Why shouldst Thou forget us eternally ?
Or leave us thus long in this misery ?
20. Restore us, Lord, to thee, that so we may
Return, and as of old, renew our day.
21. For oughtest Thou, O Lord, despise us thus,
And to be utterly enraged at us ?
Donne, John. Poems of John Donne. vol I.
E. K. Chambers, ed.
London: Lawrence & Bullen, 1896. 194-211.
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