16

1 Forsothe Joob answeride, and seide, Y `herde ofte siche thingis;

2 alle ye ben heuy coumfortouris.

3 Whether wordis ful of wynd schulen haue an ende? ether ony thing is diseseful to thee, if thou spekist?

4 Also Y myyte speke thingis lijk to you, and `Y wolde, that youre soule were for my soule;

5 and Y wolde coumfort you by wordis, and Y wolde moue myn heed on you;

6 Y wolde make you stronge bi my mouth, and Y wolde moue lippis as sparynge you.

7 But what schal Y do? If Y speke, my sorewe restith not; and if Y am stille, it goith not awei fro me.

8 But now my sorewe hath oppressid me, and alle my lymes ben dryuun in to nouyt.

9 My ryuelyngis seien witnessyng ayens me, and a fals spekere is reisid ayens my face, and ayenseith me.

10 He gaderide togidere his woodnesse in me, and he manaasside me, and gnastide ayens me with his teeth; myn enemye bihelde me with ferdful iyen.

11 Thei openyden her mouthis on me, and thei seiden schenschip, and smytiden my cheke; and thei ben fillid with my peynes.

12 God hath closid me togidere at the wickid, and hath youe me to the hondis of wickid men.

13 Y thilke riche man and famouse sum tyme, am al to brokun sudeynli; `he helde my nol; he hath broke me, and hath set me as in to a signe.

14 He hath cumpasside me with hise speris, he woundide togidere my leendis; he sparide not, and schedde out myn entrails in to the erthe.

15 He beet me with wounde on wounde; he as a giaunt felde in on me.

16 Y sewide togidere a sak on my skyn; and Y hilide my fleisch with aische.

17 My face bolnyde of wepynge, and myn iyeliddis wexiden derke.

18 Y suffride these thingis with out wickidnesse of myn hond, `that is, werk, whanne Y hadde cleene preieris to God.

19 Erthe, hile thou not my blood, and my cry fynde not in thee a place of hidyng.

20 `For, lo! my witnesse is in heuene; and the knowere of my consience is in hiye places.

21 A! my frendis, ful of wordis, myn iye droppith to God.

22 And `Y wolde, that a man were demed so with God, as the sone of man is demed with his felowe.

23 `For lo! schorte yeeris passen, and Y go a path, bi which Y schal not turne ayen.