1Hear my prayer, O Lord;
let my cry come to you!
2Do not hide your face from me
in the day of my distress!
Incline your ear to me;
answer me speedily in the day when I call!
3For my days pass away like smoke,
and my bones burn like a furnace.
4My heart is struck down like grass and has withered;
I forget to eat my bread.
5Because of my loud groaning
my bones cling to my flesh.
6I am like a desert owl of the wilderness,
like an owl of the waste places;
7I lie awake;
I am like a lonely sparrow on the housetop.
8All the day my enemies taunt me;
those who deride me use my name for a curse.
9For I eat ashes like bread
and mingle tears with my drink,
10because of your indignation and anger;
for you have taken me up and thrown me down.
11My days are like an evening shadow;
I wither away like grass.
12But you, O Lord, are enthroned forever;
you are remembered throughout all generations.
13You will arise and have pity on Zion;
it is the time to favor her;
the appointed time has come.
14For your servants hold her stones dear
and have pity on her dust.
15Nations will fear the name of the Lord,
and all the kings of the earth will fear your glory.
16For the Lord builds up Zion;
he appears in his glory;
17he regards the prayer of the destitute
and does not despise their prayer.
18Let this be recorded for a generation to come,
so that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord:
19that he looked down from his holy height;
from heaven the Lord looked at the earth,
20to hear the groans of the prisoners,
to set free those who were doomed to die,
21that they may declare in Zion the name of the Lord,
and in Jerusalem his praise,
22when peoples gather together,
and kingdoms, to worship the Lord.
23He has broken my strength in midcourse;
he has shortened my days.
24“O my God,” I say, “take me not away
in the midst of my days—
you whose years endure
throughout all generations!”
25Of old you laid the foundation of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
26They will perish, but you will remain;
they will all wear out like a garment.
You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away,
27but you are the same, and your years have no end.
28The children of your servants shall dwell secure;
their offspring shall be established before you.
6 The precise identity of these birds is uncertain