My Children have Been Slain
1. My children have been slain; and my daughters that are without me, -- their walls are overthrown, their children scattered, -- and their holy places trodden down. R., Blessed is Thy chastisement!

2. The fowlers have taken, my doves out of my strongholds, -- which quitted their nests, and fled to the caves; -- in the net have they taken them.

3. After the manner of wax, that melts before the fire, -- thus melted and dissolved, the bodies, of my sons before the heat -- and the drought of my strongholds.

4. And instead of streams, of milk that used to flow, -- for my sons and my little ones, milk fails the sucklings, and water the weaned children.

5. The suckling falls, from its mother and gasps, -- because it cannot suck, nor can she give suck: -- they breathe out their spirit and die.

6. How is it possible, that Thy grace can refrain -- the welling of its stream, when it is not possible to restrain -- the abundance of its flow?

7. And why has Thy grace, shut up its mercies, -- and withheld its streams, from the people that cry, -- for one to moisten their tongue?

8. And there was a pit, between them and their brethren; -- like the rich man who cried, and there was none to answer, -- to moisten his tongue.

9. And as into the midst of fire, the wretched ones were cast; -- and heat in the midst of thirst, the fire was blowing, -- and kindling upon them.

10. Their carcases were melted, and dissolved by the heat; -- they that had thirsted gave in turn the earth to drink, -- of the reek of their bodies.

11. And the fort that with thirst, had killed, its dwellers, -- it drank in its turn of the flux from the corpses, -- that were melted by thirst.

12. Who has seen a people -- that were burning with thirst, -- while there surrounded them a wall of water and they could not -- moisten their tongue!

13. Surely with the judgment of Sodom, were my beloved judged, -- and my children smitten, with the torment of Sodom; -- though that was but for one day.

14. The torment of fire, though it be for one hour, O my Lord, -- in lingering thirst, is a lingering death, and a subtle punishment.

15. After my sorrows, O my Lord, and my bitter sufferings, -- this is the best comfort, wherewith Thou hast comforted me, -- that Thou hast multiplied my afflictions.

16. The medicine that I hoped, it is sorrow decreed; -- the binding up that I looked for, it is bitter calamity, -- that it seeks to work for me.

17. And whereas I hoped to escape, from the midst of the storm; -- worse for me is the storm in it, even in the harbour, -- than that in the sea.

18. Whereas I thought in my folly, that I should anchor and escape -- from the midst of the Gulf; my sins have cast me back -- again into the midst of it.

19. Look, O my Lord, on my limbs, how the swords are thick in me, -- and have left their mark on my arms; and the scars of the spears, -- are planted in my sides!

20. Tears in mine eyes, and in my ears ill rumours, -- wailing in my mouth, and mourning in my heart! -- Add no more, O my Lord, to me!

hymn ix
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