1 Knyythod is lijf of man on erthe, and his daies ben as the daies of an hired man.
2 As an hert desireth schadowe, and as an hirede man abideth the ende of his werk;
3 so and Y hadde voide monethis, and Y noumbrede trauailous niytes to me.
4 If Y schal slepe, Y schal seie, Whanne schal Y rise? and eft Y schal abide the euentid, and Y schal be fillid with sorewis `til to derknessis.
5 Mi fleisch is clothid with rot, and filthis of dust; my skyn driede vp, and is drawun togidere.
6 My daies passiden swiftliere thanne a web is kit doun `of a webstere; and tho daies ben wastid with outen ony hope.
7 God, haue thou mynde, for my lijf is wynde, and myn iye schal not turne ayen, that it se goodis.
8 Nethir the siyt of man schal biholde me; but thin iyen ben in me, and Y schal not `be in deedli lijf.
9 As a cloude is wastid, and passith, so he that goith doun to helle, schal not stie;
10 nether schal turne ayen more in to his hows, and his place schal no more knowe hym.
11 Wherfor and Y schal not spare my mouth; Y schal speke in the tribulacioun of my spirit, Y schal talke togidere with the bitternesse of my soule.
12 Whether Y am the see, ethir a whal, for thou hast cumpassid me with prisoun?
13 If Y seie, My bed schal coumfort me, and Y schal be releeuyd, spekynge with me in my bed;
14 thou schalt make me aferd bi dremys, and thou schalt schake me with `orrour, ethir hidousnesse, `bi siytis.
15 Wherfor my soule `chees hangyng, and my boonys cheesiden deth.
16 `Y dispeiride, now Y schal no more lyue; Lord, spare thou me, for my daies ben nouyt.
17 What is a man, for thou `magnifiest hym? ether what settist thou thin herte toward hym?
18 Thou visitist hym eerly, and sudeynli thou preuest hym.
19 Hou long sparist thou not me, nether suffrist me, that Y swolowe my spotele?
20 Y haue synned; A! thou kepere of men, what schal Y do to thee? Whi hast thou set me contrarie to thee, and Y am maad greuouse to my silf?
21 Whi doist thou not awei my sinne, and whi takist thou not awei my wickidnesse? Lo! now Y schal slepe in dust, and if thou sekist me eerli, Y schal not abide.