1I said, “I will guard my ways
that I may not sin with my tongue;
I will keep a muzzle on my mouth
as long as the wicked are in my presence.”
2I was silent and still;
I held my peace to no avail;
my distress grew worse,
3my heart became hot within me.
While I mused, the fire burned;
then I spoke with my tongue:
4“LORD, let me know my end,
and what is the measure of my days;
let me know how fleeting my life is.
5You have made my days a few handbreadths,
and my lifetime is as nothing in your sight.
Surely everyone stands as a mere breath.
6Surely everyone goes about like a shadow.
Surely for nothing they are in turmoil;
they heap up, and do not know who will gather.
7“And now, O LORD, what do I wait for?
My hope is in you.
8Deliver me from all my transgressions.
Do not make me the scorn of the fool.
9I am silent; I do not open my mouth,
for it is you who have done it.
10Remove your stroke from me;
I am worn down by the blows of your hand.
11“You chastise mortals
in punishment for sin,
consuming like a moth what is dear to them;
surely everyone is a mere breath.
12“Hear my prayer, O LORD,
and give ear to my cry;
do not hold your peace at my tears.
For I am your passing guest,
an alien, like all my forebears.
13Turn your gaze away from me, that I may smile again,
before I depart and am no more.”