You carry away [these disobedient people, doomed to die within forty years] as with a flood; they are as a sleep [vague and forgotten as soon as they are gone]. In the morning they are like grass which grows up—
We glide along the tides of time as swiftly as a racing river and vanish as quickly as a dream. We are like grass that is green in the morning but mowed down and withered before the evening shadows fall.
So don’t return us to mud, saying, “Back to where you came from!” Patience! You’ve got all the time in the world—whether a thousand years or a day, it’s all the same to you. Are we no more to you than a wispy dream, no more than a blade of grass That springs up gloriously with the rising sun and is cut down without a second thought? Your anger is far and away too much for us; we’re at the end of our rope. You keep track of all our sins; every misdeed since we were children is entered in your books. All we can remember is that frown on your face. Is that all we’re ever going to get? We live for seventy years or so (with luck we might make it to eighty), And what do we have to show for it? Trouble. Toil and trouble and a marker in the graveyard. Who can make sense of such rage, such anger against the very ones who fear you?
One day we will each be swept away into the sleep of death. We glide along through the tides of time— so quickly gone, like a dream that fades at dawn. Like glistening grass that springs up one day and is dry and withered the next, ready to be cut down!
You release the waters of death to sweep mankind away in his slumber. In the morning, we are blades of grass, Growing rapidly under the sun but withering quickly; yet in the evening, we fade and die, soon to be cut down.
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