The third lamentation of Zion.
HOw is the gold [or the princes] become so dimme? the most fine gold so changed? How are the stones of the Sanctuarie [or the priests] so scattered in the corner of euerie streete?
The noble men of Zion that were alwaie in ho∣nour, and cloathed with the most pretious gold, how are they esteemed, and now become like the earthen vessels, the worke of the potters hand? [of small estima∣tion, and without anie honour.]
The Dragons [though they be cruell, yet for pitie] drawe out their breasts, and giue sucke to [nourish] their yong ones: but the daughter of my people is become cruell, [and the women forsake their children] like the Estriches in the wildernes, [which forsake both egge and bird.]
The tongs of the sucking children cleaue to the roofe of their mouths for verie thirst, the yong children aske bread, but there is no man that giueth it them.
They that were woont to fare delicatelie, perish in the streets: they that afore were brought vp in purple and scarlet, now make much of doong.
Page 32 For the iniquitie of the daughter of my people is beecome greater than the wickednesse of zodome, that suddenlie was destroied, and not taken with hands, nor anie camps pitched against hir.
Hir Nazarites or absteiners were purer than the snowe, and whiter than the milke: their colour in bo∣die was fresh & red as corall, and their beautie like the polished Saphyr, [so greatly were they once in Gods fauour.]
But now their faces be verie blacke as a cole, in so much that none can knowe them in the streetes: their skinne cleaueth to their bones, it is withered, and be∣come like a drie stocke, [and they are in greatest abhomina∣tion vnto him.]
They that be slaine with the sword, are happier than they that are killed or die with hunger. For they fade [and pine] awaie, as they were striken through for the lacke of the fruits of the field [and foode.]
The women, which of nature are pitifull, haue sod∣den their owne children with their hands, that they might be their meate in the miserable destruction of the daughter of my people.
The Lord hath performed his heauie wrath, he hath powred out the furiousnesse of his wrathfull displea∣sure: he hath kindled a fire in Zion, which hath consu∣med the foundations thereof.
Neither the kings of the earth, nor all the inhabi∣tors of the world, would haue beleeued, that the eni∣mie and aduersarie should haue entred and come into the gates of Ierusalem.
Which neuerthelesse [contrarie to all mens expectation] is come to passe, for the sinnes of hir Prophets, and the iniquities of hir Priests, that haue shed the bloud of the iust and innocent in the midst of hir.
As blind men went they stumbling in the streets, and stained or polluted themselues with bloud, so that the heathen would not touch their garments.
Page 33 But they cried vnto them, Depart and flee ye pollu∣ted: Awaie, get you hence, touch not [those priests,] for they are vncleane, and be remoued. Therfore they fled awaie, and wandered, yea they haue said among the heathen, They shall no more dwell there.
The anger, wrath, & countenance of the Lord hath scattered them, and shall neuer looke more vpon them, nor regard them. For they themselues neither regar∣ded, nor reuerenced the face of the priests, nor had compassion or pitie of their Elders.
Wherefore our eies failed, whiles we yet looked for our vaine helpe of man. For in our waiting we haue looked for [the Aegyptians,] a nation & people that could doo vs no good, nor saue vs.
They hunt our steps, and lay so sharpe wait for vs, that we can not go safe in the streets: our end is neere at hand, our daies are fulfilled, for our end is come.
Our persecutors are swifter than the Eagles of the aire, they pursued & followed vpon vs ouer the moun∣taines, and laid wait for vs in the wildernesse.
The verie breath of our nostrels, euen [Iosias the king and] the annointed of the Lord, (himselfe) [in whome stood our hope of Gods fauour, and on whome depended our state and life,] was taken in their nets, [and slaine,] of whome we said, Under his shadowe we shall be preserued aliue a∣mong the heathen.
And thou, O daughter Edom, that dwellest in the land of Huz, [go to,] be glad and reioice [at our destruction and fall: yet be thou sure thou shalt not escape.] For the cup [of Gods wrath] shall passe through, and come vnto thee al∣so: thou shalt be dronken, and discouer thy nakednesse, and vomit [vp thine owne shame.]
[Be of good comfort therefore] O thou daughter Zion, thy sinnes are fullie punished, and thy punishment accom∣plished. [For after seuentie yeres, thy sorowes shal haue an end.] He will no more carie thee awaie into captiuitie: but Page 34 thy wickednesse, O daughter Edom, shall he visit, and will discouer thy sins: [so that the wicked shall be tormented for euer.]