In dust and ashes

with humble expression of grief or repentance; - from the method of mourning in Eastern lands.
See under Ashes.

See also: Ashes, Dust

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by G. & C. Merriam Co.
References in periodicals archive ?
A literal translation of this might read, "Therefore I despise and I am sorry upon dust and ash." (16) Consider, though, how various translators have rendered the passage: [T]herefore I despise myself, / and repent in dust and ashes. (N.R.S.V.) Therefore, I recant and relent, / Being but dust and ashes.
From now on I shall live with remorse, in dust and ashes." (24) Such cowardice on Job's part is a betrayal, as Wiesel sees it, of the millions who suffered unjustly in the Holocaust, the millions who "could be seen on every road of Europe.