Bible (Wycliffe)/Ecclesiastes

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43452Wycliffe's Bible — Ecclesiastes

Chapter 1


1 The wordis of Ecclesiastes, sone of Dauid, the kyng of Jerusalem.

2 The vanyte of vanytees, seide Ecclesiastes; the vanyte of vanytees, and alle thingis ben vanite.

3 What hath a man more of alle his trauel, bi which he traueilith vndur the sunne?

4 Generacioun passith awei, and generacioun cometh; but the erthe stondith with outen ende.

5 The sunne risith, and goith doun, and turneth ayen to his place;

6 and there it risith ayen, and cumpassith bi the south, and turneth ayen to the north. The spirit cumpassynge alle thingis goith `in cumpas, and turneth ayen in to hise cerclis.

7 Alle floodis entren in to the see, and the see fletith not ouer the markis set of God; the floodis turnen ayen to the place fro whennus tho comen forth, that tho flowe eft.

8 Alle thingis ben hard; a man may not declare tho thingis bi word; the iye is not fillid bi siyt, nether the eere is fillid bi hering.

9 What is that thing that was, that that schal come? What is that thing that is maad, that that schal be maad?

10 No thing vndir the sunne is newe, nether ony man may seie, Lo! this thing is newe; for now it yede bifore in worldis, that weren bifore vs.

11 Mynde of the formere thingis is not, but sotheli nether thenkyng of tho thingis, that schulen come afterward, schal be at hem that schulen come in the last tyme.

12 I Ecclesiastes was king of Israel in Jerusalem;

13 and Y purposide in my soule to seke and enserche wiseli of alle thingis, that ben maad vndur the sunne. God yaf this werste ocupacioun to the sones of men, that thei schulden be ocupied therynne.

14 I siy alle thingis that ben maad vndur the sunne, and lo! alle thingis ben vanyte and turment of spirit.

15 Weiward men ben amendid of hard; and the noumbre of foolis is greet with outen ende.

16 I spak in myn herte, and Y seide, Lo! Y am made greet, and Y passide in wisdom alle men, that weren bifore me in Jerusalem; and my soule siy many thingis wiseli, and Y lernede.

17 And Y yaf myn herte, that Y schulde knowe prudence and doctryn, and errours and foli. And Y knew that in these thingis also was trauel and turment of spirit;

18 for in myche wisdom is myche indignacioun, and he that encressith kunnyng, encreessith also trauel.

Chapter 2


1 Therfor Y seide in myn hertez, Y schal go, and Y schal flowe in delicis, and Y schal vse goodis; and Y siy also that this was vanyte.

2 And leiyyng Y arrettide errour, and Y seide to ioye, What art thou disseyued in veyn?

3 I thouyte in myn herte to withdrawe my fleisch fro wyn, that Y schulde lede ouer my soule to wisdom, and that Y schulde eschewe foli, til Y schulde se, what were profitable to the sones of men; in which dede the noumbre of daies of her lijf vndur the sunne is nedeful.

4 Y magnefiede my werkis, Y bildide housis to me, and Y plauntide vynes; Y made yerdis and orcherdis,

5 and Y settide tho with the trees of al kynde;

6 and Y made cisternes of watris, for to watre the wode of trees growynge.

7 I hadde in possessioun seruauntis and handmaidis; and Y hadde myche meynee, and droues of grete beestis, and grete flockis of scheep, ouer alle men that weren bifore me in Jerusalem.

8 Y gaderide togidere to me siluer and gold, and the castels of kingis and of prouyncis; Y made to me syngeris and syngeressis, and delicis of the sones of men, and cuppis and vessels in seruyce, to helde out wynes;

9 and Y passide in richessis alle men, that weren bifor me in Jerusalem. Also wisdom dwellide stabli with me,

10 and alle thingis whiche myn iyen desiriden, Y denyede not to hem; nether Y refreynede myn herte, that ne it vside al lust, and delitide it silf in these thingis whiche I hadde maad redi; and Y demyde this my part, if Y vside my trauel.

11 And whanne Y hadde turned me to alle werkis whiche myn hondys hadden maad, and to the trauels in whiche Y hadde swet in veyn, Y siy in alle thingis vanyte and turment of the soule, and that no thing vndir sunne dwellith stabli.

12 I passide to biholde wisdom, errours, and foli; Y seide, What is a man, that he may sue the king, his maker?

13 And Y siy, that wisdom yede so mych bifor foli, as miche as liyt is dyuerse fro derknessis.

14 The iyen of a wijs man ben in his heed, a fool goith in derknessis; and Y lernede, that o perisching was of euer either.

15 And Y seide in myn herte, If o deth schal be bothe of the fool and of me, what profitith it to me, that Y yaf more bisynesse to wisdom? And Y spak with my soule, and perseyuede, that this also was vanyte.

16 For mynde of a wijs man schal not be, in lijk maner as nether of a fool with outen ende, and tymes to comynge schulen hile alle thingis togidere with foryetyng; a lerned man dieth in lijk maner and an vnlerned man.

17 And therfor it anoiede me of my lijf, seynge that alle thingis vndur sunne ben yuele, and that alle thingis ben vanyte and turment of the spirit.

18 Eft Y curside al my bisynesse, bi which Y trauelide moost studiousli vndur sunne, and Y schal haue an eir after me,

19 whom Y knowe not, whether he schal be wijs ether a fool; and he schal be lord in my trauels, for whiche Y swatte greetli, and was bisi; and is ony thing so veyn?

20 Wherfor Y ceesside, and myn herte forsook for to trauele ferthere vnder sunne.

21 For whi whanne another man trauelith in wisdom, and techyng, and bisynesse, he leeueth thingis getun to an idel man; and therfor this is vanyte, and greet yuel.

22 For whi what schal it profite to a man of al his trauel, and turment of spirit, bi which he was turmentid vndur sunne?

23 Alle hise daies ben ful of sorewis and meschefs, and bi nyyt he restith not in soule; and whether this is not vanyte?

24 Whether it is not betere to ete and drynke, and to schewe to hise soule goodis of hise trauels? and this thing is of the hond of God.

25 Who schal deuoure so, and schal flowe in delicis, as Y dide?

26 God yaf wisdom, and kunnyng, and gladnesse to a good man in his siyt; but he yaf turment, and superflu bisynesse to a synnere, that he encreesse, and gadere togidere, and yyue to hym that plesith God; but also this is vanyte, and veyn bisynesse of soule.

Chapter 3


1 Alle thingis han tyme, and alle thingis vndur sunne passen bi her spaces.

2 Tyme of birthe, and time of diyng; tyme to plaunte, and tyme to drawe vp that that is plauntid.

3 Tyme to sle, and tyme to make hool; tyme to distrie, and tyme to bilde.

4 Tyme to wepe, and tyme to leiye; tyme to biweile, and tyme to daunse.

5 Tyme to scatere stoonys, and tyme to gadere togidere; tyme to colle, and tyme to be fer fro collyngis.

6 Tyme to wynne, and tyme to leese; tyme to kepe, and tyme to caste awei.

7 Tyme to kitte, and tyme to sewe togidere; tyme to be stille, and tyme to speke.

8 Tyme of loue, and tyme of hatrede; tyme of batel, and tyme of pees.

9 What hath a man more of his trauel?

10 I siy the turment, which God yaf to the sones of men, that thei be occupied therynne.

11 God made alle thingis good in her tyme, and yaf the world to disputyng of hem, that a man fynde not the werk which God hath wrouyt fro the bigynnyng `til in to the ende.

12 And Y knew that no thing was betere `to a man, `no but to be glad, and to do good werkis in his lijf.

13 For whi ech man that etith and drinkith, and seeth good of his trauel; this is the yifte of God.

14 I haue lerned that alle werkis, whiche God made, lasten stidfastli `til in to with outen ende; we moun not adde ony thing to tho, nether take awei fro tho thingis, whiche God made, that he be dred.

15 That thing that is maad, dwellith perfitli; tho thingis that schulen come, weren bifore; and God restorith that, that is goon.

16 I siy vndur sunne vnfeithfulnesse in the place of doom; and wickidnesse in the place of riytfulnesse.

17 And Y seide in myn herte, The Lord schal deme a iust man, and an vnfeithful man; and the tyme of ech thing schal be thanne.

18 I seide in myn herte of the sones of men, that God schulde preue hem, and schewe that thei ben lijk vnresonable beestis.

19 Therfor oon is the perisching of man and of beestis, and euene condicioun is of euer eithir; as a man dieth, `so and tho beestis dien; alle beestis brethen in lijk maner, and a man hath no thing more than a beeste.

20 Alle thingis ben suget to vanyte, and alle thingis goen to o place; tho ben maad of erthe, and tho turnen ayen togidere in to erthe.

21 Who knowith, if the spirit of the sones of Adam stieth vpward, and if the spirit of beestis goith dounward?

22 And Y perseyuede that no thing is betere, than that a man be glad in his werk, and that this be his part; for who schal brynge hym, that he knowe thingis that schulen come after hym?

Chapter 4


1 I turnede me to othere thingis, and Y siy fals chalengis, that ben don vndur the sunne, and the teeris of innocentis, and no man coumfortour; and that thei forsakun of the help of alle men, moun not ayenstonde the violence of hem.

2 And Y preiside more deed men than lyuynge men;

3 and Y demyde hym, that was not borun yit, and siy not the yuels that ben don vndur the sunne, to be blisfulere than euer eithir.

4 Eft Y bihelde alle the trauelis of men, and bisynesses; and Y perseyuede that tho ben opyn to the enuye of neiybore; and therfor in this is vanyte, and superflu bisynesse.

5 A fool foldith togidere hise hondis, and etith hise fleischis,

6 and seith, Betere is an handful with reste, than euer either hondful with trauel and turment of soule.

7 I bihelde and foond also another vanytee vndir the sunne;

8 oon is, and he hath not a secounde; not a sone, not a brother; and netheles he ceesith not for to trauele, nether hise iyen ben fillid with richessis; nether he bithenkith, and seith, To whom trauele Y, and disseyue my soule in goodis? In this also is vanyte, and the worste turment.

9 Therfor it is betere, that tweyne be togidere than oon; for thei han profite of her felouschipe.

10 If oon fallith doun, he schal be vndurset of the tothere; wo to hym that is aloone, for whanne he fallith, he hath noon reisynge him.

11 And if tweyne slepen, thei schulen be nurschid togidere; hou schal oon be maad hoot?

12 And if ony man hath maistri ayens oon, tweyne ayen stonden hym; a threfolde corde is brokun of hard.

13 A pore man and wijs is betere than an eld kyng and fool, that kan not bifore se in to tyme to comynge.

14 For sum tyme a man goith out bothe fro prysoun and chaynes to a rewme; and anothir borun in to a rewme is wastid bi nedynesse.

15 I siy alle men lyuynge that goen vndur the sunne, with the secounde yong wexynge man, that schal rise for hym.

16 The noumbre of puple, of alle that weren bifore hym, is greet with outen mesure, and thei that schulen come aftirward, schulen not be glad in hym; but also this is vanyte and turment of the spirit.

17 Thou that entrist in to the hous of God, kepe thi foot, and neiye thou for to here; for whi myche betere is obedience than the sacrifices of foolis, that witen not what yuel thei don.

Chapter 5


1 Speke thou not ony thing folily, nether thin herte be swift to brynge forth a word bifore God; for God is in heuene, and thou art on erthe, therfor thi wordis be fewe.

2 Dremes suen many bisynessis, and foli schal be foundun in many wordis.

3 If thou hast avowid ony thing to God, tarie thou not to yelde; for an vnfeithful and fonned biheest displesith hym; but `yelde thou what euer thing thou hast avowid;

4 and it is myche betere to make not a vowe, than aftir a vowe to yelde not biheestis.

5 Yyue thou not thi mouth, that thou make thi fleisch to do synne; nether seie thou bifor an aungel, No puruyaunce is; lest perauenture the Lord be wrooth on thi wordis, and distruye alle the werkis of thin hondis.

6 Where ben many dremes, ben ful many vanytees, and wordis with out noumbre; but drede thou God.

7 If thou seest false chalengis of nedi men, and violent domes, and that riytfulnesse is distried in the prouynce, wondre thou not on this doyng; for another is hiyere than an hiy man, and also othere men ben more hiye aboue these men;

8 and ferthermore the kyng of al erthe comaundith to the seruaunt.

9 An auerouse man schal not be fillid of monei; and he that loueth richessis schal not take fruytis of tho; and therfor this is vanyte.

10 Where ben many richessis, also many men ben, that eten tho; and what profitith it to the haldere, no but that he seeth richessis with hise iyen?

11 Slepe is swete to hym that worchith, whether he etith litil ether myche; but the fulnesse of a ryche man suffrith not hym to slepe.

12 Also anothir sijknesse is ful yuel, which Y siy vndur the sunne; richessis ben kept in to the yuel of her lord.

13 For thei perischen in the worste turment; he gendride a sone, that schal be in souereyn nedynesse.

14 As he yede nakid out of his modris wombe, so he schal turne ayen; and he schal take awei with hym no thing of his trauel.

15 Outirli it is a wretchid sijknesse; as he cam, so he schal turne ayen. What therfor profitith it to hym, that he trauelide in to the wynde?

16 In alle the daies of his lijf he eet in derknessis, and in many bisinessis, and in nedynesse, and sorewe.

17 Therfor this semyde good to me, that a man ete, and drynke, and vse gladnesse of his trauel, in which he trauelide vndir the sunne, in the noumbre of daies of his lijf, which God yaf to hym; and this is his part.

18 And to ech man, to whom God yaf richessis, and catel, and yaf power to hym to ete of tho, and to vse his part, and to be glad of his trauel; this is the yifte of God.

19 For he schal not bithenke miche on the daies of his lijf, for God ocupieth his herte with delicis.

Chapter 6


1 Also another yuel is, which Y siy vndur the sunne; and certis it is oft vsid anentis men.

2 A man is, to whom God yaf richessis, and catel, and onour; and no thing failith to his soule of alle thingis which he desirith; and God yyueth not power to hym, that he ete therof, but a straunge man shal deuoure it. This is vanyte, and a greet wretchidnesse.

3 If a man gendrith an hundrid fre sones, and lyueth many yeris, and hath many daies of age, and his soule vsith not the goodis of his catel, and wantith biriyng; Y pronounce of this man, that a deed borun child is betere than he.

4 For he cometh in veyn, and goith to derknessis; and his name schal be don a wei bi foryetyng.

5 He siy not the sunne, nether knew dyuersyte of good and of yuel;

6 also thouy he lyueth twei thousynde yeeris, and vsith not goodis; whether alle thingis hasten not to o place?

7 Al the trauel of a man is in his mouth, but the soule of hym schal not be fillid with goodis.

8 What hath a wijs man more than a fool? and what hath a pore man, no but that he go thidur, where is lijf?

9 It is betere to se that, that thou coueitist, than to desire that, that thou knowist not; but also this is vanyte, and presumpcioun of spirit.

10 The name of hym that schal come, is clepid now, and it is knowun, that he is a man, and he mai not stryue in doom ayens a strongere than hym silf.

11 Wordis ben ful manye, and han myche vanyte in dispuytinge.

Chapter 7


1 What nede is it to a man to seke grettere thingis than hym silf; sithen he knowith not, what schal bifalle to hym in his lijf, in the noumbre of daies of his pilgrimage, and in the tyme that passith as schadowe? ether who may schewe to hym, what thing vndur sunne schal come aftir hym?

2 A good name is betere than preciouse oynementis; and the dai of deth is betere than the dai of birthe.

3 It is betere to go to the hous of morenyng, than to the hous of a feeste; for in that hous `of morenyng the ende of alle men is monestid, and a man lyuynge thenkith, what is to comynge.

4 Yre is betere than leiyyng; for the soule of a trespassour is amendid bi the heuynesse of cheer.

5 The herte of wise men is where sorewe is; and the herte of foolis is where gladnesse is.

6 It is betere to be repreued of a wijs man, than to be disseyued bi the flateryng of foolis;

7 for as the sown of thornes brennynge vndur a pot, so is the leiyyng of a fool. But also this is vanyte.

8 Fals chalenge disturblith a wijs man, and it schal leese the strengthe of his herte.

9 Forsothe the ende of preyer is betere than the bigynnyng. A pacient man is betere than a proud man.

10 Be thou not swift to be wrooth; for ire restith in the bosum of a fool.

11 Seie thou not, What gessist thou is of cause, that the formere tymes weren betere than ben now? for whi siche axyng is fonned.

12 Forsothe wisdom with richessis is more profitable, and profitith more to men seynge the sunne.

13 For as wisdom defendith, so money defendith; but lernyng and wisdom hath this more, that tho yyuen lijf to `her weldere.

14 Biholde thou the werkis of God, that no man may amende hym, whom God hath dispisid.

15 In a good day vse thou goodis, and bifore eschewe thou an yuel day; for God made so this dai as that dai, that a man fynde not iust playnyngis ayens hym.

16 Also Y siy these thingis in the daies of my natyuyte; a iust man perischith in his riytfulnesse, and a wickid man lyueth myche tyme in his malice.

17 Nyle thou be iust myche, nether vndurstonde thou more than is nedeful; lest thou be astonyed.

18 Do thou not wickidli myche, and nyle thou be a fool; lest thou die in a tyme not thin.

19 It is good, that thou susteyne a iust man; but also withdrawe thou not thin hond from hym; for he that dredith God, is not necligent of ony thing.

20 Wisdom hath coumfortid a wise man, ouer ten pryncis of a citee.

21 Forsothe no iust man is in erthe, that doith good, and synneth not.

22 But also yyue thou not thin herte to alle wordis, that ben seid; lest perauenture thou here thi seruaunt cursynge thee;

23 for thi conscience woot, that also thou hast cursid ofte othere men.

24 I asayede alle thingis in wisdom; Y seide, I schal be maad wijs, and it yede awei ferthere fro me, myche more than it was;

25 and the depthe is hiy, who schal fynde it?

26 I cumpasside alle thingis in my soule, to kunne, and biholde, and seke wisdom and resoun, and to knowe the wickidnesse of a fool, and the errour of vnprudent men.

27 And Y foond a womman bitterere than deth, which is the snare of hunteris, and hir herte is a net, and hir hondis ben boondis; he that plesith God schal ascape hir, but he that is a synnere, schal be takun of hir.

28 Lo! Y foond this, seide Ecclesiastes, oon and other, that Y schulde fynde resoun, which my soule sekith yit;

29 and Y foond not. I foond o man of a thousynde; Y foond not a womman of alle.

30 I foond this oonli, that God made a man riytful; and he medlide hym silf with questiouns with out noumbre. Who is siche as a wijs man? and who knowith the expownyng of a word?

Chapter 8


1 The wisdom of a man schyneth in his cheer; and the myytieste schal chaunge his face.

2 I kepe the mouth of the kyng, and the comaundementis and sweryngis of God.

3 Haste thou not to go awei fro his face, and dwelle thou not in yuel werk. For he schal do al thing, that he wole;

4 and his word is ful of power, and no man mai seie to hym, Whi doist thou so?

5 He that kepith the comaundement of God `in this lijf, schal not feele ony thing of yuel; the herte of a wijs man vndurstondith tyme and answer.

6 Tyme and cesoun is to ech werk; and myche turment is of a man,

7 for he knowith not thingis passid, and he mai not knowe bi ony messanger thingis to comynge.

8 It is not in the power of man to forbede the spirit, nethir he hath power in the dai of deth, nethir he is suffrid to haue reste, whanne the batel neiyeth; nethir wickidnesse schal saue a wickid man.

9 I bihelde alle thes thingis, and Y yaf myn herte in alle werkis, that ben don vndur the sunne. Sum tyme a man is lord of a man, to his yuel.

10 Y siy wickid men biryed, which, whanne thei lyueden yit, weren in hooli place; and thei weren preisid in the citee, as men of iust werkis; but also this is vanyte.

11 Forsothe for the sentence is not brouyt forth soone ayens yuele men, the sones of men doon yuels with outen ony drede.

12 Netheles of that, that a synnere doith yuel an hundrid sithis, and is suffrid bi pacience, Y knew that good schal be to men dredynge God, that reuerensen his face.

13 Good be not to the wickid man, nethir hise daies be maad longe; but passe thei as schadewe, that dreden not the face of the Lord.

14 Also another vanyte is, which is don on erthe. Iust men ben, to whiche yuels comen, as if thei diden the werkis of wickid men; and wickid men ben, that ben so sikur, as if thei han the dedis of iust men; but Y deme also this moost veyn.

15 Therfor Y preysid gladnesse, that no good was to a man vndur the sunne, no but to ete, and drynke, and to be ioiful; and that he schulde bere awei with hym silf oneli this of his trauel, in the daies of his lijf, whiche God yaf to hym vndur the sunne.

16 And Y settide myn herte to knowe wisdom, and to vndurstonde the departing, which is turned in erthe. A man is, that bi daies and niytis takith not sleep with iyen.

17 And Y vndurstood, that of alle the werkis of God, a man may fynde no resoun of tho thingis, that ben don vndur the sunne; and in as myche as he traueilith more to seke, bi so myche he schal fynde lesse; yhe, thouy a wijs man seith that he knowith, he schal not mow fynde.

Chapter 9


1 I tretide alle these thingis in myn herte, to vndirstonde diligentli. Iust men, and wise men ben, and her werkis ben in the hond of God; and netheles a man noot, whether he is worthi of loue or of hatrede.

2 But alle thingis ben kept vncerteyn in to tyme to comynge; for alle thingis bifallen euenli to a iust man and to a wickid man, to a good man and to an yuel man, to a cleene man and to an vnclene man, to a man offrynge offryngis and sacrifices, and to a man dispisynge sacrifices; as a good man, so and a synnere; as a forsworun man, so and he that greetli swerith treuthe.

3 This thing is the worste among alle thingis, that ben don vndur the sunne, that the same thingis bifallen to alle men; wherfor and the hertis of the sones of men ben fillid with malice and dispisyng in her lijf; and aftir these thingis thei schulen be led doun to hellis.

4 No man is, that lyueth euere, and that hath trist of this thing; betere is a quik dogge than a deed lioun.

5 For thei that lyuen witen that thei schulen die; but deed men knowen no thing more, nether han meede ferthere; for her mynde is youun to foryetyng.

6 Also the loue, and hatrede, and enuye perischiden togidere; and thei han no part in this world, and in the werk that is don vndur the sunne.

7 Therfor go thou, iust man, and ete thi breed in gladnesse, and drynke thi wiyn with ioie; for thi werkis plesen God.

8 In ech tyme thi clothis be white, and oile faile not fro thin heed.

9 Vse thou lijf with the wijf which thou louest, in alle the daies of lijf of thin vnstablenesse, that ben youun to thee vndur sunne, in al the tyme of thi vanyte; for this is thi part in thi lijf and trauel, bi which thou trauelist vndur the sunne.

10 Worche thou bisili, what euer thing thin hond mai do; for nether werk, nether resoun, nethir kunnyng, nether wisdom schulen be at hellis, whidir thou haastist.

11 I turnede me to another thing, and Y siy vndur sunne, that rennyng is not of swift men, nethir batel is of stronge men, nether breed is of wise men, nether richessis ben of techeris, ne grace is of crafti men; but tyme and hap is in alle thingis.

12 A man knowith not his ende; but as fischis ben takun with an hook, and as briddis ben takun with a snare, so men ben takun in yuel tyme, whanne it cometh sudeynli on hem.

13 Also Y siy this wisdom vndur the sunne, and Y preuede it the mooste.

14 A litil citee, and a fewe men ther ynne; a greet kyng cam ayens it, and cumpasside it with palis, and he bildide strengthis bi cumpas; and bisegyng was maad perfit.

15 And a pore man and a wijs was foundun ther ynne; and he delyuerede the citee bi his wisdom, and no man bithouyte aftirward on that pore man.

16 And Y seide, that wisdom is betere than strengthe; hou therfor is the wisdom of a pore man dispisid, and hise wordis ben not herd?

17 The wordis of wise men ben herd in silence, more than the cry of a prince among foolis.

18 Betere is wisdom than armuris of batel; and he that synneth in o thing, schal leese many goodis.

Chapter 10


1 Flies `that dien, leesen the swetnesse of oynement. Litil foli at a tyme is preciousere than wisdom and glorie.

2 The herte of a wijs man is in his riyt side; and the herte of a fool is in his left side.

3 But also a fool goynge in the weie, whanne he is vnwijs, gessith alle men foolis.

4 If the spirit of hym, that hath power, stieth on thee, forsake thou not thi place; for heeling schal make gretteste synnes to ceesse.

5 An yuel is, which Y siy vndur the sunne, and goith out as bi errour fro the face of the prince; a fool set in hiy dignyte,

6 and riche men sitte bynethe.

7 I siy seruauntis on horsis, and princes as seruauntis goynge on the erthe.

8 He that diggith a diche, schal falle in to it; and an eddre schal bite hym, that distrieth an hegge.

9 He that berith ouer stoonys, schal be turmentid in tho; and he that kittith trees, schal be woundid of tho.

10 If yrun is foldid ayen, and this is not as bifore, but is maad blunt, it schal be maad scharp with myche trauel; and wisdom schal sue aftir bisynesse.

11 If a serpent bitith, it bitith in silence; he that bacbitith priueli, hath no thing lesse than it.

12 The wordis of the mouth of a wijs man is grace; and the lippis of an vnwijs man schulen caste hym doun.

13 The bigynnyng of hise wordis is foli; and the laste thing of his mouth is the worste errour.

14 A fool multiplieth wordis; a man noot, what was bifore hym, and who mai schewe to hym that, that schal come aftir hym?

15 The trauel of foolis shal turment hem, that kunnen not go in to the citee.

16 Lond, wo to thee, whos kyng is a child, and whose princes eten eerli.

17 Blessid is the lond, whos kyng is noble; and whose princis eten in her tyme, to susteyne the kynde, and not to waste.

18 The hiynesse of housis schal be maad low in slouthis; and the hous schal droppe in the feblenesse of hondis.

19 In leiyyng thei disposen breed and wyn, that thei drynkynge ete largeli; and alle thingis obeien to monei.

20 In thi thouyt bacbite thou not the kyng, and in the priuete of thi bed, curse thou not a riche man; for the briddis of heuene schulen bere thi vois, and he that hath pennys, schal telle the sentence.

Chapter 11


1 Sende thi breed on watris passynge forth, for aftir many tymes thou schalt fynde it.

2 Yyue thou partis seuene, and also eiyte; for thou woost not, what yuel schal come on erthe.

3 If cloudis ben filled, tho schulen schede out reyn on the erthe; if a tre fallith doun to the south, ether to the north, in what euer place it fallith doun, there it schal be.

4 He that aspieth the wynd, sowith not; and he that biholdith the cloudis, schal neuere repe.

5 As thou knowist not, which is the weye of the spirit, and bi what resoun boonys ben ioyned togidere in the wombe of a womman with childe, so thou knowist not the werkis of God, which is makere of alle thingis.

6 Eerli sowe thi seed, and thin hond ceesse not in the euentid; for thou woost not, what schal come forth more, this ethir that; and if euer eithir cometh forth togidere, it schal be the betere.

7 The liyt is sweet, and delitable to the iyen to se the sunne.

8 If a man lyueth many yeeris, and is glad in alle these, he owith to haue mynde of derk tyme, and of many daies; and whanne tho schulen come, thingis passid schulen be repreued of vanyte.

9 Therfor, thou yonge man, be glad in thi yongthe, and thin herte be in good in the daies of thi yongthe, and go thou in the weies of thin herte, and in the biholdyng of thin iyen; and wite thou, that for alle these thingis God shal brynge thee in to doom.

10 Do thou awei ire fro thin herte, and remoue thou malice fro thi fleisch; for whi yongthe and lust ben veyne thingis.

Chapter 12


1 Haue thou mynde on thi creatour in the daies of thi yongthe, bifore that the tyme of thi turment come, and the yeris of thi deth neiye, of whiche thou schalt seie, Tho plesen not me.

2 `Haue thou mynde on thi creatour, bifor that the sunne be derk, and the liyt, and sterrys, and the mone; and cloude turne ayen after reyn.

3 Whanne the keperis of the hous schulen be mouyd, and strongeste men schulen tremble; and grynderis schulen be idel, whanne the noumbre schal be maad lesse, and seeris bi the hoolis schulen wexe derk;

4 and schulen close the doris in the street, in the lownesse of vois of a gryndere; and thei schulen rise at the vois of a brid, and alle the douytris of song schulen wexe deef.

5 And hiy thingis schulen drede, and schulen be aferd in the weie; an alemaunde tre schal floure, a locuste schal be maad fat, and capparis schal be distried; for a man schal go in to the hous of his euerlastyngnesse, and weileris schulen go aboute in the street.

6 Haue thou mynde on thi creatour, byfore that a siluerne roop be brokun, and a goldun lace renne ayen, and a watir pot be al to-brokun on the welle, and a wheele be brokun togidere on the cisterne;

7 and dust turne ayen in to his erthe, wherof it was, and the spirit turne ayen to God, that yaf it.

8 The vanyte of vanytees, seide Ecclesiastes, the vanyte of vanytees, and alle thingis ben vanyte.

9 And whanne Ecclesiastes was moost wijs, he tauyte the puple, and he telde out the thingis whiche he dide,

10 and he souyte out wisdom, and made many parablis; he souyte profitable wordis, and he wroot moost riytful wordis, and ful of treuthe.

11 The wordis of wise men ben as prickis, and as nailis fastned deepe, whiche ben youun of o scheepherde bi the counsels of maistris.

12 My sone, seke thou no more than these; noon ende is to make many bookis, and ofte thenkyng is turment of fleisch.

13 Alle we here togydere the ende of spekyng. Drede thou God, and kepe hise heestis; `that is to seie, ech man.

14 God schal brynge alle thingis in to dom, that ben don; for ech thing don bi errour, whether it be good, ether yuel.