Audite haec, omnes
O hear ye this, all ye people *
ponder it with your ears, all ye that dwell in the world;
High and low, rich and poor *
one with another.
My mouth shall speak of wisdom *
and my heart shall muse of understanding.
I will incline mine ear to the parable *
and shew my dark speech upon the harp.
Wherefore should I fear in the days of wickedness *
and when the wickedness of my heels compasseth me round about?
There be some that put their trust in their goods *
and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches.
But no man may deliver his brother *
nor make agreement unto God for him;
For it cost more to redeem their souls *
so that he must let that alone for ever;
Yea, though he live long *
and see not the grave.
For he seeth that wise men also die, and perish together *
as well as the ignorant and foolish, and leave their riches for other.
And yet they think that their houses shall continue for ever *
and that their dwelling-places shall endure from one generation to another; and call the lands after their own names.
Nevertheless, man will not abide in honour *
seeing he may be compared unto the beasts that perish; this is the way of them.
This is their foolishness *
and their posterity praise their saying.
They lie in the hell like sheep, death gnaweth upon them, and the righteous shall have domination over them in the morning *
their beauty shall consume in the sepulchre out of their dwelling.
But God hath delivered my soul from the place of hell *
for he shall receive me.
Be not thou afraid, though one be made rich *
or if the glory of his house be increased;
For he shall carry nothing away with him when he dieth *
neither shall his pomp follow him.
For while he lived, he counted himself an happy man *
and so long as thou doest well unto thyself, men will speak good of thee.
He shall follow the generation of his fathers *
and shall never see light.
Man being in honour hath no understanding *
but is compared unto the beasts that perish.