Audite hæc, omnes
Hear this, all you peoples; *
ponder it with your ears, all who dwell in the world,
High and low, rich and poor, *
everyone with his neighbor.
My mouth shall speak of wisdom, *
and my heart shall muse on understanding.
I will incline my ear to a parable, *
and declare my dark sayings with the harp.
Why should I fear in the days of wickedness, *
and when the wicked at my heels encompass me round about?
There are some who put their trust in their goods, *
and boast in the multitude of their riches.
But no one can deliver his brother, *
nor pay unto God a price for him;
For it is so costly to redeem their souls, *
that we should never have enough to pay it,
So that they should live for ever *
and should not see the grave.
For we see that wise men die, as well as the ignorant and foolish; *
they perish alike and leave their riches for others.
And yet they think that their houses shall continue for ever, and that their dwelling places shall endure from one generation to another, *
and they call lands after their own names.
Man is like an ox that has no understanding; *
he is like the beasts that perish.
This is the way of their foolishness, *
yet their posterity praise their sayings.
Like sheep they are appointed to die, and death shall be their shepherd; *
they shall go down straight into the sepulchre.
Their beauty shall consume away in the grave, *
which shall be their dwelling place for ever.
But God shall save me from the power of death, *
for he shall deliver my soul.
Be not envious if one is made rich, *
or if the glory of his house is increased,
For he shall carry nothing away with him when he dies, *
neither shall his glory follow him.
For while he lived, he counted himself happy, *
and so long as he did well for himself, people spoke well of him.
He shall follow the generation of his fathers *
and shall never see the light.
Those who are honored but have no understanding *
are like the beasts that perish.