I said in my heart, Come now, I will prove thee with mirth;
therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also was vanity.
I said of laughter, It is mad;
and of mirth, What doeth it?
I searched in my heart how to cheer my flesh with wine, my heart yet guiding [me] with wisdom, and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what it was good for the sons of men that they should do under heaven all the days of their life.
I made me great works;
I builded me houses;
I planted me vineyards;
I made me gardens and parks, and I planted trees in them of all kinds of fruit;
I made me pools of water, to water therefrom the forest where trees were reared;
I bought men-servants and maid-servants, and had servants born in my house;
also I had great possessions of herds and flocks, above all that were before me in Jerusalem;
I gathered me also silver and gold, and the treasure of kings and of the provinces;
I gat me men-singers and women-singers, and the delights of the sons of men, musical instruments, and that of all sorts.
So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me.
And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them;
I withheld not my heart from any joy;
for my heart rejoiced because of all my labor;
and this was my portion from all my labor.
Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labor that I had labored to do;
and, behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was no profit under the sun.
And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what [can] the man [do] that cometh after the king?
[even] that which hath been done long ago.
Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness.
The wise man’s eyes are in his head, and the fool walketh in darkness: and yet I perceived that one event happeneth to them all.
Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so will it happen even to me;
and why was I then more wise?
Then said I in my heart, that this also is vanity.
For of the wise man, even as of the fool, there is no remembrance for ever;
seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten.
And how doth the wise man die even as the fool!
So I hated life, because the work that is wrought under the sun was grievous unto me;
for all is vanity and a striving after wind.
And I hated all my labor wherein I labored under the sun, seeing that I must leave it unto the man that shall be after me.
And who knoweth whether he will be a wise man or a fool?
yet will he have rule over all my labor wherein I have labored, and wherein I have showed myself wise under the sun.
This also is vanity.
Therefore I turned about to cause my heart to despair concerning all the labor wherein I had labored under the sun.
For there is a man whose labor is with wisdom, and with knowledge, and with skilfulness;
yet to a man that hath not labored therein shall he leave it for his portion.
This also is vanity and a great evil.
For what hath a man of all his labor, and of the striving of his heart, wherein he laboreth under the sun?
For all his days are [but] sorrows, and his travail is grief;
yea, even in the night his heart taketh no rest.
This also is vanity.
There is nothing better for a man [than] that he should eat and drink, and make his soul enjoy good in his labor.
This also I saw, that it is from the hand of God.
For who can eat, or who can have enjoyment, more than I?
For to the man that pleaseth him [God] giveth wisdom, and knowledge, and joy;
but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that pleaseth God.
This also is vanity and a striving after wind.