The wordes of the preacher ye sonne of Dauid kyng of Hierusalem.
All is but most vayne vanitie saith the preacher, & all is most vayne [I say] and but playne vanitie.
For what els hath a man of all the labour that he taketh vnder the sunne?
One generation passeth away, another commeth: but the earth abideth styll.
The sunne aryseth, the sunne goeth downe, and returneth to his place, that he may there ryse vp agayne.
The wynde goeth towarde the south and turneth vnto the north, fetcheth his compasse, whirleth about, and goeth foorth, and returneth agayne to his circuites from whence he dyd come.
All fluddes runne into the sea, and yet is the sea it selfe not fylled: For loke vnto what place the waters runne, thence they come to flowe agayne.
All thinges are so harde to be knowen, that no man can expresse them: The eye is not satisfied with sight, the eare is not fylled with hearyng.
The thyng that hath ben, commeth to passe agayne, and the thyng that hath ben done, shalbe done agayne: There is no newe thyng vnder the sunne.
Is there any thyng wherof it may be sayde, lo this is newe?
for it was long ago in the tymes that haue ben before vs.
The thyng that is past is out of remembraunce: euen so the thynges that are for to come, shal no more be thought vpon among them that come after.
I my selfe the preacher was kyng of Israel at Hierusalem,
And dyd applie my mynde to seke out & searche for knowledge of all thynges that are done vnder heauen: Such trauayle and labour hath God geuen vnto the children of men, to exercise them selues therin.
Thus haue I considered all these thynges that come to passe vnder the sunne: and lo, they are all but vanitie and vexation of mynde.
The croked can not be made straight, nor the imperfection of thynges can be numbred.
I communed with myne owne heart, saying: lo I am come to great estate, and haue gotten more wisdome then all they that haue ben before me in Hierusalem.
Yea, my heart had great experience of wisdome & knowledge: for thervnto I applied my mynde, that I myght knowe what were wisdome and vnderstandyng, what were errour and foolishnesse: and I perceaued that this was also but a vexation of mynde.
For where much wisdome is, there is also great trauayle and disquietnesse: and the more knowledge a man hath, the more is his care.