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The words of king Lemuel: The prophecie which his mother taught him.
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What my sonne!
and what ye sonne of my wombe!
and what, O sonne of my desires!
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Giue not thy strength vnto women, nor thy wayes, which is to destroy Kings.
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It is not for Kings, O Lemuel, it is not for Kings to drink wine nor for princes strog drinke,
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Lest he drinke and forget the decree, and change the iudgement of all the children of affliction.
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Giue ye strong drinke vnto him that is readie to perish, and wine vnto them that haue griefe of heart.
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Let him drinke, that he may forget his pouertie, and remember his miserie no more.
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Open thy mouth for the domme in the cause of all the children of destruction.
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Open thy mouth: iudge righteously, and iudge the afflicted, and the poore.
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Who shall finde a vertuous woman?
for her price is farre aboue the pearles.
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The heart of her husbande trusteth in her, and he shall haue no neede of spoyle.
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She will doe him good, and not euill all the dayes of her life.
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She seeketh wooll and flaxe, and laboureth cheerefully with her handes.
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She is like the shippes of marchants: shee bringeth her foode from afarre.
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And she riseth, whiles it is yet night: and giueth the portion to her houshold, and the ordinarie to her maides.
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She considereth a field, and getteth it: and with the fruite of her handes she planteth a vineyarde.
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She girdeth her loynes with strength, and strengtheneth her armes.
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She feeleth that her marchandise is good: her candle is not put out by night.
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She putteth her handes to the wherue, and her handes handle the spindle.
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She stretcheth out her hand to the poore, and putteth foorth her hands to the needie.
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She feareth not the snowe for her familie: for all her familie is clothed with skarlet.
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She maketh her selfe carpets: fine linen and purple is her garment.
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Her husband is knowen in the gates, when he sitteth with the Elders of the land.
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She maketh sheetes, and selleth them, and giueth girdels vnto the marchant.
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Strength and honour is her clothing, and in the latter day she shall reioyce.
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She openeth her mouth with wisdome, and the lawe of grace is in her tongue.
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She ouerseeth the wayes of her housholde, and eateth not the bread of ydlenes.
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Her children rise vp, and call her blessed: her husband also shall prayse her, saying,
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Many daughters haue done vertuously: but thou surmountest them all.
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Fauour is deceitfull, and beautie is vanitie: but a woman that feareth the Lorde, she shall be praysed.
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Giue her of the fruite of her hands, and let her owne workes prayse her in the gates.