(1) So appreciate your vigor in the days of your youth, before those days of sorrow come and those years arrive of which you will say, “I have no pleasure in them”; (2) before sun and light and moon and stars grow dark, and the clouds come back again after the rain: (3) When the guards of the house become shaky, And the men of valor are bent, And the maids that grind, grown few, are idle, And the ladies that peer through the windows grow dim, (4) And the doors to the street are shut— With the noise of the hand mill growing fainter, And the song of the bird growing feebler, And all the strains of music dying down; (5) When one is afraid of heights And there is terror on the road.— For the almond tree may blossom, The grasshopper be burdened, And the caper bush may bud again; But man sets out for his eternal abode, With mourners all around in the street.— (6) Before the silver cord snaps And the golden bowl crashes, The jar is shattered at the spring, And the jug is smashed at the cistern. (7) And the dust returns to the ground As it was, And the lifebreath returns to God Who bestowed it. (8) Utter futility—said Koheleth— All is futile! (9) A further word: Because Koheleth was a sage, he continued to instruct the people. He listened to and tested the soundness of many maxims. (10) Koheleth sought to discover useful sayings and recorded genuinely truthful sayings. (11) The sayings of the wise are like goads, like nails fixed in prodding sticks. They were given by one Shepherd. (12) A further word: Against them, my son, be warned! The making of many books is without limit And much study is a wearying of the flesh. (13) The sum of the matter, when all is said and done: Revere God and observe His commandments! For this applies to all mankind: (14) that God will call every creature to account for everything unknown, be it good or bad. The sum of the matter, when all is said and done: Revere God and observe His commandments! For this applies to all mankind.