Eclesiastes 4

1 I turnede me to othere thingis, and Y siy fals chalengis, that ben don vndur the sunne, and the teeris of innocentis, and no man coumfortour; and that thei forsakun of the help of alle men, moun not ayenstonde the violence of hem.

2 And Y preiside more deed men than lyuynge men;

3 and Y demyde hym, that was not borun yit, and siy not the yuels that ben don vndur the sunne, to be blisfulere than euer eithir.

4 Eft Y bihelde alle the trauelis of men, and bisynesses; and Y perseyuede that tho ben opyn to the enuye of neiybore; and therfor in this is vanyte, and superflu bisynesse.

5 A fool foldith togidere hise hondis, and etith hise fleischis,

6 and seith, Betere is an handful with reste, than euer either hondful with trauel and turment of soule.

7 I bihelde and foond also another vanytee vndir the sunne;

8 oon is, and he hath not a secounde; not a sone, not a brother; and netheles he ceesith not for to trauele, nether hise iyen ben fillid with richessis; nether he bithenkith, and seith, To whom trauele Y, and disseyue my soule in goodis? In this also is vanyte, and the worste turment.

9 Therfor it is betere, that tweyne be togidere than oon; for thei han profite of her felouschipe.

10 If oon fallith doun, he schal be vndurset of the tothere; wo to hym that is aloone, for whanne he fallith, he hath noon reisynge him.

11 And if tweyne slepen, thei schulen be nurschid togidere; hou schal oon be maad hoot?

12 And if ony man hath maistri ayens oon, tweyne ayen stonden hym; a threfolde corde is brokun of hard.

13 A pore man and wijs is betere than an eld kyng and fool, that kan not bifore se in to tyme to comynge.

14 For sum tyme a man goith out bothe fro prysoun and chaynes to a rewme; and anothir borun in to a rewme is wastid bi nedynesse.

15 I siy alle men lyuynge that goen vndur the sunne, with the secounde yong wexynge man, that schal rise for hym.

16 The noumbre of puple, of alle that weren bifore hym, is greet with outen mesure, and thei that schulen come aftirward, schulen not be glad in hym; but also this is vanyte and turment of the spirit.

17 Thou that entrist in to the hous of God, kepe thi foot, and neiye thou for to here; for whi myche betere is obedience than the sacrifices of foolis, that witen not what yuel thei don.