1 Forsothe alle men ben veyn, in whiche the kunnyng of God is not; and of these thingis that ben seyn goode, thei myyten not vndurstonde him, that is, and thei perseyuynge the werkis knewen not, who was the worchere;
2 but thei gessiden goddis gouernours of the world, ethir the fier, ether the wynd, ethir the eir maad swift, ether the cumpas of sterris, ether ful myche watir, ethir the sunne and moone;
3 and if thei delitiden in the fairnesse of tho thingis, and gessiden tho goddis, wite thei, hou myche the lord of tho is fairere than tho; for whi the gendrere of fairnesse made alle these thingis.
4 Ethir if thei wondriden on the vertu and werkis of tho thingis, vndurstonde thei of tho, that he that made these thingis, is strongere than tho;
5 for bi the greetnesse of fairnesse and of creature the creatour of these thingis myyte be seyn knowyngli.
6 But netheles yit in these men is lesse playnt; for thei erren, in hap sekynge God, and willynge to fynde.
7 For whanne thei lyuen in hise werkis, thei seken, and holden for a soth, that tho thingis ben goode, that ben seyn.
8 Eft sotheli it owith not to be foryouun to these men.
9 For if thei miyten wite so myche, that thei miyten gesse the world, hou founden thei not liytliere the lord therof?
10 forsothe thei ben cursid, and the hope of hem is among deed men, that clepiden goddis the werkis of mennus hondis, gold, and siluer, the fyndyng of craft, and licnessis of beestis, ether a stoon vnprofitable, the werk of an eld hond.
11 Ethir if ony crafti man, a carpenter, hewith doun of the wode a streiyt tre, and rasith awei perfitli al the riynde therof, and vsith his craft diligentli, and makith a vessel ful profitable in to conuersacioun of lijf;
12 sotheli he vsith the relifs of this werk to the makyng redi of mete; and the residue of these thingis,
13 which he makith to no werk, a crokid tre, and ful of knottis, he graueth diligentli bi his voidnesse, and bi the kunnyng of his craft he figurith it, and licneth it to the ymage of a man,
14 ether makith it lijk to sum of beestis, and anoyntith with reed colour, and makith the colour therof rodi with peynture, and anoyntith eche spotte which is in it,
15 and makith to it a worthi dwellyng place, and settith it in the wal, and he fastneth it with irun,
16 lest perauenture it falle doun; and he purueyeth for it, and woot, that it may not helpe it silf; for it is an ymage, and help is nedeful therto.
17 And he makith auowe, and enquerith of his catel, and of hise sones, and of weddyngis; he is not aschamed to speke with hym, that is with out soule;
18 and sotheli for helthe he bisechith a thing vnmyyti, and for lijf he preieth a thing with out lijf, and he clepith an vnprofitable thing in to help.
19 And for iourney he axith of that thing, that mai not go; and of getyng, and of worchyng, and of bifallyng of alle thingis he axith of hym, which is vnprofitable in alle thingis.