Wisdom 4

1 A! hou fair is chast generacioun with clerenesse; for the mynde therof is vndeedli, for it is knowun, both anentis God, and anentis men.

2 Whanne it is present, thei suen it; and thei desiren it, whanne it hath led out it silf, and it ouercomyng getith bi victorie the mede of batels vndefoulid, and is corouned with outen ende.

3 But the many fold gendrid multitude of wickid men schal not be profitable; and plauntyngis of auoutrie schulen not yyue deepe rootis, nether schulen sette stable stidfastnesse.

4 Thouy thei buriounen in bowis in time, thei set vnstidfastli schulen be moued of the wynd, and schulen be drawun out bi the roote of the greetnesse of wyndys.

5 For whi bowis vnperfit schulen be brokun togidere; and the fruytis of hem ben vnprofitable, and soure to ete, and couenable to no thing.

6 For whi alle sones, that ben borun of wickid men, ben witnessis of wickidnesse ayens fadirs and modris, in her axyng.

7 But a iust man, thouy he be bifore ocupied bi deth, schal be in refreischyng.

8 For whi worschipful eelde is not of long tyme, nether is rikened bi the noumbre of yeeris; the wittis of a man ben hoore,

9 and the age of eelde is lijf withouten wem.

10 He pleside God, and was maad dereworth, and he lyuynge among synneris was `borun ouer; he was rauyschid,

11 lest malice schulde chaunge his vnderstondyng, ethir lest feynyng schulde disseyue his soule.

12 For whi disseyuyng of trifelyng makith derk goode thingis, and the vnstablenesse of coueitise turneth ouer the wit without malice.

13 He was endid in schort tyme, and fillide many tymes;

14 for whi his soule was plesant to God; for this thing God hastide to lede hym out fro the myddis of wickidnesses; but puplis sien and vndurstoden not, nether settiden siche thingis in `the inwardnesses.

15 For whi the grace and merci of God is on hise seyntis, and biholdyng of `Goddis coumfort is on hise chosun men.

16 Forsothe a iust man deed condempneth quyke wickid men; and yongthe endid swiftliere condempneth long lijf of an vniust man.

17 For thei schulen se the ende of a wise man, and thei schulen not vndurstonde, what thing God thouyte of hym, and whi the Lord made hym lesse.

18 For thei schulen se, and schulen dispise hym; but the Lord schal scorne hem.

19 And aftir these thingis thei schulen be fallynge doun withouten onour, and in dispisyng among deed men with outen ende. For he schal al to-breke hem bolnyd with out vois, and he schal moue hem fro the foundementis; and thei schulen be desolat til to the laste thing. And thei schulen be weilynge, and the mynde of hem schal perische.

20 Thei schulen come ferdful in the thouyt of her synnes; and her wickidnessis on the contrarie side schulen lede hem ouer.