The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Proverbs
My son, do not forget these warnings; let this charge of mine be an heirloom,
kept jealously, as thou lovest thy own life; precious to thee as the apple of thy eye be the teaching I give thee.
Bind it fast about thy fingers, write it, as upon a tablet, on thy heart;
give to wisdom a sister’s welcome, and hail discernment as thy friend.
So wilt thou learn to shun the temptress with her honeyed words, the wife that is no wife of thine.
Ere now, looking down from my window through the lattice,
I have watched the thoughtless crowd, and seen some gallant, more insensate than the rest,
crossing the street at the corner where such a woman dwells. Now his steps are taking him near that abode of hers;
the day wanes, and the light fades; night spreads her pall of darkness.
Who comes to meet him? A woman in right harlot’s guise, that goes out, ready of speech, to hunt men’s lives.
No rest for her, stay at home she cannot;
ever in street and market-place she lies in ambush, at some corner of the ways.
She draws him to herself and kisses him, flattering him with her bold speech:
Only to-day I have paid a vow that I owed for my preservation, and here are my victims freshly killed;
so I came out to find thee, longing for the sight of thee, and here thou art!
Soft, soft I have made my bed, spread it with embroidered tapestries of Egyptian woof;
freshly scented is that bower of mine with myrrh, and aloes, and cinnamon.
Come, let us lose ourselves in dalliance, all the night through let us enjoy the long-desired embrace.
My home stands masterless, my husband far away,
and his purse with him; no fear of his returning till the moon is full.
Alas, the ready speech that beguiles him, the seducing lips that lead him captive away!
He follows without more ado, unwitting as the ox that goes to the shambles, or a frisking lamb;✻ nor knows what fetters await him,
till the shaft is already deep in his bosom. So joyfully flies bird into snare, heedless of its life’s peril.
Heed me well, my son; let not this warning be given in vain;
do not let her steal thy heart away, do not be enticed by her beckoning.
Many the wounds such a woman has dealt; a brave retinue she has of men murdered;
truly her house is the grave’s ante-chamber, opens the door into the secret closet of death.
The Holy Bible