The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Ecclesiastes
With another hardship I have seen men visited here beneath the sun, and commonly.
God gives a man wealth, and goods, and state, till there is nothing more left for his appetites to desire; and then God denies him the enjoyment of all this, throws the coveted morsel to a stranger instead; here is frustration, here is cold comfort indeed.
Ay, let a man have a hundred children to his name, years let him have a many, and be near his end; yet, if he is not to enjoy the revenues of his land still, and lay his bones in it,✻ I say it were better for him never to have come to the birth.
Well made, the empty passage from light to darkness, well lost, the chance of earthly renown,
if only a man never sees the sun, never learns the meaning of good fortune and ill!
Though he should have lived two thousand years, he were none the better for it, if he might not continue in the enjoyment of his goods. Do we not all reach the same goal at last?✻
What is all our striving, but a full mouth and an empty belly?
Is wise man more to be envied than fool? Where should a man go when he is poor, save where he can find a livelihood?✻
Better aim at what lies in view than hanker after dreams. But indeed all is frustration, and labour lost.
He is known already by name, that is still unborn; and this at least is known of him, that he is but man, and cannot plead his cause, matched against too strong an adversary.
Words, they be spun endlessly; yet what should lie at the heart of our reasoning, but frustration?
The Holy Bible