1 A man is borun of a womman, and lyueth schort tyme, and is fillid with many wretchidnessis.
2 Which goith out, and is defoulid as a flour; and fleeth as schadewe, and dwellith neuere perfitli in the same staat.
3 And gessist thou it worthi to opene thin iyen on siche a man; and to brynge hym in to doom with thee?
4 Who may make a man clene conseyued of vnclene seed? Whether not thou, which art aloone?
5 The daies of man ben schorte, the noumbre of his monethis is at thee; thou hast set, ethir ordeyned, hise termes, whiche moun not be passid.
6 Therfor go thou awey fro hym a litil, `that is, bi withdrawyng of bodili lijf, that he haue reste; til the meede coueitid come, and his dai is as the dai of an hirid man.
7 A tree hath hope, if it is kit doun; and eft it wexith greene, and hise braunches spreden forth.
8 If the roote therof is eeld in the erthe, and the stok therof is nyy deed in dust;
9 it schal buriowne at the odour of watir, and it schal make heer, as whanne it was plauntid first.
10 But whanne a man is deed, and maad nakid, and wastid; Y preye, where is he?
11 As if watris goen awei fro the see, and a ryuer maad voide wexe drie,
12 so a man, whanne he hath slept, `that is, deed, he schal not rise ayen, til heuene be brokun, `that is, be maad newe; he schal not wake, nether he schal ryse togidere fro his sleep.
13 Who yiueth this to me, that thou defende me in helle, and that thou hide me, til thi greet veniaunce passe; and thou sette to me a tyme, in which thou haue mynde on me?
14 Gessist thou, whethir a deed man schal lyue ayen? In alle the daies, in whiche Y holde knyythod, now Y abide, til my chaungyng come.
15 Thou schalt clepe me, and Y schal answere thee; thou schalt dresse the riyt half, `that is, blis, to the werk of thin hondis.
16 Sotheli thou hast noumbrid my steppis; but spare thou my synnes.
17 Thou hast seelid as in a bagge my trespassis, but thou hast curid my wickidnesse.
18 An hil fallynge droppith doun; and a rooche of stoon is borun ouer fro his place.
19 Watris maken stoonys holowe, and the erthe is wastid litil and litil bi waischyng a wey of watir; and therfor thou schalt leese men in lijk maner.
20 Thou madist a man strong a litil, that he schulde passe with outen ende; thou schalt chaunge his face, and schalt sende hym out.
21 Whether hise sones ben noble, ether vnnoble, he schal not vndurstonde.
22 Netheles his fleisch, while he lyueth, schal haue sorewe, and his soule schal morne on hym silf.