¶ Remember thy maker in thy youth, or ever the days of adversity come, and or the years draw nye, when thou shalt say: I have no pleasure in them before the sun, the light, the moon and stars be darkened, and or the clouds turn again after the rain: when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and when the strong men shall bow themselves: when the millers stond still, because they be so few, and when the sight of the windows shall wax dim: when the doors in the streets shall be shut, and when the voice of the miller shall be laid down: when men shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and when all the daughters of music shall be brought low: When men shall fear in high places, and be afraid in the streets: when the Almond tree shall be despised, the grasshopper born out, and when great poverty shall break in: when man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets. Or ever the silver lace be taken away, and or the golden band be broken: or the pot be broken at the well, and the wheel upon the cistern: Or dust be turned again unto earth from whence it came, and or the spirit return unto God, which gave it.
¶ All is but vanity (sayeth the preacher) all is but plain vanity. The same preacher was not wise alone, but taught the people knowledge also: he gave good heed, sought out the ground and set forth many parables. His diligence was to find out acceptable words, right scripture, and the words of truth. For the words of the wise are like pricks and nails that go thorow, wherewith men are kept together: for they are given of one shepherd onely. Therefore beware (my son) that above these thou make them not many and innumerable books, nor take divers doctrines in hand, to weary thy body withal.
¶ Let us hear the conclusion of all things: Fear God, and keep his commandments, for that toucheth all men: For God shall judge all works and secret things, whether they be good or evil.