¶ There are places were silver is molten, and where gold is tried: where iron is digged out of the ground, and stones resolved to metal. The darkness shall once come to an end, he can seek out the ground of all things: the stones, the dark, and the horrible shadow. With the river of water parteth he a sunder the strange people, that knoweth no good neighbourhead: such as are rude, unmannerly and boisterous: He bringeth food out of the earth, and that which is under, consumeth he with fire. There is found a place, whose stones are clean Sapphires, and where the clots of the earth are gold. There is a way also that the birds know not, that no vulture's eye hath seen: wherein the proud and high minded walk not, and where no lion cometh. There putteth he his hand upon the stony rocks, and overthroweth the mountains. Rivers flow out of the rocks, and look what is pleasant, his eye seeth it. Out of drops bringeth he great floods together, and the thing that is hid bringeth he to light. How cometh a man then by wisdom? Where is the place that men find understanding? Verily no man can tell how worthy a thing she is, neither is she found in the land of the living.
¶ The deep sayeth: she is not in me. The sea sayeth: she is not with me. She can not be gotten for the most fine gold, neither may the price of her be bought with any money. No wedges of gold of Ophir, no precious Onyx stones, no Sapphire may be compared unto her. No, neither gold nor Crystal, neither sweet odours nor golden plate. There is nothing so worthy, or so excellent, as once to be named unto her: for perfect wisdom goeth far beyond them all. The Topaz that cometh out of Inde, may in no wise be likened unto her: yea no manner of apparel how pleasant and fair soever it be.
¶ From where then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding? She is hid from the eyes of all men, yea and from the fouls of the air. Destruction and death say: We have heard tell of her with our ears. But God seeth her way, and knoweth her place. For he holdeth the ends of the world and looketh upon all that is under the heaven. When he weighed the winds, and measured the waters: When he set the rain in order, and gave the mighty floods a law. Then did he see her, then declared he her, prepared her and knew her. And unto man he said: Behold, to fear the Lord, is wisdom: and to forsake evil, is understanding.