¶ The words of king Lemuel, and the Prophecy that his mother taught him. My son, thou son of my body: O my dear beloved son, give not over thy substance and mind unto women, which are the destruction even of kings. O Lamuel, give kings no wine, give kings and princes no strong drink: Lest they being drunken forget the law, and regard not the cause of the poor, and of all such as be in adversity. Give strong drink unto such as are condemned to death, and wine unto those that mourne: that they may drink it, and forget their misery and adversity. Be thou an advocate and stond in judgement thyself, to speak for all such as be dumb and sucourless. With thy mouth defend the thing that is lawful and right, and the cause of the poor and helpless.
¶ Aleph.Who so findeth an honest faithful woman, she is much more worth than pearls. Beth.The heart of her husband may safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoils. Gimel.She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. Daleth.She occupieth wool and flax, and laboureth gladly with her hands. He.She is like the merchants' ship, that bringeth her vitailles from afar. Vav.She is up in the night season, to provide meat for her household, and food for her maidens. Zain.She considereth land, and buyeth it, with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. Heth.She girdeth her loins with strength, and courageth her arms. Teth.And if she perceiveth that her housewifery doth good, her candle goeth not out by night. Yod.She layeth her fingers to the spindle, and her hand taketh hold of the rock. Caph.She openeth her hand to the poor, yea she stretcheth forth her hands to such as have need. Lamed.She feareth not that the cold of winter shall hurt her house, for all her household folks are double clothed. Mem.She maketh herself fair ornaments, her clothing is white silk and purple. Nun.Her husband is much set by in the gates, when he sitteth among the rulers of the land. Samech.She maketh cloth of silk and selleth it, and delivereth a girdle unto the merchant. Ain.Strength and honour is her clothing, and in the latter day she shall rejoice. Phe.She openeth her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of grace. Zade.She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not her bread with idleness. Koph.Her children arise, and call her blessed: and her husband maketh much of her. Res.Many daughters there be that gather riches together, but thou goest above them all. Sin.As for favor, it is deceitful, and beauty is a vain thing: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she is worthy to be praised. Thau.Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.