1My son, keep thou my words; and keep my behests to thee. (My son, remember my words; and keep my commands with thee.)
2Keep thou my behests, and thou shalt live; and my law, as the apple of thine eye. (Keep thou my commands, and thou shalt live; and my instructions, or my teaching, as the apple of thine eyes.)
3Bind thou it in thy fingers; write thou it in the tables of thine heart. (Bind thou it to thy fingers; write thou it on the tablets of thy heart.)
4Say thou to wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call thou prudence thy love (and call thou understanding, thy friend).
5That it keep thee from a strange woman; and from an alien woman, that maketh her words sweet. (So that they keep thee safe from a strange woman; yea, from an unknown woman, who maketh her words sweet.)
6(For she saith,) For why from the window of mine house, by the lattice, I beheld;
7and I see little children, that is, fools that have little wit. I behold a young man coward, (and I see fools, who have little intelligence. I behold a cowardly young man,)
8that passeth by the streets, beside the corner (who passeth along the street, beside the corner); and he goeth nigh the way of her house,
9in dark time, when the day draweth to night, in the darkness and mist in the night.
10And lo! a woman, made ready with (the) ornament of an whore to deceive souls, meeteth him,
11and she is a jangler, and going about, and unpatient of rest, and may not stand in the house with her feet; (and she is a gossip, who goeth about restlessly, yea, who cannot stand still in her own house;)
12and now withoutforth, now in [the] streets, now beside [the] corners, she ambusheth (him).
13And she taketh (hold of), and kisseth the young man; and flattereth (him) with wooing cheer, that is, unrestful(ly), and without shame, and saith,
14I owed sacrifices for health (I have paid my offerings for my deliverance); today I have yielded my vows.
15Therefore I went out into thy meeting, and I desired to see thee; and I have found thee.
16I have made (ready) my bed with cords, I have arrayed it with tapets painted of Egypt; (I have prepared my bed, yea, I have arrayed it with coloured tapestries from Egypt;)
17I have besprinkled my bed with myrrh, and aloes, and canel (and cinnamon).
18Come thou, be we filled with touching of teats, and use we embracings that be coveted (and with desired embraces); till the day begin to be clear.
19For mine husband is not in his house; he is gone (away) a full long way.
20He took with him a bag of money; he shall turn again in to his house in the day of [the] full moon. (He took a bag of money with him; and he shall not return to his house until the day of the full moon.)
21She bound him with many words; and she drew forth him with flatterings of lips. (And so she bound him with many words; and she drew him forth with the flattery from her lips.)
22Anon he as an ox led to slain sacrifice followeth her, and as a jolly lamb and unknowing; and the fool knoweth not, that he is drawn to bonds, (And so at once he followeth her, like an ox led away to be slain for the offering, and like a jolly, and unknowing, lamb; and the fool knoweth not, that he is drawn into bonds,)
23till an arrow pierce his maw. As if a bird hasteth to the snare; and knoweth not, that it is done of the peril of his life. (until an arrow pierce his belly. Yea, like a bird that hasteneth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is done at the peril of its own life.)
24Now therefore, my son, hear thou me; and perceive the words of my mouth. (And so now, my son, listen thou to me; and understand the words that I speak.)
25Lest thy soul be drawn away in the ways of her; neither be thou deceived in the paths of her. (Lest thy life be drawn away by her ways; go thou not forth on her deceptive paths.)
26For she hath cast down many wounded men; and all [the] strongest men were slain of her. (For she hath wounded, and cast down, many men; yea, even the strongest men have been slain by her.)
27The ways of hell is her house; and pierce(th) into the inner things of death. (Her house is the way, or the entrance, to Sheol/to hell; yea, it leadeth down to the land of the dead.)
Wycliffe’s Old Testament
Wycliffe’s New Testament
and JOHN PURVEY
A modern-spelling edition of their
14TH century Middle English translation,
the first complete English vernacular version,
with an Introduction by
TERENCE P. NOBLE
Used by Permission