Verse > Anthologies > Robert Bridges, ed. > The Spirit of Man: An Anthology

Robert Bridges, ed. (1844–1930).  The Spirit of Man: An Anthology.  1916.
Ecclesiastes 1

VANITY 1 of Vanities, saith the Preacher,
  Vanity of Vanities, all is Vanity.
What profit hath a man of all his labour
  wherein he laboureth under the sun?
Generation passeth away, and generation cometh,        5
  and the earth abideth for ever.
The sun ariseth and the sun goeth down,
  and hasteth to the place where he ariseth.
The wind goeth toward the south,
  and turneth round unto the north;        10
  Around and around goeth the wind,
  and on its rounds the wind returneth.
All the rivers run into the sea,
  yet the sea is not full;
  Unto the place whence the rivers come,        15
  thither they return again.
All things are full of weariness;
  man cannot utter it.
  The eye is not satisfied with seeing,
  nor the ear filled with hearing.        20
The thing that hath been is that which shall be,
  and that which is done is that which shall be done:
  and there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there anything whereof it may be said, See, this is new?
  it hath already been in the ages that were before us.        25
There is no remembrance with us of former days,
  neither of the days that shall be will there be any remembrance among them that shall come after.
  I, the Preacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem, and I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of men to be exercised withal. I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.
  The crooked cannot be made straight
    and that which is wanting cannot be number’d.        30
  I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I have gotten me great wisdom above all that were before me in Jerusalem: yea my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge. And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit, for
    In much wisdom is much grief,
  and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.
Note 1. Ecclesiastes. Almost entirely from Auth. and Rev. Vers. I am responsible for the differences. [back]

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