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Ecclesiastes 12

 
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1 καὶ μνήσθητι τοῦ κτίσαντός σε ἐν ἡμέραις νεότητός σου ἕως ὅτου μὴ ἔλθωσιν ἡμέραι τῆς κακίας καὶ φθάσωσιν ἔτη ἐν οἷς ἐρεῖς οὐκ ἔστιν μοι ἐν αὐτοῖς θέλημα 2 ἕως οὗ μὴ σκοτισθῇ ὁ ἥλιος καὶ τὸ φῶς καὶ ἡ σελήνη καὶ οἱ ἀστέρες καὶ ἐπιστρέψωσιν τὰ νέφη ὀπίσω τοῦ ὑετοῦ 3 ἐν ἡμέρᾳ ᾗ ἐὰν σαλευθῶσιν φύλακες τῆς οἰκίας καὶ διαστραφῶσιν ἄνδρες τῆς δυνάμεως καὶ ἤργησαν αἱ ἀλήθουσαι ὅτι ὠλιγώθησαν καὶ σκοτάσουσιν αἱ βλέπουσαι ἐν ταῖς ὀπαῖς 4 καὶ κλείσουσιν θύρας ἐν ἀγορᾷ ἐν ἀσθενείᾳ φωνῆς τῆς ἀληθούσης καὶ ἀναστήσεται εἰς φωνὴν τοῦ στρουθίου καὶ ταπεινωθήσονται πᾶσαι αἱ θυγατέρες τοῦ ᾄσματος 5 καί γε ἀπὸ ὕψους ὄψονται καὶ θάμβοι ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ καὶ ἀνθήσῃ τὸ ἀμύγδαλον καὶ παχυνθῇ ἡ ἀκρίς καὶ διασκεδασθῇ ἡ κάππαρις ὅτι ἐπορεύθη ὁ ἄνθρωπος εἰς οἶκον αἰῶνος αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐκύκλωσαν ἐν ἀγορᾷ οἱ κοπτόμενοι 6 ἕως ὅτου μὴ ἀνατραπῇ σχοινίον τοῦ ἀργυρίου καὶ συνθλιβῇ ἀνθέμιον τοῦ χρυσίου καὶ συντριβῇ ὑδρία ἐπὶ τὴν πηγήν καὶ συντροχάσῃ ὁ τροχὸς ἐπὶ τὸν λάκκον 7 καὶ ἐπιστρέψῃ ὁ χοῦς ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν ὡς ἦν καὶ τὸ πνεῦμα ἐπιστρέψῃ πρὸς τὸν θεόν ὃς ἔδωκεν αὐτό 1 Do not forget thy Maker, now, while youth lasts; now, while the evil days are still far off, the years that pass unwelcomed. 2 Not yet the obscuration of sun and moon and starlight; and the clouds that still gather when the rainy season is done. 3 One day, palsy will shake those door-keepers, those stalwart guards will be bowed with age; rarer, now, the busy maidens at the mill, dimmer, now, those bright glances from the windows. 4 The street-doors shut, muffled the hum of the mill, bird-song for waking-time, and all the echoes[1] of music faint! 5 Fear upon every height, terrors on the road; almond-blossom matched for whiteness; the grasshopper’s weight a burden now; the spiced food untasted![2] Man is for his everlasting home, and already the mourners are astir in the streets. 6 That, or else yonder cord of silver will be loosed, yonder golden skein unravelled; pitcher broken beside the fountain, wheel lost in the well;[3] 7 with that, back goes dust to its parent earth, and the spirit[4] returns to God who gave it. 1

Memento Creatoris tui in diebus juventutis tuæ,
antequam veniat tempus afflictionis,
et appropinquent anni de quibus dicas:
Non mihi placent;
2
antequam tenebrescat sol, et lumen, et luna, et stellæ,
et revertantur nubes post pluviam;
3
quando commovebuntur custodes domus,
et nutabunt viri fortissimi,
et otiosæ erunt molentes in minuto numero,
et tenebrescent videntes per foramina;
4
et claudent ostia in platea,
in humilitate vocis molentis,
et consurgent ad vocem volucris,
et obsurdescent omnes filiæ carminis:
5
excelsa quoque timebunt, et formidabunt in via.
Florebit amygdalus, impinguabitur locusta,
et dissipabitur capparis,
quoniam ibit homo in domum æternitatis suæ,
et circuibunt in platea plangentes.
6
Antequam rumpatur funiculus argenteus,
et recurrat vitta aurea,
et conteratur hydria super fontem,
et confringatur rota super cisternam,
7
et revertatur pulvis in terram suam unde erat,
et spiritus redeat ad Deum, qui dedit illum.
8 ματαιότης ματαιοτήτων εἶπεν ὁ Ἐκκλησιαστής τὰ πάντα ματαιότης 8 A shadow’s shadow, he, the Spokesman, tells us, a world of shadows! 8
Vanitas vanitatum, dixit Ecclesiastes,
et omnia vanitas.
9 καὶ περισσὸν ὅτι ἐγένετο Ἐκκλησιαστὴς σοφός ἔτι ἐδίδαξεν γνῶσιν σὺν τὸν λαόν καὶ οὖς ἐξιχνιάσεται κόσμιον παραβολῶν 10 πολλὰ ἐζήτησεν Ἐκκλησιαστὴς τοῦ εὑρεῖν λόγους θελήματος καὶ γεγραμμένον εὐθύτητος λόγους ἀληθείας 11 λόγοι σοφῶν ὡς τὰ βούκεντρα καὶ ὡς ἧλοι πεφυτευμένοι οἳ παρὰ τῶν συναγμάτων ἐδόθησαν ἐκ ποιμένος ἑνὸς καὶ περισσὸν ἐξ αὐτῶν 12 υἱέ μου φύλαξαι ποιῆσαι βιβλία πολλά οὐκ ἔστιν περασμός καὶ μελέτη πολλὴ κόπωσις σαρκός 9 Abundant wisdom the Spokesman had, to be the oracle of his people; the story of his life he made known to them, laid secrets bare, and proverbs framed a many. 10 Sayings of much import he devised, and nothing his pen set down but was truth unalloyed. 11 Sharp goads they are to sting us, sharp nails driven deep home, these wise words left to us by many masters, but all echoing one shepherd’s voice. 12 Let these, my son, be all the wisdom thou cravest; this writing of books is an endless matter, and from overmuch study nature rebels. 9

Cumque esset sapientissimus Ecclesiastes,
docuit populum, et enarravit quæ fecerat;
et investigans composuit parabolas multas.
10
Quæsivit verba utilia,
et conscripsit sermones rectissimos ac veritate plenos.
11
Verba sapientium sicut stimuli,
et quasi clavi in altum defixi,
quæ per magistrorum consilium data sunt a pastore uno.
12
His amplius, fili mi, ne requiras.
Faciendi plures libros nullus est finis;
frequensque meditatio, carnis afflictio est.
13 τέλος λόγου τὸ πᾶν ἀκούεται τὸν θεὸν φοβοῦ καὶ τὰς ἐντολὰς αὐτοῦ φύλασσε ὅτι τοῦτο πᾶς ὁ ἄνθρωπος 14 ὅτι σὺν πᾶν τὸ ποίημα ὁ θεὸς ἄξει ἐν κρίσει ἐν παντὶ παρεωραμένῳ ἐὰν ἀγαθὸν καὶ ἐὰν πονηρόν 13 Conclude we then thus in general; Fear God, and keep his commandments; this is the whole meaning of man. 14 No act of thine but God will bring it under his scrutiny, deep beyond all thy knowing, and pronounce it good or evil. 13
Finem loquendi pariter omnes audiamus.
Deum time, et mandata ejus observa:
hoc est enim omnis homo,
14
et cuncta quæ fiunt adducet Deus in judicium
pro omni errato, sive bonum, sive malum illud sit.
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Copyright © 2013 by Kevin Knight. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.