30 * The words of Agur the son of Jakeh the Massaite.Quoth the man, “I am tired, God,tired, God, and used up, 2 Because I am more of a brute beast than of a manand have not human sense, 3 * And have not learned wisdomso as to have knowledge of the Holy. 4 Who has gone up to the sky and come down?who has taken the wind in his two hands?Who has taken up water in a blanket?who set up all the extremities of the earth?What is his name, and the name of his son?—since you know! 5 Every say of God’s is sterling;he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. 6 Do not add to his words,for fear he should arraign you and you turn out to have been lying. 7 I ask two things of you;do not refuse to let me have them before I die: 8 * Keep shams and lying talk far away from me;poverty and riches give not to me,issue me my proper ration, 9 * For fear I should have all I want and turn agnosticand say ‘Who is Jehovah?’And for fear I should grow poor and stealand be irreverent to the name of my God. 10 Do not tell tales of a slave to his master,for fear he should curse you and you bear the consequences. 11 A generation that curses its fatherand does not bless its mother! 12 * A generation that thinks it is cleanand has not got the worst of its filth washed off! 13 A generation with eyes O how loftyand eyebrows raised! 14 A generation whose teeth are swordsand its fangs knivesTo eat unfortunate men off the earthand needy men out of the human race!” 15 * The bloodsucker has two daughters: Give! Give!Three they are that never get their fill,four that never say “enough”: 16 The realm of death, and barrenness of womb;earth, which never gets its fill of water;and fire, which never says “enough.” 17 An eye that gibes at a fatherand despises obedience to a motherRavens of the glen will peckand a vulture’s young will eat. 18 Three they are that are too mysterious for meand four that I do not know about: 19 A vulture’s road in the sky,a snake’s road on a rock,A ship’s road on the high sea,and a man’s road in a wench. 20 Such is an adulterous wife’s road:she eats and wipes her mouthand says “I did not do anything out of the way.” 21 Under three earth staggers,and under four it cannot bear up: 22 Under a slave when he gets to be kingand a boor when he gets his stomach full of bread, 23 * Under an old maid when she gets marriedand a slave-girl when she gets into her mistress’s place. 24 Four they are that are earth’s little thingsbut are shrewdly wise: 25 The ants are a people that are not strong,but they make their preparations in summer for their bread; 26 Dassies are a people that are not formidable,but they place their house in the crag; 27 The grasshoppers have no king,but they all go out on an aimed course; 28 A lizard you can catch in your hands,but it is in royal palaces. 29 Three they are that are fine of stepand four that are fine of walk: 30 A lion, champion among beasts,that does not turn back for any; 31 * A strutting cock; or a he-goat;and a king—do not stand up against him. 32 * If you are adrift when you fly highor if you have a design—hand on mouth! 33 For bumping milk brings out butter,and bumping a nose brings out blood,and bumping anger brings out discord.
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