- Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.
- And I turned myself to behold wisdom, and madness, and folly: for what can the man do that cometh after the king? even that which hath been already done.
- Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness.
- The wise man's eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all.
- Then said I in my heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so it happeneth even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart, that this also is vanity.
- Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.
- Then I turned my thoughts to consider wisdom, and also madness and folly. What more can the king's successor do than what has already been done?
- I saw that wisdom is better than folly, just as light is better than darkness.
- The wise man has eyes in his head, while the fool walks in the darkness; but I came to realize that the same fate overtakes them both.
- Then I thought in my heart, "The fate of the fool will overtake me also. What then do I gain by being wise?" I said in my heart, "This too is meaningless."