I said to myself, "Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself." And behold, it too was futility. I said of laughter, "It is madness," and of pleasure, "What does it accomplish?"
I explored with my mind how to stimulate my body with wine while my mind was guiding me wisely, and how to take hold of folly, until I could see what good there is for the sons of men to do under heaven the few years of their lives. read more.
I enlarged my works: I built houses for myself, I planted vineyards for myself; I made gardens and parks for myself and I planted in them all kinds of fruit trees; I made ponds of water for myself from which to irrigate a forest of growing trees. I bought male and female slaves and I had homeborn slaves Also I possessed flocks and herds larger than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. Also, I collected for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces I provided for myself male and female singers and the pleasures of men--many concubines. Then I became great and increased more than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. My wisdom also stood by me. All that my eyes desired I did not refuse them I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor and this was my reward for all my labor.
Even in laughter the heart may be in pain,
And the end of joy may be grief.
Sorrow is better than laughter,
For when a face is sad a heart may be happy.
For as the crackling of thorn bushes under a pot,
So is the laughter of the fool;
And this too is futility.
Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom.
Woe to you who are well-fed now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.
I said of laughter, “It is madness,” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?”