1 THE WORDS OF KING LEMUEL: The prophecie which his mother taught him.
2 What my sonne! and what ye sonne of my wombe! and what, O sonne of my desires!
3 Giue not thy strength vnto women, nor thy wayes, which is to destroy Kings.
4 It is not for Kings, O Lemuel, it is not for Kings to drink wine nor for princes strog drinke,
5 Lest he drinke and forget the decree, and change the iudgement of all the children of affliction.
6 Giue ye strong drinke vnto him that is readie to perish, and wine vnto them that haue griefe of heart.
7 Let him drinke, that he may forget his pouertie, and remember his miserie no more.
8 Open thy mouth for the domme in the cause of all the children of destruction.
9 Open thy mouth: iudge righteously, and iudge the afflicted, and the poore.
¶ 10 Who shall finde a vertuous woman? for her price is farre aboue the pearles.
11 The heart of her husband trusteth in her, and he shall haue no neede of spoyle.
12 She will doe him good, and not euill all the dayes of her life.
13 She seeketh wooll and flaxe, and laboureth cheerefully with her handes.
14 She is like the shippes of marchants: shee bringeth her foode from afarre.
15 And she riseth, whiles it is yet night: and giueth the portion to her houshold, and the ordinarie to her maides.
16 She considereth a field, and getteth it: and with the fruite of her handes she planteth a vineyarde.
17 She girdeth her loynes with strength, and strengtheneth her armes.
18 She feeleth that her marchandise is good: her candle is not put out by night.
19 She putteth her handes to the wherue, and her handes handle the spindle.
20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poore, and putteth foorth her hands to the needie.
21 She feareth not the snowe for her familie: for all her familie is clothed with skarlet.
22 She maketh her selfe carpets: fine linen and purple is her garment.
23 Her husband is knowen in the gates, when he sitteth with the Elders of the land.
24 She maketh sheetes, and selleth them, and giueth girdels vnto the marchant.
25 Strength and honour is her clothing, and in the latter day she shall reioyce.
26 She openeth her mouth with wisdome, and the lawe of grace is in her tongue.
27 She ouerseeth the wayes of her housholde, and eateth not the bread of ydlenes.
28 Her children rise vp, and call her blessed: her husband also shall prayse her, saying,
29 Many daughters haue done vertuously: but thou surmountest them all.
30 Fauour is deceitfull, and beautie is vanitie: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praysed.
31 Giue her of the fruite of her hands, and let her owne workes prayse her in the gates.