Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich.
Be wise enough to know when to quit.
Don’t waste your breath on fools,
for they will despise the wisest advice.
Commit yourself to instruction;
listen carefully to words of knowledge.
My child, listen and be wise:
Keep your heart on the right course.
Do not carouse with drunkards
or feast with gluttons,
for they are on their way to poverty,
and too much sleep clothes them in rags.
Who has anguish? Who has sorrow?
Who is always fighting? Who is always complaining?
Who has unnecessary bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?
It is the one who spends long hours in the taverns,
trying out new drinks.
Don’t gaze at the wine, seeing how red it is,
how it sparkles in the cup, how smoothly it goes down.
For in the end it bites like a poisonous snake;
it stings like a viper.
You will see hallucinations,
and you will say crazy things.
You will stagger like a sailor tossed at sea,
clinging to a swaying mast.
And you will say, “They hit me, but I didn’t feel it.
I didn’t even know it when they beat me up.
When will I wake up
so I can look for another drink?”