Worldly joy lasts no time;
it comes and goes straight away
the longer that I know it,
the less I find worth in it;
for it is all mixed with care,
with sorrows and with ill fortune,
and at the end, poor and bare
it leaves man when it goes away,
all the joy which is here and there
weeping and sorr0w engulf in the end.
All the joy of this life you shall, man,
bring to an end in weeping,
‘the joy’ of house and home and child and wife. Wretched man, take heed thereof!
For you shall leave here all the property of which you were lord,
when you lie, man, upon the bier and sleep a most lifeless sleep
you shall have with you no companion but your deeds in a heap.
Man, why do you set your love and heart on worldly joy that does not last?
why do you allow that you should so often anguish for love that is transitory?
You lick honey from a thorn, indeed, that set your love on worldly joy, for it is full of bitterness.
Most bitterly you may be afraid, who spend your wealth amiss, to be thereby cast into hell.