Poets Feature Sampler - Flipbook - Page 25
feet that race to do wrong,
a false witness who pours out lies,
a person who sows discord in a family.
My son, obey your father’s commands,
and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.
Keep their words always in your heart.
Tie them around your neck.
When you walk, their counsel will lead you.
When you sleep, they will protect you.
When you wake up, they will advise you.
For their command is a lamp
and their instruction a light;
their corrective discipline
is the way to life.
It will keep you from the immoral woman,
from the smooth tongue of a promiscuous woman.
Don’t lust for her beauty.
Don’t let her coy glances seduce you.
For a prostitute will bring you to poverty,
but sleeping with another man’s wife will cost you your life.
Can a man scoop a flame into his lap
and not have his clothes catch on fire?
Can he walk on hot coals
and not blister his feet?
So it is with the man who sleeps with another man’s wife.
He who embraces her will not go unpunished.
Excuses might be found for a thief
who steals because he is starving.
But if he is caught, he must pay back seven times what
even if he has to sell everything in his house.
But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool,
for he destroys himself.
He will be wounded and disgraced.
His shame will never be erased.
For the woman’s jealous husband will be furious,
and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge.
He will accept no compensation,
nor be satisfied with a payoff of any size.
Follow my advice, my son;
always treasure my commands.
Obey my commands and live!
Guard my instructions as you guard your own eyes.
Tie them on your fingers as a reminder.
Write them deep within your heart.
Love wisdom like a sister;
make insight a beloved member of your family.
Let them protect you from an affair with an immoral woman,
from listening to the flattery of a promiscuous woman.
While I was at the window of my house,
looking through the curtain,
I saw some naive young men,
and one in particular who lacked common sense.
He was crossing the street near the house of an immoral
strolling down the path by her house.
It was at twilight, in the evening,
as deep darkness fell.
The woman approached him,
seductively dressed and sly of heart.
She was the brash, rebellious type,
never content to stay at home.
She is often in the streets and markets,
soliciting at every corner.
She threw her arms around him and kissed him,
and with a brazen look she said,
“I’ve just made my peace offerings
and fulfilled my vows.
You’re the one I was looking for!
I came out to find you, and here you are!
My bed is spread with beautiful blankets,
with colored sheets of Egyptian linen.
I’ve perfumed my bed
with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
Come, let’s drink our fill of love until morning.
Let’s enjoy each other’s caresses,
for my husband is not home.
He’s away on a long trip.