1 I too am mortal like everyone else, a descendant of the first man formed from the earth. I was modelled in flesh inside a mother's womb,
2 where, for ten months, in blood I acquired substance -- the result of virile seed and pleasure, sleep's companion.
3 I too, when I was born, drew in the common air, I fell on the same ground that bears us all, and crying was the first sound I made, like everyone else.
4 I was nurtured in swaddling clothes, with every care.
5 No king has known any other beginning of existence;
6 for there is only one way into life, and one way out of it.
7 And so I prayed, and understanding was given me; I entreated, and the spirit of Wisdom came to me.
8 I esteemed her more than sceptres and thrones; compared with her, I held riches as nothing.
9 I reckoned no precious stone to be her equal, for compared with her, all gold is a pinch of sand, and beside her, silver ranks as mud.
10 I loved her more than health or beauty, preferred her to the light, since her radiance never sleeps.
11 In her company all good things came to me, and at her hands incalculable wealth.
12 All these delighted me, since Wisdom brings them, though I did not then realise that she was their mother.
13 What I learned diligently, I shall pass on liberally, I shall not conceal how rich she is.
14 For she is to human beings an inexhaustible treasure, and those who acquire this win God's friendship, commended to him by the gifts of instruction.
15 May God grant me to speak as he would wish and conceive thoughts worthy of the gifts I have received, since he is both guide to Wisdom and director of sages;
16 for we are in his hand, yes, ourselves and our sayings, and all intellectual and all practical knowledge.
17 He it was who gave me sure knowledge of what exists, to understand the structure of the world and the action of the elements,
18 the beginning, end and middle of the times, the alternation of the solstices and the succession of the seasons,
19 the cycles of the year and the position of the stars,
20 the natures of animals and the instincts of wild beasts, the powers of spirits and human mental processes, the varieties of plants and the medical properties of roots.
21 And now I understand everything, hidden or visible, for Wisdom, the designer of all things, has instructed me.
22 For within her is a spirit intelligent, holy, unique, manifold, subtle, mobile, incisive, unsullied, lucid, invulnerable, benevolent, shrewd,
23 irresistible, beneficent, friendly to human beings, steadfast, dependable, unperturbed, almighty, all-surveying, penetrating all intelligent, pure and most subtle spirits.
24 For Wisdom is quicker to move than any motion; she is so pure, she pervades and permeates all things.
25 She is a breath of the power of God, pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty; so nothing impure can find its way into her.
26 For she is a reflection of the eternal light, untarnished mirror of God's active power, and image of his goodness.
27 Although she is alone, she can do everything; herself unchanging, she renews the world, and, generation after generation, passing into holy souls, she makes them into God's friends and prophets;
28 for God loves only those who dwell with Wisdom.
29 She is indeed more splendid than the sun, she outshines all the constellations; compared with light, she takes first place,
30 for light must yield to night, but against Wisdom evil cannot prevail.