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Psalm 49

(from Day 9 Evening Prayer)

Audite haec, omnes

  1. O HEAR ye this, all ye people: ponder it with your ears, all ye that dwell in the world;
  2. High and low, rich and poor: one with another.
  3. My mouth shall speak of wisdom: and my heart shall muse of understanding.
  4. I will incline mine ear to the parable: and shew my dark speech upon the harp.
  5. Wherefore should I fear in the days of wickedness: and when the wickedness of my heels compasseth me round about?
  6. There be some that put their trust in their goods: and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches.
  7. But no man may deliver his brother: nor make agreement unto God for him;
  8. For it cost more to redeem their souls: so that he must let that alone for ever;
  9. Yea, though he live long: and see not the grave.
  10. For he seeth that wise men also die, and perish together: as well as the ignorant and foolish, and leave their riches for other.
  11. And yet they think that their houses shall continue for ever: and that their dwelling-places shall endure from one generation to another; and call the lands after their own names.
  12. Nevertheless, man will not abide in honour: seeing he may be compared unto the beasts that perish; this is the way of them.
  13. This is their foolishness: and their posterity praise their saying.
  14. They lie in the hell like sheep, death gnaweth upon them, and the righteous shall have domination over them in the morning: their beauty shall consume in the sepulchre out of their dwelling.
  15. But God hath delivered my soul from the place of hell: for he shall receive me.
  16. Be not thou afraid, though one be made rich: or if the glory of his house be increased;
  17. For he shall carry nothing away with him when he dieth: neither shall his pomp follow him.
  18. For while he lived, he counted himself an happy man: and so long as thou doest well unto thyself, men will speak good of thee.
  19. He shall follow the generation of his fathers: and shall never see light.
  20. Man being in honour hath no understanding: but is compared unto the beasts that perish.