Ecclesiastes 2:1-11 (TLB)
2 I said to myself, "Come now, be merry; enjoy yourself to the full." But I found that this, too, was futile. For it is silly to be laughing all the time; what good does it do?
3 So after a lot of thinking, I decided to try the road of drink, while still holding steadily to my course of seeking wisdom.
Next I changed my course again and followed the path of folly, so that I could experience the only happiness most men have throughout their lives.
4-6 Then I tried to find fulfillment by inaugurating a great public works program: homes, vineyards, gardens, parks, and orchards for myself, and reservoirs to hold the water to irrigate my plantations.
7-8 Next I bought slaves, both men and women, and others were born within my household. I also bred great herds and flocks, more than any of the kings before me. I collected silver and gold as taxes from many kings and provinces.
In the cultural arts, I organized men's and women's choirs and orchestras.
And then there were my many beautiful concubines.
9 So I became greater than any of the kings in Jerusalem before me, and with it all I remained clear-eyed, so that I could evaluate all these things. 10 Anything I wanted I took and did not restrain myself from any joy. I even found great pleasure in hard work. This pleasure was, indeed, my only reward for all my labors.
11 But as I looked at everything I had tried, it was all so useless, a chasing of the wind, and there was nothing really worthwhile anywhere.