The lazy person [who is self-indulgent and relies on lame excuses] says, “There is a lion in the road!
A lion is in the open square [and if I go outside to work I will be killed]!”
As the door turns on its hinges,
So does the lazy person on his bed [never getting out of it].
The lazy person buries his hand in the dish [losing opportunity after opportunity];
It wearies him to bring it back to his mouth.
The lazy person is wiser in his own eyes
Than seven [sensible] men who can give a discreet answer.
Like one who grabs a dog by the ears [and is likely to be bitten]
Is he who, passing by, stops to meddle with a dispute that is none of his business.
Like a madman who throws
Firebrands, arrows, and death,
So is the man who deceives his neighbor (acquaintance, friend)
And then says, “Was I not joking?”
For lack of wood the fire goes out,
And where there is no whisperer [who gossips], contention quiets down.
Like charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire,
So is a contentious man to kindle strife.
The words of a whisperer (gossip) are like dainty morsels [to be greedily eaten];
They go down into the innermost chambers of the body [to be remembered and mused upon].