Mortals put an end to the darkness; they search out the farthest recesses for ore in the blackest darkness.
Far from human dwellings they cut a shaft, in places untouched by human feet; far from other people they dangle and sway.
The earth, from which food comes, is transformed below as by fire;
lapis lazuli comes from its rocks, and its dust contains nuggets of gold.
No bird of prey knows that hidden path, no falcon’s eye has seen it.
Proud beasts do not set foot on it, and no lion prowls there.
People assault the flinty rock with their hands and lay bare the roots of the mountains.
They tunnel through the rock; their eyes see all its treasures.
They search the sources of the rivers and bring hidden things to light.
But where can wisdom be found? Where does understanding dwell?
No mortal comprehends its worth; it cannot be found in the land of the living.