First, the all-important word "vanity" means little more these days than excessive and foolish pride in oneself. Admittedly, the expression "in vain" starts to hint at what the unidentifiable speaker (named Qoheleth in Ecclesiastes and, incidentally, not at all a "preacher" in the modern sense of this word) was saying: namely, that our existence is vaporous, a brief gust of wind. Indeed, the Hebrew term הֲבֵל (havel) signifies "a breath". It is not by mere coincidence that this same word appears in Genesis as the name of the first human being to die: Abel, slain by his brother Cain.
In the line of the King James Bible that Dawkins appreciates, the presence of the archaic form "saith" of the verb "to say" is hardly a sign of great English. It's rather obsolete English. Consequently, I can't help wondering whether Dawkins might not be making a donnish attempt to pull our legs when he evokes the alleged literary greatness of the King James Bible.
In the case of Richard Dawkins, the former Anglican lad, a latter-day Qoheleth, metamorphosed into a poet of science, hit upon a fantastic new way of saying that "all is vanity", that we were struck by the fleeting breath of awareness:
The Universe could so easily have remained lifeless and simple -- just physics and chemistry, just the scattered dust of the cosmic explosion that gave birth to time and space. The fact that it did not -- the fact that life evolved out of nearly nothing, some 10 billion years after the universe evolved literally out of nothing -- is a fact so staggering that I would be mad to attempt words to do it justice. And even this is not the end of the matter. Not only did evolution happen: it eventually led to beings capable of comprehending the process, and even of comprehending the process by which they comprehend it.Yes, Richard, we must honor the King James Bible. It's an indirect way of honoring your fabulous intellectual path and quest.
— The Ancestor's Tale 2005 p 613
Now, were you really serious about promoting the presence of antiquated religious documents in UK school libraries? Or were you joking? And what about Shakespeare?