The New Mansion: But for a Brief Time

Book Title: De Bykorf des Gemoeds : Honing zaamelende uit allerley Bloemen / Vervattende over de Honderd konstige Figuuren ; Met Godlyke Spreuken En Stichtelyke Verzen, Door Jan Luiken

Author: Luiken, Jan, 1649-1712

Image Title: The New Mansion: But for a Brief Time

Scripture Reference:

Description: Two men view a large mansion located on the opposite side of a canal on which several boats with people and goods travel; a fisherman fishes from the side. The Dutch artist and poet Jan Luiken (1649-1712), whose initials are at the lower right, was responsible for drawing and etching this emblem, as well as for the poem that accompanies it (below). The attendant Scripture text is Luke 12:20-21.

Is the Nest so beautiful; what good is it?
Since when at its very best, one must part from it.

There it now stands; a nest to live in,
And to make one’s distinguished appearance,
For the little Bird, that will soon fly away.
Yes, that before long, will have flown so far away,
That it can no longer be sighted,
Why then the work for such a desired stable?
It would be better to make do with less,
And all the more to assemble and arrange,
A good residence, when leaving the here and now;
Since everyone of this life,
From cage, or nest is put to flight,
To where one then goes for eternity.
How one finds all that is left behind,
By those who possessed it earlier like a Soul
With much to be disposed of, after the flight!
They went away never to return,
And the beloved thing has not been taken along,
How right, how beautiful, how worthy and fitting.
It is best then to direct thy pleasure,
To things that the Spirit can take along,
When one departs from the cumbersome and earthly things;
The Mansion in the Heart, of all kinds of virtues,
In which resides the hope for Eternal joy,
That passes from this Time into Eternity.

(Translation by Josephine V. Brown, with editorial assistance from William G. Stryker)

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