The Walking Stick: Through Life It Also Lives

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 Walking Stick: Through Life It Also Lives

Scripture Reference:

Description: A hiker with a heavily loaded wooden carrying basket on his back and holding a walking stick walks through a hilly landscape. In the distance a man with a walking stick herds cattle. 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 2 Peter 1:13-14.

That upon which the hand leans,
Becomes itself more supported.

The walking stick, held in the hand,
Can travel with the Hiker over land,
Mountain up, mountain down, along all the paths;
But if he lets it go from his hand,
The dead Stick falls in the dirt,
Until it is again gotten hold of.
As long as the immortal Soul,
Held the mortal body,
They travelled together on earth;
But when the Soul gave way,
Then the body fell into the grave,
And was worthless for the eye.
Is the Flesh then merely a gown for the Soul,
Then it would be for us also only a Stick,
With which we hike on the paths,
Through the strange land of this Time,
To the Ever-lasting Eternity,
Located in Gods Kingdom.
How little is a Stick esteemed,
Compared to others things loaded upon Man!
How little is a hand full of dirt!
But what the body supports,
The Treasure that the Heart carries within,
Is a thousand times as valuable.

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

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