The Banquet: Sowing, without Fruit

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 Banquet: Sowing, without Fruit

Scripture Reference:

Description: In a richly furbished banquet hall numerous splendidly attired guests are already seated at a large table which is loaded with dishes with food, while the host and his dog welcome two new guests. 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 16:9.

The happy and delicious Banquet,
Goes by without gain and with stench.

He who invites Guests, and spends his money,
On such Company and Friends,
Who with the Cows in the meadow,
Devour the gifts without thanks,
What fruits does he then pluck from that?
But if he feeds the Nobility of the pious,
Then he seats the children of the King,
In order to come into their Father’s favor.
Other people are what they are,
Concerning Honor and Esteem on earth,
So they are only Pig herders,
Compared to this worth.
For he who in the World’s Day of judgment,
Hoping, with raised eyes,
To be allowed to hear the blessing,
Of that great and awesome King,
As if he had served his Person,
Because He, through charities,
Befriended the pious,
And fed Christ among their members,
How great is his prosperity!
Compared to those, who wasted it in the flesh,
And left everything for the future,
And at the end retained nothing!
He who knows this, upon wise reflection,
See, what he does, and what he lets alone.

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

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