The Crane: It Is Different Than It Seems

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 Crane: It Is Different Than It Seems

Scripture Reference:

Description: Goods are unloaded from a boat with the aid of a crane that is powered by a tread wheel. A city view is on the opposite side of the canal. 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 1 Corinthians 9:26-27.

Although the treading does not progress,
It, nevertheless, arrives as it ought.

The man treads continually,
And seems, however, not to progress,
Over which someone would easily laugh;
Who, because of ignorance, regarded this Contraption,
Only as child’s play,
And did not observe the important purpose.
But he who understands the act,
Of walking that does not progress,
Knows that through that driving round and round,
Whether it seems childlike or not,
Tremendous men’s work is done
Of service and useful convenience:
Man, who through wise consideration,
Continually proceeds toward Heaven,
But nevertheless remains in his place and city,
As if held and contained,
In the unmovable, revolving Wheel,
Of Time, from Yesterday and Today;
He appears to the eye (at a casual glance)
Not to be approaching his Salvation;
But meawhile it was found,
That, when the treading is finished,
And life’s wheel begins to stand still,
The heaviest load is lifted:
For him, the most precious Thing,
Look then, did he not progress?

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

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