The Bucket

Book Title: Het leerzaam huisraad : vertoond in vyftig konstige figuuren, met godlyke spreuken en stichtelyke verzen / door Jan Luiken

Author: Luiken, Jan, 1649-1712

Image Title: The Bucket

Scripture Reference:

Description: While a servant uses a bucket to draw water from the canal, her mistress admonishes her to make sure that the bucket does not leak like a basket. Similarly, the Gospel warns disciples not to lose what is precious (Mark 4:15). The poem observes further that if one is inattentive to the pure water of God’s word, so that it runs in one ear and out the other, the house of the soul will remain unclean. The Dutch artist and poet Jan Luiken (1649–1712), whose initials are at the lower right, was responsible for drawing and etching this emblem and wrote the accompanying poem. The Bucket is tight: but, if it were a Basket, / It would leak, from all sides; / The child doesn’t need to be warned of that, / Although the Old one barely realizes, / That he spends his entire life, / Drawing water with a Basket. / That water of God’s Holy Word, / Which he constantly hears and hears, / But alas his heart’s vessel is open, / And it goes, as the Proverb says, / In one ear, and out the other, / And all has always leaked out. / So remains the house unready / As one becomes older and older, / And does not arrive at the right thought, / To close the open vessel / And scoop out a holy water, / To wash off the Soul’s dirt. / (Translation by Josephine V. Brown, with editorial assistance from William G. Stryker).

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