The Stranger: Welcome

Book Title: De bykorf des gemoeds : honing zaamelende uit allerly bloemen / vervattende over de honderd konstige figuuren ; met godlyke spreuken en stichtelyke verzen, door Jan Luiken

Author: Luiken, Jan, 1649-1712

Image Title: The Stranger: Welcome

Scripture Reference:

Description: A traveler is welcomed at the front step of a house with friendly gestures of its inhabitants. A gate is located at the left background. 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 Matthew 12:49-50.

Eternity, that strange country,
Calls forcefully for a Welcoming hand.

He who walked so many thousands of footsteps,
Following the intended mission,
Finally took his last step,
And arrived at the doorstep of his friend.
There he was received in a friendly way,
And kissed with a welcome’s greeting,
And supplied with everything as wished,
With food, and sweet rest.
Be courageous, o walking pious one,
Who didst resolve to undertake the great journey thyself,
To God, thy Friend,
So that thou might bring it to an end:
After so many steps of thy days,
Which constantly stride forward,
Comes, finally, at great pleasure
The last step, before the Gate of Heaven.
When the Evening begins,
And darkness falls,
Then comes thy very best state,
When thou art in a shelter.
If thou wert tired from difficult paths,
Then will it be even sweeter,
When thou, satisfied, and lying in a soft bed,
Art content, in every wish.

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

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