The Hermit: Separated from Evil

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 Hermit: Separated from Evil

Scripture Reference:

Description: A hermit with a long beard sits, with his head bent and hands held in prayer, in front of his plain hut which is covered with a straw roof. A simple meal is located on the ground next to him. 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 Psalm 131:2-3.

Loneliness is dismal,
But is better than Danger.
The Heart that looks upon its origin,
With warm-hearted gaze and longing,
Lives on this Earth like a Hermit,
Surrounded with mortal flesh and blood;
That Hermitage of wood, clay and straw:
But meanwhile builds his faith,
An Eternal, Strong, lasting House,
In the fertile country of beautiful dwellings;
Whereto He moves from here,
Where the peaceful and joyful life,
Is not solitary as it is here,
But is surrounded with Company.
Which will make his wellbeing more perfect,
And will increase the Eternal joy,
Each one should see only that he reaches there,
And should rub the dust from his eyes:
For with that purest of light,
That will shine in that blessed country,
A clear sight is needed;
Bad eyes would be a pain.
Fortunately then, that wise Heart has,
Escaped from the worldly current,
And so was not dragged along,
Where, at the End, it would turn out badly.

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

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