The Orange: Beauty Points to More Beautiful

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 Orange: Beauty Points to More Beautiful

Scripture Reference:

Description: A man sits at a table in a summerhouse and cuts up one of the oranges offered him by a man. In the background is an orange grove where two men examine a tree. 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 Revelation 2:7.

The Sample was proffered,
To tempt thee with the Universe.

A beautiful Tree and crown of green leaves,
Mingled with Oranges and densely loaded,
Like the field of an Emerald Carpet,
Embroidered and covered with fine Gold,
Carries into the senses with its Image of grace,
The paradise of Bliss,
That Holy and chosen Court,
Which fruit must show itself there with that Praise!
He who considers this according to its weight and worth,
Raises his desire to Heaven from the earth,
As being the true and far away land,
From which one sent us a taste of the fruit,
So that one would leave the shadows,
And the being itself, after this eternal meal,
In the Holy land, about which one tells us,
That everything beautiful and lovely is placed.
O Blissful land, of the most beautiful trees,
How shall we once again enter thee!
And see thy fruit, with warm-hearted delight,
And eat It, with sweet taste,
So that we praise God eternally for the creation,
And are Eternally in the Court of all courts.
O each Thing, that is beautiful and sweet,
Thou dost direct us from Here to Eternity,
Since everything on earth will be lost,
But the Heavenly Grounds remain Eternally chosen.

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

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