The Hail: It Can Change Rapidly

Book Title: Beschouwing der wereld : bestaande in hondert konstige figuuren, met godlyke spreuken en stichtelyke verzen / door Jan Luiken.

Author: Luiken, Jan, 1649-1712

Image Title: The Hail: It Can Change Rapidly

Scripture Reference:

Description: Several people and a dog try to protect themselves from being hit by large hailstones during a violent thunderstorm. The Dutch artist and poet Jan Luiken (1649-1712) was responsible for drawing this emblem and composed the poem that accompanies it. The etching was executed by Jan Luiken or his son Casper Luiken (1672-1708), who had used this image in an earlier work, which may be found in the Digital Image Archive under the call number 1699Weig. The attendant scripture text is Ezekiel 13:13.

The fruit of earthly pleasure,
Is wretchedly ruined.

The Orchard and the Fields
After Plowing, Sowing and harrowing,
After rain, dew and sunshine,
Stand beautiful and pleasing in promising,
That from the Fields and Gardens,
A rich Harvest would be reaped.
But unexpectedly,
A frightening dark cloud has risen,
That hurls there with fire and thunderbolts
Many hundred thousand hailstones,
With storm and whirlwind,
Downwards from its height.
They hit the fertile fields,
And leave them little to save,
The corn was pressed down,
Or cut as if done by hand
Destroyed, scattered, and to complete shame
The fruit was picked unripe.
There goes the hope and pleasure,
Struck down with one blow:
O! Man, look around, where thou dost stand,
Whether it doesn’t also happen in the world’s farming,
Where each wants to prepare his Salvation,
Through effort and care.
How it often flourishes and grows,
In the hope of harvesting much fruit,
Of the earth’s prosperity and fortune,
And beyond waiting or expecting,
Misfortune begins to rage,
And puts everything under pressure.
Especially when the heavy showers,
That threatening portend Death,
Cut off the all and everything,
That the world and its pleasure,
Proposed to the desire of the flesh,
And gave to the earthly senses.
Therefore build thy Hope upon such things,
That will never perish through Chance.

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

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