The Meadow: Free and Unoccupied

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 Meadow: Free and Unoccupied

Scripture Reference:

Description: A man looks at a landscape consisting of a ditch with ducks, a large meadow with sheep and cows, and a village in the background. 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 scriptures are Psalm 65:13 and Isaiah 56:9.

Motto: We hope, For the openness

How pleasant it is,
(Escaped from the constriction of the City)
To gaze at the flat meadow,
So beautiful and pleasingly spread out,
With its Jewel of green grass,
As far as the eyes reach,
As if it were a coverlet of the earth,
For animals that go to graze there.
And let the free and spacious desire,
Take a breath while regarding,
The sky revealed all around,
Not hidden by the City’s buildings.
While it begets from its turf,
A warbling volatile life,
That sails upward to the height,
To give a pleasing sound.
There the little chicken ranges for food,
There a little Duck floats through the ditches,
There the lamb grazes covered in wool,
Like miracles, floating from God’s Spring,
The simple cattle in their herd,
Do not provoke loathing,
Like man, wanting to be wise,
Who gather in crowded cities.
O Space of the free meadow,
How we look forward, with our longing,
To receive from him, who shows to thee,
A wide and open meadow!
Instead of this dismal city,
The dwelling of the temporal life,
In which one remained so many years,
Surrounded by the narrowness of the soul.
O Spacious freedom of God’s salvation,
Green meadow of all bliss
Not enclosed, in a thousand miles,
Not to be walked through in eternity,
Thou art the desire hoped for,
Thou art the goal of thoughts,
Thou art the crown, for which one walks,
And desires to scorn the world’s narrowness.
The life that grazes thy land,
Are children of Salvation.

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

Click here for additional images available from this book.

Request a high-resolution file (fees apply)

Rights Statement: The online edition of this work in the public domain, i.e., not protected by copyright, has been produced by Pitts Theology Library, Emory University.
Rights Status: No Copyright - United States
Pitts Theology Library provides copyright information as a courtesy and makes no representation about copyright or other legal status of materials in the Digital Image Archive.