The Spring: It Breaks Loose

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 Spring: It Breaks Loose

Scripture Reference:

Description: In a garden an older man shows a young man the young plants that have sprung up in a bed under a tree. A number of gardeners are at work 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 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 Luke 21:29-31.

We look forward to a miracle,
And a miracle grows like an herb.

When Winter has yielded,
Spring begins to dawn,
And awakens life from death.
He who has spent all his days,
Without knowing this secret,
How great for him was such a miracle!
When he saw a sprout and fruit shoot forth,
From the black earth and barren trees,
Through a power that is hidden from the eye,
And that, without the blessing of a Summer day,
Would never move itself,
Yet must appear at the right time:
At the right time it shall also happen,
With the opening of the eternal doors,
That Adam’s large and wide race,
Wintered so many thousand Years,
Will reveal itself from death,
Through the action of a higher power:
O Joyful Spring for the pious,
Whose fruit will appear at the Heavenly meal,
While the devilish, wicked crop,
Filled with bitter, harsh and sour,
Is cast into the hellish pig sty,
On the dung heap of much dirt and ash.

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

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