The Autumn: As If It Had Not Happened

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 Autumn: As If It Had Not Happened

Scripture Reference:

Description: In a garden a man and a woman point to a tree that has nearly lost all its leaves; in the background are other bare trees and a man with a wheelbarrow. 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 Isaiah 64:6 and Jeremiah 8:20.

What soon leaves us,
Is sooner despised by us.

Where is the Jewel of the green trees?
Where is the graceful blossom?
Thus one is apt to dream of something beautiful,
But in the morning the flowering time is past.
As the abundant Summer runs to the end,
Into the Winter of Death,
Its power starts to wither its blossom,
And shortly it is bare:
He who then put his repose and desire here,
In the Paradise of this time,
Loses, before he counts many years,
His chosen heaven.
A Summer that will not come again,
One should then seek a dwelling in a land,
With all sorts of fruit trees,
Beautifully planted by the very highest.
A land located in such a region,
Where the north or the east wind,
Will never sweep away the green leaves,
And is not an enemy of its fruit.
O Holy land we mean here,
Thou dost not lie next to the light of Time,
But illuminated by the Eternal light,
Thou liest right next to Eternity.

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

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