The Pigeon: They Are Used to It

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 Pigeon: They Are Used to It

Scripture Reference:

Description: Two men view the pigeons that fly in and out of their enclosure. Several pigeons are on the ground near the enclosure. 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 adapted this image from one used in an earlier work, which may be found in the Digital Image Archive under the call number 1699Weig. The attendant scriptures are Psalm 55:6 and Psalm 116:7.

Motto: Never far, From the Heart.

The little Pigeon flies freely,
From the nest into the open sky,
Yet keeps itself within bounds,
And flies only back and forth,
Always returning,
Without wandering far from home.
O Mind! that in the human Heart,
Resides as in its nest,
Might thou learn this from the little Pigeon,
Always from thy departure, that thou makest
To here or there, as it must be,
Return again to thy heart.
So the Hawk or the Vulture would not find,
Thee as prey here or there,
When thou, having flown too far from home,
Didst stray in wildernesses,
Where the Eagle obtains its food,
And thou wouldst find thee badly deceived.
O Mind! that art so fickle,
In the open sky of this time,
Do be prudently on thy guard,
Make thy departure never far,
Always return again,
To thy Lord, who must nourish thee.

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

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