The Poor One: If Thy Heart Is Turned to God

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 Poor One: If Thy Heart Is Turned to God

Scripture Reference:

Description: A poor man has taken off his cap while he receives a coin from a man standing in front of him. In the background, a woman is spinning while sitting in front of a small house; next to her is a child. 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 scripture text is James 2:5.

If thou art fearful on Earth,
Let thee catch Heaven.

O Poverty, wert thou well-advised,
What Wealth might accrue to thee!
While well-being awaits thee,
With the Salvation of unlocked doors.
But yet, it is not money or goods,
The trifling object of thy senses;
But an upright and pious heart,
Through which one can gain more,
Than all the earthly unworthy mire;
For whoever submits to a higher Inheritance,
From God and the blessed Kingdom,
He is rich in life and death.
Though thou wouldst gladly have house and yard,
And money and goods and many things,
Fortune refuses thee such things,
And does not let thee attain that.
But if thou dost seek more than this and the all;
Like the Monarchy of Kingdoms,
The Fortune that thou wilt meet,
Will crown all.
O Poverty! Be then well inclined,
So that thou, under pressure and toiling,
Dost find that greatest Wealth,
That surpasses all riches.

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

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