CERTAIN VERSES OF AN UNKNOWN WRITER CONCERNING THE GREAT WORK OF THE TINCTURE
Wilt thou, by God’s grace alone
Obtain the Stone of the Philosophers?
If so, seek it not in vegetables or animals,
In sulphur, quicksilver, and minerals;
Vitriol, alum, and salt are of no value;
Lead, tin, iron and copper profit nothing;
Silver and gold have no efficacy.
Hyle or Chaos will accomplish it all.
It is enclosed in our salt spring,
In the tree of the Moon and of the Sun.
I call it the Flower of Honey,
The Flower known to the Wise.
In fine, the Flower and Honey
Are the Sulphur and Quicksilver of the Wise,
Even water and earth,
With the whitish seed of all metals.
The water is volatile, the earth fixed;
One can effect nothing without the other.
Both are born of a root having a white exterior.
It produces all the virtues of the metals,
Yet it is not dug from the ore
Either with pickaxes or other instruments.
In the place and spot where our Matter is found
No other metal whatever exists.
It is produced, with its virtue and efficacy,
In Hyle or Chaos alone.
Homer knew it well, and called it Moly.
This, in its proper condition,
Has a root altogether black.
It is green, white and blood red.
The god Mercury offered it to Ulysses,
Even unto Ulysses in his wanderings,
As a precaution against the sorcery of Circe.
The gods also have bestowed it upon man
As a singularly great gift,
Designed to assuage and comfort him.
Hence springs pleasing nectar,
The drink of the goddesses.
It is also termed Chelidonia,
As a singular gift of Heaven.
Solar Root is another name.
The root is known to the wise:
It receives high honours in astronomy,
Is metaphorically likened to the planets,
Lead, tin, copper and iron,
Silver and gold, everything the wise have named.
In the tongue of Chaldaea it is also called Azoth;
In German it is a blessed spirit;
In Latin, argent vive animate,
That is to say, Mercury of the Philosophers.
It is also named the herb Adrop,
A well-known Chaldaean word,
Signifying in our speech Saturn.
Astronomically speaking, I must say
That Saturn rules the earth.
Metaphorically is our matter compared,
Being the Red Lead and Red Earth,
With fools despised and valueless.
It is called the Red and Green Lion.
It is well known as the Adamic Earth –
A skilful production of the Wise Creator,
Which doth contain and unite in one mass
The powers of all natures.
From this mass and red earth,
Almighty God creates Adam.
He has highly honoured our first father,
Who is also called Microcosmus.
You are to recognise the Red Earth as Adam;
Later on, I will likewise disclose its preparation.
With great courage kill the lion;
But take its coagulated blood;
The brilliancy of gold and its costliness,
Separated from the centre of the putrefying earth;
Dissolve it with the greatest diligence;
Imitate the Creator of Nature so wise,
Who will vouchsafe to enlighten our understanding,
That we may separate the dry from the moist.
Thus water is produced from earth,
The volatile from the fixed,
The animated spirit on the earth.
Water and earth, two visible elements,
Have, by God’s grace and care,
Fire and air concealed within them.
They are also purely impregnated
With the fifth invisible nature.
But, to proceed to the end of the work,
Marry the woman with the man,
Our Adam with clear Eve,
Both being absolutely naked,
For then Nature herself, being clean and pure,
Rejoices with her own nature.The animated spirit dissolves the body,
The body coagulates the spirit.
This is the sole Mercury,
Which is the Foundation of the Stone of the Wise.
It becomes black, white, green and red,
Is itself Proteus, the God of the sea,
Who, being caught, so wondrously
Transforms himself into a thousand shapes;
That is, it dissolves and coagulates itself,
Sublimates and calcines,
Mortifies and vivifies,
Washes and incerates,
Clarifies and fixes.
In all these things
Heaven and earth are concerned,
And the Sun and Moon
Become dark and black as a raven:
Heaven and earth are melted quite away:
Truly, in the Hyle or Chaos
There is most wonderful strife
Of the elements in all directions.
Water covers all the earth,
But in order that the moist may become dry,
Our strong giants maintain
Incessant and unwearying contests
With our wondrously small dwarf,
Who, finally, by divine miracle,
Conquers and overcomes
And captures them all, both slays and binds.
Out of the destroyed rubbish
God creates a new Heaven and Earth.
The New Jerusalem is built
With transparent clear gold,
Also with pure precious stone.
Here is placed the famed Stone of the Wise,
The unique bird, the good Phoenix,
Who by the glow of the fire
Is slain and born again,
And becomes a real Salamander,
Who now lives in the fire.
This is filius solis, child of the sun,
Who with his singular power
Works miracles and great wonders,
And can expel all sicknesses
In human and metallic bodies.
With glorified body, flesh and blood,
He purifies all that is corporal.
The immortal Adam, highly endowed,
Tinges common gold and silver,
So that they thereby may become fruitful,
To bear their blessed likeness on the Earth.