The Mistery of Alchymists
Sir George Ripley
Chanon of Bridlington
When Sol in Aries and Phoebus shines bright,
The Elements reviving the new Year springing
The Son by his Vertue gives Nature & Light,
And moysture refresheth all things growing:
In the season of the Yeare when the Sun waxeth warme,
Freshly and fragrante the Flowers doe grow,
Of Natures subtill working we cannot discerne,
Nor yet by our Reason we can it not know,
In foure Elements is comprehended things Three,
Animalls, Vegetabills, Mineralls must be,
Of this is our Principle that we make our Stone,
Quality and Quantity is unknowne to many one.
Quality (Father) would I faine know, Son.
Of what nature it is and what it hath in his kinde.
As Colours divers which on the ground do grow, Father.
Keep well this secret (Son) and marke it in thy minde.
Without Proportion (Father) how should I it know, Son.
This working now is far from my minde
Nature and kinde (Son) together do grow, Father.
Quality by waight (Son) shalt thow never finde.
To Separate Elements (Father) I must needes know, Son.
Either in Proportion which be more or less.
Out of our Principle foure Elements thou shalt draw, Father.
Thou shalt neede nothing else that needefull is;
Our Principle in quality is so perfectly mixed,
By vertue of the Son and his quality,
So equally Joyned, so well mixed may be.
This Principle (Father) is but one thing, Son.
Good (Father) tel me where it doth grow.
In every place (Son) you shall him well finde; Father.
By Tast and by Colour thou shalt him well know;
Fowle in the Ayer with it doe fly,
And Fishes doe swim there with in the Sea,
With Reason of Angels you may it diserne,
Both Man and Woman to governe,
With our fixed Body (Son) we must thus begin.
Of him make Mercury and Water cleare,
Man and Woman is them within,
Married together by vertue of our Fire,
The Woman in he working is full wild,
Be well aware she goe not out;
Till she have conceived and borne a Chylde,
Then all his kin on him shal lout;
In their workes they be unstable,
The Elements they be so raw;
And their Colour so variable,
As sometyme like the head of a Crow,
When he is black ye may well like,
Putrefaction must go beforne,
After Blacke he wilbe White,
Then Thank ye God the Chyld is borne.
This Chyld is both King and Emperour,
Through his region both far and neere;
All the World doth him honour,
By the vertue he hath taken of the Fire:
His first Vertue is White and pure,
As any Christall shining cleere,
Of White tincture then be you sure;
By vertue taken of our Fire,
His first Vesture that is so White,
Betokeneth his Virginity,
A similitude even thereto like,
And according to the Trinity:
Our Medicen is made of things Three,
Against which the Philosophers cannot say nay,
The Father, the Sone in one degree,
Corpus, Spiritus & Anima.
When Nature is with Nature, thou mayst fruite finde,
By proportion more or lesse,
In practice hereof many men be blinde,
Because they understand not what Nature is;
His second Vesture as Gold is Red,
In his Vessel bright shining,
A Daidem set on his head,
Richer than any earthly thing.
His third Vesture is Purple pure,
Like Sun-beames he shineth bright and clere,
Of Red tincture then be you sure:
By the vertue he hath taken our Fire.
My beloved Son I command thee,
As thou wilt have my love and blessing,
That unto God kneele on thy knee,
Unto him give laude and thankeing;
For theis guifts of grace geven unto thee,
To have trew knowledge of this worthy Scyence,
That many men seeke by land and sea,
And cannot finde it for any expence:
I shall shew thee my Son a hid Secret,
Beacause thou art vertuous in thy living,
Of me else shouldst thou never it weet,
And for thou art wife in thy Councell keeping,
And therefore I charge thee on my blessing,
Not to shew it to any man living,
For it is the first Principle of our blessed Stone,
Through which our noble worke is releeved,
Note well that I shew now to thee my Son,
If Sulphur be absent our worke is deprived;
Our Sulphur my Son is Water and Fire,
Constraining the Body till it be dead,
Oh hem thou hast never thy desire,
Till he be bloe as any Lead,
After all this he doth revive,
That in his Vessel before was dead;
I can no better in my reason contrive,
Then to figure him to the greate God head.
For as there dyedno more then One,
Howbeit that there be persons Three,
The Father, The Sone by might is one:
The holy Ghost make full our Trinity:
A similitude like unto our Stone,
In him ben things three which be concluded all in one,
Our Sulphur is likened to the holy Ghost,
For he is quick, called the Spirit of Slyfe,
In his working of might he is most.
He raiseth our Body from death to lyfe,
Many (my Son) with him do rife,
The holy Gospell therein is expert,
The number of my reason cannot contrive,
Multum & quantum fructum adsert:
I liken our Sulphur to the Adamant Stone,
That Steele drawes to him naturally,
So doth our Sulphur the woman,
When she from her husband would flye.
I muse greatly (Father) and mervaile in minde, Son.
Whereof this Stone is ingendered,
And also of what manner of kinde,
For I have traveled many a Country,
In vallies low and on hills high,
And spurred therefore of foes and freind,
Yet could I never that Sulphur see,
Nor in any place wat I where him to finde.
Son he is made of the Elements, Father.
That God hath given both soule and lyfe,
From Mettall he may never be absent,
For he rules both man and wife.
Father I pray you for charity, Son.
Where shall I this Sulphur finde,
For perfectly I know him not by quality,
Nor yet to fore know him by kinde.
In our Water Son keep this in minde, Father.
For there he will appear as white as snow.
Gramarcy Father to me ye be full kinde, Son.
For through your teaching full well I it know,
Now Father I pray you for charity,
The while it is in your minde,
To ken the red Sulphur that you will teach me,
And then I trust your Doctrine to finde.
White and Red Son be both one in kinde, Father.
Now hast thou all thy desire,
Keepe well this secret and close it in thy minde,
His tincture and growing is by vertue of our Fire,
For in our Fire our Stone will grow,
And there his riches he doth encrease,
And so doth no Stone that I do know,
That in the fire will put him in prease;
We liken him therefore unto the Sun,
That to all Elements giveth light.
Never sith the World was begun,
Was any but he of so much might,
Were he never of so high degree,
Saphir, Diamond or Emarald Stone,
The Turcas, or the rich Ruby,
Of all vertuous Stones set ower alone,
The greatest Carbuncle that is full of light,
May not with our Stone Compaire,
For if they in the Fire should fight,
The Carbuncle of vertue should be full bare,
To destroy our Stone, Son that will not be,
The Elements in him be so equall;
He is an Oyle incumbustible,
And of all things most imperiall.
In which Elements (Father) is our Sulphur in? Son.
Is he in all, or in any one?
In all (Son) he needes must be, Father.
For Seperation of Elements make we none,
Sulphur in Elements Son we may not see,
By Nature in them he is so privily mixed,
In Elements he is a quality,
Our Stone will never else be perfectly fixed.
Quality (Son) growes also in fire,
Betwixt the White Stone and the Redd,
For many Colours there will appere,
While the tyme the Woman be dead.
Father must the Woman needes be dead? Son.
Our Stone else my Son will never be Redd; Father.
For whereas a Woman is in presence,
There is much moysture and accidence,
Wetnes and humours in her be,
The which would drown'd our Quality;
Perceive well (Son) by Noahs flood,
To much moysture was never good.
Like as quality is hid in quantity,
So must our Erth in Waters be,
The riches in him thou shalt finde,
After alteration of kinde,
His Oyle in him is congelate,
This makes our Body liquefact,
Sulphur and Oyle all of one kinde,
Which makes oure Stone rich and couloring,
I cannot tell thee Son a richer thing,
Then he is in the Fire during,
The Fire to him may do no wrong,
Sulphur of Nature makes him so strong.
How to make our Stone (Father) I would faine know. Son.
In soft heates my (Son) Elements will meete, Father.
Hast not to fast whilst they be rawe,
In the Vessell (Son) the better thou shalt him keepe,
Rule well the Fire and beware of the Lawe,
Shut well the Vessell for going forth of the Spirit;
Soe shall you all things the better keepe;
For how to get him againe it is strange to know,
It is hard for some men to make Elements meete,
Keepe well this Secret Son and God daily praise,
Put into tht Vessell Water cleare,
And set it in Fire full forty dayes,
And then in the Vessell blackness will appeare,
When that he is black he will change tyte,
Many Colers in him then will appeare,
From coulour to colour till it be white,
The it is tyme Son to change the Fire,
And melt the heat to your desire,
And if you will have him White still,
Then must you your Medicine apply,
A dry Fire put him till,
And a moyst Fire naturally,
Till he be made fixed,
For to take Mercury before his flight,
As he is by nature privily mixed,
Of fusion then he shalbe light,
And if you to his proportion take,
Fine Luna then will he make,
So micle of piercing will he be,
Both fluxible with penetrabilitie;
And (Son) if thou wilt have thy Medicine Red,
In a dry Fire thou shalt him keepe,
Ever still in one steed,
That never your Vessell come to wet.
So hard, so heavy and so peircing, Son.
(Father) this a wonderous thing,
So hot, so moyst, so light, so wet,
This greate Secret Father will I keepe,
So white, so red, so profitable,
Of all Stones most incomparable.
He may do more than any King, Father.
He is so rich Son in his working,
Gould and Silver men would faine have,
Poore and rich for it do crave,
Thay that of it have most aboundance,
Of the people have most obaisance,
To serve them both day and night,
And in the feeld will for it fight,
Therefore Son upon my blessing,
Keepe secretly this precious cunning,
Of thy Councell make neither King nor Knight,
If they knew they would set it light;
For when they have what they will,
God's curse wil come they say the untill,
For had I wist and had I wend,
That commeth evermore behinde,
Our Mercury my (Son) is white and thin,
In our Vessell shinimg bright and cleere,
Our Sulphur is in him within,
Burning him more then our dry Fire,
He fixes him more in one yeare,
By his naturall working I understand,
Then doth the Sonne by his dry Fire,
The years a long thousand,
In short space we may have done,
When our Medicine thou wilt assay,
Thou maist make both Sol and Lune,
In lesse space then in one day.
Father is it Water in the well springing, Son.
Or is it the Water in the river running?
Other Water (Father) can I not finde.
Noe (Son) it is of another kinde,
Howbeit it is Water cleere,
Our Sulphur in him is soe cleving,
He may not be departed by any fire,
I tell thee the throath in this thing.
By no fire (Father) how may that be? Son.
Fire he is ever brenning, Father.
Our Sulphur is made of the Sun and such humidity
That in the Fire he is ever during.
The tyme of our working would I know, Son.
In what space might be made our Stone,
By Corne and Frut (Son) thou maist it wel know.
Once in a yeare it is afore thee done;
The Sun in the Zodiak about doth gonne,
Though the twelve Signes once in a yeare,
Soe long it is ere we can make our Stone.
Haste not too fast but rule well thy Fire, Father.
The vertue of our Stone few men can tell,
The Elements in him be so mighty,
Aboundance of treasure in him do dwell;
For in riches all Stones exceeds he.