A short work of George Ripley

'A short Worke That beareth the Name... of George Ripley', is included in Elias Ashmole's Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum, 1652, pages 393-396.
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Take Heavy, Soft, Cold, and Drye;
Clense him, and to Calx grind him subtily:
Dissolve him in Water of the Wood;
If thou can do any good
Thereof, take a Tincture
And Earthly Calx good and pure.
Of this maist thou have with thy travaile,
Both Mercury, Water, and Oyle;
Out of the Ayre with Flames great,
Fire into the Earth doth Creepe;
In this Worke if thou wilt winn,
Take heed wherewith thou dost begin,
And in what manner thou dost work,
For loosing thy way in the darke;
And where, with what, and how, thy matter shal end;
I tell and Councell thee as my Frend:
Make Water of Earth, and Earth of Water;
Then art thou well onward in the matter.
For thou shalt find hid in the myre,
Both Earth, Water, Ayre, and Fire:
I tell thee my Brother, I will not flatter,
Of our Earth is made our Water:
The which is cleere white as Snow;
And makes our Earth Calcine and growe.
Blackness first to thee doth shew,
As by thy practise thou shalt know:
Dissolve and Calcine, oft, and oft;
With Congelation till the Body to whitnes be brought:
Make the Body fluxible, and flowing;
With the Earth, perfect, and teyning.
Then after Ferment is once done;
Whither thou wilt with Sunne or Moone,
Dissolve him with the Water of life,
Ycalled Mercury withouten strife:
Put the Soule with the Body, and Spirite
Together in one that they may meete
In his Dammes belly till he wax great,
With giving Drinke of his owne sweate:
For the Milke of a Cow to a Child my brother
Is not so sweete as the Milke of his Mother:
This Child that is so marveilously wrought,
Unto his Heritage must be brought:
His livelyhood is so worthy a thing,
Of abilitye to spend with a King:
He that beareth all this in minde,
And understandeth these Parables all;
With Seperation he may finde,
Poore and Rich, great and small;
With our Sulphur we make our Antimony, White and Red;
And thereof we make our Mercury quick, and dead.
This is a Mettall that I speake of one of the seaven,
If thou be a Clerk read what I meane.
There is no Plannet of six neither great nor small,
But if he be put to them, he will Calcine them all.
Unto red blood he must be brought;
Else of him thou gettest right nought:
Reach him then with the Wood Water,
Man, and Woman Clothed under one hatter,
In and of them is conceived a Child
Lovely of beauty, meeke and mild;
Out of the Earth with dropps stronge,
Nourish the Child in his Mothers wombe;
Till he be come to full age;
And then make thou a Mariage,
Betweene the Daughter, and the Sonne,
And then thou hast the Mastery wonn.
The beginning of this Worke, if thou wilt crave,
In holly Writ thou shalt it have:
Both in Masse Booke and in Psalter
Yea wrighten before the Preest at the Alter:
And what is Antimony that thou shalt worke,
I have written to thee if thou be a Clerke;
Looke about before if thou canst finde
Plainely written, which maketh men blind:
Our Werke is bringing againe our Mercury,
And that Philosophers call Solucion;
And if thou loose not the uncleane body,
Thou werkest without discretion;
The Inbibition of Water, is not the loosing;
But bringing the Body into water againe turning:
That is to say into such water,
That is turning the Body into his first Matter:
The second Werke is to bring,
Earth and Water to Congealing;
The cleansing of the Third is another
Unto Whiteness; my owne Brother;
With this Water of his owne,
That is full marvalous to be knowne:
The fourth werke is distilling
Of Water, and Earth upsweating.
And thus hast thou by one assent,
Earth, Ayre, Water, and Fire; the foure Elements:
The Ashes that are in the bottome of the Vessell,
Looke thou dispise them not though left,
For I tell thee right well,
There is the Diadem of our Craft.

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