Pearce the Black Monke on the Elixir

Back to English alchemical verse.

Pearce the Black Monke
upon the Elixir.


Take Erth of Erth, Erths Moder,
And Watur of Erth yt ys no oder,
And Fier of Erth that beryth the pryse,
But of that Erth louke thow be wyse,
The trew Elixer yf thow wylt make,
Erth owte of Erth looke that thow take,
Pewer futel faire and good,
And than take the Water of the Wood:
Cleere as Chrystall schynyng bryght:
And do hem togeder anon ryght,
Thre dayes than let hem lye,
And than depart hem pryvyly and flye,
Than shall be browght Watur schynyng,
And in that Watur ys a foule reynynge,
Invisble and hyd and unseen,
A marvelous matter yt ys to weene.
Than depart them by dystillynge,
And you schalle see an Erth apperinge,
Hevie as metal schalle yt be;
In the wych is hyd grete prevety,
Destil that Erth in grene hewe,
Three days during well and trew;
And do hem in a body of glass,
In the wych never no warke was.
In a Furnas he must be sett,
And on hys hede a good lymbeck;
And draw fro hym a Watur clere
The wych Watur hath no peere,
And aftur macke your Fyer stronger,
And there on thy glasse continew longer,
So schal yow se come a Fyer;
Red as blode and of grete yre,
And aftur that an Erth leue there schale,
The wych is cleped the Moder of alle;
Then to Purgatory sche must be doe,
And have the paynes that longs thereto,
Tyl sche be bryghter than the Sune,
For than thow hast the Maystrey wone;
And that schalbe wythin howre three,
The wych forsooth ys grete ferly:
Than do her in a clene Glass,
Wyth some of the Watur that hers was.
And in a Furnas do her againe,
Tyl sche have drunke her Watur certaine,
And aftur that Watur give her Blood,
That was her owne pewre and good,
And whan sche hath dranke alle her Fyer,
Sche wyll wex strong and of grete yre.
Than take you mete and mycke thereto,
And fede the Chylde as you schowlde do,
Tyl he be growne to hys full age,
Than schal he be of strong courage;
And tourne alle Bodies that leyfull be,
To hys own powre and dignitye,
And this ys the makyng of owre Stone,
The trewth here ys towlde yow evereech one.
   For all that taketh any other wey,
Mouch they looseth and mouch they may,
For trewly there ys no other way of righte,
But Body of Body and Lyghte of Lyghte,
Man of Man begottyn ys,
And Beste of Beste to hys lykenes,
Alle the fooles in the worlde seeken;
A thynge that they may never meeten,
They wolde have Metalle owte of hem,
That never was fownde by worldly men:
Ne never was fownde by Goddis myghte,
That they schould beare any such fyghte.
   All Saltes and Sulphures far and nere,
I interdite hem alle in fere,
Alle Corosive waters, Blood and Hayre,
Pyss, Hornes, Worms and Saudiver,
Alume, Atriment, Alle I suspende,
Rasalger [Rafalger] and Arsnick I defende,
Calx vive, and Calx mort hys Brother,
I suspende them both, one and other,
For of alle things I wyll no moe,
But sowre Elements in Generall I say soe,
Sun and Moone, Erth and Water;
And here ys alle that men of clatter,
   Our Gold and Sylver ben no common plate,
But a sperme owte of a Bodi I take,
In the wych ys alle Sol, Lune, Lyfe and Lyghte
Water and Erth, Fyre and Fryght:
And alle commyth of one Image,
But the Water of the Wood makyth the marryage;
Therefore there ys none other waye,
But to take thee to thy Beades and praye:
For Covetous Men yt fyndyth never,
Though they seek yt once and ever,
Set not your Hearts in thys thyng,
But only to God and good lyvynge.
And he that wyll come thereby,
Must be meeke, and full of mercy:
Both in Spyrit and in Countenannace,
Full of Chereti and good Governaunce;
And evermore full of almes deede,
Symple and pewerly hys lyf to leade:
Wyth Prayers, Pennaunces, and Piety,
And ever to God a lover be,
And alle the ryches that he ys sped,
To do God wrschyppe wyth Almes deede.
   In Arsenyck sublymed there ys a way streight,
Wyth Mercury calcyned nyne tymes hys weight
And grownde together with Water of myght
That bereth ingression lye and lyght,
And anon as they togyther byne,
Alle runnyth to Water bryght and shene,
Upon thys Fyre they grow togethyr,
Tyll they be fast and flee no whythyr;
But than feede hem fowrth wyth thy hond,
Wyth mylke and meate tyle they be stringe,
And thow schalt have there a good Stone,
Whereof and Ounc on fowrty wyll gone:
Upon Venus or on Mercury,
Thys Medicyn wyll make thee merry.
   And yow that have fowght mani a day,
Leave worke, take yowre Beades and pray,
For the longer that yow seeken,
The longer yt ys or yow meeten;
And he that now sayne would be sped,
Lysten to my Daughter Megg:
For schhe scall tell yow trewth and ryghte,
Hearken now wyth all your myght.
   I am Mercury the myghty Flower,
I am most worthy of Honour;
I am sours of Sol, Luna, and Mars,
I am genderer of Iovis, many be my snares:
I am setler of Saturne, and sours of Venus,
I am Empresse, Pryncesses and Regall of Queenes,
I am Mother of Myrrour, and maker of lyght,
I am head and hyghest and fayrest in syght:
I am both Sun, and Moone,
I am sche that alle thynges must doone.
I have a Daughter hight Saturne that ys my darlyng,
The wych ys Mother of all werking,
For in my Daughter there byne hydd,
Fowre thyngs Commonly I kydd:
A Golden seede, and a spearme rych,
And a Silver seede none hym lich;
And a Mercury seede full bryght,
And a Sulphur seede that ys ryght.
   Of my Daughter wythowten dred,
Byn made Elyxirs whyte and redd,
Therefor of her draw a Water cler,
The Scyence yf thow lyst to leare.
Thys Water reduceth every thynge,
To tendernes and to fyxing:
It burgeneth growyth and gyveth fryght and lyght,
Ingression lyfe and lastyng in syght:
Alle ryghteous werkes sooth to say,
It helpeth and bryngyth in a good way:
Thys ys the Water that ys most worthy,
Aqua perfectissima & flos mundi:
For alle werks thys Water makyth whyte,
Reducyng and schyning as Sylver bryght:
And of the Oyle greate marvell there ys,
For all thyngs yt bryngyth to rednes:
As Cytrine gold he ys full high,
None ye so redd nor none ys so worthy:
And in the Erth grete marvele ys hyd,
That ys first so black, and than so red:
And alle ys done in howres three,
Thys may be cleped Gods Prevetie:
Than the Erth shall torne red as blood,
Citrine Gold, naturall cleere and good,
And than the red Oyle to hem schall goe,
Red Ferment, and red Mercury alsoe,
And grow togeder weekes seaven,
Blessed be Almyghty God of Heven:
One Ounce of thys Medycine worthy
Cast upon two hundred ownces of Mercury:
Schall make Gold most royall,
And ever enduring to holde tryall;
Fyre and Hammer Tuch and Test,
And all essayes most and least.
And yt ys Medycen above common Gold,
To mans body as God yt would.
   For Gold that cometh from Oare,
Is nourished with fowle Sulphur:
And Engendered upon Mercury he ys,
And nouryshed by Erth and Sulphur I wys,
And our Gold ys made of the pewer soules,
In the wych ys now Corrupcyon foule:
But purged pewre as clene as Chrystall,
Body and Spyryt and Sowle wyth all;
And so they grow into a stone,
In the wych Corrupcyon there ys none;
And than cast hym upon Mercury,
And he schalbe Gold most worthy,
Now have you heard the makyng of our Stone,
The begynyng and endyng ys all one.

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