2. A Black Beast in the Forest
1556 Manuscript at Zentralbibliothek Zürich:
HERE YOU STRAIGHTWAY BEHOLD A BLACK BEAST IN THE FOREST.
1607 Manuscript at Universitätsbibliothek Salzburg:
1678 Included in the Musaeum Hermeticum, published by Lucas Jennis in Frankfurt
1892 Hermetic Museum A.E.Waite (uses images from 1678 Musaeum Hermeticum):
The Sage says
That a wild beast is in the forest,
Whose skin is of blackest dye.
If any man cut off his head,
His blackness will disappear,
And give place to a snowy white.
Understand well the meaning of this head:
The blackness is called the head of the Raven;
As soon as it disappears,
A white colour is straightway manifested;
It is given this name, despoiled of its head.
When the Beast's black hue has vanished in a black smoke,
The Sages rejoice
From the bottom of their hearts;
But they keep it a close secret,
That no foolish man may know it.
Yet unto their Sons, in kindness of heart,
They partly reveal it in their writings;
And therefore let those who receive the gift
Enjoy it also in silence,
Since God would have it concealed.