3. A Deer and a Unicorn
1556 Manuscript at Zentralbibliothek Zürich:
HEAR WITHOUT TERROR THAT IN THE FOREST ARE HIDDEN A DEER AND AN UNICORN.
In the Body there is Soul and Spirit.
1607 Manuscript at Universitätsbibliothek Salzburg:
1678 Included in the Musaeum Hermeticum, published by Lucas Jennis in Frankfurt
The Sages say truly
That two animals are in this forest:
One glorious, beautiful, and swift,
A great and strong deer;
The other an unicorn.
They are concealed in the forest,
But happy shall that man be called
Who shall snare and capture them.
The Masters shew you here clearly
That in all places
These two animals wander about in forests
(But know that the forest is but one).
If we apply the parable to our Art,
We shall call the forest the Body.
That will be rightly and truly said.
The unicorn will be the Spirit at all times.
The deer desires no other name
But that of the Soul; which name no man shall take away from it.
He that knows how to tame and master them by Art,
To couple them together,
And to lead them in and out of the forest,
May justly be called a Master.
For we rightly judge
That he has attained the golden flesh,
And may triumph everywhere;
Nay, he may bear rule over great Augustus.