10. A Salamander Lives in the Fire
1556 Manuscript at Zentralbibliothek Zürich:
A SALAMANDER LIVES IN THE FIRE, WHICH IMPARTS TO IT A MOST GLORIOUS HUE.
This is the reiteration, gradation, and amelioration of the Tincture, or Philosopher’s Stone; and the whole is called its Augmentation.
1607 Manuscript at Universitätsbibliothek Salzburg:
1678 Included in the Musaeum Hermeticum, published by Lucas Jennis in Frankfurt
In all fables we are told
That the Salamander is born in the fire;
In the fire it has that food and life
Which Nature herself has assigned to it.
It dwells in a great mountain
Which is encompassed by many flames,
And one of these is ever smaller than another—
Herein the Salamander bathes.
The third is greater, the fourth brighter than the rest—
In all these the Salamander washes, and is purified.
Then he hies him to his cave,
But on the way is caught and pierced
So that it dies, and yields up its life with its blood.
But this, too, happens for its good:
For from its blood it wins immortal life,
And then death has no more power over it.
Its blood is the most precious Medicine upon earth,
The same has not its like in the world.
For this blood drives away all disease
In the bodies of metals,
Of men, and of beasts.
From it the Sages derive their science,
And through it they attain the Heavenly Gift,
Which is called the Philosopher's Stone,
Possessing the power of the whole world.
This gift the Sages impart to us with loving hearts,
That we may remember them for ever.