The Whore of Babylon, from the Apocalypse Tapestry series, 1377
by Mechthild of Magdeburg
The devil also offers his spirit
To those who in hatred and proud desire
Are ready for the worst.
Such know not that love leads to all good,
They become poor from hatred
And the fury of the devil,
So that it becomes impossible
They should ever again find or follow
The love of God.
True love praises God constantly;
Longing love gives the pure heart sweet sorrow;
Seeking love belongs to itself alone;
Understanding love loves all in common;
Enlightening love is mingled and sadness;
Selfless love bears fruit without effort;
It functions so quietly
That the body knows nothing of it.
Clear love is still, in God alone,
Seeing that both have one will
And there is no creature so noble
That it can hinder them.
This is written by Knowledge
Out of the everlasting book.
Gold is often heavily flecked by copper,
Just as falseness and vain honor
Blot out virtue from the human soul.
The ignoble soul to whom passing things are so dear
That it never trembled before Love
Never heard God speak lovingly in it --
Alas! to such this life is darkness!