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HOLLAND'S HERITAGE

He should have been that, of course; and when he allowed what was probably the most powerful natural influence of the time to pass over him, his failure could only mean an incalculable loss to the whole of Dutch literature, leaving the poetry of natural description more slight, more occasional, than it had any right to be.

This severe loss apart, the imaginative experiences, into which, in the course of a busy and active life, Vondel was able to enter, were evidently sufficiently wide and varied — even, at times, rhapsodical — to sustain the lyric temper at a high pitch within him. Ecstasies of joy, sorrow, love and death, called forth from common experience and play of circumstance, he knew well — in addition to those promptings of religious feeling which resulted in other, more beatific, visions — and often he came to utter them in a manner wholly free from literary complication and subtlety. His "Bruiloftsliedt", written for the wedding of Johann George, Count of Anhalt, and Henrietta Katharine, Princess of Orange, is rendered in particularly sprightly vein, and approaches near to the joyous abandon of "John Gilpin" itself:

"Hy zong ze voor: zy zongen na:

Hie^heeft het ooflogh uit.

Wy winnen 't rijck, tot niemants scha,

Noch vlammen op vrybuit.

"Wy houwen, noch wy kerven niet.

Wy staen naer niemants bloet.

Het is al blyschap wat men ziet.

Wat smaeckt dees bruiloft zoet."

Verve and spontaneity also mark both "zang" and "slotzang" in his "Blyde Aenkomste t'Amsterdam van zijne Excellentie D. Estevan de Gamarra":

"Wie rijst zoo heerlijck op van verre,

En voert den glans der Avondsterre

In 't helder voorhooft, daer men niet

Dan vrede en vreugt uit straelen ziet?

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