DUTCH POETRY AND ENGLISH
today! Correct his style is. But what a preposterously heavy burden of mythological imagery it is made to carry! 1 This, doubtless, is a defect to be imputed to the period rather than to the poet in particular, but how wearisomely importunate those "Zanggodinnen" of his can be:
"O Erato, die, klaer van stem en edel,
Diones groote daden zingt,
En naer de maet van uw vergulde vedel
Kupidoos dartle voeten dwingt,
Wanneer hy danst aen zyn vrou moeders handen.
If I truly feit that an ago so anti-lyrical demanded the acceptance of a lower Standard of lyric quality, I would not hesitate to make the concession. But, thinking of Poot's mentors - not Ramsay and Fergusson, but Vondel and Hooft themselves - I can only feel that to agree would be to play into the hands of a score of poetasters of the order of Tollens, Bogaers, and Da Costa. My quarrel with Poot is, that, being so well - or at least, painstakingly - read in the past, he should still have been able to effect no fundamental change in language or thought; should, in Vondel, have concentrated, not upon his simple, unaffected poems, but upon his elegiac and didactic styles, and in Hooft upon an Italianate manner which could never convey measures real y characteristic and spontaneous to himself. His imitation of Hooft, is, admittedly, far from unsuccesssful, but for all that doesnot rid one of the impression of Poot as a man who should have had a personal hand setting himself sedulously to emulate a
! Hofdijk makes much play upon this tendency. "Dat blijft" he says, 'Wig te bejammeren: dat heeft - vereenigd met den droogen adem des txjds de gerekte deftigheid, die de vaerzen toch zonderling verwaterde, en me eenzijdige voorkeur voor stichtelijke- en gelegenheids-poëzy - ons meer dan een james Hogg, misschien wel een Robert Burns, ontstolen ( Gesch.eden.s der Nederlandsche Letterkunde," p. 348).