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De Herder kreeg een kusje,

Hy klaegde van geen leet."

So uncertainly led, it is not surprising that, when we come to the deeper things of life, Poot is at a painful disadvantage; capable of sincerity and simplicity, but — fed also by a weary spirit of orthodoxy and resignation — failing to tug strongly at the heart-strings. In unsteady, lachrymose vein, thus, he ponders his mother's death:

"Schoon troost en tyt den rou verzoeten,

Waermê wy eertyts Moeders lyk Geleidden naer het stille ryk,

Daer alle menschen komen moeten,

Nogh denk ik om de vrome weêr.

En zou ik niet van haer gewagen Die my heeft onder 't hart gedragen?"

It is worth while, I think, contrasting with this "John Anderson, My Jo", to show in what beauty the twin factors of old age and death may be conceived, and with what courage and sublimity accepted. And for this purpose there are, fortunately, two excellent translations available.1 I take Potgieter's in preference to De Cort's: it bears the impress of deeper understanding, shows higher actual poetic powers, and contrives to give a local suggestion to the name and situation.

"Wij klommen zaam den heuvel op,

Claes Hendrikszen, myn schat!

En hebben op zijn groenen top Veel vreugde en heils gehad;

Wij stromp'len nu vast naar beneên,

Maar helpen d'een den aêr,

En slapen ginder niet alleen,

Claes Hendriksz, beste vaêr!"

In such lines, it is obvious, we have death seen, not as with Poot, a retreat from life, but as the supreme way of affirming it. 1 Both are given by William Jacks in his "Robert Burns in Other Tongues" (Glasgow, 1896).