DUTCH POETRY AND ENGLISH
desperate defiance; that, as with themselves, a certain inhibition was nearly always at work to prevent the passage of emotion into perfect form.
In Nicolaas Beets lurked no such "complexes" of mother-hatred and sister-love; no desire to assert the self against false forms of social organisation; no fundamental dissonance of character at all; every mark of temperament placid and untroubled. Only if one is prepared to be ironical can one think of Byron suffering from a partisan of such faultless pattern as this; truly this poet who would soon be penning his pleasant student recollections, translating the hymns of Isaac Watts, and singing "Mijn God! ik zie uw hand in alle dingen", was not frantic or perverse enough — but also not fine or sensitive enough either — to play the Byron for long. Dr Popma would emphasize the most specious aspects of Byronism as a method of enhancing interest in Byron's writings; and not, as is more usual, as a means of discrediting them. But since the balance of fairness is no more held properly thus, his prescribed thesis follows very reluctantly, and has to be eked out by considering every possible partiele of invloed upon a complete "school" of singularly ineffective little Byronists. Beets stands apart from everyone else in that he knew his limitations sufficiently well to avoid the intolerably subjective, the atrociously defamatory, the dangerously subversive, and concentrate instead on the descriptive, the heroic, and the humorous. And if this does not give us anything like the complete Byron, it at least gives us less of the false and the attudinising, and more of the unaffected and even the reverential. Beets began with translation exercises, publishing in 1835 his "Gedichten van Lord Byron", including "The Prisoner of Chillon", "Mazeppa", and fifty shorter pieces. This was an excellent way of studying the English poet and of inculcating a sense of form at the same time, and the young Dutchman must be allowed to have made an encouraging start. "De Gevangene van Chillon", I think, gives