DUTCH POETRY AND ENGLISH
in 1838 an anonymous satire upon the Dutch followers of Byron.1 This poem, entitled "Hippokreen-ontzwaveling", contains some most pungent passages and is itself probably the nearest approach in Dutch to Byron's own "English Bards and Scotch Reviewers". Beets and Van Lennep are, of course, both soundly rated as the chief upholders of the new school:
"Beets heeft ons nieuwen geest en jonkheid ingeblazen Door als Van Lennep trouw op lekkernijtjes te azen Van vreemde tafels, waar hij bij den hoop van tast,
En ons, arm volkjen, dat verhongert, op vergast:
Wat droeg hij Byron als een atlas op zijn schouderen,
En, raakte al in Euroop diens roem wat aan 't verouderen,
Als ware apostel leidde Beets in elk verhaal Zijn wanhoop nog door 't land in volle zegepraal."
Nothing is spared the Beetsian heroes; Jose, the first, seemingly being in every way of the true "brood of folly", while there are no rascals "eens zoo erg als Qwy en 'Manjred".
After we have read it all, it is not unpleasing to go back to "Maskerade"; there to find other, and equally genuine, qualities of Byron himself. As in "Jose" and in "Don Juan" itself, we betake us to Spain; suddenly discovering ourselves in the Granada of 1492 spectating at the entry of Ferdinand and Isabella into the city after its re-conquest from the Moors. It is a bright and colourful picture and often recalls "Beppo" by its sprightliness and verve — "insouciance" being just too strong a word to apply to Beets even here. The poem is also written in the ottava rima of "Beppo" and "Don Juan"; but this, though handled with dexterity, is perhaps not so notable a performance as the way the poets attempts, and successfully carries off, the humorous type of doublé rhyming so common throughout "Don Juan", couplets like:
1 The author was afterwards revealed as the future Groningen professor, W. Hecker.