DUTCH POETRY AND ENGLISH
— not the averted eye of Feith, the deliberately turned back of Beets or Van Lennep — but an honest and fearless looking at the world as it is — in a word, the search for the inner truth. And more even — the faith that is implicit in such a search he uttered with more unqualified boldness than any other before or after him in the Netherlands, becoming, in so doing, the noblest laureate there for two entire centuries.
"Posthuum beroem zijn laat mij taamlijk koel." So he might write (and, ironically enough, death came but a few months after the penning of the words). But I think he must have sensed that he had made his niche secure; for myself now, so secure, indeed, that as we began with Vondel and Hooft, so might we fittingly conclude with Kloos. I have not the slightest wish to belittle the efforts of the other tachtigers, yet none that I can see has the right to be acclaimed in the same way — "the third among the sons of light"! Nor can I at all forget the influence of England at this time. That influence was a truly magnificent affair; perhaps as glorious an episode as any in the records of its literary foreign-relations. And again it was largely Kloos who made it so; not because he was necessarily the most Shelleyan or the most Keatsian of them all, but because, I think, he alone added something besides of the wisdom of Wordsworth and, certainly, because he so matchlessly in his own person and poetry combined so much of the best of England s great Romantic 'Trinity'. My own most appreciated gift from him was once some faded leaves from the grave of Shelley in Rome; fain now would I offer them back to his own; it is the kind of recognition, I feel, that would most fully have satisfied him. His friend Kijzer has it, in one place, that "voor den verstander heeft hij iets van Brahma's rust verwoord". 1 But would such "rest" as that do more than recall his decorous latter-day sageship? For final epitaph should we not rather seek back to his 1 "De Nieuwe Gids," 1936, II, p. 478.