KEATS AND SHELLEY AND "DE NIEUWE GIDS"
'Maker',1 even if only very gradually he seemed to equip himself for it.
So closely did Verwey's early verse seem to resemble Shelley's that critics were not slow in raising the charge of plagiarism against him. It is a charge for which there was little or no justification. Verwey was a versatile translator, as his "Poëzie in Europa" 2 goes to prove; but as a creative poet himself he was bound to be far more concerned to re-capture the spirit of any foreign author who attracted him than merely to render his work Uterally into Dutch. This was particularly so with regard to Shelley; for though he knew his poetry through and through, and drew freely from it in fashioning his own, he troubled to translate in full no more than three of his actual poems. These are the Iittle-known "Sunset", the rather better-known "Mont Blanc", and the quite well-known "Hymn to Intellectual Beauty". Regarded primarily as translations they need not detain us — though the chance might be taken to mention that even in his matter Verwey proved himself a master interpreter. It is true that the poet sometimes appears to have had in view the giving of a translated work, as indicated by titles like "Rouw om het Jaar", "De Dood van een Jaar", "In Memoriam Patris". But the supposition never materialises. A1I these poems are, admittedly, inspired by Shelley — by his "Dirge for the Year", "Autumn: a Dirge", and "Adonais", respectively; none, however, carries more than a general suggestion about it — and, as it happens, one of them, "De Dood van een Jaar", is more reminiscent of Tennyson in his "Death of the Old Year" than it is of Shelley. Dekker, as usual, does his work thoroughly and well. But he misses the point gravely by going out of his way so often to call attention to resemblances of word or phrase that seem entirely
1 His own favoured rendering of the Greek.
3 Published in 1920. It includes translations from Shakespeare, Jonson, Milton, Wordsworth, Shelley.