DUTCH POETRY AND ENGLISH
eye? And in the end, therefore, the most richly-decorated of all modern Dutch allegories ceased to be a second "Endymion", and began to hint instead at greater and finer experiments and at still more revolutionary developments. Shelley, it is plain, had come upon the poet; it was as though Balder, Sampson-like, had discovered a strength greater than sight could ever have given him. So, suddenly therefore, Gorter shook off the mood in which he had despondently contemplated life; and now so extreme was his reforming impatience that nothing would satisfy him but the immediate opening-up of the new and finer vision. Henceforth he would seek the beauty, not of repose, but of energy. Beauty, he had come to see, must be in some degree a negation of fixed form; obviously, therefore, it should ally itself with freedom and social justice and, indeed, be virtually inseparable from practical helpfulness — the poet's voice must become a prophetic one, uttering, not his own sorrows, but the woes of all mankind.
That for Gorter Socialism did not work out so in practice, we owe, in my opinion, to the influence of Shelley. Sometimes, I admit, it is the politically intruded note that actually imparts to his later work a certain uniqueness of interest, as in the typical lines:
"Gij weet het, kindren, het was de Commune.
O zacht klinke de naam zooals een bloem."
In these, it might almost be said, we discover something like a twentieth-century Shelley. But what is to be made of these, in turn:
'"t Kapitalisme bouwt ons de machines,
't Kapitalisme bouwt ons de fabrieken,
wij bouwen 't kapitaal, 't kapitaal bouwt ons werkhuis —"
Could anything be more blunt, more brutal, more completely anti-