DUTCH POETRY AND ENGLISH
— was, at the same time, no mere pose on the part of Kloos and his fellows. Is not its greatest vindication just that it did not speedily peter out in the sort of "decadence" that came to surround the compilers of "The Yellow Book" a decade later? Nor can it possibly be identified with the Naturalism of the France of the period as simply "degenerate romanticism". The spirit of the poetry of the Jachticjers was Romantic through and through — in the best English sense. Against the existing fashion it sought along the dangerous road; admittedly, thereby, stressing certain aspects of creation to the detriment of others, mistrusting restraint and order, valuing intensity of experience for its own sake. Above all, Kloos claimed:
"Vrijheid van iedereen,
Van menschen en van dingen . .
And that has always been the keynote of Romantic art; the qualities and defects common to it being but the natural result of new-bound freedom and indiscipline. Shortly, it seemed, Romanticism would have run its course in Holland, as elsewhere; another transition-stage in the movement of the poetical mind would have been reached, whereby the great collective impulse known as Romanticism would be bound to give place to new mottoes and new tendencies, probably differing emphatically from those it had known.
Poetry, we can only say, has become less "poetical" — it has grown more recondite, difficult, cynical, intellectual, more suited to a modern disillusioned world. Only an odd poet here and there still writes in the old manner — Hélène Swarth, for example, almost the last of the Romantics in Holland, though never drawn into the 'Movement' (to use that regrettable and hackneyed term). And Dr Boutens I would also name; though, by the level dignity and polish of his work, and because he has not, like many of his contemporaries, neglected to his cost the lessons of discipline and artistry, he is to be best accounted a great Classical writer