The task of making an adequate and typical selection from a poet's work is always difficult, and in this case it has been decided to limit the field of selection, at least for the present, to the three last-named volumes, which embody what may, I think, be considered as Verhaeren's highest achievement in the realm of lyrical poetry.
The cross to the brazier's depth drops down,
Where, twisted and torn in the fiery fray,
Its Christian arms are crushed like prey.
With might and main
The bell-ringer sounds his knell abroad.
As though the flames would burn his God.
Funnel-like hollows its way yet higher,
'Twixt walls of stone, up the steeple's height;
Gaining the archway and lofty stage
Where, swinging in light, the bell bounds with rage.
The daws and the owls, with wild, long cry
Pass screeching by;
On the fast-closed casements their heads they smite,
Burn in the smoke-drifts their pinions light,
Then, broken with terror and bruised with flight.
Suddenly, 'mid the surging crowd.
Fall dead outright.
The old man sees toward his brandished bells
The climbing fire
With hands of boiling gold stretch nigher.
Looks like a thicket of crimson bushes,
With here a branch of flame that rushes
Darting the belfry boards betwe