It has become a matter of literary tradition, in Holland and out of it, that the choral drama of "Lucifer" is the great masterpiece of Dutch literature. The Dutch critics, however, are by no manner of means unanimous in this opinion. In point of fact, it has been assigned by some a place relatively subordinate among the works of this "Dutch Shakespeare," as they are fond of calling Vondel at home. No other one, however, in the long list of his dramas and poems, from the "Pascha" of 1612 to his last translations of 1671, the beginning and the end of a literary career, in which one of the greatest of Dutch writers on its history has pronounced the poetry of the Netherlands to have attained its zenith, will, none the less, so strongly appeal to us, outside of Holland, as does the "Lucifer." Vondel's tragedy "Gysbreght van Amstel" may have found far greater favor as a drama, and the poet may possibly in his lyrics have risen to his greatest height; but neither the one nor the other, in spite of this, can have such supreme claims upon our attention.
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