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Jacob Steendam

In Praise of New Netherland

"You poor, who know not how your living to obtain;
You affluent, who seek in mind to be content;
Choose you New Netherland, which no one shall disdain;
Before you time and stregth here fruitlessly are spent.

The birds obscure the sky, so numerous in their flight;
The animals roam wild, and flatten down the ground;
The fish swarm in the waters and exclude the light;
The oysters there, than which none better can be found;
Are piled up, heap on heap, till islands they attain;
And vegetation clothes the forest, mean and plain.


...a living view does always meet your eye,
Of Eden, and the promised land of Jacob's seed;
Who would not, then, in such a formed community,
Desire to be a Freeman; and the rights decreed,
To each and every one, by Amstel's burgher lords,
T'enjoy? and treat with honor what their rule awards?"

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The Complaint Of New Amsterdam

I'm a grandchild of the Gods
Who on th' Amstel have abodes;
Whence their orders forth are sent
Swift for aid and punishment.

I, of Amsterdam, was born,
Early of her breasts forlorn;
From her care so quickly weaned
Oft have I my fate bemoaned.

From my youth up left alone,
Naught save hardship have I known;
Dangers have beset my way
From the first I saw the day.

Think you that a cause for marvel ?
This will then the thread unravel,
And the circumstances trace,
Which upon my birth took place.

[...] Read more

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