Category Archives: Jan Van Broekhuizen

Jan van Broekhuizen: “Morning”

Excerpt, “The Poets and Poetry of Europe, with Introductions and Biographical Notices.” By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. 1857. Dr. John Bowring, the translator of this poem.
Jan van Broekhuizen was born at Amsterdam in 1649, writing verses as a youth. Later, entering the military service, he sailed to the West Indies in 1674 as a marine under the celebrated Admiral De Ruyter. In autumn of the same year, he returned to Utrecht. Here, in 1684, he published an edition of his poems. Afterward, he received a military appointment at Amsterdam where he remained until the peace of Ryswick. He was an editor as well as an author and published editions of several of the classics. He died in 1707.


The morning hour, its brightness spreading,

In more than common luster rose;

And o’er day’s portals sparkling snows

And corals, gems of gold, was shedding.


The moon grew paler, paler yet,

And night, her gloomy face averting,

Rolled slowly up her misty curtain,

And star by star in twilight set.

Closed are the thousand eyes of heaven,

And light shines brighter forth from one;

And, lo! The bee comes forth alone,

To rob the rose and thyme till even.

The lordly lion wakes the wood

With mighty roar; his eyeball flashes;

He shakes his mane, his tail he lashes;

His loud voice breaks the solitude.

Away, thou monarch, brave, unshaken;

Endymion, when he hears thy cries,

Far from the woods in terror flies,

And leaves his old abode forsaken.

He finds his mistress on the mead,

Who, where the shady boughs are twining,

Upon the greenwood is reclining,

And counts the flocks that round her feed.

How gaily comes that maiden straying,

Before the sheep, that fawn and play!

All light and smiles – like dawn of day,

When o’er the ocean’s bosom playing.

The lambkins, youthful as the grass,

As white as snow, as soft as roses,

Now at her tarrying feet reposes,

And now beside her loves to pass.

The feathered choir, with songs of pleasure,

Salute the sun, whose glowing ray,

Is shining on their plumage gay,

And glads their thousand-chorus measure.

What art can equal the sweet notes,

Of their wild lays in grief and sadness?

What hand can wake such tomes of gladness

As flow from their untutored throats?

The peasant, with the dawn beginning

Now yokes the oxen to the ploughs;

And peasant girls, with laughing brows,

Sing gay and cheerily while spinning.

A varied sound and fitful light,

On dreams and silence are encroaching;

The sun in glory is approaching

To wake the day the slumbering night.