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by [Aloysius_Bertrand ]

2006-02-08  |     |  Submited by Ionescu Bogdan

Translated by Michael Benedikt

When Amsterdam's Golden Cockerel doth crow, Haarlem's hen doth eggs bestow.
--The Centuries by Nostradmus

Haarlem, that fine free-hand sketch, Haarlem, that delectable caricature summing up the work of the Flemish School--Haarlem as painted by Breughel the Elder, Peter Neefs, David Teniers and Paul Rembrandt

With its canal full of shimmering blue water, and its great church with windows glazed golden by the sun; and with its balconies covered by bed-linen drying, and with its roofs, green with straw.

And the storks flapping their wings and sailing around the town clock, and stretching out their necks in high winds
to catch raindrops in their beaks.

And the slow-moving, impassive burgomeister slowly stroking his double chin, and the lovelorn florist growing thinner and thinner, her eye battened upon a tulip.

And the gypsy leaning over her mandolin, and the old man playing upon the rommelpot, and the child filling up his wineskin-bladder.

And the drinkers smoking in some dark dive, and the inn-keeper's servant hanging up a dead pheasant in a tavern window.

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