Jacob Steendam

(1616 - 1672 / Enkhuizen)

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?"

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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