Vermeer seeing Delft as he will paint it

‘A town on yonder side,
With towers and roofs and gateways,
Embankment and long barges,
Cloud-shadow, sunny light.

From here we can descry
The joint-marks in her buildings,
The cool glaze of her colours,
Things distant and near by.

How far she does outshine
Her image in the water! –
Will so God’s City later
Outshine this town of mine?’

From Collected Poems, vol. II (Verzameld dichtwerk II, 1938)
By Albert Verwey
Translated by Theodoor Weevers

First published in The Low Countries, 1994