Emile Verhaeren was a Belgian poet, art critic and wrote short stories and verse plays. He was born at St Amand lez-Pueres, NC Belgium on May 21st of 1855.
He studied law at the University of Louvain and while there started a journal, La Semaine, which was suppressed by the authorities as well as the following work Le Type. He was admitted to the bar at Brussels in 1881 but soon began devoting his time to literature, writing in French. He was soon one of the leading figures of the Belgian literary renaissance.
His poetry hovers between powerful sensuality, as in Les Flamandes (1883) and the harrowing despair of Les Debacles (1888). Among his most notable works are La Multiple Splendeur (1906) and the five-part Tout la Flandre (1904-11).
Source: PoemHunter.com: http://www.poemhunter.com/emile-verhaeren/biography/
In this play the Belgian poet has voiced his hopes for the regeneration of human society. The city of Oppidomagne is beseiged by a hostile army, and the revolutionists in both armies conspire and revolt. The gates of the city are thrown open, and the end of war declared. A captain in the hostile army is speaking over the body of Hérénian, leader of the revolutionists in the city.
I was his disciple, and his unknown friend. His books were my Bible. It is men like this who give birth to men like me, faithful, long obscure, but whom fortune permits, in one overwhelming hour, to realize the supreme dream of their master. If fatherlands are fair, sweet to the heart, dear to the memory, armed nations on the frontiers are tragic and deadly; and the whole world is yet bristling with nations. It is in their teeth that we throw them this example of our concord. (Cheers.) They will understand some day the immortal thing accomplished here, in this illustrious Oppidomagne, whence the loftiest ideas of humanity have taken flight, one after another, through all the ages. For the first time since the beginning of power, since brains have reckoned time, two races, one renouncing its victory, the other its humbled pride, are made one in an embrace. The whole earth must needs have quivered, all the blood, all the sap of the earth must have flowed to the heart of things. Concord and good will have conquered hate. (Cheers.) Human strife, in its form of bloodshed, has been gainsaid. A new beacon shines on the horizon of future storms. Its steady rays shall dazzle all eyes, haunt all brains, magnetize all desires. Needs must we, after all these trials and sorrows, come at last into port, to whose entrance it points the way, and where it gilds the tranquil masts and vessels.
(Enthusiasm of all; the people shout and embrace. The former enemies rise and surround the speaker. Those of Oppidomagne stretch their arms towards him.)
The Cathedral of Rheims