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( Latin HOSSCHIUS)

Sidron de Hossche, poet and priest ; born at Mercken, West Flanders, in 1596; died at Tongres in 1653. In his early youth he followed his father's occupation as a shepherd, and at the age of twenty he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Tongres (Belgium). He soon showed wonderful facility in Latin versification, and his first work "De Christo Patiente" in elegiac verse was published in 1635. The chorus of praise with which the work was received brought its author to the notice of Leopold William, Governor General of the Netherlands, who appointed him tutor to his two sons, which post he filled for two years. Life at court not appealing to him Hosschius retired to Tongres and remained there until his death. Among the more famous of his works, besides the "De Christo Patiente" there have come down to us, the "De Cursu vitæ humanæ" which was translated into French verse in 1756 by L. Deslandes; the "De lacrymis S. Petri" and many other elegies, allegories, and occasional verses. His contemporaries held him in great esteem, and acclaimed him as worthy of the Augustan age of Latin poetry. While his Latin is very pure and his style modelled on the classical authors, he himself is by no means a classic. The verdict of unbiased criticism pronounces his works to be examples of elegant versification. They were published at Antwerp in 1656, and have often been reprinted; they form two volumes of the Barbou collection, printed in Paris in 1723.

Two anonymous collections of Latin verses published in Bruges in 1630 and 1634, have within recent years been identified as forming part of Hossche's output.

The township of Mercken, in 1844, dedicated a fountain in honour of Hossche, and surmounted it with a bust of the poet.


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