This "sketchbook for Flemish students" was created at the bishop's request during the Roeselare period. He wanted a vernacular collection of poems, hymns and prayers for use in classes and congregations. A central theme in the sketchbook is the personal friendship and religious experience within the closed circle of his students at the minor seminary. A prime example is the famous poem The Evening and the Rose, which he wrote for his favourite student Eugeen Van Oye. The main inspiration for this collection was formed by biblical and medieval texts. This resulted in an expressive, often experimental form of lyric. It turned out to be a groundbreaking collection, which advanced the modernist movement by twenty years. His free verse forms and West Flemish language gave rise to fierce criticism from the main Flemish critics, among others, Jan Baptist David and Jacob Heremans.
Gedichten, gezangen en gebeden. Een schetsboek voor Vlaemsche studenten. (Poems, Songs and Prayers. A Sketchbook for Flemish Students). Brugge (Bruges): E. Gailliard, 1862, second print: Leuven (Louvain)-Roeselare: K. Fonteyn-J. De Meester, 1879. From the third edition onwards: Gedichten, gezangen en gebeden. Kleengedichtjes. (Poems, Songs and Prayers. Short Poems). Roeselare: J. De Meester, 1893.