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Nigh reft my wits for very tenderness.
“O guide,” I said, “fain would I if I might Have speech with yonder pair that hand in hand Seem borne before the dreadful wind so light.”
DANTE (Leigh Hunt's translation). The Elegiac Stanza consists of four iambic pentameters rhyming alternately; as,
Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
The dark, unfathomed caves of ocean bear;
GRAY. This example is from Gray's Elegy. Milton's Lycidas and Dryden's Elegy on Cromwell are also in iambic pentameter. Tennyson's In Memoriam is in iambic tetrameter. Shelley's Adonais is in the Spenserian stanza.
The Acrostic is a poem in which the first letters of the successive lines spell a word or phrase that is the subject of the whole, generally a person's name or a motto.
The actress Rachel received a compliment as delicate as the acrostic has ever paid. She was given a diadem set with precious stones so arranged that the initials of the names of the successive stones were in their order the initials of six of her principal parts, and in their order formed her name. Thus:
The variety of stanzas in successful use is almost endless.
In a work like this it would be impossible to describe them; however, a brief notice is given of those commonly used in hymns for public worship.
The most common of the psalm and hymn stanzas are the Long, the Short, and the Common Meter. These three agree in this: they are all in iambic meter, and they are all quatrains. The Long Meter (marked L. M.) consists of tetrameters; the Common Meter (C. M.) consists of tetrameters and trimeters combined alternately; the Short Meter (S. M.) consists of three trimeters and one tetrameter.
The following formulas show the construction of these stanzas:
Long Particular Meter is a stanza in which some of our hymns are written. It consists of six lines of iambic tetrameter, the third and sixth rhyming together, and the others rhyming in couplets; as,
Fountain of good! all blessing flows
What but thyself canst thou desire ?
This, only this, dost thou require.- Wesley.
Halleluiah Meter is a stanza consisting of eight lines of iambic meter. The first four are trimeters, rhyming alternately. The last four are dimeters, the first of which rhymes with the fourth; the second, with the third; as,
Lo! the angelic bands
In full assembly meet,
And wing their way
From realms of day
Other Meters. —No names have been given to the various stanzas used for those hymns which are in trochaic, anapestic, or dactylic meter. In the hymn-books these stanzas are called 6's, 7's, 8's, II's, etc., according to the number of syllables in a line. Such designation, however, gives no clue to the rhythmic movement. A more accurate way would be to add the name of the verse immediately after the figures representing the number of syllables. Thus:
Savior, source of every blessing,
Heavenly Father, may we be;
Mid scenes of confusion and creature complaints.-II's, Anapestic.
DIRECTION. - Bring into the class examples of the various stanzas described above.
DIRECTION.- Arrange each of the following sentences into an heroic couplet-two iambic pentameters:
1. This man would soar to heaven by his own strength, and would not be obliged for more to God.
2. How art thou misled, vain, wretched creature, to think thy wit bred these godlike notions.
3. She made a little stand at every turn, and thrust her lily hand among the thorns to draw the rose, and she shook the stalk, every rose she drew, and brushed the dew away. (Four lines.)
4. Whoever thinks to see a faultless piece, thinks what never shall be, nor ever was, nor is.
5. Sometimes men of wit, as men of breeding, must commit less errors, to avoid the great.
6. The hungry judges soon sign the sentence, and that jurymen may dine, wretches hang.
DIRECTION. — Arrange each of the following into iambic tetrameters, rhyming:
1. He soon stood on the steep hill's verge, that looks o'er Branksome's towers and wood; and martial murmurs proclaimed from below the southern foe approaching. (Four lines.)
2. Of mild mood was the Earl, and gentle; the vassals were rude, and warlike, and fierce; haughty of word, and of heart high, they recked little of a tame liege lord. (Four lines.)
3. A lion, worn with cares, tired with the state affairs, and quite sick of pomp, resolved to pass his latter life in peace, remote from strife and noise. (Four lines.)
4. I felt as, when all the waves that o'er thee dash, on a plank at sea, whelm and upheave at the same time, and towards a desert realm hurl thee. (Four lines.)
5. No more sweet Teviot, blaze the glaring bale-fires on thy silver tide; steel-clad warriors ride along thy wild and willowed shore no longer. (Four lines, rhyming alternately.)
6. His eyes of swarthy glow he rolls fierce on the hunter's quivered hand, - spurns the sand with black hoof and horn, and tosses his mane of snow high. (Four lines, rhyming alternately.)
7. Where late the green ruins were blended with the rock's woodcovered side, turrets rise in fantastic pride, and between flaunt feudal banners. (Four lines, rhyming alternately.)
8. Whate'er befall, I hold it true; when I sorrow most, I feel it ;better than never to have loved at all, 'tis to have loved and lost, (Four lines; the ist rhyming with the 4th; the 2d with the 3d.)
DIRECTION.--Arrange each of the following into four lines of anapestic tetram
1. Content and joy are now fled from our dwellings, and, instead, disease and want are our inmates; now chivalry is dead, and Gallia ruined, and the glory of Europe is fled forever. (Let the lines rhyme in couplets).
2. How sweet is the thought of to-morrow to the heart, when Hope's fairy pictures display bright colors, how sweet when we can borrow from futurity a balm for the griefs that to-day afflict us. (Lines rhyming alternately.)
3. There's a game - I think it's called euchre - much in fashion, (though for pleasure or lucre I have never played it,) in which the players appear, when the cards are in certain conditions, to have changed their positions, and, in a confident tone, one of them cries, – “I may venture to go it alone, I think!” (Six lines, rhyming in couplets.)
DIRECTION. — Arrange each of the following examples into trochaic verse:
1. But from stream, dell, or mountain, springs not a fluttering zephyr, lest the noontide beam, fearful, his silken, his soft wings scorch. (Four lines, tetrameter.)
2. See the rooks returning home to their high-built airy beds, for shelter, where the rising forest, the lordly dome, spreads. (Four lines, tetrameter.)
3. God hath written in those stars above, wondrous truths, and manifold as wondrous; but the revelation of his love stands not less in the bright flowerets under us. (Four lines, pentameter.)
DIRECTION. — Arrange each of the following examples into dactylic verse:
1. We vainly offer such ample oblation; would vainly secure his favor with gifts; the heart's adoration is richer by far; the
oi the poor are dearer to God. (Four lines, tetrameter, rhyming alternately.)