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Title: A History of English Versification
Author: Schipper, Jakob
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Transcriber's Notes

There are a number of typographical features that cannot be reproduced
in this text. For details of how these features are rendered here,
please consult the Notes at the end of the text. Some characters,
particular those with compound diacritical marks, may not be supported,
and may appear incorrectly.

will more accurately represent those features. This may provide the
reader with a less strenuous reading experience.









It is now more than twenty years since a reviewer of the author's
_Englische Metrik_, in three volumes, expressed the opinion that 'an
English translation of it would do a service to English philology'.
At that time, however, it seemed doubtful whether such a voluminous
work, which probably would have interested only a comparatively small
circle of English scholars, would have found a market. Even in Germany,
although the work was favourably reviewed, and although at the time
when it appeared great interest was felt in metrical research, the sale
was comparatively slow.

Much livelier, on the other hand, was the demand for an abridged edition
of it which appeared under the title _Grundriss der englischen Metrik_
(Wien, 1895). It was therefore found possible, several years after its
publication, to make arrangements with the Delegates of the Clarendon
Press for an English edition of this smaller book. Unfortunately,
however, the printing of the manuscript, which was submitted to the
supervision of the late Professor York Powell, was delayed, first by the
illness and the untimely death of that eminent scholar, and afterwards
by other circumstances which it is not necessary to mention here.

On the whole the English text of the present volume is a close rendering
of the German book, except in the first few chapters, which have been
somewhat more fully worked out. It may also be mentioned that one or
two modern English poets who seemed to be unduly neglected in the German
book have received a larger share of attention in the English edition.
Some errors of the original work have, of course, also been corrected

The treatment of the subject in this handbook is the same as in the
author's larger work. The systematic arrangement of the different kinds
of verse in Book I, and of the varieties of stanzas in Book II, will
enable the reader easily to find the appropriate place for any new forms
of verse or stanza that may come in his way, and will also facilitate
the use of the large German work, to which frequent references are
given, for the benefit of those students who may desire more detailed

From the Preface to the German edition of the present work some remarks
on the accents, chiefly in Part II of Book I, may be repeated here in
order to prevent misunderstanding.

These accents on particular syllables in equal-measured rhythms are
merely meant to facilitate the scansion of the verse according to the
author's view of its rhythmical movement, and to enable the student to
apprehend more readily the precise meaning of the descriptions. They are
by no means intended to dictate a schematic scansion to the reader, as
it is obvious that the finer shades of the rhythm cannot be indicated
by such a mode of accentuation. The safer and easier way undoubtedly
would have been to put no accents at all; but this would have been
less convenient for the reader, to whose own judgement it may be left
in every case to be guided by the accents just so far as he may think

In making this statement, however, I may be allowed to mention that none
of the English friends who kindly assisted me in revising my manuscript
has found fault with my system of accentuation.

My sincerest thanks for their kind help and advice are due to Dr.
Francis J. Curtis, now Professor of English Philology in the Mercantile
Academy at Frankfort on the Main, and in a still higher degree to Dr.
James Morison, of Shotover Cottage, Headington Quarry, Oxford, Examiner
in Sanskrit and German, both of them formerly Lectors of English in
the University of Vienna. I am under equally great obligations to Dr.
Henry Bradley, to whose care the final revision of the MS. was entrusted
by the Delegates of the Clarendon Press, and who also had the great
kindness to superintend the printing of it. To him I am indebted for
several useful suggestions regarding the typographical arrangement, and
still more for his valuable help in regard to the style of the book. To
the Delegates and the Secretary of the Clarendon Press I feel greatly
obliged not only for undertaking the publication, but also for the
patient consideration they have shown me during the slow progress of
this work.


  VIENNA, _Feb. 6, 1910_.







  §  1. Uses of the study of English metre                             1
     2. Object of the science of metre                                 1
     3. Definition of rhythm                                           2
     4. Distinction between prose and poetry                           3
     5. Phonetic qualities of syllables                                4
     6. Definition and use of the word _accent_                        4
     7. Classification of accent                                       5
     8. Marks indicating position of accent                            8
     9. Principles of versification and their terms                    9
    10. Rhyme; its twofold purpose                                    11
    11. End-rhyme, or full-rhyme                                      12
    12. Vocalic assonance                                             12
    13. Alliteration                                                  13



  § 14. General remarks                                               15
    15. Theories on the metrical form of the alliterative line        15
    16. The four-beat theory                                          16
    17. The two-beat theory                                           19
    18. Accentuation of Old English                                   24
    19. The secondary accent                                          28
    20. Division and metrical value of syllables                      29
    21. Structure of the whole alliterative line                      30
    22. The structure of the hemistich in the normal alliterative
         line                                                         31
    23. Number of unaccented syllables of the thesis                  33
    24. Order of the verse-members in the hemistich                   35


     I. _Hemistichs of four members._

    25. Type A, with sub-types A 1-3                                  36
    26. Type B, with sub-types B 1, 2                                 41
    27. Type C, with sub-types C 1-3                                  42
    28. Type D, with sub-types D 1-4                                  42
    29. Type E, with sub-types E 1, 2                                 43

     II. _Hemistichs of five members._

    30. Type A*, with sub-types A* 1, 2; Type B*; Type C*; Type D*,
         with sub-types D* 1-3                                        44
    31. Principles adopted in classification                          45
    32. Combination of hemistichs by means of alliteration            45


    33. Quality of the alliteration                                   46
    34. Position of the alliterative words                            48
    35. Alliteration in relation to the parts of speech and to
          the order of words                                          50
    36. Arrangement and relationship of verse and sentence            54


    37. The lengthened line; alliteration                             55
    38. The origin and structure of the lengthened verse              57
    39. Examples of commonly occurring forms of the lengthened
        hemistich                                                     59


    40. Classification and examples                                   62




  § 41. Increasing frequency of rhyme                                 64
    42. Combination of alliteration and rhyme                         65


    43. Development of the progressive form of the alliterative
          line                                                        67
    44. Nature and origin of the four-beat short-lined metre          69
    45. Number of stresses                                            72
    46. Analysis of verse-types                                       74
    47. Extended types                                                75
    48. Verse-forms rhythmically equivalent                           78


    49. Further development of the Layamon-verse                      79
    50. The metre of _King Horn_ and its affinity to the
          alliterative line                                           82
    51. Characteristics of _King Horn_ and Layamon compared           84




  § 52. Homilies and lives of the saints in rhythmical prose.
           Poems in regular alliterative verse                        85
    53. Use and treatment of words in alliterative verse              87
    54. Examples of alliteration                                      88
    55. Comparison of Middle and Old English alliterative verse       90
    56. The versification of _Piers Plowman_                          93
    57. Modification of forms in the North of England and in the
           Midlands                                                   95


    58. Growing influence of verse formed on foreign models           97
    59. Lyrical stanzas: four-beat and two-beat lines                 97
    60. Forms of structure and versification                          99
    61. Narrative verse                                              101
    62. Relation between rhyme and alliteration                      101
    63. Features of alliterative-rhyming lines                       105
    64. Structures of the _cauda_                                    105
    65. Two-beat lines in tail-rhyme stanzas                         106
    66. Rhyming alliterative lines in Mystery Plays                  108
    67. Alliteration in Moralities and Interludes                    109
    68. Four-beat scansion of Bale's verses                          110
    69. Examples of the presence or absence of anacrusis in the
          two hemistichs                                             110
    70. Entire tail-rhyme stanzas                                    113
    71. Irregular tail-rhyme stanzas: Skeltonic verse                114


   72. Examples from Gascoigne, Wyatt, Spenser, &c.                  117
   73. Attempted modern revival of the old four-beat
         alliterative line without rhyme                             119
   74. Examples of the development of the four-beat
         alliterative line in reversed chronological order           120
   75. Summing-up of the evidence                                    124





  §  76. Influence of French and Low Latin metres                    126
     77. The different kinds of line                                 127
     78. The breaking up of long lines                               128
     79. Heroic verse; tail-rhyme staves                             131
     80. Different kinds of caesura                                  131
     81. Causes of variation in the structure of metres of equal
            measures                                                 133



  §  82. Lines with and without diaeresis                            135
     83. Effect of diaeresis on modulation                           136
     84. Suppression of the anacrusis                                137
     85. Level stress, or 'hovering accent'                          138
     86. Absence of thesis in the interior of a line                 139
     87. Lengthening of a word by introduction of unaccented
           extra syllable                                            141
     88. Inversion of rhythm                                         141
     89. Disyllabic or polysyllabic thesis                           143
     90. Epic caesura                                                145
     91. Double or feminine endings                                  146
     92. Enjambement, or run-on line                                 147
     93. Rhyme-breaking                                              148
     94. Alliteration                                                149



  §  95. General remarks on formative and inflexional syllables      151
     96. Treatment of the unaccented _e_ of words of three
           and four syllables in Middle English                      152
     97. Special remarks on individual inflexional endings           154
     98. Treatment of _-en_ in Middle and Modern English             155
     99. The comparative and superlative endings _-er_, _-est_       156
    100. The ending _-est_                                           157
    101. The endings _-eth_, _-es_ (_'s_)                            158
    102. The ending _-ed_ (_'d_, _t_)                                158
    103. The ending _-ed_ (_-od_, _-ud_) of the 1st and
             3rd pers. sing. pret. and plur. pret. of weak verbs     159
    104. The final _-e_ in Middle English poetry                     160
    105. Examples of the arbitrary use of final _-e_                 161
    106. The final _-e_ in later poetry of the North                 162
    107. Formative endings of Romanic origin                         163
    108. Contraction of words ordinarily pronounced in full          165
    109. Amalgamation of two syllables for metrical purposes         166
    110. Examples of slurring or contraction                         167
    111. Other examples of contraction; apocopation                  168
    112. Lengthening of words for metrical purposes                  169



  § 113. General remarks                                             171


     _A. Germanic words._

    114. Alleged difference in degree of stress among
           inflexional endings containing _e_                        172
    115. Accent in trisyllables and compounds                        174
    116. Pronunciation of parathetic compounds                       175
    117. Rhythmical treatment of trisyllables and words of four
           syllables                                                 175

     _B. Romanic words._

    118. Disyllabic words                                            177
    119. Trisyllabic words                                           178
    120. Words of four and five syllables                            179


    121. Romanic accentuation still continued                        180
    122. Disyllabic words                                            181
    123. Trisyllabic and polysyllabic words                          181
    124. Parathetic compounds                                        182




  § 125. The eight-foot line and its resolution into four-foot
           lines                                                     183
    126. Examples of the four-foot line                              183
    127. Treatment of the caesura in four-foot verse                 185
    128. Treatment of four-foot verse in North English and
           Scottish writings                                         186
    129. Its treatment in the Midlands and the South                 187
    130. Combinations of four-foot and three-foot verse in
           Middle English                                            188
    131-2. Freer variety of this metre in Modern English             188
    133. Two-foot verse                                              190
    134. One-foot verse                                              191



  § 135. The septenary                                               192
    136. Irregularity of structure of the septenary rhyming
           line as shown in the _Moral Ode_                          193
    137. Regularity of the rhymeless septenary verse of the
           _Ormulum_                                                 193
    138. The septenary with a masculine ending                       194
    139. The septenary as employed in early lyrical poems and
           ballads                                                   195
    140. Use of the septenary in Modern English                      196
    141-4. Intermixture of septenaries, alexandrines, and
           four-beat lines                                           197
    145, 146. Origin of the 'Poulter's Measure'                      202
    147. The alexandrine: its first use                              204
    148. Structure of the alexandrine in Mysteries and
           Moral Plays                                               205
    149. The alexandrine in Modern English                           205
    150. The three-foot line                                         206



  § 151. Rhymed five-foot verse in Middle English                    209
    152. Sixteen types of five-foot verse                            210
    153. Earliest specimens of this metre                            212
    154. Chaucer's five-foot verse; treatment of the caesura         213
    155. Masculine and feminine endings; rhythmic licences           214
    156. Gower's five-foot verse; its decline                        215
    157. Rhymed five-foot verse in Modern English                    216
    158. Its use in narrative poetry and by Shakespeare              217
    159. The heroic verse of Dryden, Pope, and later writers         218




  § 160. The beginnings of Modern English poetry                     219
    161. Blank verse first adopted by the Earl of Surrey             219
    162. Characteristics of Surrey's blank verse                     221
    163. Further development of this metre in the drama              222
    164. The blank verse of Shakespeare                              223
    165. Rhymed and unrhymed lines in Shakespeare's plays            224
    166. Numerical proportion of masculine and feminine endings      225
    167. Numerical proportion of 'weak' and 'light' endings          225
    168. Proportion of unstopt or 'run-on' and 'end-stopt'
           lines                                                     226
    169. Shakespeare's use of the full syllabic forms of
           _-est_, _-es_, _-eth_, _-ed_                              227
    170. Other rhythmical characteristics of Shakespeare's
           plays                                                     228
    171. Alexandrines and other metres occurring in combination
           with blank verse in Shakespeare                           230
    172. Example of the metrical differences between the
           earlier and later periods of Shakespeare's work           232
    173. The blank verse of Ben Jonson                               233
    174. The blank verse of Fletcher                                 234
    175. Characteristics of Beaumont's style and versification       235
    176. The blank verse of Massinger                                236
    177. The blank verse of Milton                                   237
    178. The dramatic blank verse of the Restoration                 239
    179. Blank verse of the eighteenth century                       240
    180. Blank verse of the nineteenth century                       240



  § 181. General remarks; the eight-foot trochaic line               242
    182. The seven-foot trochaic line                                243
    183. The six-foot trochaic line                                  244
    184. The five-foot trochaic line                                 245
    185. The four-foot trochaic line                                 246
    186. The three-foot trochaic line                                246
    187. The two-foot trochaic line                                  247
    188. The one-foot trochaic line                                  247



  § 189. General remarks                                             249


    190. Eight-foot iambic-anapaestic verse                          250
    191. Seven-foot iambic-anapaestic verse                          250
    192. Six-foot iambic-anapaestic verse                            251
    193. Five-foot iambic-anapaestic verse                           251
    194. Four-foot iambic-anapaestic verse                           252
    195. Three-foot iambic-anapaestic verse                          253
    196. Two-foot iambic-anapaestic verse                            253
    197. One-foot iambic-anapaestic verse                            254


    198. Eight-foot trochaic-dactylic verse                          254
    199. Seven-foot trochaic-dactylic verse                          255
    200. Six-foot trochaic-dactylic verse                            255
    201. Five-foot trochaic-dactylic verse                           256
    202. Four-foot trochaic-dactylic verse                           256
    203. Three-foot trochaic-dactylic verse                          257
    204. Two-foot dactylic or trochaic-dactylic verse                257
    205. One-foot dactylic verse                                     258



  § 206. Varieties of this metre; Poulter's measure                  259
    207-8. Other anisometrical combinations                          260



  § 209. The English hexameter                                       262
    210. Structure of the hexameter                                  263
    211. Elegiac verse; the minor Asclepiad; the six-foot
           iambic line; Phaleuciac verse; Hendecasyllabics;
           rhymed Choriambics                                        264
    212. Classical stanzas:--the Sapphic metre; the Alcaic
           metre; Anacreontic stanzas                                266
    213. Other imitations of classical verses and stanzas
           without rhyme                                             267

     BOOK II


     PART I



  § 214. Structure of the stanza                                     270
    215. Influence of lyrical forms of Provence and of Northern
           France on Middle English poetry                           271
    216. Classification of rhyme according to the number of the
           rhyming syllables: (1) the monosyllabic or masculine
           rhyme; (2) the disyllabic or feminine rhyme; (3) the
           trisyllabic, triple, or tumbling rhyme                    272
    217. Classification according to the quality of the rhyming
           syllables: (1) the rich rhyme; (2) the identical
           rhyme; (3) the broken rhyme; (4) the double rhyme;
           (5) the extended rhyme; (6) the unaccented rhyme          273
    218. Classification according to the position of the rhyming
           syllables: (1) the sectional rhyme; (2) the inverse
           rhyme; (3) the Leonine rhyme or middle rhyme; (4) the
           interlaced rhyme; (5) the intermittent rhyme; (6) the
           enclosing rhyme; (7) the tail-rhyme                       276
    219. Imperfect or 'eye-rhymes'                                   278



  § 220. Formation of the stanza in Middle English and Romanic
           poetry                                                    279
    221. Rhyme-linking or 'concatenation' in Middle English          280
    222. The refrain or burthen; the wheel and the bob-wheel         280
    223. Divisible and indivisible stanzas                           281
    224. Bipartite equal-membered stanzas                            282
    225. Bipartite unequal-membered stanzas                          282
    226. Tripartite stanzas                                          283
    227. Specimens illustrating tripartition                         284
    228. The envoi                                                   286
    229. Real envois and concluding stanzas                          286





  § 230. Two-line stanzas                                            288
    231. Four-line stanzas, consisting of couplets                   288
    232. The double stanza (eight lines of the same structure)       289
    233. Stanzas of four isometrical lines with intermittent
           rhyme                                                     290
    234. Stanzas of eight lines resulting from this stanza by
           doubling                                                  290
    235. Stanzas developed from long-lined couplets by inserted
           rhyme                                                     291
    236. Stanzas of eight lines resulting from the four-lined,
           cross-rhyming stanza and by other modes of doubling       292
    237. Other examples of doubling four-lined stanzas               293
    238. Six-lined isometrical stanzas                               294
    239. Modifications of the six-lined stanza; twelve-lined
           and sixteen-lined stanzas                                 295


    240. Chief species of the tail-rhyme stanza                      296
    241. Enlargement of this stanza to twelve lines                  297
    242. Further development of the tail-rhyme stanza                298
    243. Variant forms of enlarged eight and ten-lined
           tail-rhyme stanzas                                        298
    244. Tail-rhyme stanzas with principal verses shorter than
           tail-verses                                               299
    245. Other varieties of the tail-rhyme stanza                    300
    246. Stanzas modelled on the tail-rhyme stanza                   300
    247. Stanzas formed of two septenary verses                      301
    248. Analogical developments from this type                      302
    249. Eight-lined (doubled) forms of the different
           four-lined stanzas                                        302
    250. Other stanzas of similar structure                          303




  § 251. Three-lined stanzas of one rhyme                            305
    252. Four-lined stanzas of one rhyme                             306
    253. Other stanzas connected with the above                      307


    254. Four-lined stanzas                                          308
    255. Five-lined stanzas                                          308
    256. Four-lined stanzas of one rhyme extended by the
           addition of a couplet                                     310


  § 257-8. Four-lined stanzas; Poulter's measure and other
             stanzas                                                 311
    259. Five-lined stanzas                                          314
    260. Shortened tail-rhyme stanzas                                316
    261. Six-lined stanzas                                           317
    262. Seven-lined stanzas                                         319
    263. Eight-, nine-, and ten-lined stanzas                        320
    264. The bob-wheel stanzas in the Middle English period          321
    265. Bob-wheel stanzas of four-stressed rhyming verses           322
    266. Modern English bob-wheel stanzas                            323




  § 267. Six-lined stanzas                                           326
    268. Seven-lined stanzas; the Rhyme Royal stanza                 327
    269. Eight-lined stanzas                                         329
    270. Nine-lined stanzas                                          330
    271. Ten-lined stanzas                                           331
    272. Eleven-, twelve-, and thirteen-lined stanzas                332


    273-4. Six-lined stanzas                                         333
    275. Seven-lined stanzas                                         335
    276-8. Eight-lined stanzas                                       337
    279. Nine-lined stanzas                                          339
    280-1. Ten-lined stanzas                                         341
    282. Eleven-lined stanzas                                        343
    283. Twelve-lined stanzas                                        344
    284. Thirteen-lined stanzas                                      345
    285. Fourteen-lined stanzas                                      346
    286. Stanzas of fifteen to twenty lines                          347




  § 287. Introductory remark                                         348
    288. Six-lined stanzas                                           349
    289. Seven-lined stanzas                                         351
    290-2. Eight-lined stanzas; the Italian _ottava rima_            352
    293. Nine-lined stanzas                                          355
    294. Ten-lined stanzas                                           355
    295. Eleven-lined stanzas                                        356
    296. Twelve-lined stanzas                                        356



  § 297. First used in the _Faerie Queene_                           358
    298-300. Imitations and analogous forms                          359



  § 301. The Epithalamium stanza                                     363
    302. Imitations of the Epithalamium stanza                       365
    303-5. Pindaric Odes, regular and irregular                      366



  § 306. Origin of the English sonnet                                371
    307. The Italian sonnet                                          371
    308. Structure of the Italian form illustrated by
           Watts-Dunton                                              373
    309. The first English sonnet-writers, Surrey and Wyatt          373
    310. Surrey's transformation of the Italian sonnet, and
           the form adopted by Shakespeare                           374
    311. Another form used by Spenser in _Amoretti_                  375
    312. The form adopted by Milton                                  375
    313. Revival of sonnet writing in the latter half of the
           eighteenth century                                        376
    314. The sonnets of Wordsworth                                   377
    315. The sonnet in the nineteenth century                        379



    316-7. The madrigal                                              380
    318-9. The terza-rima                                            381
    320-1. The sextain                                               383
    322. The virelay                                                 385
    323. The roundel                                                 385
    324. The rondeau                                                 387
    325. The triolet                                                 388
    326. The villanelle                                              388
    327. The ballade                                                 389
    328. The Chant Royal                                             390


The quotations of Old English poetry are taken from Grein-Wülker,
_Bibliothek der Angelsächsischen Poesie_, Strassburg, 1883-94. For the
Middle English poets the editions used have been specified in the text.
Most of the poets of the Modern English period down to the eighteenth
century are quoted from the collection of R. Anderson, _The Works of
the British Poets_, Edinburgh, 1795 (15 vols.), which is cited (under
the title _Poets_) by volume and page. The remaining Modern English
poets are quoted (except when some other edition is specified) from the
editions mentioned in the following list.

    =Arnold=, Matthew. _Poetical Works_, London, Macmillan & Co.,
      1890. 8vo.

    =Beaumont=, Francis, and =Fletcher=, John. _Dramatick Works_,
      London, 1778. 10 vols. 8vo.

    =Bowles=, W. L. _Sonnets and other Poems_. London, 1802-3.
      2 vols. 8vo.

    =Browning=, Elizabeth Barrett. _Poetical Works_. London, Chapman
      & Hall, 1866. 5 vols. 8vo.

    =Browning=, Robert. _Poetical Works_. London, Smith, Elder & Co.,
      1868. 6 vols. 8vo.

    =Bulwer Lytton=, Sir E. (afterwards Lord Lytton). _The Lost
      Tales of Miletus_. London, John Murray, 1866. 8vo.

    =Burns=, Robert. _Complete Works_, ed. Alexander Smith. London,
      Macmillan & Co., 1870. (Globe Edition.)

    =Byron=, Lord. _Poetical Works_. London, H. Frowde, 1896. 8vo.
      (Oxford Edition.)

    =Campbell=, Thomas. _Poetical Works_, ed. W.A. Hill. London,
      G. Bell & Sons, 1875.

    =Coleridge=, Samuel Taylor. _Poems_, ed. Derwent and Sara Coleridge.
      London, E. Moxon & Co., 1863.

    =Cowper=, William. _Poetical Works_, ed. W. Benham. London,
      Macmillan & Co., 1870. (Globe Edition.)

    =Dryden=, John. _Comedies, Tragedies, and Operas_. London, 1701.

    ---- ---- _Poetical Works_, ed. W. D. Christie. London, Macmillan
      & Co., 1870. (Globe Edition.)

    =Fletcher=, John. See Beaumont.

    =Goldsmith=, Oliver. _Miscellaneous Works_, ed. Prof. Masson.
      London, Macmillan & Co., 1871. 8vo. (Globe Edition.)

    _Gorboduc_, or _Ferrex and Porrex, a Tragedy_, by Thomas Norton and
      Thomas Sackville, ed. L. Toulmin Smith. (_Englische Sprach-
      und Litteraturdenkmale des 16., 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts_,
      herausgegeben von K. Vollmöller, I.) Heilbronn, Gebr. Henninger
      1883. 8vo.

    =Hemans=, Felicia. _The Works of Mrs. Hemans, with a Memoir of
      her life by her sister_. Edinburgh, W. Blackwood & Sons, 1839.
      7 vols.

    =Herbert=, George. _Works_, ed. R. A. Willmott. London, G. Routledge
      & Co., 1854. 8vo.

    =Hood=, Thomas. _Poetical Works_, ed. Thornton Hunt. London,
      Routledge, Warne, and Routledge, 1860. 8vo.

    _Hymns, Ancient and Modern, for Use in the Services of the Church_.
      Revised and Enlarged Edition. London, n.d.

    =Jonson=, Ben. Chiefly cited from the edition in _Poets_ iv. 532-618
      (see the note prefixed to this list); less frequently (after Wilke,
      _Metr. Unters. zu B. J._, Halle, 1884) from the folio edition,
      London, 1816 (vol. i), or from the edition by Barry Cornwall,
      London, 1842. A few of the references are to the edition of
      F. Cunningham, London, J.C. Hotten, n.d. (3 vols.)

    =Keats=, John. _Poetical Works_. London, F. Warne & Co.
      (Chandos Classics.)

    =Longfellow=, Henry Wadsworth. _Poetical Works_. Edinburgh,
      W. P. Nimmo. 8vo. (Crown Edition.)

    =Lytton.= See Bulwer Lytton.

    =Marlowe=, Christopher. _Works_, ed. A. Dyce. London, 1850.
      3 vols. 8vo.

    ---- ---- _Works_, ed. F. Cunningham. London, F. Warne & Co.,
      1870. 8vo.

    =Massinger=, Philip. _Plays_, ed. F. Cunningham. London, F.
      Warne & Co., 1870. 8vo.

    =Milton=, John. _Poetical Works_, ed. D. Masson. London, Macmillan
      & Co., 1874. 3 vols. 8vo.

    ---- ---- _English Poems_, ed. R.C. Browne. Second Edition.
      Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1872. 3 vols. 8vo.

    =Moore=, Thomas. _Poetical Works_. London, Longmans, 1867. 8vo.

    =Morris=, William. _Love is Enough_. Third Edition. London,
      Ellis & White, 1873. 8vo.

    =Norton=, Thomas. See _Gorboduc_.

    =Percy=, Thomas. _Reliques of Ancient Poetry_. London, H. Washbourne,
      1847. 3 vols. 8vo.

    =Poe=, Edgar Allan. _Poetical Works_. London, Sampson Low, Son
      & Co., 1858. 8vo.

    =Pope=, Alexander. _Poetical Works_, ed. A. W. Ward. London,
      Macmillan & Co., 1870. 8vo. (Globe Edition.)

    =Rossetti=, Dante Gabriel. _Poems_. London, F. S. Ellis, 1870.

    =Sackville=, Thomas, and Norton, Thomas. See _Gorboduc_.

    =Scott=, Sir Walter. _Poetical Works_, ed. F. T. Palgrave. London,
      Macmillan & Co., 1869. 8vo. (Globe Edition.)

    =Shakespeare=, William. _Works_, ed. W. G. Clark and W. Aldis
      Wright. London and Cambridge, Macmillan & Co., 1866.
      8vo. (Globe Edition.)

    =Shelley=, Percy Bysshe. _Poetical Works_. London, Chatto &
      Windus, 1873-1875. 3 vols. 8vo. (Golden Library.)

    =Sidney=, Sir Philip. _Arcadia_. London, 1633. fol.

    ---- ---- _Complete Poems_, ed. A. B. Grosart. 1873. 2 vols.

    =Southey=, Robert. _Poetical Works_. London, Longman, Orme,
      Brown, Green & Longmans, 1837. 10 vols. 8vo.

    =Spenser=, Edmund. _Complete Works_, ed. R. Morris. London,
      Macmillan & Co., 1869. 8vo. (Globe Edition.)

    =Surrey=, Henry Howard, Earl of. _Poems_. London, Bell & Daldy.
      8vo. (Aldine Edition.)

    =Swinburne=, Algernon Charles. _Poems and Ballads_. Third Edition.
      London, J. C. Hotten, 1868. 8vo.

    ---- ---- _Poems and Ballads, Second Series_. Fourth Edition.
      London, Chatto & Windus, 1884. 8vo.

    ---- ---- _A Century of Roundels_. London, Chatto & Windus,
      1883. 8vo.

    ---- ---- _A Midsummer Holiday and other Poems_. London,
      Chatto & Windus, 1884. 8vo.

    =Tennyson=, Alfred. _Works_. London, Kegan Paul & Co., 1880.

    =Thackeray=, William Makepeace. _Ballads and The Rose and the
      Ring_. London, Smith, Elder & Co., 1879. 8vo.

    =Tusser=, Thomas. _Five Hundred Pointes of Good Husbandrie_, ed.
      W. Payne and S.J. Herrtage, English Dialect Soc., 1878.

    =Wordsworth=, William. _Poetical Works_, ed. W. Knight. Edinburgh,
      W. Paterson, 1886. 8 vols. 8vo.

    =Wyatt=, Sir Thomas. _Poetical Works_. London, Bell & Daldy.
      (Aldine Edition.) The references marked N. are to vol. ii. of
      _The Works of Surrey and Wyatt_, ed. Nott, London, 1815.
      2 vols. 4to.


    P. 268. In the references to Bulwer, _for_ p. 227 _read_ p. 147; _for_
            p. 217 _read_ p. 140; _for_ p. 71 _read_ p. 45; _for_ p. 115
            _read_ p. 73.

    P. 315, l. 14. _For_ p. 123 _read_ p. 78.

    P. 340, l. 34. _For_ p. 273 _read_ p. 72.

    P. 353, l. 15. _For_ 89 _read_ 5.

    P. 381, l. 12. _For_ ii. 137-40 _read Poetical Works_, London, 1891,
            pp. 330-32.





§ =1.= The study of English Metre is an integral part of English
Philology. It is indispensable to the investigator of the history of
the language, since it supplies sometimes the only (or at all events
the surest) means of restoring the older pronunciation of word-stems,
and of inflexional terminations. In many cases, indeed, the very
existence of such terminations can be proved only by the ascertained
requirements of metre. As an aid to the study of English literature
in its aesthetic aspects the science of metre is no less important.
It exhibits the gradual development of the artistic forms of poetical
composition, explains the conditions under which they took their rise,
and by formulating the laws of their structure affords valuable help in
the textual criticism of poems which have been transmitted in a corrupt
or imperfect condition.

§ =2.= The object of the science of metre is to describe and analyse the
various rhythmical forms of speech that are characteristic of poetry in
contradistinction to prose.

Poetry is one of the fine arts, and the fine arts admit of a division
into Plastic and Rhythmic; the Plastic arts comprehending Sculpture,
Architecture, and Painting, the Rhythmic arts, on the other hand,
comprehending Dancing, Music, and Poetry. The chief points of difference
between these classes are as follows. In the first place, the
productions of the Plastic arts can be enjoyed by the beholder directly
on their completion by the artist without the interposition of any help,
while those of the Rhythmic arts demand, after the original creative
artist has done his work, the services of a second or executive artist,
who is usually termed the performer, in order that these productions may
be fully enjoyed by the spectator or hearer. A piece of music requires
a singer or player, a pantomime a dancer, and poetry a reciter or actor.
In early times the function of executive artist was commonly discharged
by the creative artist himself. In the second place, the Plastic arts
have no concern with the relations of time; a work of painting or
sculpture presents to the beholder an unchanging object or represents a
single moment of action. The Rhythmic arts, on the other hand, are, in
their very essence, connected with temporal succession. Dancing implies
a succession of movements of the human body, Music a succession of
inarticulate sounds, Poetry a succession of articulate sounds or words
and syllables. The Plastic arts, therefore, may be called the arts of
space and rest, and the Rhythmic arts the arts of time and movement. In
this definition, it must be remembered, the intrinsic quality of the
movements in each of these rhythmical arts is left out of account; in
the case of poetry, for instance, it does not take into consideration
the choice and position of the words, nor the thought expressed by them;
it is restricted to the external characteristic which these arts have in

§ =3.= This common characteristic, however, requires to be defined
somewhat more precisely. It is not merely succession of movements, but
succession of different kinds of movement in a definite and recurring
order. In the dance, the measure, or succession and alternation of quick
and slow movements in regular and fixed order, is the essential point.
This is also the foundation of music and poetry. But another elementary
principle enters into these two arts. They are not founded, as dancing
is, upon mere silent movements, but on movements of audible sounds,
whether inarticulate, as in music, or articulate, as in poetry. These
sounds are not all on a level in respect of their audibility, but vary
in intensity: broadly speaking, they may be said to be either loud or
soft. There is, it is true, something analogous to this in the movements
of the dance; the steps differ in degree of intensity or force. Dancing
indeed may be looked upon as the typical form and source of all rhythmic
movement. Scherer brings this point out very well.[1] He says: 'Rhythm
is produced by regular movements of the body. Walking becomes dancing by
a definite relation of the steps to one another--of long and short in
time or fast and slow in motion. A regular rhythm has never been reached
by races among which irregular jumping, instead of walking, has been
the original form of the dance. Each pair of steps forms a unity, and a
repetition begins with the third step. This unity is the bar or measure.
The physical difference between the comparative strength of the right
foot and the weakness of the left foot is the origin of the distinction
between elevation and depression, i.e. between relatively loud and
soft, the "good" and the "bad" part of the measure.'

Westphal[2] gives a similar explanation: 'That the stamp of the foot or
the clap of the hands in beating time coincides with the strong part
of the measure, and the raising of the foot or hand coincides with the
weak part of it, originates, without doubt, in the ancient orchestic.'
At the strong part of the bar the dancer puts his foot to the ground and
raises it at the weak part. This is the meaning and original Greek usage
of the terms 'arsis' and 'thesis', which are nowadays used in an exactly
opposite sense. _Arsis_ in its ancient signification meant the raising
of the foot or hand, to indicate the weak part of the measure; _thesis_
was the putting down of the foot, or the stamp, to mark the strong part
of the measure. Now, however, it is almost the universal custom to use
_arsis_ to indicate the syllable uttered with a raised or loud voice,
and _thesis_ to indicate the syllable uttered with lower or soft voice.
From the practice of beating time the term _ictus_ is also borrowed; it
is commonly used to designate the increase of voice which occurs at the
strong, or so-called rhythmical accent.

All rhythm therefore in our dancing, poetry, and music, comes to us from
ancient times, and is of the same nature in these three arts: it is
regular order in the succession of different kinds of motion.

§ =4.= The distinction between prose and poetry in their external
aspects may be stated thus: in prose the words follow each other in an
order determined entirely, or almost entirely, by the sense, while in
poetry the order is largely determined by fixed and regular rhythmic

Even in prose a certain influence of rhythmical order may be sometimes
observable, and where this is marked we have what is called rhythmical
or artistic prose. But in such prose the rhythmic order must be so
loosely constructed that it does not at once obtrude itself on the ear,
or recur regularly as it does in poetry. Wherever we have intelligible
words following each other in groups marked by a rhythmical order
which is at once recognizable as intentionally chosen with a view to
symmetry, there we may be said to have poetry, at least on its formal
side. Poetical rhythm may accordingly be defined as a special symmetry,
easily recognizable as such, in the succession of syllables of differing
phonetic quality, which convey a sense, and are so arranged as to be
uttered in divisions of time which are symmetrical in their relation to
one another.

§ =5.= At this point we have to note that there are two kinds of
phonetic difference between syllables, either of which may serve as a
foundation for rhythm. In the first place, syllables differ in respect
of their _quantity_; they are either 'long' or 'short', according to the
length of time required to pronounce them. In the second place, they
differ in respect of the greater or less degree of force or stress with
which they are uttered; or, as it is commonly expressed, in respect of
their _accent_.

All the poetic rhythms of the Indogermanic or Aryan languages are
based on one or other of these phonetic qualities of syllables, one
group observing mainly the quantitative, and the other the accentual
principle. Sanskrit, Greek, and Roman poetry is regulated by the
principle of the quantity of the syllable, while the Teutonic nations
follow the principle of stress or accent.[3] With the Greeks, Romans,
and Hindoos the natural quantity of the syllables is made the basis of
the rhythmic measures, the rhythmical ictus being fixed without regard
to the word-accent. Among the Teutonic nations, on the other hand, the
rhythmical ictus coincides normally with the word-accent, and the order
in which long and short syllables succeed each other is (with certain
exceptions in the early stages of the language) left to be determined by
the poet's sense of harmony or euphony.

§ =6.= Before going further it will be well to define exactly the
meaning of the word _accent_, and to give an account of its different
uses. Accent is generally defined as 'the stronger emphasis put on
a syllable, the stress laid on it', or, as Sweet[4] puts it, 'the
comparative force with which the separate syllables of a sound-group
are pronounced.' According to Brücke[5] it is produced by increasing
the pressure of the breath. The stronger the pressure with which the
air passes from the lungs through the glottis, the louder will be the
tone of voice, the louder will be the sound of the consonants which
the stream of air produces in the cavity of the mouth. This increase of
tone and sound is what is called 'accent'. Brücke seems to use tone and
sound as almost synonymous, but in metric we must distinguish between
them. Sound (_sonus_) is the more general, tone ([Greek: tonos])
the more specific expression. Sound, in this general sense, may have
a stronger or weaker tone. This strengthening of the tone is usually,
not invariably, accompanied by a rise in the pitch of the voice, just
as the weakening of the tone is accompanied by a lowering of the pitch.
In the Teutonic languages these variations of stress or accent serve to
bring into prominence the relative importance logically of the various
syllables of which words are composed. As an almost invariable rule, the
accent falls in these languages on the root-syllable, which determines
the sense of the word, and not on the formative elements which modify
that sense. This accent is an expiratory or stress accent.

It must be noted that we cannot, using the term in this sense, speak
of the accent of a monosyllabic word when isolated, but only of its
sound; nor can we use the word _accent_ with reference to two or more
syllables in juxtaposition, when they are all uttered with precisely
the same force of voice. The term is significant only in relation
to a _variation_ in the audible stress with which the different
syllables of a word or a sentence are spoken. This variation of stress
affects monosyllables only in connected speech, where they receive an
accentuation relative to the other words of the sentence. An absolute
uniformity of stress in a sentence is unnatural, though the amount
of variation in stress differs greatly in different languages. 'The
distinctions of stress in some languages are less marked than in others.
Thus in French the syllables are all pronounced with a nearly uniform
stress, the strong syllables rising only a little above the general
level, its occurrence being also uncertain and fluctuating. This makes
Frenchmen unable without systematic training to master the accentuation
of foreign languages.'[6] English and the other Teutonic languages, on
the other hand, show a marked tendency to alternate weak and strong

§ =7.= With regard to the function which it discharges in connected
speech, we may classify accent or stress under four different
categories. First comes what may be called the syntactical accent,
which marks the logical importance of a word in relation to other
words of the sentence. In a sentence like 'the birds are singing', the
substantive 'birds' has, as denoting the subject of the sentence, the
strongest accent; next in logical or syntactical importance comes the
word 'singing', denoting an activity of the subject, and this has a
comparatively strong accent; the auxiliary 'are' being a word of minor
importance is uttered with very little force of voice; the article
'the', being the least emphatic or significant, is uttered accordingly
with the slightest perceptible stress of all.

Secondly, we have the rhetorical accent, or as it might be called, the
subjective accent, inasmuch as it depends upon the emphasis which the
speaker wishes to give to that particular word of the sentence which he
desires to bring prominently before the hearer. Thus in the sentence,
'you have done this,' the rhetorical accent may fall on any of the four
words which the speaker desires to bring into prominence, e.g. '_yóu_
(and no one else) have done this,' or 'you _háve_ done this (though you
deny it), or you have _dóne_ this' (you have not left it undone), or,
finally, 'you have done _thís_' (and not what you were told). This kind
of accent could also be termed the emphatic accent.

Thirdly, we have the rhythmical accent, which properly speaking belongs
to poetry only, and often gives a word or syllable an amount of stress
which it would not naturally have in prose, as, for instance, in the
following line of _Hamlet_ (III. iii. 27)--

    _My lord, he's going to his mother's closet_,

the unimportant word 'to' receives a stronger accent, due to the
influence of the rhythm, than it would have in prose. Similarly in the
following line of Chaucer's _Troilus and Cryseide_, l. 1816--

    _For thóusandés his hóndes máden dýe_,

the inflexional syllable _es_ was certainly not ordinarily pronounced
with so much stress as it must have here under the influence of the
accent as determined by the rhythm of the line. Or again the word
'writyng', in the following couplet of Chaucer's _Canterbury Tales_
(Prol. 325-6)--

    _Therto he couthe endite and make a thing,
    Ther couthe no wight pynche at his writyng_,

was certainly not pronounced in ordinary speech with the same stress on
the last syllable as is here demanded both by the rhythm and rhyme.

As a rule, however, the rhythmical accent in English coincides with the
fourth kind of accent, the etymological or word-accent, which we now
have to deal with, and in greater detail.

Just as the different words of a sentence are pronounced, as we have
seen, with varying degrees of stress, so similarly the different
syllables of a single word are uttered with a varying intensity of
the force of the breath. One of the syllables of the individual word
is always marked off from the rest by a greater force of tone, and
these others are again differentiated from each other by subordinate
gradations of intensity of utterance, which may sometimes be so weak as
to lead to a certain amount of indistinctness, especially in English.
In the Teutonic languages, the root-syllable, as the most important
element of the word, and that which conveys the meaning, always bears
the chief accent, the other syllables bearing accents which are
subordinate to this chief accent. As the etymology of a word is always
closely associated with the form of the root-syllable, this syllabic
accent may be called the etymological accent. It naturally happens that
this syllabic accent coincides very often with the syntactical accent,
as the syntactical stress must be laid on the syllable which has the
etymological accent.

The degrees of stress on the various syllables may be as many in
number as the number of the syllables of the word in question. It is
sufficient, however, for purposes of metre and historical grammar, to
distinguish only four degrees of accent in polysyllabic words. These
four degrees of syllabic and etymological accent are as follows: 1.
the chief accent (_Hochton_, _Hauptton_); 2. the subsidiary accent
(_Tiefton_, _Nebenton_); 3. the absence of accent, or the unaccented
degree (_Tonlosigkeit_); 4. the mute degree, or absence of sound
(_Stummheit_). These last three varieties of accent arise from the
nature of the Teutonic accent, which is, it must always be remembered,
a stress-accent in which the volume of breath is expended mainly on the
first or chief syllable. The full meaning of these terms can most easily
be explained and understood by means of examples chosen either from
English or German, whose accentual basis is essentially the same. In the
word, _wonderful_, the first syllable has the chief accent (1), the last
has the subsidiary accent (2), and the middle syllable is unaccented
(3). The fourth or mute degree may be seen in such a word as _wondrous_,
shortened from _wonderous_. This fuller form may still be used, for
metrical purposes, as a trisyllable in which the first syllable has the
chief accent, the last the subsidiary accent, and the middle syllable
is unaccented, though audible. The usual pronunciation is, however, in
agreement with the usual spelling, disyllabic, and is _wondrous_; in
other words, the vowel _e_ which originally formed the middle syllable,
has been dropped altogether in speech as in writing. From the point of
view of the accent, it has passed from the unaccented state to the state
of muteness; but may be restored to the unaccented, though audible,
state, wherever emphasis or metre requires the full syllable. We have
the line: 'And it grew wondrous cold,' for which we might have 'The cold
grew wonderous'. In other cases the vowel is retained in writing but is
often dropped in colloquial pronunciation, or for metrical convenience.
Thus, in Shakespeare, we find sometimes the full form--

          _why the sepulchre
     Has oped his ponderous and marble jaws._
                                                     Hamlet, I. iv. 50.

and sometimes the curtailed form--

    _To draw with idle spiders' strings
     Most ponderous and substantial things._
                                     Measure for Measure, III. ii. 290.

This passing of an unaccented syllable into complete muteness is very
frequent in English, as compared with other cognate languages. It
has led, in the historical development of the language, to a gradual
weakening, and finally, in many instances, to a total loss of the
inflexional endings. Very frequently, an inflexional vowel that has
become mute is retained in the current spelling; thus in the verbal
forms _gives_, _lives_, the _e_ of the termination, though no longer
pronounced, is still retained in writing. Sometimes, in poetical texts,
it is omitted, but its position is indicated by an apostrophe, as in the
spellings _robb'd_, _belov'd_. In many words, on the other hand, the
silent vowel has ceased to be written, as in _grown_, _sworn_, of which
the original forms were _growen_, _sworen_.

§ =8.= Written marks to indicate the position of the accent were
employed in early German poetry as early as the first half of the
ninth century, when they were introduced, it is supposed, by Hrabanus
Maurus of Fulda and his pupil Otfrid. The similar marks that are found
in certain Early English MSS., as the _Ormulum_, are usually signs of
vowel-quantity. They may possibly have sometimes been intended to denote
stress, but their use for this purpose is so irregular and uncertain
that they give little help towards determining the varying degrees of
accent in words during the earliest stages of the language. For this
purpose we must look for other and less ambiguous means, and these
are found (in the case of Old English words and forms) first, in the
alliteration, secondly, in comparison with related words of the other
Teutonic languages, and, thirdly, in the development in the later stages
of English itself. After the Norman Conquest, the introduction of rhyme,
and of new forms of metre imitated from the French and mediaeval Latin
poetry, affords further help in investigating the different degrees of
syllabic accent in Middle English words. None of these means, however,
can be considered as yielding results of absolute certainty, chiefly
because during this period the accentuation of the language was passing
through a stage of transition or compromise between the radically
different principles which characterize the Romanic and Teutonic
families of languages. This will be explained more fully in a subsequent

Notwithstanding this period of fluctuation the fundamental law of
accentuation remained unaltered, namely, that the chief accent falls on
the root of the word, which is in most cases the first syllable. For
purposes of notation the acute (´) will be used in this work to denote
the chief accent, the grave (`) the subsidiary accent of the single
word; to indicate the rhythmical or metrical accent the acute alone will
be sufficient.

§ =9.= In English poetry, as in the poetry of the other Teutonic
nations, the rhythmical accent coincides normally with the syllabic or
etymological accent, and this, therefore, determines and regulates the
rhythm. In the oldest form of Teutonic poetry, the original alliterative
line, the rhythm is indicated by a definite number of strongly accented
syllables, accompanied by a less definite number of syllables which
do not bear the same emphatic stress. This principle of versification
prevails not only in Old English and Old and Middle High German poetry,
but also, to a certain extent, in the period of Middle English, where,
in the same manner, the number of beats or accented syllables indicates
the number of 'feet' or metrical units, and a single strongly accented
syllable can by itself constitute a 'foot'. This practice is a feature
which distinguishes early English and German poetry, not only from
the classical poetry, in which a foot or measure must consist of at
least two syllables, but also from that of the Romanic, modern German,
and modern English languages, which has been influenced by classical
example, and in which, accordingly, a foot must contain one accented and
at least one unaccented syllable following one another in a regular
order. The classical terms 'foot' and 'measure' have, in their strict
sense, relation to the quantity of the syllables, and can therefore
be applied to the modern metres only by analogy. In poetry which is
based on the principle of accent or stress, the proper term is _bar_
(in German _Takt_). The general resemblances between modern accentual
and ancient quantitative metres are, however, so strong, that it is
hardly desirable to discontinue the application of old and generally
understood technical terms of the classical versification to modern
metres, provided the fundamental distinction between quantity and accent
is always borne in mind.

Setting aside for the present the old Teutonic alliterative line, in
which a 'bar' might permissibly consist of a single syllable, we may
retain the names of the feet of the classical quantitative versification
for the 'bars' of modern versification, using them in modified senses. A
group consisting of one unaccented followed by an accented syllable may
be called an _iambus_; one accented followed by an unaccented syllable a
_trochee_; two unaccented syllables followed by an accented syllable an
_anapaest_; one accented syllable followed by two unaccented syllables
a _dactyl_. These four measures might also be described according to
the length of the intervals separating the accents, and according as
the rhythm is _ascending_ (passing from an unaccented to an accented
syllable) or _descending_ (passing from an accented to an unaccented
syllable). We should then have the terms, (1) _ascending disyllabic_
(iambus), (2) _descending disyllabic_ (trochee), (3) _ascending
trisyllabic_ (anapaest), and (4) _descending trisyllabic_ (dactyl).[7]
But we may agree with Prof. Mayor that 'it is certainly more convenient
to speak of iambic than of ascending disyllabic'.[8] It is, however,
only in the case of these four feet or measures that it is desirable to
adhere to the terminology of the ancient metres, and as a matter of fact
iambus, trochee, anapaest, and dactyl are the only names of classical
feet that are commonly recognized in English prosody.[9] As to the
employment in the treatment of English metre of less familiar technical
terms derived from classical prosody, we agree with Prof. Mayor, when
he says: 'I can sympathize with Mr. Ellis in his objection to the
classicists who would force upon us such terms as _choriambic_ and
_proceleusmatic_ to explain the rhythm of Milton. I do not deny that
the effect of his rhythm might sometimes be represented by such terms;
but if we seriously adopt them to explain his metre, we are attempting
an impossibility, to express in technical language the infinite variety
of measured sound which a genius like Milton could draw out of the
little five-stringed instrument on which he chose to play.' The use of
these and other classical terms is justifiable only when we have to deal
with professed imitations of ancient forms of verse in English.

Whatever names may be chosen to denote the metrical forms, the _measure_
or _foot_ always remains the unity which is the basis of all modern
metrical systems, and of all investigation into metre. For a line or
verse is built up by the succession of a limited number of feet or
measures, equal or unequal. With regard to the limit of the number of
feet permissible in a line or verse, no fixed rule can be laid down.
In no case must a line contain more feet than the ear may without
difficulty apprehend as a rhythmic whole; or, if the number of feet is
too great for this, the line must be divided by a _pause_ or _break_
(caesura) into two or more parts which we may then call rhythmical
_sections_. This break is a characteristic mark of the typical Old
English alliterative line, which is made up of two rhythmical sections.
The structure of this verse was at one time obscured through the
practice of printing each of these sections by itself as a short line;
but Grimm's example is now universally followed, and the two sections
are printed as parts of one long line.[10] Before entering into a
detailed consideration of the alliterative long line, it will be needful
to make a few general remarks on rhyme and its different species.

§ =10.= Modern metre is not only differentiated from metre of the
classical languages by the principle of _accent_ as opposed to
_quantity_; it has added a new metrical principle foreign to the ancient
systems. This principle is Rhyme. Instances of what looks like rhyme are
found in the classical poets from Homer onwards, but they are sporadic,
and are probably due to accident.[11]

Rhyme was not in use as an accessory to metre in Latin till the
quantitative principle had given way to the accentual principle in the
later hymns of the Church, and it has passed thence into all European
systems of metre.

In our poetry it serves a twofold purpose: it is used either simply
as an ornament, or as a tie to connect single lines into the larger
metrical unity of stanza or stave, by the recurrence of similar sounds
at various intervals.

In its widest sense rhyme is an agreement or consonance of sounds in
syllables or words, and falls into several subdivisions, according to
the extent and position of this agreement. As to its position, this
consonance may occur in the beginning of a syllable or word, or in the
middle, or in both middle and end at the same time. As to its extent,
it may comprehend one or two or more syllables. Out of these various
possibilities of likeness or consonance there arise three chief kinds
of rhyme in this wide sense, alliteration, assonance, and end-rhyme, or
rhyme simply in the more limited and usual acceptation of the word.

§ =11.= This last, end-rhyme, or full-rhyme, or rhyme proper, consists
in a perfect agreement or consonance of syllables or words except in
their initial sounds, which as a rule are different. Generally speaking,
the agreement of sounds falls on the last accented syllable of a word,
or on the last accented syllable and a following unaccented syllable or
syllables. End-rhyme or full-rhyme seems to have arisen independently
and without historical connexion in several nations, but as far as
our present purpose goes we may confine ourselves to its development
in Europe among the nations of Romanic speech at the beginning of the
Middle Ages. Its adoption into all modern literature is due to the
extensive use made of it in the hymns of the Church. Full-rhyme or
end-rhyme therefore is a characteristic of modern European poetry, and
though it cannot be denied that unrhymed verse, or blank verse, is much
used in English poetry, the fact remains that this metre is an exotic
product of the Renaissance, and has never become thoroughly popular. Its
use is limited to certain kinds of poetic composition, whereas rhyme
prevails over the wider part of the realm of modern poetry.

§ =12.= The second kind of rhyme (taking the word in its broader sense),
namely, vocalic assonance, is of minor importance in the treatment of
English metre. It consists in a similarity between the vowel-sounds
only of different words; the surrounding consonants do not count. The
following groups of words are assonant together: _give_, _thick_,
_fish_, _win_; _sell_, _step_, _net_; _thorn_, _storm_, _horse_. This
kind of rhyme was very popular among the Romanic nations, and among them
alone. Its first beginnings are found in the Latin ecclesiastical hymns,
and these soon developed into real or full-rhyme.[12] It passed thence
into Provençal, Old French, and Spanish poetry, and has continued in use
in the last named. It is very rarely found in English verse, it has in
fact never been used deliberately, as far as we know, except in certain
recent experiments in metre. Where it does seem to occur it is safest to
look upon it as imperfect rhyme only. Instances are found in the Early
English metrical romances, Lives of Saints, and popular ballad poetry,
where the technique of the metre is not of a high order; examples such
as _flete_, _wepe_; _brake_, _gate_; _slepe_, _ymete_ from _King Horn_
might be looked on as assonances, but were probably intended for real
rhymes. The consistent use of the full-rhyme being difficult, the poets,
in such instances as these, contented themselves with the simpler
harmony between the vowels alone, which represents a transition stage
between the older rhymeless alliterative verse, and the newer Romanic
metres with real and complete rhyme. Another possible form of assonance,
in which the consonants alone agree while the vowels may differ, might
be called _consonantal assonance_ as distinguished from _vocalic
assonance_, or assonance simply. This form of assonance is not found in
English poetry, though it is employed in Celtic and Icelandic metres.[13]

§ =13.= The third species of rhyme, to use the word still in its widest
sense, is known as alliteration (German _Stabreim_ or _Anreim_). It is
common to all Teutonic nations, and is found fully developed in the
oldest poetical monuments of Old Norse, Old High German, Old Saxon, and
Old English. Even in classical poetry, especially in the remains of
archaic Latin, it is not unfrequently met with, but serves only as a
means for giving to combinations of words a rhetorical emphasis, and is
not a formal principle of the metre bound by strict rules, as it is in
Teutonic poetry. Alliteration consists in a consonance or agreement of
the sounds at the beginning of a word or syllable, as in _love_ and
_liking_, _house_ and _home_, _woe_ and _weal_. The alliteration of
vowels and diphthongs has this peculiarity that the agreement need
not be exact as in 'apt alliteration's artful aid', but can exist, at
least in the oldest stages of the language, between all vowels
indiscriminately. Thus in the oldest English not only were _ellen_ and
_ende_, _ǣnig_ and _ǣr_, _ēac_ and _ēage_ alliterations, but _age_ and
_īdel_, _ǣnig_ and _ellen_, _eallum_ and _æðelingum_ were employed in
the strictest forms of verse as words which perfectly alliterated with
each other.

This apparent confusion of vowel-sounds so different in their quantity
and quality is probably to be explained by the fact that originally in
English, as now in German, all the vowels were preceded by a 'glottal
catch' which is the real alliterating sound.[14] The harmony or
consonance of the unlike vowels is hardly perceptible in Modern English
and does not count as alliteration.

The most general law of the normal alliterative line is that three or at
least two of the four strongly accented syllables which occur in every
long line (two in each section) must begin with an alliterative letter,
for example, in the following Old English lines:

    _=w=ereda =w=uldorcining | wordum hērigen._      Gen. 2.

    _=m=ōdum lufien | he is =m=ægna spēd._      Gen. 3.

    _=æ=sc bið =o=ferhēah |   =e=ldum dȳre._      Run. 26.

    _on =a=ndsware | and on =e=lne strong._      Gū. 264.

or in early Modern English:

    _For =m=yschefe will =m=ayster us | yf =m=easure us forsake._
                                                   Skelton, Magnif. 156.

    _How sodenly =w=orldly | =w=elth doth dekay._      ib. 1518.

    _I am your =e=ldest son | =E=sau by name._     Dodsl. Coll. ii. 249.

The history of the primitive alliterative line follows very different
lines of development in the various Teutonic nations. In Old High
German, after a period in which the strict laws of the verse were
largely neglected, it was abandoned in favour of rhyme by Otfrid (circa
868). In Old English it kept its place as the only form of verse
for all classes of poetical composition, and continued in use, even
after the introduction of Romanic forms of metre, during the Middle
English period, and did not totally die out till the beginning of the
seventeenth century. The partial revival of it is due to the increased
interest in Old English studies, but has been confined largely to
translations. As an occasional rhetorical or stylistic ornament of both
rhymed and unrhymed verse, alliteration has always been made use of by
English poets.


    [1] _Zur Geschichte der deutschen Sprache_, zweite Ausgabe, p.
        624, Berlin, 1868.

    [2] _Metrik der Griechen_, 1ª, 500.

    [3] It should be remarked that in Sanskrit, as in the classical
        languages, that prominence of one of the syllables of a word,
        which is denoted by the term 'accent', was originally marked
        by pitch or elevation of tone, and that in the Teutonic
        languages the word-accent is one of stress or emphasis.

    [4] _Handbook of Phonetics_, § 263.

    [5] _Die physiologischen Grundlagen der neuhochdeutschen Verskunst_,
        1871, p. 2.

    [6] Sweet, _Handbook of Phonetics_, Oxford, 1877, p. 92.

    [7] Cf. _Transactions of the Philological Society_, 1875-6, London,
        1877, pp. 397 ff.; _Chapters on English Metre_, by Prof. J. B.
        Mayor, 2nd ed., pp. 5 ff.

    [8] _Transact._, p. 398.

    [9] They are used by Puttenham, _The Arte of English Poesy_, 1589,
        Arber's reprint, p. 141.

   [10] J. Grimm's ed. of _Andreas and Elene_, 1840, pp. lv ff.

   [11] Cf. Lehrs, _de Aristarchi studiis Homericis_, 1865, p. 475.

   [12] Cf. J. Huemer, _Untersuchungen über die ältesten
        lateinisch-christlichen Rhythmen_, Vienna, 1879, p. 60.

   [13] In the Icelandic terminology this is _skothending_, Möbius,
        _Háttatal_, ii, p. 2.

   [14] Cf. Sievers, _Altgermanische Metrik_, § 18. 2.



§ =14. General remarks.= It is highly probable that alliteration
was the earliest kind of poetic form employed by the English people.
There is no trace in the extant monuments of the language of any
more primitive or simpler system. A predilection for alliteration
existed even in prose, as in the names of heroes and families like
Scyld and Sceaf, Hengist and Horsa, Finn and Folcwald, pairs that
alliterate in the same way as the family names of other Teutonic
nations: the names of the three sons of Mannus, Ingo, Isto, Irmino,
conform to this type.[15] The earliest monuments of Old English
poetry, as the fragmentary hymn of Cædmon in the More MS. (Cambridge)
and the inscription on the Ruthwell Cross, are composed in the long
alliterative line. The great body of Old English verse is in this
metre, the only exceptions being the 'Rhyming Poem' (in the _Exeter
Book_),[16] and a few other late pieces, in which alliteration and
rhyme are combined. This Old English poetry, therefore, together with
the Old Norse and Old Saxon remains (the _Heliand_ with 5,985 lines,
and the recently discovered fragment of the Old Saxon _Genesis_, edited
by Zangemeister and Braune, 1894, with 335 lines), affords ample and
trustworthy material for determining the laws of the alliterative verse
as used by the Teutonic nations. In comparison with these the remains
of Old High German alliterative verse are both scanty and lax in

§ =15. Theories on the metrical form of the alliterative line.=
Notwithstanding their comparative scantiness, the Old High German
fragments (_Hildebrandslied_, _Wessobrunner Gebet_, _Muspilli_ and two
magical formulae, with a total of some 110 lines) formed the basis
of the earliest theories of the laws of the accentuation and general
character of the original alliterative line. They were assumed to have
preserved the features of the primitive metre, and conclusions were
drawn from them as to the typical form of the verse. When examined
closely, the Old High German remains (and this is true also of the
longer monuments in Old Saxon) are found to differ widely from Old
Norse and Old English verse in one respect. While the general and
dominating features of the line remain the same, the Old High German
and Old Saxon lines are much longer than the Old Norse or Old English
lines. In Old Norse or Old English the half line frequently contains no
more than four syllables, in marked contrast to Old High German and Old
Saxon, where the half line or section is considerably longer.

The first attempt at a theory of the metrical structure of the
alliterative line was made by Lachmann. He based his theory on the
form of verse created by Otfrid, in imitation of Latin models, which
consists of a long line of eight accents, separated by leonine rhyme
into two sections each of four accents alternately strong and weak.[17]
The laws of the rhyming and strophic verse of Otfrid were applied by
Lachmann to the purely alliterative verses of the Old High German
_Hildebrandslied_, and this system of scanning was further applied by
his followers to the alliterative verse of Old English, the true nature
of which was long misunderstood on the Continent. In England itself a
sounder view of the native alliterative verse was propounded by Bishop
Percy as early as 1765, in his _Essay on the Metre of Pierce Plowman_
published along with his well-known _Reliques of Ancient English
Poetry_, not to speak of the earlier writings of G. Gascoigne (1575)
and James VI (1585). But the number and authority of some of Lachmann's
followers are such that some detailed account of their theories must be

§ =16. The four-beat theory= of the alliterative verse, based on
the assumption that each of the two sections must have had four
accented syllables to bring out a regular rhythm, was applied by
Lachmann himself only to the Old High German _Hildebrandslied_,[19]
while on the other hand he recognized a freer variety with two chief
accents only in each section, for the Old Norse, Old Saxon, and Old
English. The four-beat theory was further applied to the Old High
German _Muspilli_ by Bartsch,[20] and to the rest of the smaller
relics of Old High German verse by Müllenhoff.[21] The next step was
to bring the Old Saxon _Heliand_ and the Old English _Beowulf_ under
this system of scansion; and this was taken by M. Heyne in 1866 and
1867. But the metre of _Beowulf_ does not differ from that of the
other alliterative poems in Old English, and these in their turn
were claimed for the four-beat theory by Schubert,[22] but with this
important modification, made before by Bartsch, that side by side with
the usual four-beat sections there were also to be found sections of
three beats only. One obvious difficulty in applying the theory of
four strongly marked beats to the Old English half-lines or hemistichs
is this, that in Old English these hemistichs consist in very many
cases of not more than four syllables altogether, each one of which
would on this theory have an accent to itself. To meet these cases E.
Jessen[23] started the theory that in certain cases pauses had to be
substituted for 'beats not realized'. A further modification of the
four-beat doctrine was introduced by Amelung,[24] who maintained that
in the metre of the _Heliand_ each hemistich had two primary or chief
accents and two secondary or subordinate accents. In order to bring the
verse under this scansion he assumes that certain syllables admitted
of being lengthened. He further regarded the _Heliand_ verse as a
metre regulated by strict time, and not as a measure intended for free
recitation and depending only on the number of accented syllables.

A few other more recent attempts at solving the problem must be
mentioned before we pass on to explain and discuss Sievers's system in
the next paragraph. The views of Prof. Möller of Copenhagen[25] have
found an adherent in Lawrence, from whose book[26] we may quote the
following summary of Möller's theory. According to Prof. Möller the
hemistich consists theoretically of two measures (_Takte_), each of four
_morae_ ×́ × ×̀ × (a _mora_, ×, being the time required for one short
syllable), and therefore the whole verse of four measures, thus:

     ×́ × ×̀ × | ×́ × ×̀ × || ×́ × ×̀ × | ×́ × ×̀ × ||.

Where, in a verse, the _morae_ are not filled by actual syllables, their
time must be occupied by rests (represented by r*) in reciting, by
holding on the note in singing.[27] A long syllable, ——, is equivalent
to two _morae_. Thus v. 208 of _Beowulf_

    _súnd-wùdu. sṓhtè. sécg. wī́sàde_.

would be symbolically represented as follows:

     –́ ×̀ × | –́ ×̀ r || –́ rr | –́ ×̀ ×.

According to this system the pause at _secg_ will be twice as long as
that at _sōhte_, whilst at _wudu_ there will be no real pause and the
point will merely indicate the end of the measure.

Others reverted to the view of Bartsch and Schubert that there could
be hemistichs with only three accents alongside of the hemistichs with
the normal number of four. Among these may be mentioned H. Hirt,[28]
whose view is that three beats to a hemistich is the normal number,
four being less usual, the long line having thus mostly six beats,
against the eight of Lachmann's theory; K. Fuhr,[29] who holds that
every hemistich, whether it stands first or second in the verse, has
four beats if the last syllable is unaccented (_klingend_; in that case
the final unaccented syllable receives a secondary rhythmical accent,
for example, _fḗond máncýnnès_) and has three beats if it is accented
(_stumpf_, for example, _fýrst fórð gewā́t_, or _múrnénde mṓd_, &c.);
and B. ten Brink,[30] who calls the hemistichs with four beats full or
'complete' (e.g. _hȳ́ràn scóldè_, but admits hemistichs with three beats
only, calling them 'incomplete' from the want of a secondary accent
(e.g. _twélf wíntra tī́d, hā́m gesṓhte_, &c.). The four-beat theory
was reverted to by M. Kaluza, who endeavours to reconcile it with the
results of Sievers and others.[31] A somewhat similar view is taken by
R. Kögel.[32] Trautmann[33] takes Amelung's view that certain words and
syllables must be lengthened in order to get the four accented syllables
necessary for each hemistich. Thus, according to Trautmann's scansion,

    _sprécað fǽgeré befóran_

would run ×́ × | ×́ × | ×́ × | ⏑́ × and

    _ónd þú him méte sýlest_

would also have the formula ×́ × | ×́ × | ×́ × | ⏑́ ×,

_ond_ being protracted to two units. Another instance of this
lengthening would, on this theory, occur in the final syllable of
the word _radores_ in the hemistich _únder rádorès rýne_, while in
a section like _gūð-rinc monig_, or _of fold-grǽfe_, the words
_rinc_ and _of_ would be extended to two, and _gūð_ and _fold_ would
each be extended to four units, in order to fit in with the scansion
×́ × | ×́ × | ×́ × | ⏑́ ×. Most of the partisans of the four-beat
theory for the hemistich agree in making two of these beats primary,
and two secondary; Trautmann, however, does not seem to recognize any
such difference in the force of the four accents. All the supporters
of the four-beat theory have this in common, that the rhythm of the
verse is assumed to be based on time (_taktierend_), but in other
respects differ widely from each other; Hirt, for example, in his
last discussion of the subject,[34] claiming that his own view is
fundamentally different from that of Kaluza, which again he looks on as
at variance with those of Möller and Heusler.

§ =17. The two-beat theory=, on the other hand, is that each of the
two hemistichs of the alliterative line need have only two accented
syllables. In England this view was taken by two sixteenth-century
writers on verse, George Gascoigne[35] who quotes the line,

    _No wight in this world, that wealth can attain_,

giving as the accentual scheme ` ´ ` ` ´ ` ´ ` ` ´; and by King James
VI, whose example is--

    _Fetching fude for to feid it fast furth of the Farie._[36]

In 1765, Percy, in his _Essay on Pierce Plowman's Visions_, pointed
out 'that the author of this poem will not be found to have invented
any new mode of versification, as some have supposed, but only to have
retained that of the old Saxon and Gothick poets, which was probably
never wholly laid aside, but occasionally used at different intervals'.
After quoting[37] two Old Norse, he gives two Old English verses:--

    _Sceop þa and scyrede scyppend ure_ (Gen. 65),
    _ham and heahsetl heofena rices_ (ib. 33);

he continues: 'Now if we examine the versification of Pierce Plowman's
Visions' (from which he quotes the beginning--

    _In a somer season | when softe was the sonne
     I schop me into a schroud | a scheep as I were, &c._)

'we shall find it constructed exactly by these rules', which are, in
his own words, 'that every distich [i.e. complete long line] should
contain at least three words beginning with the same letter or sound;
two of these correspondent sounds might be placed either in the first or
second line of the distich, and one in the other, but all three were not
regularly to be crowded into one line.' He then goes on to quote further
specimens of alliterative verse from _Pierce the Ploughman's Crede_,
_The Sege of Jerusalem_, _The Chevalere Assigne_, _Death and Liffe_ and
_Scottish Fielde_, which latter ends with a rhyming couplet:

    _And his ancestors of old time | have yearded theire longe
     Before William conquerour | this cuntry did inhabitt.
     Jesus bring them to blisse | that brought us forth of bale,
     That hath hearkened me heare | or heard my tale._

Taken as a whole his dissertation on the history of alliterative verse
is remarkably correct, and his final remarks are noteworthy:

  Thus we have traced the alliterative measure so low as the
  sixteenth century. It is remarkable that all such poets as used this
  kind of metre, retained along with it many peculiar Saxon idioms,
  particularly such as were appropriated to poetry: _this deserves the
  attention of those who are desirous to recover the laws of the ancient
  Saxon poesy, usually given up as inexplicable:_ I am of opinion that
  they will find what they seek in the metre of Pierce Plowman. About
  the beginning of the sixteenth century this kind of versification
  began to change its form; the author of _Scottish Field_, we
  see, concludes his poem with a couplet of rhymes; this was an
  innovation[38] that did but prepare the way for the general admission
  of that more modish ornament. When rhyme began to be superadded,
  all the niceties of alliteration were at first retained with it: the
  song of Little John Nobody exhibits this union very closely.... To
  proceed; the old uncouth verse of the ancient writers would no longer
  go down without the more fashionable ornament of rhyme, and therefore
  rhyme was superadded. This correspondence of final sounds engrossing
  the whole attention of the poet and fully satisfying the reader, the
  internal imbellishment of alliteration was no longer studied, and thus
  was this kind of metre at length swallowed up and lost in our common
  burlesque alexandrine, now never used but in songs and pieces of low
  humour, as in the following ballad; and that well-known doggrel:

      'A cobler there was and he lived in a stall'.

Now it is clear that this verse is of exactly the same structure as the
verses quoted by Gascoigne:

    _No wight in this world that wealth can attayne,
     Ùnléss hè bèléue, thàt áll ìs bùt vaýne_,

where the scheme of accents is Gascoigne's own, showing that he read
them as verses of four accents in all, two in each hemistich. They show
the same rhythmical structure as the 'tumbling' or alliterative line
given by James VI[39] (1585):

    _Fetching fude for to feid it fast furth of the Farie_,

and described by him as having 'twa [feit, i.e. syllables] short,
and ane lang throuch all the lyne', in other words with four accented
syllables in the verse.

Percy detected very acutely that the Middle English alliterative line
stood in close connexion with the Old English alliterative line, and
suggested as highly probable that the metre of _Pierce Plowman_ would
give a key to the rhythm of that older form of verse, which would have
to be read with two accented syllables in the hemistich, and therefore
four in the whole line.

Had this essay of Percy's been known to Lachmann's followers, many
of the forced attempts at reconciling the Old English verse with a
scheme that involved a fixed number of syllables in the line would not
have been made. Lachmann himself, it must be remembered, admitted the
two-beat scansion for Old Norse, Old Saxon, and Old English. Meanwhile
other investigators were at work on independent lines. In 1844 A.
Schmeller, the editor of the _Heliand_, formulated the law that, in
the Teutonic languages, it is the force with which the different
syllables are uttered that regulates the rhythm of the verse, and not
the number or length of the syllables (which are of minor importance),
and established the fact that this alliterative verse was not meant to
be sung but to be recited.[40] He does not enter into the details of
the rhythm of the verse, except by pointing out the two-beat cadence
of each section. Somewhat later, W. Wackernagel[41] declared himself
in favour of the two-beat theory for all Teutonic alliterative verse.
In every hemistich of the verse there are according to Wackernagel two
syllables with a grammatical or logical emphasis, and consequently a
strong accent, the number of less strongly accented syllables not being
fixed. The two-beat theory was again ably supported by F. Vetter[42]
and by K. Hildebrand, who approached the subject by a study of the Old
Norse alliterative verse,[43] and by M. Rieger in his instructive essay
on Old Saxon and Old English versification.[44] In this essay Rieger
pointed out the rules prevailing in the poetry of those two closely
related Teutonic nations, dealt with the distribution and quality of the
alliteration, the relation of the alliteration to the noun, adjective,
and verb, and to the order of words, with the caesura and the close of
the verse, and, finally, with the question of the accented syllables and
the limits of the use of unaccented syllables.[45] Other scholars, as
Horn, Ries, and Sievers, contributed further elucidations of the details
of this metre on the basis of Rieger's researches.[46]

Next to Rieger's short essay the most important contribution made to
the accurate and scientific study of alliterative verse was that made
by Sievers in his article on the rhythm of the Germanic alliterative
verse.[47] In this he shows, to use his own words, 'that a statistical
classification of groups of words with their natural accentuation in
both sections of the alliterative line makes it clear that this metre,
in spite of its variety, is not so irregular as to the unaccented
syllables at the beginning or in the middle of the verse as has been
commonly thought, but that it has a range of a limited number of
definite forms which may be all reduced to five primary types.' These
five types or chief variations in the relative position of the accented
and unaccented syllables are, as Sievers points out, of such a nature
and so arbitrarily combined in the verse, that they cannot possibly be
regarded as symmetrical feet of a line evenly measured and counted by
the number of syllables. 'The fundamental principle, therefore, of the
structure of the alliterative line, as we find it in historical times,
is that of a free change of rhythm which can only be understood if the
verse was meant to be recited, not to be sung.'[48] Soon after the
publication of Sievers's essay on the rhythm of the Germanic verse, the
first part of which contained a complete classification of all the forms
of the line occurring in _Beowulf_, other scholars applied his method
and confirmed his results by examining in detail the other important
Old English texts; Luick dealt with _Judith_,[49] Frucht with the poems
of Cynewulf,[50] and Cremer with _Andreas_, &c.[51] Sievers himself,
after contributing to the pages of Paul's _Grundriss der germanischen
Philologie_ a concise account of his theories and results, expounded
them in greater detail in his work on Old Germanic Metre[52] in which
he emphasizes the fact that his five-type theory cannot properly be
called a theory at all, but is simply an expression of the rules of the
alliterative verse obtained by a statistical method of observation. In
spite of the criticisms of his opponents, Möller, Heusler, Hirt, Fuhr,
and others, he maintained his former views. In principle these views are
in conformity with the manner of reading or scanning the alliterative
verse explained by English writers on the subject from the sixteenth
century downwards, though their terminology naturally is not the same as
Sievers's. We may, therefore, accept them on the whole as sound.

It would be out of place here to enter into the question of prehistoric
forms of Teutonic poetry. It will be enough to say that in Sievers's
opinion a primitive form of this poetry was composed in strophes or
stanzas, intended to be sung and not merely to be recited; that at
a very early period this sung strophic poetry gave way to a recited
stichic form suitable to epic narrations; and that his five-type forms
are the result of this development. As all the attempts to show that
certain Old English poems were originally composed in strophic form[53]
have proved failures, we may confidently assent to Sievers's conclusion
that the alliterative lines (as a rule) followed one upon another in
unbroken succession, and that in historic times they were not composed
in even and symmetrical measures (_taktierend_), and were not meant to
be sung to fixed tunes.

The impossibility of assuming such symmetrical measures for the Old
English poetry is evident from the mere fact that the end of the line
does not as a rule coincide with the end of the sentence, as would
certainly be the case had the lines been arranged in staves or stanzas
meant for singing. The structure of the alliterative line obeys only the
requirements of free recitation and is built up of two hemistichs which
have a rhythmical likeness to one another resulting from the presence
in each of two accented syllables, but which need not have, and as a
matter of fact very rarely have, complete identity of rhythm, because
the number and situation of the unaccented syllables may vary greatly in
the two sections.

§ =18. Accentuation of Old English.= As the versification of Old
English is based on the natural accentuation of the language, it will
be necessary to state the laws of this accentuation before giving an
account of the five types to which the structure of the hemistich has
been reduced.

In simple polysyllables the chief or primary accent, in this work marked
by an acute (´), is as a rule on the root-syllable, and the inflexional
and other elements of the word have a less marked accent varying from
a secondary accent, here marked by a grave (`), to the weakest grade
of accent, which is generally left unmarked: thus _wúldor_, _héofon_,
_wī́tig_, _wúnode_, _ǽðelingas_, &c.

In the alliterative line, as a general rule, only syllables with the
chief accent carry either the alliterating sounds or the four rhythmical
accents of the verse. All other syllables, even those with secondary
accent, count ordinarily as the 'theses' (_Senkungen_) of the verse[54]:

    _síndon þā =b=éarwas   =b=lḗdum gehóngene
     =w=lítigum =w=ǽstmum:   þǣr nō wániað ṓ
     =h=ā́lge under =h=éofonum   =h=óltes frǽtwe_.
                                                          Phoenix 71-73.

In compound words (certain combinations with unaccented prefixes
excepted) the first element of the compound (which modifies or
determines the meaning of the second element) has the primary
accent, the second element having only a secondary accent, e.g.
_wúldor-cỳning_, _hḗah-sètl_, _sṓð-fæ̀st_.[55] If therefore
the compound has, as is mostly the case, only one alliterative sound,
that alliteration must necessarily fall on the first part of the

    _=w=ī́tig =w=úldorcyning   =w=órlde and héofona._      Dan. 427.

Sometimes it happens that in hemistichs of no great length the second
part of the compound carries one of the two rhythmical accents of the
hemistich, e.g.

    _on =h=ḗah-sétle   =h=éofones wáldend._      Cri. 555.

and in a particular form of alliteration[56] it may even contain one of
the alliterating sounds, as in the verse:

    _hwæt! we =G=ā́r=d=éna   in =g=ēar=d=águm._      Beow. 1.

The less strongly accented derivational and inflexional suffixes, though
they are not allowed to alliterate, may occasionally have the rhythmical
accent, on condition that they immediately follow upon a long accented
syllable, e.g.

    _mid =W=ýlfíngum,   þā hine =W=ára cýn._      Beow. 461.

    _ne méahte ic æt =h=ílde   mid =H=rúntínge._      ib. 1659.

The rhythmical value of syllables with a secondary accent will be
considered more fully later on.

These general rules for the accent of compound words formed of noun
+ noun or adjective + noun require modification for the cases where
a prefix (adverb or preposition) stands in close juxtaposition with
a verb or noun. The preposition standing before and depending on a
noun coalesces so closely with it that the two words express a single
notion, the noun having the chief accent, e.g. _onwég_, _āwég_
(away), _ætsómne_ (together), _ofdū́ne_ (down), _toníhte_ (to-night),
_onmíddum_ (amid); examples in verse are:

    _gebād =w=íntra =w=órn   ǣr he on=w=ég hwúrfe._      Beow. 264.

    _=s=ī́d æt=s=ómne   þā ge=s=úndrod wǽs._      Gen. 162.

But while the prepositional prefix thus does not carry the alliteration
owing to its want of accent, some of the adverbs used in composition are
accented, others are unaccented, and others again may be treated either
way. When the adverbial prefix originally stood by itself side by side
with the verb, and may in certain cases still be disjoined from it, it
has then the primary accent, because it is felt as a modifying element
of the compound. When, however, the prefix and the verb have become so
intimately united as to express one single notion, the verb takes the
accent and the prefix is treated as proclitic, and there is a third
class of these compounds which are used indifferently with accent on the
prefix or on the verb.

Some of the commonest prefixes used in alliteration are[57]: _and_,
_æfter_, _eft_, _ed_, _fore_, _forð_, _from_, _hider_, _in_, _hin_,
_mid_, _mis_, _niðer_, _ongēan_, _or_, _up_, _ūt_, _efne_, as in
compounds like _ándswarian_, _íngong_, _ǽfterweard_, &c.:

    _on =á=ndswáre   and on =é=lne stróng._      Gū. 264.

    _=ǽ=ðelīc =í=ngong   =é=al wæs gebúnden._      Cri. 308.

    _and =ḗ=ac þāra =ý=fela   =ó=rsorh wúnað._      Met. vii. 43.

    _=ú=plang gestṓd   wið =Í=srahḗlum._      Ex. 303.

Prefixes which do not take the alliteration are: _ā_, _ge_, _for_,
_geond_, _oð_, e.g.

    _ā=h=ōn and ā=h=ébban   on =h=ḗahne bḗam._      Jul. 228.

    _hǽfde þā ge=f=óhten   =f=óremǣrne blǣ́d._      Jud. 122.

    _=b=rónde for=b=ǽrnan   ne on =b=ǣ́l hládan._      Beow. 2126.

The following fluctuate: _æt_, _an_, _bī_ (_big_), _bi_ (_be_), _of_,
_ofer_, _on_, _tō_, _under_, _þurh_, _wið_, _wiðer_, _ymb_. These are
generally accented and alliterate, if compounded with substantives or
adjectives, but are not accented and do not alliterate if compounded
with verbs or other particles,[58] e.g. _óferhēah_, _óferhȳd_, but
_ofercúman_, _oferbī́dan_. The following lines will illustrate this:

  (_a_) prefixes which alliterate:

     _þāra þe þurh =ó=ferhȳ́d  =ú=p āstī́geð._      Dan. 495.

     _=á=tol is þīn =ó=nsēon   hábbað we =é=alle swā́._      Satan 61.

     _=ý=mbe-síttendra   =ǣ́=nig þā́ra._      Beow. 2734.

  (_b_) prefixes which do not alliterate:

     _oððæt he þā =b=ýsgu   ofer=b=íden hæfde._      Gū. 518.

     _ne wíllað ēow on=d=rǣ́dan   =d=ḗade fḗðan._      Exod. 266.

     _=s=ýmbel ymb=s=ǣ́ton   =s=ǣ́grunde nḗah._      Beow. 564.[59]

When prepositions precede other prepositions or adverbs in composition,
the accent rests on that part of the whole compound which is felt to be
the most important. Such compounds fall into three classes: (i) if a
preposition or adverb is preceded by the prepositions _be_, _on_, _tō_,
_þurh_, _wið_, these latter are not accented, since they only slightly
modify the sense of the following adverb. Compounds of this kind
are: _beǣ́ftan_, _befóran_, _begéondan_, _behíndan_, _beínnan_,
_benéoðan_, _búfan_, _bútan_, _onúfan_, _onúppan_, _tōfóran_,
_wiðínnan_, wiðū́tan, _undernéoðan_.[60] Only the second part of the
compound is allowed to alliterate in these words:

    _he =f=ḗāra súm   be=f=óran géngde._      Beow. 1412.

    _ne þe be=h=índan lǣ́t   þonne þu =h=éonan cýrre._      Cri. 155.

Most of these words do not seem to occur in the poetry.

(ii) In compounds of _þǣr_ + preposition the preposition is accented
and takes the alliteration:

    _swā́ he þǣr=í=nne   =á=ndlangne dǽg._      Beow. 2115.

    _þe þǣr=ó=n síndon   =ḗ=ce drýhten._      Hy. iv. 3.

(iii) _weard_, as in _æfterweard_, _foreweard_, _hindanweard_,
_niðerweard_, _ufeweard_, &c., is not accented:

    _=h=wít =h=índanweard   and se =h=áls grḗne._      Ph. 298.

    _=n=íodoweard and úfeweard   and þæt =n=ebb líxeð._      ib. 299.

    _=f=ḗðe-géstum   =f=lét ínnanweard._      Beow. 1977.

§ =19. The secondary accent.= The secondary or subordinate accent is of
as great importance as the chief or primary accent in determining the
rhythmical character of the alliterative line. It is found in the
following classes of words:

(i) In all compounds of noun + noun, or adjective + noun, or adjective
+ adjective, the second element of the compound has the subordinate
accent, e.g. _hēah-sètl, gū́ð-rinc, hríng-nèt, sṓð-fæ̀st_.
Syllables with this secondary accent are necessary in certain cases
as links between the arsis and thesis, as in forms like _þégn
Hrṓðgà̄res_ (–́ | –́ ×̀ ×) or _fýrst fórð gewà̄t_ (–́ | –́ × ̀).

(ii) In proper names like _Hrṓðg[`=a]r_, _Bḗowùlf_, _Hýgel[`=a]c_,
this secondary accent may sometimes count as one of the four chief
metrical accents of the line, as in

    _=b=éornas on =b=láncum   þǣr wæs =B=éowúlfes._      Beow. 857.

contrasted with

    _=é=orl Béowùlfes   =é=alde lā́fe._      Beow. 797.

(iii) When the second element has ceased to be felt as a distinct
part of the compound, and is little more than a suffix, it loses the
secondary accent altogether; as _hlā́ford_, _ǣ́ghwylc_, _ínwit_, and
the large class of words compounded with -_līc_ and _sum_.

    _þæt he =H=éardrḗde   =h=lā́ford wǣ́́re._      Beow. 2375.
    _=l=úfsum and =l=ī́ðe   =l=ḗofum monnum._      Cri. 914.

(iv) In words of three syllables, the second syllable when long and
following a long root-syllable with the chief accent, has, especially
in the early stage of Old English, a well-marked secondary accent:
thus, _ǣ́rèsta_, _ṓðèrra_, _sémnìnga_, _éhtènde_; the third syllable in
words of the form _ǽðelìnga_ gets the same secondary accent. This
secondary accent can count as one of the four rhythmic accents of the
line, e.g.

    _þā =ǣ́=réstan =ǣ́=lda cýnnes._      Gū. 948.

    _=s=ígefolca =s=wḗg oð þæt =s=émnínga._      Beow. 644.

Words of this class, not compounded, are comparatively rare, but
compounds with secondary accent are frequent.

These second syllables with a marked secondary accent in the best
examples of Old English verse mostly form by themselves a member of the
verse, i.e. are not treated as simple theses as in certain compositions
of later date, e.g.

    _dȳ́gelra gescéafta._      Creat. 18.

    _ā́genne brðor._      Metr. ix. 28.

(v) After a long root-syllable of a trisyllabic word a short second
syllable (whether its vowel was originally short or long) may bear one
of the chief accents of the line, e.g. _bōcère_, _bíscòpe_:

    _þǣr bíscéopas and bṓcéras._      An. 607.

or may stand in the thesis and be unaccented, as

    _gódes bísceope þā spræc gū́ðcýning._      Gen. 2123.

This shows that in common speech these syllables had only a slight
secondary accent.

(vi) Final syllables (whether long or short) are as a rule not accented
even though a long root-syllable precede them.

§ =20. Division and metrical value of syllables.= Some other points
must be noticed with reference to the division and metrical value of the
syllables of some classes of words.

The formative element _i_ in the present stem of the second class
of weak verbs always counts as a syllable when it follows a long
root-syllable, thus _fund-i-an_, _fund-i-ende_ not _fund-yan_, &c. In
verbs with a short root-syllable it is metrically indifferent whether
this _i_ is treated as forming a syllable by itself or coalescing as
a consonant with the following vowel, so that we may divide either
_ner-i-an_, or _ner-yan_; in verbs of the first and third class the
consonantal pronunciation was according to Sievers probably the usual
one, hence _neryan_ (_nerian_), _lifyan_ (_lifᵹan_)_, but for verbs of
the second class the syllable remained vocalic, thus _þolian_.[61]

In foreign names like _Assyria_, _Eusebius_, the _i_ is generally
treated as a vowel, but in longer words possibly as a consonant, as
_Macedonya_ (_Macedonia_). As to the epenthetic vowels developed from a
_w_, the question whether we are to pronounce _gearowe_ or _gearwe_,
_bealowes_ or _bealwes_ cannot be decided by metre. Syllabic _l, m, n_
_([l̥, m̥, n̥)_ following a short root-vowel lose their syllabic
character, thus _sĕtl_, _hræ̆gl_, _swĕfn_ are monosyllables,
but _er_ coming from original _r_ as in _wæter_, _leger_ may be
either consonantal or vocalic. After a long root-syllable vocalic
pronunciation is the rule, but occasionally words of this kind, as
_túngl_, _bṓsm_, _tā́cn_, are used as monosyllables, and the
_l_, _m_, and _n_ are consonants. Hiatus is allowed; but in many
cases elision of an unaccented syllable takes place, though no fixed
rule can be laid down owing to the fluctuating number of unaccented
syllables permissible in the hemistich or whole line. In some cases
the metre requires us to expunge vowels which have crept into the
texts by the carelessness of copyists, e.g. we must write _ḗðles_
instead of _ḗðeles_, _éngles_ instead of _éngeles_, _dḗofles_
instead of _dḗofeles_, and in other cases we must restore the older
and fuller forms such as _ṓðerra_ for _ṓðrā_, _eṓwere_
for _ḗowre_.[62] The resolution of long syllables with the chief
accent in the arsis, and of long syllables with the secondary accent
in the thesis, affects very greatly the number of syllables in the
line. Instead of the one long syllable which as a rule bears one of the
four chief accents of the verse, we not unfrequently meet with a short
accented syllable plus an unaccented syllable either long or short
( ⏑́ ×́). This is what is termed the resolution of an accented syllable.
A word accordingly like _fároðe_ with one short accented syllable and
two unaccented syllables has the same rhythmical value as _fṓron_
with one long accented and one unaccented syllable, or a combination
like _se þe wæs_ is rhythmically equivalent to _sécg wæs_.

§ =21.= We now come to =the structure of the whole alliterative line=.
The regular alliterative line or verse is made up of two hemistichs
or sections. These two sections are separated from each other by a
pause or break, but united by means of alliteration so that they form
a rhythmical unity. Each hemistich must have two syllables which
predominate over the rest in virtue of their logical and syntactical
importance and have on this account a stronger stress. These stressed
syllables, four in number for the whole line, count as the rhythmical
accents of the verse. The force given to these accented syllables is
more marked when they carry at the same time the alliteration, which
happens at least once in each hemistich, frequently twice in the first
and once in the second hemistich, and in a number of instances twice in
both hemistichs. The effect of the emphasis given to these four words or
syllables by the syntax, etymology, rhythm, and sometimes alliteration,
is that the other words and syllables may for metrical purposes be
looked upon as in comparison unaccented, even though they may have a
main or secondary word-accent.

In certain cases, in consequence of the particular structure of the
hemistich, there is found a rhythmical secondary accent, generally
coinciding with an etymological secondary accent, or with a
monosyllable, or with the root-syllable of a disyllabic word. Sievers
looks on these syllables as having in the rhythm of the verse the nature
of a minor arsis (_Nebenhebung_); they rather belong to the class
of syllables standing in thesis but with a slight degree of accent
(_tieftonige Senkung_).

The two sections of the alliterative line rarely exhibit a strict
symmetry as to the number of the unaccented syllables and their position
with regard to the accented syllables. In the great majority of cases
their similarity consists merely in their having each two accented
syllables, their divergence in other respects being very considerable.
It is to be noted that certain combinations of accented and unaccented
syllables occur with more frequency in one hemistich than in the other,
or are even limited to one of the two hemistichs only.

Besides the ordinary or normal alliterative line with four accents,
there exists in Old English and in other West-Germanic poetry a variety
of the alliterative line called the _lengthened line_ (_Schwellvers_ or
_Streckvers_). In this line each hemistich has three accented syllables,
the unaccented syllables standing in the same relation to the accented
ones as they do in the normal two-beat hemistich.

§ =22. The structure of the hemistich in the normal alliterative
line.= The normal hemistich consists of four, seldom of five members[63]
(_Glieder_), two of which are strongly accented (arses), the others
unaccented or less strongly accented (theses). Each arsis is formed,
as a rule, of a long accented syllable (-), but the second part of a
compound, and (less frequently) the second syllable with a secondary
accent of a trisyllabic or disyllabic word, is allowed to stand as an
arsis. By resolution a long accented syllable may be replaced by two
short syllables, the first of which is accented. This is denoted by the
symbol ⏑́ ×. The less strongly accented members of the hemistich fall
into two classes according as they are unaccented or have the secondary
accent. This division depends ultimately on the logical or etymological
importance of the syllables. Unaccented syllables (marked in Sievers's
notation by ×) whether long or short by etymology, are mostly
inflexional endings, formative elements, or proclitic and enclitic words.

Secondarily accented verse-members, mostly monosyllabic and
long (denoted by ×̀, and occasionally, when short, by ⏑̀), are
root-syllables in the second part of compounds, long second syllables
of trisyllabic words whose root-syllable is long, and other syllables
where in ordinary speech the presence of a secondary accent is
unmistakable. The rhythmical value of these syllables with secondary
accent is not always the same. When they stand in a foot or measure
of two members and are preceded by an accented syllable they count
as simply unaccented, and the foot is practically identical with the
normal type represented by the notation –́ × (as in the hemistich
_wī́sra wórda_), but these half-accented syllables may be called
_heavy_ theses, and the feet which contain them may be denoted by the
formula –́ ×̀, as in _wī́sfæ̀st wórdum_ (–́ ×̀ | –́ ×). A hemistich
like the last is called by Sievers strengthened (_gesteigert_),
or if it has two heavy unaccented syllables in both feet, doubly
strengthened, as in the section _gū́ðrìnc góldwlànc_ (–́ ×̀ | –́
×̀). In these examples the occurrence of a heavy unaccented syllable
is permissible but not necessary; but in feet or measures of three
members they are obligatory, being required as an intermediate degree
between the arsis and thesis, or strongly accented and unaccented
member, as in _þégn Hrṓðgā́res_ (–́| –́ × ×̀), or _fýrst fórð
gewà̄t_ (–́ | –́ × ×̀), or _hḗalǣ̀rna mǣ́st_ (–́× ×̀ | –́).
In these cases Sievers gives the verse-member with this secondary
accent the character of a subordinate arsis, or beat (_Nebenhebung_).
But it is better, in view of the strongly marked two-beat swing of the
hemistich, to look on such members with a secondary accent as having
only the rhythmical value of unaccented syllables, and to call them
_theses_ with a slight accent. The two-beat rhythm of the hemistich
is its main characteristic, for though the two beats are not always
of exactly equal force[64] they are always prominently distinguished
from the unaccented members of the hemistich, the rhythm of which would
be marred by the introduction of an additional beat however slightly

Cases in which the two chief beats of the hemistich are not of exactly
the same force occur when two accented syllables, either both with
chief accent or one with chief and the other with secondary accent,
stand in immediate juxtaposition, not separated by an unaccented
syllable. The second of these two accented syllables may be a short
syllable with chief accent, instead of a long syllable as is the rule.
But in either case, whether long or short, this second beat following
at once on the first beat is usually uttered with somewhat less force
than the first, as can be seen from examples like _gebū́n hǽfdon_,
Beow. 117; _tō hā́m fáran_, 121; _mid ǣ́rdǽge_, 126. The
second beat rarely predominates over the first. The cause of this
variation in the force of the two beats is to be sought in the laws of
the syntactical accent.

In other respects verse-members with a secondary accent obey the same
laws as those with a primary accent. They usually consist of one long
syllable, but if a member which has the arsis immediately precedes, a
short syllable with a secondary accent may be substituted. Resolution
of such verse members is rare, which shows that they are more closely
related to the thesis than to the arsis of the hemistich. One unaccented
syllable is sufficient to form the thesis (×), but the thesis may also
have two or more unaccented syllables (× ×, × × × ..), their number
increasing in proportion to their shortness and the ease with which they
can be pronounced, provided always that no secondary accent intervenes.
All of these unaccented syllables are reckoned together as one thesis,
as against the accented syllable or arsis. The single components of such
a longer thesis may exhibit a certain gradation of force when compared
with one another, but this degree of force must never equal the force
with which the arsis is pronounced, though we sometimes find that,
owing to the varying character of the syntactical or sentence accent,
a monosyllable which in one case stands in the thesis, may in another
connexion bear the secondary or even the primary accent.

§ =23.= The number of the unaccented syllables of the thesis was
formerly believed to depend entirely on the choice of the individual
poet.[65] Sievers first put this matter in its right light by the
statistics of the metre.[66] He showed that the hemistich of the Old
English alliterative line is similar to the Old Norse four-syllable
verse, and is as a rule of a trochaic rhythm (–́ × –́ ×). The proof of
this is that in _Beowulf_, for instance, there are 592 hemistichs of
the type –́ × | –́ × (as _hȳ́ran scólde_, 10), and that in the same
text there are 238 of the type –́ × × | –́ × (as _gṓde gewýrcean_,
20; _hḗold þenden lī́fde_, 57), making 830 hemistichs with
trochaic or dactylic rhythm, as against eleven hemistichs of similar
structure but with an unaccented syllable at the beginning, × | –́
× (×) | –́ ×, and even four or five of these eleven are of doubtful
correctness. From these figures it seems almost beyond doubt that in
the type –́ × (×) | –́ × the licence of letting the hemistich begin
with an unaccented syllable before the first accented syllable was,
generally speaking, avoided. On the other hand, when the first accented
syllable is short with only one unaccented syllable as thesis (⏑́ ×),
we find this initial unaccented syllable to be the rule, as _genúmen
hǽfdon_ Beow. 3167 (× | ⏑́ × | –́ ×), of which form there are 130
examples, while, as Rieger noticed, ⏑́ × | –́ × is rare, as in _cýning
mǣ́nan_ Beow. 3173. It is perhaps still more remarkable that while
the form –́ × × | –́ × occurs some 238 times, a verse of the form × |
⏑́ × × | –́ × is never found at all. The numerical proportion of the
form –́ × | –́ × (592 cases) to –́ × × | –́ × (238 cases) is roughly
5 to 2, and that of × | ⏑́ × | –́ × (130 cases) to × | ⏑́ × × | –́ ×
(no cases) is 130 to nothing. The quantity of the second arsis is, as
bearing on the prefixing of unaccented syllables to the hemistich, much
less important than the quantity of the first arsis. Hemistichs of the
type –́ × | ⏑́ × occur 34 times, and in 29 cases the last unaccented
syllable is a full word, either a monosyllable or a part of a compound.
The same type, with an initial unaccented syllable × | –́ × | ⏑́ × also
occurs 34 times, but then the last syllable is quite unaccented. The
proportion of the form –́ × | –́ × to the form × | –́ × | –́ × is 592
to 11, and that of the form –́ × | ⏑́ × to × –́ × | ⏑́ × is 34 to 34, a
noticeable difference.

Further, it was formerly supposed that the number of unaccented
syllables following the accented syllable was indifferent. This is not
the case. The form –́ × × |–́ × is found 238 times, and the form –́ ×
| –́ × × only 22 times. Many of the examples of the latter form are
doubtful, but even counting all these the proportion of the two forms
is 11 to 1.

If the two accented syllables are not separated by an unaccented
syllable, that is to say, if the two beats are in immediate
juxtaposition, then either two unaccented syllables must stand after
the second arsis, thus –́ | –́ × × (a form that occurs 120 times in
_Beowulf_), or an unaccented syllable must precede the first arsis and
one unaccented syllable must follow the second arsis, thus × –́ | –́ ×
(127 times in _Beowulf_), or with the second arsis short × –́ | ⏑́ ×
(257 times); the form –́ | –́ × does not occur.

From these statistics it results that hemistichs of the form –́ × |–́
× are met with about 17 times to one occurrence of the form –́ × | ⏑́
×, and that on the other hand, the form × –́ | ⏑́ × is about twice as
frequent as × –́ | –́ ×.

§ =24. The order of the verse-members in the hemistich.= Every
hemistich consists of two feet or measures, each containing an accented
syllable. Usually these two feet or measures together contain four
verse members, seldom five. In the hemistich of four members, which
first falls to be considered, the measures may consist of two members
each (2+2), or one may contain one member and the other three (1+3 or
3+1). A measure of one member has a single accented syllable only (–́);
a measure of two members has an accented and an unaccented syllable,
which may stand either in the order –́ × or × –́; a measure of three
members has one accented and two unaccented syllables, one of which has
a secondary accent, and the order may be either –́ × ×̀ or –́ × ×̀.
Measures of two members may be grouped in three different ways so as to
form a hemistich: i. –́ × | –́ × (descending rhythm); ii. × –́ | × –́
(ascending); iii. × –́ | –́ × (ascending-descending)[67]; i. and ii.
are symmetrical, iii. is unsymmetrical, but as the number of members in
the feet of these three types (2+2 members) is the same, we may call
them, as Sievers does, types with equal feet (_gleichfüssige Typen_),
while the others (1+3 members or 3+1 members) may be called types with
unequal feet, or measures.

The normal hemistich, then, which consists of four verse-members, will
fall, according to the relative position of these measures or feet, into
the following five chief types:

       =a.= Types with equal feet (2+2 members)

     1. A. –́ × | –́ × double descending.

     2. B. × –́ | × –́ double ascending.

     3. C. × –́ | –́ × ascending-descending.

       =b=. Types with unequal feet

     4. D. {–́ | –́ ×̀ ×}
           {–́ | –́ × ×̀} (1+3 members).

     5. E.  {–́ ×̀ ×  | –́}
            {–́ × ×̀  | –́} (3+1 members).

Theoretically type E might be looked on as a type with equal feet, if
divided thus, –́ × | × –́, but by far the greatest number of instances
of this type show at the beginning of the hemistich one trisyllabic
word which forbids such a division of feet, as _wéorðm[`y]ndum þā́h_,
Beow. 8.[68] Types like × × –́ - and ×̀ × –́ –́, which we might
expect to find, do not occur in Old English poetry. In addition to
these ordinary four-membered hemistichs there are others lengthened
by the addition of one syllable, which may be unaccented, or have the
secondary accent. These extended forms (_erweiterte Formen_)[69] may
be composed either of 2+3 members or of 3+2 members. These extended
hemistichs must be carefully distinguished from the hemistichs which
have one or more unaccented syllables _before_ the first accented
syllable, in types A, D, and E; such a prefix of one or more syllables
is called an _anacrusis_ (Auftakt).[70]

The simple five types of the hemistich admit of variation: i. by
extension (as above); ii. by resolution (⏑́ × for –́) and shortening
of the long accented syllable (⏑́); iii. by strengthening of thesis
by means of a secondary accent (_Steigerung_); iv. by increase in
the number of unaccented syllables forming the thesis; also (less
frequently) v. by variation in the position of the alliteration, and
vi. by the admission of anacruses; the varieties produced by the
last-mentioned means are not sub-types but parallel forms to those
without anacruses.

In describing and analysing the different combinations which arise
out of these means of variation, and especially the peculiar forms of
the sub-types, the arrangement and nomenclature of Sievers will be

  Analysis of the verse types.

  I. _Hemistichs of four members_.

§ =25. Type A= has three sub-types, A1, A2, A3.

=The sub-type A1= (–́ × | –́ ×) is the normal form with alliteration
of the first arsis in each hemistich, or with alliteration of both
arses in the first hemistich and one in the second, and with syllables
in the thesis which are unaccented according to the usual practice
of the language; examples are, _þḗodnes þêgnas_ An. 3, _hȳ́ran
scólde_ Beow. 106, _gómban gýldan_ Beow. 11. This is the commonest of
all the types; it occurs in Beowulf, according to Sievers, 471 times
in the first and 575 times in the second hemistich, and with the like
frequency in the other poems.

The simplest modification of this type arises from the resolution of
one or two long accented syllables. Examples of resolution of the first
arsis are very numerous, _cýninga wúldor_ El. 5, _scéaðena þrḗatum_
Beow. 4, _séofon niht swúncon_ Beow. 517,[72] _níðer gewī́teð_ Beow.
1361. Examples of the resolution of the second arsis are less numerous,
as _wúldor cýninge_ El. 291, _éllen frémedon_ Beow. 3, _Scýldes
éaferan_ Beow. 19, _óft gefrémede_ Beow. 165; resolution of both in the
same hemistich is rare, but is found, as _gúmena géogoðe_ An. 1617,
_mǽgenes Déniga_ Beow. 155, _gúmum ætgǽdere_ Beow. 1321.

The chief type is further modified by making the thesis after the first
arsis disyllabic (rarely trisyllabic); the formula is then –́ × × | - ×.
This modification is frequent, as _ríhta gehwýlces_ El. 910, _gṓde
gewýrcean_ Beow. 20, _swéordum āswébban_ An. 72, _súnnan ond
mṓnan_ Beow. 94, _fṓlce tō frṓfre_ Beow. 14, _wḗox under
wólcnum_ Beow. 8.

Resolution of the arsis may be combined with this disyllabic thesis, as
(in the first arsis) _wérum on þām wónge_ An. 22, _éotenas ond ýlfe_
Beow. 112, or (in the second arsis) _hā́lig of héofenum_ An. 89,
_hélpe gefrémede_ Beow. 551, or (in both) _dúguðe ond géoguðe_ Beow.
160, _hǽleð under héofenum_ Beow. 52.

The first thesis rarely exceeds two syllables; a thesis of three
syllables is occasionally found, as _sǽgde se þe cū́ðe_ Beow. 90,
_hwī́lum hie gehḗton_ Beow. 175, and this can be combined with
resolution of the first arsis, as _swéotulra ond gesȳ́nra_ An. 565,
_bítere ond gebólgne_ Beow. 1431; or with resolution of the second
arsis, as _ū́tan ymbe ǽðelne_ An. 873, _wī́ge under wǽtere_
Beow. 1657; or with resolution of both, as _réceda under róderum_ Beow.
310. Examples of thesis of four syllables are (in the first thesis)
_séalde þām þe hē wólde_ Beow. 3056, _sécge ic þē tō
sṓðe_ Beow. 591. A thesis with five syllables is still less common,
as _lǣ́ddon hine þā of lýfte_ Gū. 398, _stṓpon þā tō
þǣre stṓwe_ El. 716.

The cases in which the second thesis has two syllables are rare and to
some extent doubtful, as _wúndor scḗawian_ Beow. 841 and 3033.[73]

The anacrusis before the type –́ × (×) | –́ × is also of rare
occurrence: examples are _swā sǣ́ bebū́geð_ Beow. 1224, or,
with resolution of the first arsis, _swā wǽter bebū́geð_
Beow. 93. Most of the instances occur in the first hemistich; in
this position the anacrusis may be polysyllabic (extending sometimes
to four syllables), sometimes with resolution of the arsis, or with
polysyllabic thesis. Examples: _forcṓm æt cámpe_ An. 1327, _gewāt
æt wī́ge_ Beow. 2630; with resolution, _ābóden in búrgum_ An.
78; _genéred wið nī́ðe_ Beow. 828; disyllabic anacrusis _ic wæs
éndesǣ́ta_ Beow. 241; with resolution, _þǣr wæs hǽleða
hléahtor_ Beow. 612; trisyllabic anacrusis, _oððe him Óngenþḗowes_
Beow. 2475; four-syllable anacrusis, _þæt we him þā gū́ðgeatwa_
Beow. 2637; monosyllabic anacrusis with disyllabic thesis, as _in
mǣ́gðe gehwǣ́re_ Beow. 25, _āblénded in búrgum_ An. 78;
disyllabic anacrusis with disyllabic thesis, _ge æt hā́m ge on
hérge_ Beow. 1249; trisyllabic anacrusis with disyllabic thesis, _þū
scealt þā fṓre gefḗran_ An. 216; monosyllabic anacrusis
with trisyllabic thesis, _gemúnde þā sē gṓda_ Beow. 759;
monosyllabic anacrusis with resolution of first arsis and trisyllabic
thesis, _ne mágon hie ond ne mṓton_ An. 1217; with resolution of
second arsis, _gewā́t him þā tō wároðe_ Beow. 234; disyllabic
anacrusis, _ne geféah he þǣre fǣ́hðe_ Beow. 109; combined with
thesis of four syllables, _ofslṓh þā æt þǣre sǽcce_ Beow.

=The sub-type A2= is type A with strengthened thesis (i.e. a thesis
with secondary accent) and with alliteration on the first arsis only.
This sub-type has several varieties:

(i) A2a, with the _first_ thesis strengthened (–́ ×̀ | –́ ×); frequent
in the second hemistich. The second arsis may be either long or short
(–́ ×̀ | –́ ×, or –́ ×̀ | ⏑́ ×). We denote –́ ×̀ | –́ × by A2_a l_ and
–́ ×̀ | ⏑́ × by A2_a sh_, or, for brevity, A2 _l_, A2 _sh_. Examples
of A2_l_ are, _gódspèl ǣ́rest_ An. 12, _wī́sfæ̀st wórdum_ Beow.
626, _hríngnèt bǣ́ron_ Beow. 1890; with resolution of the first
arsis, _médusèld bū́an_ Beow. 3066; with resolution of the second
arsis, _gā́rsècg hlýnede_ An. 238, _hórdbùrh hǽleða_ Beow. 467;
with resolution of both, _fréoðobùrh fǽgere_ Beow. 522; with
resolution of the strengthened thesis, _súndwùdu sṓhte_ Beow. 208;
resolution of the first arsis and thesis, _mǽgenwùdu múndum_ Beow.
236; resolution of the first thesis and the second arsis, _gū́ðsèaro
gúmena_ Beow. 328.

Examples of A2 _sh_ are numerous, as _wǣ́rfæ̀st cýning_ An. 416,
_gū́ðrìnc mónig_ Beow. 839, _þrḗanȳ̀d þólað_ Beow. 284; it
is exceptional to find the second arsis short when the thesis which
precedes has no secondary accent, as _Hrḗðel cýning_ Beow. 2436,
_Hrúnting náma_ Beow. 1458, _ǽðeling bóren_ Beow. 2431; with
resolution of the first arsis, _séaronèt séowað_ An. 64, _snótor cèorl
mónig_ Beow. 909, _sígerṑf cyning_ Beow. 619, _mágodrìht micel_ Beow.
67, &c. Most of the hemistichs which fall under this head have double

(ii) A2 _b_, with the _second_ thesis strengthened (–́ × | –́ ×̀).
Most of the cases of this type occur in the first hemistich; when they
occur in the second hemistich the measure –́ ×̀ is usually a proper
name, not a real compound. Examples: _Gréndles gū́ðcræ̀ft_ Beow. 127,
_lḗofa Bḗowùlf_ Beow. 855; with resolution of the first arsis,
_gámol ond gūðrḕow_ Beow. 58; with resolution of the second arsis,
_béorna béaducræ̀ft_ An. 219; with resolution of both, _séfa swā
séarogrìm_ Beow. 595; with resolution of the strengthened thesis, _lónd
ond lḗodb[`y]rig_ Beow. 2472; with resolution of both the second arsis
and thesis _mǣ́g ond mágoþègn_ Beow. 408.[74]

This type may still further be varied by a first thesis of two or more
syllables, _ū́t on þæt ī́glànd_ An. 15, _fólc oððe frḗobùrh_
Beow. 694, _réste hine þā rū́mhèort_ Beow. 1800; by resolution of
the first arsis, _glídon ofer gārsècg_ Beow. 515, of the second,
_lā́d ofer lágustrḕam_ An. 423, _sýmbel on sélefùl_ Beow. 620; by
resolution of the thesis with secondary accent, _éahtodon éorlscìpe_
Beow. 3173; the anacrusis is rarely found, as _gesā́won séledrḕam_
Beow. 2253, and double alliteration (in the first hemistich) is the
rule in this form of type A.

(iii) A2 _ab_, with both theses strengthened –́ ×̀ | –́ ×̀,
_bā́nhū̀s blṓdf[`=a]g_ An. 1407, _gū́ðrìnc góldwlànc_
Beow. 1882, _ǣ́nlī̀c ánsȳ̀n_ Beow. 251; with resolution of
first arsis, _wlítesḕon wrǽtlī̀c_ Beow. 1651, and of the
second arsis, _glḗawmṑd góde lḕof_ An. 1581, _gū̀ðswèord
géatolī̀c_ Beow. 2155, and of both first and second arsis,
_héorowèarh hételī̀c_ Beow. 1268; with resolution of the first
(strengthened) thesis, _nȳ́dwràcu nī́ðgrìm_ Beow. 193; with
resolution of both the first arsis and the first thesis, _býrelàde
brȳ́d gèong_ Gū. 842; with resolution of the second strengthened
thesis, _égeslī̀c éorðdràca_ Beow. 2826; with resolution of the first
and second thesis, _fýrdsèaru fūslìcu_ Beow. 232. This form of the
type has also as a rule double alliteration.

=The sub-type A3= is type A with alliteration on the second arsis only
and is limited almost entirely to the first hemistich. A strengthened
thesis occurs only after the second arsis; this sub-type might
therefore be designated A3 _b_.

Verses falling under this head, with their alliteration always on the
last syllable but one, or (in the case of resolution) on the last
syllable but two, are distinguished by the frequent occurrence of
polysyllabic theses extending to five syllables, in marked contrast
to types A1 and A2 where theses of one or two syllables are the
rule, longer theses the exception. In A3, however, shorter theses
are met with along with the usual resolutions: a monosyllabic thesis
in _hwǣ́r se =þ=ḗoden_ El. 563, _ḗow hēt sécgan_ Beow.
391; with resolution of first arsis, _wúton nū éfstan_ Beow. 3102;
with resolution of the second arsis, _þús me =f=ǽder mīn_ El.
528, _íc þæt =h=ógode_ Beow. 633; with disyllabic thesis, _hḗht
þā on =ú=htan_ El. 105, _hǽfde se =g=ṓda_ Beow. 205; with
resolution of the first arsis, _þánon he ge=s=ṓhte_ Beow. 463;
with resolution of the second arsis, _wéarð him on =H=éorote_ Beow.
1331; with strengthened second thesis, _éart þū sē =B=ḗowùlf_
Beow. 506; with trisyllabic thesis, _gíf þē þæt ge=l=ímpe_ El. 441,
_fúndon þā on =s=ánde_ Beow. 3034; with resolution of the first
arsis, _hwǽðere mē ge=s=ǣ́lde_ Beow. 574, of the second
arsis, _sýððan ic for =d=úgeðum_ Beow. 2502; with strengthened second
thesis, _nṓ hē þone =g=ífstò̄l_ Beow. 168; with thesis of
four syllables, _swýlce hī mē ge=b=léndon_ Cri. 1438, _hábbað
wē tō þǣm =m=ǣ́ran_ Beow. 270; with resolution of the
first arsis, _útan ūs tō þǣre =h=ȳ́ðe_ Cri. 865; with
resolution of the first and second arsis, _þóne þe him on =s=wéofote_
Beow. 2296; with strengthened second thesis, _nṓ þȳ ǣr þone
=h=éaðorìnc_ Beow. 2466; with thesis of five syllables, _sýððan hē
hine to =g=ū̀ðe_ Beow. 1473; with thesis of six syllables, _hȳ́rde
ic þæt hē þone =h=éalsbḕah_ Beow. 2173. These forms are also
varied by monosyllabic anacrusis combined with monosyllabic thesis,
_þe ḗow of =w=érgðe_ El. 295, _þæt híne on =ý=lde_ Beow. 22; with
strengthened second thesis, _þæt híne sēo =b=rímw[`y]lf_ Beow. 1600;
with disyllabic thesis, _ne þéarft þū swā =s=wī́ðe_ El. 940,
_gesprǽc þā sē =g=ṓda_ Beow. 676; the same with resolution
of the first arsis, _gewítan him þā =g=óngan_ Cri. 533; disyllabic
anacrusis and disyllabic thesis, _ne gefrǽgn ic þā =m=ǣ́gðe_
Beow. 1012; with resolution of the second arsis, _geséah hē in
=r=écede_ Beow. 728; with strengthened second thesis, _ge swýlce sēo
=h=érepà̄d_ Beow. 2259; monosyllabic anacrusis with trisyllabic
thesis, _on hwýlcum þāra =b=ḗama_ El. 851; with four-syllable
thesis, _gewī́teð þonne on =s=ealman_ Beow. 2461; with resolution of
the first arsis, _ne mā́gon hī þonne ge=h=ȳ́nan_ Cri. 1525; with
resolution of the second arsis, _gesā́won þā æfter =w=ǽtere_
Beow. 1426. The last measure may be shortened exceptionally to ⏑́ ×, as
_wǽs mīn =f=ǽder_ Beow. 262.

On the whole type A seems to occur more frequently in the first than in
the second hemistich; in Beowulf out of the 6366 hemistichs of which the
poem consists, 2819 fall under this type, and of these 1701 are first
and 1118 second hemistichs.[75]

§ =26. The chief type B=, × –́ | × –́, has apart from resolutions
only one form. But as the second thesis may consist of either one or
two syllables, we may distinguish between two sub-types, B1 (with
monosyllabic second thesis) and B2 (with disyllabic second thesis). The
commonest variation of the type occurs in the first thesis, which may
be polysyllabic.

(i) The simplest form, sub-type B1, × –́ | × –́, is not very common;
according to Sievers there are only 59 instances in the whole of
Beowulf, as _ond Hā́lga tíl_ Beow. 61, _þām hā́lig gód_ An.
14; with resolution of the first arsis _in séle þām hḗan_ Beow.
714, and of the second arsis, _þurh rū̀mne séfan_ Beow. 278, and of
both, _ǣr súmeres cýme_ El. 1228. Hemistichs of this type, on the
other hand, with a disyllabic first thesis are not uncommon, _syððan
fúrðum wḗox_ Beow. 914, _him pā Scýld gewā́t_ Beow. 26; with
resolution of the first arsis, _under Héorotes hrṓf_ Beow. 403; with
resolution of the second, _þæt sēo céaster híder_ An. 207, and of
both, _æfter hǽleða hrýre_ Beow. 2053; a trisyllabic first thesis
is also common, _þēah þe hē ā́tres drýnc_ An. 53, _oð þæt him
éft onwṓc_ Beow. 56, _sē þe on hánda bǽr_ Beow. 495; with
resolution of the first arsis, _forðan hīe mǽgenes crǽft_
Beow. 418; of the second arsis, _ond hū þȳ þríddan dǽge_ El.
185; of both, _þæt hē þā géoguðe wíle_ Beow. 1182; with first
thesis of four syllables, _ne hȳrde ic sī́ð ne ǣ́r_ El. 240,
_swylce hīe æt Fínnes hā́m_ Beow. 1157; with first thesis of five
syllables (rare) _siððan hē hire fólmum hrā́n_ Beow. 723, and with
resolution of second arsis _þonne hȳ him þurh mī́nne nóman_ Cri.

(ii) The sub-type B2, or B with disyllabic second thesis, is rarely
found when the first thesis has only one syllable, _þe drýhtnes bibṓd_
Cri. 1159, _þū wā́st gif hit is_ Beow. 272, _þām wī́fe þā wórd_ Beow.
640; with resolution of the first arsis, _þurh dároða gedrép_ An. 1446,
and of the second, _þurh níhta genípu_ Gū. 321; it is commoner with a
disyllabic first thesis, _þā of wéalle geséah_ Beow. 229, _hē þæs frṓfre
gebā́d_ Beow. 76; with resolution of the first arsis, _mid his hǽleða
gedríht_ Beow. 663, _ofer wároða gewéorp_ An. 306; with trisyllabic
first thesis, _þonne hē ǣ́r oððe sī́ð_ El. 74, _wes þū ūs lā́rena gṓd_
Beow. 269; with resolution of the first arsis, _þēah hē þǣr mónige
geséah_ Beow. 1614, and of the second arsis, _þæt nǣfre Gréndel swā
féla_ Beow. 592; with first thesis of four and five syllables, _hwæðre
hē in brḗostum þā gít_ An. 51, _þæs be hire sē wílla gelámp_ Beow. 627.

Verses with trisyllabic second thesis are extremely rare and
doubtful.[76] It should be noticed that, in this second type too, the
thesis seldom consists of a second part of a compound, as _hine fýrwìt
brǽc_ Beow. 232, the exceptions are proper names, as _nū ic Bḗowùlf þéc_
Beow. 947, _ne wearð Héremò̄d swā́_ Beow. 1710.

Type B, according to Sievers, occurs 1014 times in Beowulf,
of which 293 are in the first hemistich and 721 in the second.

§ =27. The Type C= has three sub-types: (i) C 1, the normal type
× –́ | –́ ×, without resolution, as _oft Scýld Scḗfing_ Beow. 4,
_gebū̀n hǽfdon_ 117. Here too the first thesis may consist of two,
three, four, or five syllables, _þæt hīe ǣ́ghwýlcne_ An. 26,
_þone gód sénde_ Beow. 13, _ofer hrónrā́de_ Beow. 10, _ǣr hē
onwég hwúrfe_ Beow. 264, _mid þǣre wǽlfýlle_ Beow. 125, _þe ic
him tṓ sḗce_ El. 319 _þāra þe mid Bḗowúlfe_ Beow. 1052,
_oð þæt hine sémnínga_ An. 821, _þāra þe hē him míd hǽfde_
Beow. 1625, _swylce hīe ofer sǣ́e cṓmon_, An. 247. (ii) C 2
is the normal type C with resolution of the first arsis, and is of
such frequent occurrence that it may be looked on as a special type,
_on hérefélda_ An. 10, _forscrífen hǽfde_ Beow. 106, _in wórold
wṓcun_ Beow. 60; a less common form is that with resolution of the
first and second arsis, _tō brímes fároðe_ Beow. 28, _swā féla
fýrena_ Beow. 164; sometimes with resolution of the second arsis only,
_tō sǣ́es fároðe_ An. 236 and 1660, _for frḗan égesan_ An.
457, but not in Beowulf. The first thesis may have two, three, or four
syllables, _þā wið góde wúnnon_ Beow. 113, _ofer lágustrǣ́te_;
with two resolutions, _ic þæs wíne Déniga_ Beow. 350, _hū sē
mága frémede_ An. 639, _þæt him his wínemā́gas_ Beow. 65, _ne hīe
hūru wínedríhten_ Beow. 863. (iii) C 3 is type C with short second
arsis, × –́ | ⏑́ ×, and is pretty common, _in gḗardágum_ Beow.
1, _of fḗorwégum_ Beow. 37; the first thesis may have from two
to five syllables, _þæt wæs gṓd cýning_ Beow. 11, _þæt hīe in
bḗorséle_ Beow. 482, _sē þe hine dḗað nímeð_ Beow. 441, _ne
meaht þū þæs sī́ðfǽtes_ An. 211, _þonne hē on þæt sínc
stárað_ Beow. 1486. Resolution seems to be avoided, though it occurs
here and there, _of hlíðes nósan_ Beow. 1892, _on þǣm méðelstéde_
Beow. 1083. Thesis with secondary accent is not found. The number of
hemistichs of type C in Beowulf is, according to Sievers, 564.

§ =28. The type D= always ends with a disyllabic thesis, of which
the first is generally the second syllable of a compound and has the
secondary accent. There are four sub-types. (i) D 1 is the normal form,
–́ | –́ ×̀ ×, as _hélm ǽlwìhta_ An. 118, _fḗond mánc[`y]nnes_
Beow. 164, _wī́gwéorðùnga_ Beow. 176, _wéard Scýldìnga_ Beow. 95,
_lándbúèndum_ Beow. 95, _hríng gýldènne_, Beow. 2810, _hóf mṓdìgra_
Beow. 312, _frḗan ū̀sèrne_ Beow. 3003. The chief variations arise
from resolution of the first arsis, _cýning ǽlmìhtig_ El. 145,
_fǽder álwàlda_ Beow. 316, _mérelī́ðènde_ Beow. 255, _flótan
ḗowèrne_ Beow. 294, _cýning ǣ́nìgne_ Beow. 1851, or of the
second arsis, _hḗan hýgegḕomor_ An. 1089, _mǣ́g Hígelà̄ces_
Beow. 738 and 759; resolution of first and second arsis, _hláden
hérewǣ̀dum_ Beow. 1898, _néfan Hérerī̀ces_ Beow. 2207. Hemistichs
like _wiht unhǣlo_ Beow. 120, which have compounds with _un_, may
be read _wíht únhǽlo_ according to type D 2, or _wíht unhǣ́lo_
according to type A, –́ × | –́ × (Sievers, _Paul-Braune's Beiträge_,
x. 251, and Kluge in _Paul's Grundriss_, i², p. 1051). (ii) D 2 is
the same form, but with the thesis short and with secondary accent,
–́ | –́ ⏑̀ × _béorht blǽdgìfa_ An. 84, _lḗof lándfrùma_ Beow.
31, _strḗam ū́t þònan_ Beow. 2546, _rǣ́d éahtèdon_ Beow. 172;
with resolution of the first arsis, _mǽgen sámnòde_ El. 55, _mága
Héalfdènes_ Beow. 189; with resolution of the second arsis, _hórd
ópenìan_ Beow. 3057, the only example. (iii) D 3 is the normal type,
but with short second arsis (rare), –́ | ⏑́ ×̀ ×, _éorðcýnìnga_ El.
1174; with resolution of the first arsis, _rádorcýnìnges_ El. 624.
(iv) D 4 has the form –́ | –́ × ×̀, and is closely allied to the type
E (–́ ×̀ × | –́), as it has the secondary accent on the last syllable
of the thesis (Sievers, _Paul-Braune's Beiträge_, x. 256), _brḗost
ínnanwèard_ An. 649, _hólm ū̀p ætbæ̀r_ Beow. 519, _fýrst fórð
gewā́t_ ib. 210; varied by resolution of the first arsis, _géaro
gū̀ðe fràm_ An. 234, _flóta fā́mighèals_ Beow. 218, _súnu dḗað
fornàm_ Beow. 2120; by resolution of the second arsis, _wlánc Wédera
lò̄od_ 341, and of both first and second arsis, _wlítig wéoruda
hḕap_ An. 872; and resolution of the last thesis with secondary
accent, _wṓp úp āhàfen_ Beow. 128, _wúnað wíntra fèla_ Ph. 580.
Certain hemistichs which may belong to this sub-type admit of an
alternative accentuation, and may belong to the following type; for
example, _scop hwlum sang_ Beow. 496 may be read –́ | –́ × ×̀, or as E
–́ ×̀ × | –́, so _werod eall ārās_ Beow. 652.

§ =29. The type E= has two sub-types, distinguished by the position of
the syllable bearing the secondary accent; this syllable is generally
the second syllable of a compound or the heavy middle syllable of a
trisyllabic word with a long root-syllable.

E1 has the form –́ ×̀ × | –́, the syllable with secondary accent
standing first in the thesis, _mṓdsòrge wǽg_ El. 61, _wéorðm[`y]ndum
þā́h_ Beow. 8, _Sū̀ðdèna fólc_ Beow. 463, _ḗhtènde wǽs_
Beow. 159, _hǣ́ðènra hýht_ Beow. 179, _ǣ́nìgne þónc_ Cri. 1498,
_wórdhòrd onléac_ Beow. 259, _úplàng āstṓd_ Beow. 760, _scóp
hwī̀lum sáng_ Beow. 496 (cf. above, § 29); varied by resolution of
the first arsis, _héofonrī̀ces weárd_ El. 445, _Scédelàndum ín_
Beow. 19, _wlítebèorhtne wáng_ Beow. 93, _lífigènde cwṓm_ Beow.
1974, _ǽðelìnges wḗox_ El. 12, _médofùl ætbǽr_ Beow. 625,
_dúguð èall ārā́s_ Beow. 1791; resolution of the second arsis
is rare, _tī́rḕadge hǽleð_ An. 2 (the MS. reading _ēadige_
must be corrected to _ēadge_, see Sievers, _Beiträge_, x. 459 on
these middle vowels after long root-syllable), _hélþègnes héte_ Beow.
142; resolution of both is rare, _sélewèard āséted_ Beow. 668,
_wínedr[`y]hten frǽgen_ An. 921; resolution of the accented thesis,
_glḗdègesa grím_ Beow. 2651.

E2 has the last syllable of the thesis with secondary accent, and
is very rare, –́ × ×̀ | –́, _mórðorbèd strḗd_ Beow. 2437; with
resolution of last arsis, _gḗomorgìdd wrécen_ An. 1550, _bǣ́ron
ū̀t hrǽðe_ An. 1223.

  II. _Hemistichs of five members._

§ =30.= Hemistichs of five members (extended) occur much more rarely
than the normal types of four members. The extended types are denoted by
the letters A*, B*, C*, &c.

=Type A*= has two sub-types distinguished by the position of the
syllable with the secondary accent.

(i) A*1, –́ ×̀ × | –́ × occurs chiefly in the first hemistich,
_gódbèarn on gálgan_ El. 719; with resolution of first arsis,
_géolorànd tō gū́ðe_ Beow. 438; with thesis of two unaccented
syllables following on the secondary accent, _glǽdmò̄d on gesíhðe_
Cri. 911, _fǽstrǽdne geþṓht_ Beow. 611; with final thesis
strengthened by secondary accent, _gā́stlī̀cne góddrḕam_ Gū.
602, _gámolfèax ond gū́ðrò̄f_ Beow. 609.

(ii) A*2 –́ × ×̀ | –́ × may possibly occur in _mā́ððumfæ̀t
mǣ́re_ Beow. 2405, _wúldorlḕan wéorca_ Cri. 1080; with resolution
of the thesis with secondary accent, _mórðorbèalo mága_ Beow. 1079.
Possibly, however, the syllables _um_ in _māððum_ and _or_ in
_wuldor_ and _morðor_ are to be written _m_ and _r_, so that the
scansion of the hemistich would be A2 –́ –̀ | –́ × and –́ ⏑̀ ͜× | –́

=Type B*= ×̀ × –́ | × –́ does not seem to occur in O.E. poetry, though
it does in Old Norse.

=Type C*= in the forms ×̀ × –́| –́ ×, ×̀ × ⏑́ × | –́ ×, × × –́ | ⏑́ ×
are also not found in O.E.

=Type D*= on the other hand does occur, but almost exclusively in
the first hemistich. It has three sub-types: (i) D*1 –́ × | –́ × ×,
_sī́de sǣ́næ̀ssas_ Beow. 223, _áldres órwḕna_ Beow. 1002;
with resolution of the first arsis, _ǽðeling ā́nhȳ̀dig_
Beow. 2668; more commonly with resolution of the second arsis,
_mǣ́ton mérestræ̀ta_ Beow. 514; with resolution of both, _lócene
léoðos[`y]rcan_ Beow. 1506. (ii) D*2 –́ × | –́ ⏑̀ ×, _mǣ́re
méarcstàpa_ Beow. 103, _éaldor Éastdèna_ Beow. 392; with resolution of
the first arsis, _ǽðele órdfrùma_ Beow. 263; with resolution of the
second arsis, _mṓdges mérefàran_ Beow. 502, _Bḗowulf máðelòde_
Beow. 505, &c. (iii) D*3 –́ × | ⏑́ ×̀ × is not found. (iv) D*4 –́ × |
–́ × ×̀ is rare, _grḗtte Gḗata lḕod_ Beow. 625, _þrȳ́ðlīc
þégna hḕap_ Beow. 400; with resolution of first arsis, _éaforan
éllorsī̀ð_ Beow. 2452; with resolution of the second, _ȳ́ðde
éotena c[`y]n_ Beow. 421; with resolution of the secondarily accented
syllable, _wī́n of wúndorfàtum_ Beow. 1163; this type is varied
by anacrusis, _ongínneð gḗomormò̄d_ Beow. 2045, and by anacrusis
together with disyllabic thesis in the second foot, _oferswám þā
síoleða bigòng_ Beow. 2368.

=Type E*= does not occur in O.E. poetry.[78]

§ =31.= To assign the different hemistichs of a poem to these various
types we have to follow as a regulating principle the natural word
accent and syntactical accent of each sentence. In some cases the
similarity or relation with one another of the types renders it a
matter of difficulty to determine exactly to what particular type a
hemistich may belong. Systematic investigations as to the principles
which govern the combinations of the five types in pairs to form the
long line have not yet been made. From such observations as have
been made it would appear that by preference hemistichs of different
rhythmical structure (ascending and descending) were combined with
a view to avoid a monotonous likeness between the two halves of the

§ =32.= The combination of two hemistichs so as to form a long line
is effected by means of alliteration, one at least of the two fully
accented syllables being the bearer of an alliterative sound. In no
case is an unaccented syllable or even a syllable with a secondary
accent allowed to take part in the alliteration. This fact, that
secondarily accented syllables are debarred from alliterating, is
another proof that it is better to look on them as belonging to the
thesis rather than to the arsis of the verse.

  =The Principles of Alliteration.=

§ =33. Quality of the Alliteration.= It is an all but invariable
rule that the correspondence of sounds must be exact and not merely
approximate. A _g_ must alliterate to a _g_, not to a _c_, a _d_ to
a _d_, not to a _t_, and so on. There is, however, one remarkable
exception, namely, that no distinction is made between the guttural _c_
(as in _cūðe_) and the palatal _c_ (as in _cēosan_), nor between
the guttural _g_ (as in _god_) and the palatal _g_ (as in _gierede_),
not even when the latter represents Germanic _j_ (as in _geong_,
_gēar_). With exceptions hereafter to be noted, a consonant followed
by a vowel may alliterate with itself followed by another consonant:
thus _cūðe_ alliterates not only with words like _cyning_, but
with words like _cræft_, _cwellan_; and _hūs_ alliterates not
only with _heofon_ but with _hlēapan_, _hnǣgan_, &c. The fact
that different vowels, as _ī_, _ū_, and _æ_ in _īsig ond
ūtfūs æðelinges fær_ Beow. 33, alliterate together is only an
apparent exception to the strictness of the rule, as it is really
the glottal catch or _spiritus lenis_[80] before all vowels which
alliterates here. Wherever a vowel seems to alliterate with an _h_ we
are justified in assuming a corruption of the text, as in _óretmecgas
æfter hǽleðum frægn_ Beow. 332, where Grein improves both sense and
metre by substituting _æðelum_ for _hæleðum_; other examples are Beow.
499, 1542, 2095, 2930. In some cases where foreign names beginning with
_h_ occur we occasionally find instances of this inexact alliteration,
as _Hólofernus únlyfigendes_ Jud. 180 and 7, 21, 46, contrasted with
_Hólofernus hógedon āninga_ 250; in later works as in Ælfric's
_Metrical Homilies_ we find alliteration of _h_ with a vowel not only
in foreign names but with native words, as

    _and he =ǣ́=fre his fýrde    þam =hǣ́=lende betǣ́hte._
                                                   Ælfr. Judges[81] 417.

and _h_ before consonants (viz. _r, l, w_) is disregarded as

    _and hē hig āhrédde    of þām =r=ḗðan þḗowte._
                                                        Ælfr. Judges 16.

    _on h=w=ám his stréngð wæs   and his =w=úndorlī̀ce míht_.
                                                              ibid. 306.

It is important to observe that the combinations _st_, _sc_, _sp_ are
not allowed to alliterate with each other or with words beginning
with _s_ not followed by a consonant, but _st_ can alliterate only
with _st_, _sc_ only with _sc_, _sp_ only with _sp_; thus _spere_ and
_scyld_, _stillan_ and _springan_, _sǣ_ and _styrman_ do not count as
alliterations. The invariable practice is seen in the following lines:--

    _hēt =st=rḗamfare =st=íllan, =st=órmas réstan._     An. 1578.

    _he =sc=ḗaf þā mid þam =sc=ýlde,   þæt se =sc=éatt
     and þæt =sp=ére =sp=réngde,    þæt hit =sp=ráng ongḗan._
                                                        Byrhtnoth 136-7.

In later times this rule was not so strictly observed. The metrical
Psalms alliterate _sc_ with _s_ and _sw_ with _s_, as

    _hi hine him =s=ámnuncga    =sc=éarpum strḗlum_.    Ps. lxiii. 4.

    _on þī́ne þā =s=wī́ðran,    ond þe ne =sc=éaðeð ǣ́nig_.
                                                              Ps. xc. 7.

but _sp_ and _st_ do not alliterate with each other or with _s_. In
Ælfric all these combinations of consonants alliterate indifferently
with each other or with _s_ + another consonant or with simple _s_, as

    _wið þā́m þe hēo be=s=wī́ce    =S=ámson þone =s=trángan_.
                                                       Ælfr. Judges 308.

Sometimes in Ælfric the alliterating letter does not stand at the
beginning of the word,

    _and hē hæfde héora ge=w=éald ealles t=w=éntig gḗara_.
                                                               ibid. 85.

and the alliteration may even fall on an unaccented particle as in

    _=f=rám his gelēafan and his ǣ =f=orsāwon._       ibid. 51.

For a full account of Ælfric's alliteration the reader may be referred
to an interesting essay by Dr. Arthur Brandeis, _Die Alliteration in
Aelfric's metrischen Homilien_, 1897 (Programm der Staatsrealschule im
VII. Bezirk in Wien).

§ =34. Position of the alliterative words.= Out of the four accented
syllables of the line two at least, and commonly three, must begin with
an alliterative sound, and this alliteration still further increases
the stress which these syllables have in virtue of their syntactical
and rhythmical accent.

The position of these alliterative sounds in the line may vary in the
same way as their number. The general laws which govern the position
of the alliteration are the following:--(i) One alliterating sound
_must_, and two _may_ occur in the first hemistich; (ii) In the second
hemistich the alliterating sound (called the head-stave[82]) must fall
on the first of the two accented syllables of that hemistich, and the
second accented syllable in the second hemistich does not take part in
the alliteration at all; (iii) When there are three alliterating sounds
in the whole line two of them must be in the first hemistich and only
one in the second. Examples of lines with three alliterating sounds:

    _=s=éolfa he ge=s=étte    =s=únnan ond mṓnan._      Sat. 4.

    _=ú=fan ond =ū̀=tan   him wæs =ǣ́=ghwǣr wā́._    Sat. 342.

Lines with only two alliterative sounds, the first of which may coincide
with either of the accented syllables of the first hemistich (the second
of course coinciding with the first accented syllable of the second
hemistich) are very common:

    _=h=ḗafod éalra    =h=ḗahgescéafta._      Gen. 4.

    _hī hýne þā æt=b=ǣ́ron to =b=rímes fároðe._      Beow. 28.

If the first hemistich contains only one alliterative sound this
alliteration generally falls on the more emphatic of the two accented
syllables of the hemistich which is usually the first, as

    _on =f=lṓdes ǣ́ht   =f=éor gewī́tan._      Beow. 42.

In the type A the single alliteration of the first hemistich not
unfrequently falls on the second accented syllable, such cases being
distinguished, as A3

    _þā́ wæs on =b=úrgum    =B=ḗowulf Scýldinga._      Beow. 53.

In types C and D the single alliteration of the first section must
always fall on the first accented syllable which in these types is
more emphatic than the second. In types B and E alliteration on the
second arsis would bring the alliteration too near to the end of the
hemistich, and is therefore rare.

Double alliteration in the first hemistich occurs in all of the five
types, and chiefly when the two accented syllables have equally strong
accents. It is, therefore, least common in C × –́ | –́ × where the
first arsis predominates over the second, and is most frequent in the
strengthened hemistichs, in D, E, A2, and in the five-membered D*
types, where it is the rule.[83]

A third form of alliteration, though much less important and frequent
than these two, occurs when the second accented syllable of the second
hemistich shares in alliteration, in addition to the first accented
syllable. There are then two different pairs of alliterative sounds
distributed alternately between the two hemistichs. The commonest form
of this double alliteration of the whole line is represented by the
formula a b | a b, as

    _hwæt! we =G=ā́r=d=éna    in =g=ḗar=d=águm._      Beow. 1.

    _=Sc=ýldes =é=aferan    =Sc=édelandum =í=n._      Beow. 19.

    _=h=ílde=w=ǣ́þnum    ond =h=éaðo=w=ǣ́dum._      Beow. 39;

less commonly by the formula a b | b a:

    _þā =w=ǣ́ron =m=ónige  þe his =m=ǣ́g =w=ríðon._
                                                             Beow. 2982.
    _=h=wī́lum for =d=úguðe    =d=óhtor =H=rṓðgà̄res._
                                                             Beow. 2020;

verses corresponding to the formula a a | b b are not found in early
poetry. No doubt certain instances of this double alliteration may be
accidental, but others seem intentional.

The foregoing rules as to alliteration are strictly observed in the
early and classic poetry, but in later times certain licences crept in.
Three of these may be noticed. (i) The second accented syllable of the
second hemistich is allowed to carry the alliteration instead of the
first accented syllable,

    _=l=ā́stas =l=égde   oððǽt hē ge=l=ǣ́dde._     Gen. 2536.

(ii) Both accented syllables of the second hemistich alliterate with one
accented syllable of the first hemistich,[84]

    _me =s=éndon tṓ þē    =s=ǣ́men =s=nélle._     Byrhtnoth 29.

(iii) The four accented syllables of the line all alliterate together,

    _=G=ódwine ond =G=ódwīg    =g=ū̀de ne =g=ȳ́mdon._
                                                            Byrhtn. 192.

In the majority of cases the same alliterative letter is not employed in
two successive lines, but we find cases like

    _þā tō=b=rǣ́d Sámson_   =b=ḗgen his éarmas
    þæt þā rā́pas to=b=_úrston    þe he mid ge=b=únden wæs._
                                                        Ælf. Judges 269;

and earlier in Andreas 70, 197, 372, 796, 815, 1087, &c., or in Beowulf
403, 489, 644, 799, 865, 898, &c.

And even three lines in succession, as

    _swýlce he ā=f=ḗdde    of =f=íxum twā́m
     ond of =f=ī́f hlā́fum    =f=ī́ra cýnnes
     =f=ī́f þū̀sendo;   =f=ḗðan sǣ́ton._      An. 589 ff.

This usage, which in Middle English became very popular, is noticeably
frequent in the poem of Judith, probably with a view to emphasis. Many
examples of such pairs of verses are to be found collected by Dr. A.
Brandeis from Ælfric.

The unaccented words may begin with the same letter as the accented
words which bear the alliteration proper,[85] as

    _ne hīe huru =h=éofona =h=élm    =h=érian ne cū̀ðon._
                                                              Beow. 182,

or one of the unaccented words may begin with the same letter as an
accented word which does not alliterate, as

    _þæt fram =h=ā́m gefrǣ́gn    =H=ígelāces bégn._   Beow. 194;

this of course has nothing to do with alliteration, though in later
times it was often mistaken for it.

Verses without any alliteration at all, as

    _he hélpeð þéarfan    swýlce ēac wǣ́dlan._      Ps. lxxi. 13,

occur only in late OE. poetry like Ælfric's Homilies, and when rhyme was
beginning to creep in.

§ =35. Alliteration in relation to the parts of speech and to the order
the order of words.= Both alliteration and the whole structure of the
alliterative line depend in the first place on the natural or
etymological accent of the single words, and next on the syntactical
accent which these words bear in their relation to one another in the
sentence. Just as only the accented syllable of a single word can take
part in the alliteration, so only can those words take part in it which
are marked out in the sentence as important and therefore strongly

The relative degree of stress is influenced at times by the rhetorical
accent, but generally speaking we find a certain gradation of accent
among the accented words depending on their intrinsic and not on their
rhetorical importance in building up the sentence.

Two general principles may be laid down: (1) If the syntactical value
of the two accented syllables of the hemistich is not equal, then the
word which has the stronger accent of the two is chosen to alliterate.
In the second hemistich it is always the first accented word (the 'head
stave'), in the first hemistich it is generally the first accented
word, though the second accented word may alliterate as well. (2) If
the two accented syllables of the section are equal in syntactical
value, then the first alliterates, and when double alliteration is
allowed the second may also alliterate.

The various grammatical classes of words are treated in regard to the
alliteration in the following way:--

=Nouns=, including adjectives and the infinitives and participles of
verbs, have the strongest accent of all words in the sentence. A noun
therefore takes precedence over the other parts of speech among which
it occurs and has the alliteration, as

    _nḗ in þā =c=éastre   be=c=úman méahte._      An. 931.

    _híre þā =Á=dam   =a=ndswárode._      Gen. 827.

If two nouns occur in the same hemistich it is always the first which

    _=h=ū̀sa sḗlest.    Wæs sēo =h=wī́l micel._     Beow. 146.

    _=l=ánge hwī́le.    Him wæs =l=ī́ffrḗa._      Beow. 16.

    _=g=éongum ond éaldum,  swylc him =g=ód séalde._      Beow. 72.

The only exceptions are when a special rhetorical emphasis is given to
the second word.

When a noun and two adjectives or two nouns and an adjective occur in
the same hemistich, one of these is always subordinated to the other,
and the two together are treated as a combination. In such cases, where
there is double alliteration in the hemistich, the position of the
alliterating words may be either _a a x_, or _a x a_, the subordinate
element (_x_) standing either in the last or the second place in the

    _=b=éorht =b=ḗacen Gódes   =b=rímu swáðredon._      Beow. 570.

    _=t=wélf wintra tī́d   =t=órn geþólode._      Beow. 147.

In the case of single alliteration, it is always the first of the nouns
or adjectives which alliterates.

=The verb= (excluding the infinitive and participles) is usually less
strongly accented than the noun. It may therefore precede or follow the
noun or adjective without alliteration, either in the arsis or thesis,

    _lḗt se =h=éarda   =H=ígelāces þégn._      Beow. 2977.

    _him þā =Sc=ýld gewā́t   tō ge=sc=ǽp-hwī́le._   Beow. 26.

    _gewāt þā =t=wélfa súm   =t=órne gebólhen._      Beow. 2401.

On the other hand, when a hemistich consists only of one noun and one
verb, the verb may alliterate, as

    _=g=ṓdne ge=g=ýrwan   cwæð hē =g=ū̀ð-cýning._      Beow. 199.
    _=h=wḗtton =h=ígerōfne   =h=ǣ́l scḗawedon._     Beow. 204.

When a substantive and an adjective are closely combined, a verb in the
same hemistich may alliterate, as

    _=b=ýreð =b=lṓdig wæl,   =b=ýrgean þénceð._      Beow. 448.

    _=s=éofon niht =s=wúncon;   hē þē æt =s=únde oferflā́t._
                                                             Beow. 517.

In formulas consisting of noun+verb the noun predominates over the verb
and takes the alliteration, as

    _=w=érodes =w=ī́sa   =w=órdhord onlḗac._      Beow. 259.

But if the verb is emphatic it may alliterate though there is a noun in
the same hemistich; this occurs chiefly in the second hemistich, as

    _ond be =h=éalse genám;    =h=rúron him tḗaras._      Beow. 1872.

    _=g=rýrelī̀cne =g=íst.    =G=ýrede hine Beowulf._      ib. 1441,

but a few instances are found in the first hemistich, as

    _ge=m=únde þā se =g=ṓda   =m=ǣ́g Hígelā́ces._    Beow. 758.

When one of two verbs in the hemistich is subordinate to the other the
verb in the subordinate clause alliterates, having a stronger accent
than the verb in the main clause,

    _mýnte þæt hē ge=d=ǣ́lde    ǣr þon =d=ǽg cwṓme._
                                                             Beow. 731.

If the two verbs are co-ordinate the first alliterates,

    _=w=órolde lī́fes:    =w=ýrce sē þe mṓte._      Beow. 1387;

in the first hemistich both verbs commonly alliterate,

    _=s=éomade ond =s=ýrede    =s=ínnìhte hḗold._      Beow. 161.

=The adverb.= Adverbs of degree like _micle_, _swīðe_, _ful_, &c., are
commonly found in the thesis, and even if they stand in the arsis they
usually do not alliterate, as

    _=ó=ftor mícle    þonne on =ǣ́=nne sī́ð._      Beow. 1580.

When adverbs of this kind have a special rhetorical emphasis they may of
course alliterate, as

    _éfne swā =m=ícle    swā bið =m=ǣ́gða cræft._   Beow. 1284.

    _ac hē is =s=nél and   =s=wíft   and =s=wī́ðe lḗoht._
                                                             Phoen. 317.

Adverbs which modify the meaning of the word which they precede
alliterate, as

    _=ǣ́=scholt =ú=fan grǣ̀g:   wæs sē =ī́=renþrḗat._
                                                              Beow. 330.

Adverbial prepositions preceding the verb also alliterate,

    _hēt þā =ū́=p béran    =ǣ́=ðelìnga gestrḗon._
                                                             Beow. 1920,

but not when they follow the verb,

    _=G=ḗat wæs =g=lǽdmōd,    =g=éong sò̄na tṓ._      Beow. 1785.

Adverbs derived from nouns are more strongly accented than the verb
which they modify and therefore alliterate,

    _ālégdon þā tō=m=íddes   =m=ǣ́rne þḗoden._      Beow. 3141.

=Pronouns= (and pronominal adjectives like _monig, eall, fela_) are
usually enclitic, and precede or follow the noun without alliterating,

    _manigu =ṓ=ðru gescéaft    =é=fnswī̀ðe hím._      Metr. xi. 44.

    _ealne =m=íddangéard    ōð =m=érestrḗamas._      Dan. 503.

    _fela ic =m=ónna gefrǽgn    =m=ǣ́gðum wéaldan._      Wid. 10.

With a special rhetorical accent they may alliterate even if they
precede the noun,

    _on =þ=ǣ́m d[´æ]ge =þ=ýsses lī́fes._      Beow. 197.

The pronoun _self_ and the pronouns compounded with the prefix _ǣ_
(_ǣghwā_, _ǣghwylc_, &c.) are usually accented, and alliterate
if they form the first arsis of the hemistich, as

    _=s=ḗlran ge=s=ṓhte þǣm be him =s=elfa dḗah._      Beow. 1840.

    _hǽfde =ǣ́=ghwæðer =é=nde gefḗred._      Beow. 2845.

=Prepositions, conjunctions, and particles= are not as a rule accented,
but prepositions if followed by an enclitic pronoun take the accent and
alliterate, as

    _=é=aldum =é=arne and =ǣ́=fter þón._      Phoen. 238.
    _nis =ú=nder mḗ =ǣ́=nig =ṓ=ðer._      Riddle xli. 86.

Whether words of these classes, standing in the first arsis of the first
hemistich along with another alliterating word, were intended also to
alliterate is somewhat uncertain, but it is probable that they were so,
as in

    _mid þȳ =m=ǣ́stan =m=ǽgenþr[`y]mme cýmeð._      Crist 1009.

These laws of accentuation are strictly observed only in the older
poetry; by the end of the tenth century, in Byrhtnoth, the Metres of
Boethius and the Psalms, they are frequently neglected.

§ =36. Arrangement and relationship of verse and sentence.= The
following rules hold good in general for the distribution of the
sentence or parts of the sentence between the hemistichs of the verse.
Two distinct pauses occur in every alliterative line, one (commonly
called the caesura) between the first and second hemistichs, the
other at the end of the line, and these pauses are determined by the
syntactical construction; that is to say, they coincide with the end
of a clause or lesser member of the sentence. The hemistich must
contain such parts of the sentence as belong closely together; and such
coherent parts, as, for example, a pronoun and noun to which it refers
or adverb with adjective, must not be separated from one another by the
caesura, unless the pronoun or adverb is placed in the second arsis of
the hemistich, as

    _=w=ýrd æfter þíssum =w=órdgeméarcum._      Gen. 2355.

    _gif ge wíllað =m=ī́nre =m=íhte gelḗfan._      Sat. 251.

In Beowulf this separation of closely connected words is permitted only
if the word standing in the arsis alliterates at the same time. Longer
parts of a sentence may be separated both by the caesura and the pause
at the end of the line. The syntactical connexion between the parts of a
sentence thus broken up makes the unity of the parts clear, and when the
division occurs in the caesura between the two halves of the verse, the
alliteration common to both hemistichs serves further to emphasize this

The single alliterative lines are connected with one another by the
prevailing usage of ending the sentence not at the end of the completed
line, but at the end of the first hemistich or in the middle of the
line, and of beginning a new sentence with the second hemistich. The
great variety of expression, and the predilection for paraphrase by
means of synonyms which is so characteristic of OE. poetry, contribute
to make such breaks in the line easy. Whatever may be the explanation,
it is certainly the fact that in the OE. poetry the metrical and
syntactical members do sometimes coincide, but at other times overlap in
a way which does not admit of being reduced to rule.[86]

  The Lengthened Verse.

§ =37.= Besides the normal four-beat line (with two beats to
each hemistich) there is in OE. and Old Saxon another variety,
the =lengthened line= (_Schwellvers_) with three beats in each
hemistich.[87] These verses occur in almost all OE. poems, either
isolated or more commonly in groups, and occasionally we find lines with
one hemistich of two beats and the second hemistich of three, like.

    _=g=ā́stes dúgeðum    þǣ́ra þe mid =g=ā́res órde._ Gen. 1522,

and _Jud._ 96, _Crist_ 1461, &c., or with a lengthened hemistich of
three beats and a normal hemistich of two beats, like

    _=b=ǣ́ron =b=rándas on =b=rýne    =b=lā́can fȳ́res._
                                                               Dan. 246,

and _Sat._ 605, _Gnom. Ex._ 200, &c.

In the _Psalms_ and in Cynewulf's _Juliana_ they are wanting entirely,
in Cynewulf's _Elene_ out of 1321 verses there are only fourteen
lengthened whole lines, and three lengthened hemistichs. Examples
of groups of these lengthened verses will be found in _Gen._ 44-46,
1015-1019, 2167-2169, 2854-2858; _Exodus_ 569-573, _Dan._ 59-106,
203-205, 226-228, 238-246, 262-271, 435-438, 441, 448, 452-458;
_Judith_ 2-12, 16-21, 30-34, 54-61, 63-68, 88-99, 272-274, 289-291,
338-349; _Satan_ 202, 232, 237, 605, _Crist_ 621, 889, 922, 1050,
1382-1386, &c., and in many of the smaller poems.[88]

Lengthened verses of a looser type occur in _Salomon and Saturn_, and
_Genesis_ B; they have unusually long theses of four or five unaccented
syllables after the first accented syllable, as

    _ǣ́nne hæfde hē swā swī́ðne gewórhtne._      Gen. 252,

or have equally long anacruses before the first accented syllable, as

    _þæt wē him on þām lánde lā́ð gefrémedon._     Gen. 392.[89]

It is not always possible to draw a sharp distinction between regular
lines with somewhat long first theses and lengthened lines. The general
tone and rhythm of the passage in question help to determine whether we
have the normal or the lengthened line before us. The lengthened line
occurs in places where the sense demands a solemn and slow rhythm, in
other cases where the movement of the passage is quicker we may assume
a normal four-beat line with a long anacrusis, or a polysyllabic thesis
in the middle of the hemistich. What distinguishes clearly undoubted
examples of the lengthened verse is that in each hemistich we find
three beats and three feet of equal and independent value. But, as in
the usual two-beat hemistich of the normal line, both beats need not
be equally strong, so in the three-beat hemistich the three beats do
not always stand on the same footing as regards stress, nor does the
position of the stronger beat require to be always the same in the
two hemistichs. The beats which are accompanied by alliteration are,
generally speaking, stronger than those without alliteration. In the
employment of alliteration and in the structure of the hemistich the
lengthened line is closely allied to the normal line.

=Alliteration.= 1. The first hemistich has commonly two alliterative
sounds, which fall as a rule on the first and second beats:

    _ge=s=ēoð =s=órga mǣ́ste._      Crist 1209;

more rarely on the second and third beats, as in

    _wǣ́ron hyra =r=ǣ́das =r=ī́ce._      Dan. 497;

sometimes on the first and third beats, as

    _=l=ī́f hēr mén for=l=ḗosað._      Rhyming Poem 56.

Now and then we find hemistichs with three alliterations:

    _=d=ól bið sē þe him =d=ríhten ne on=d=rǣ́deð._  Seafarer 106,

    _=þ=ȳ́ sceal on =þ=ḗode ge=þ=ḗon._      Gnom. Ex. 50;

and others with one alliteration only, in which case the alliteration
falls more rarely on the first beat, as

  _=c=ýning sceal rī́ce héaldan =c=éastra bēoð féorran gesȳ́ne._
                                                            Gnom. Ex. 1,

than on the second, as

  _þæt sē wǣ́re =m=íhta wáldend   sē þe hī́e of þām =m=írce genérede._
                                                               Dan. 448.

2. In the second hemistich the chief alliterative sound, the head-stave,
generally falls on the second accented syllable, as in the last example,
and only exceptionally on the first accented syllable, as

 _=St=ȳ́ran sceal mon =st=róngum mṓde.   =St=órm oft hólm gebríngeð._
                                                           Gnom. Ex. 51.

§ =38. The origin and structure of the lengthened verse.= It is clear
from the comparative infrequency and the special use to which it is put
that the lengthened line must be looked upon as originating in some way
from the normal four-beat line. Two explanations of its development have
been given. The first, which is Sievers's original view,[90] is that a
foot or measure with the form –́ . . . (i.e. one accented syllable plus
several unaccented ones) was prefixed to one of the five normal types;
hence –́ × prefixed to A would give the form –́ × | –́ × –́ ×, and – ×
prefixed to B would give –́ × | × –́ × –́. The other explanation, given
by Luick,[91] is that the lengthened hemistich is due to a blending of
several types of the normal kind in this way. The hemistich starts with
the beginning of one of the normal types A, B, C, then with the second
accented syllable another type is begun and continued, as if the poet
found the original beginning inadequate to express his emotion.

The manner in which the blending of two normal types results in new
lengthened types of three beats will be seen in the following

            A –́× –́ ×
           +C     × –́ –́ ×
     gives AC –́ × –́  –́ ×;

            A –́ × –́ ×
           +D      –́ –́ ×̀ ×
     gives AD  – × –́ –́ ×̀ ×;

            B × –́ × –́
           +C      × –́ –́ ×
     gives BC × –́× –́ –́ ×;

            B × –́ × –́
           +A        –́ × –́ ×
     gives BA × –́ × –́ × –́ ×;

            C × –́ –́  ×
           +A      –́ × –́ ×
     gives CA × –́ –́ × –́ ×;

            A –́ × –́ ×
           +A      –́ × –́ ×
     gives AA –́ × –́ × –́ ×.

As Prof. Sievers himself[92] has accepted this theory (or, at least,
has recognized it as a convenient method of exhibiting the structural
varieties of the lengthened line), we shall adopt it here.

Of the fifteen different possible combinations of the original types,
some do not actually occur, but with the sub-types to be taken into
consideration we get no less than eighteen different types of the
regular lengthened whole line, and these again admit of variations by
means of resolution of accented syllables, polysyllabic theses, &c.

Only the most commonly occurring forms of the lengthened hemistich will
be given here; for the others the reader may be referred to Sievers.[93]

§ =39.= By far the most common type is =A A= (some 525 examples),

     –́ × . . . –́ × . –́ ×,

as in

    _=w=éaxan =w=ī́tebrṓgan._ (_Hǽfden  hīe =w=rṓhtgetḗme_).    Gen. 45;

or with resolution of the first accented syllable in the first

    _=s=únu mid =s=wéordes écge._      Gen. 2857,

and in the second hemistich,

    _=f=éla bið =f=ýrwet-géornra._      Gnom. Ex. 102;

with resolution of the second accented syllable in the second hemistich,

    _þǣ́r þū þólades =s=íððan._      Crist 1410;

or of each of the three accented syllables in the second hemistich,

    _hýre þæs =f=ǣ́der on róderum._      Jud. 5.

The chief variation of this type arises from the prolongation of
the first thesis, which may run from one to six syllables. At the
same time the usual resolutions may be introduced, as in the
following examples: Ordinary type, –́ × × || –́ × | –́ ×, very common,

    _=g=rímme wið =g=ód gesómnod._      Gen. 46;

with resolution of the first accented syllable,

    _=r=éced ofer =r=ḗadum gólde._      Gen. 2404;

with resolution of the last two accented syllables,

    _=sn=ū̀de þā =sn=óteran ídese._      Jud. 55;

type with trisyllabic thesis, –́ × × × || –́ × |–́ ×,

    _=m=ḗda syndon =m=ícla þī́na._      Gen. 2167;

with resolution of the first accented syllable,

    _wíton hyra =h=ýht mid drýhten._      Gū. 61;

thesis of four to six syllables, (–́ × . . . . . || –́ × | –́ ×),

    _=ǣ́=leð hȳ mid þȳ =éa=ldan lī́ge._      Crist 1547,

    _=s=íððan hē hæfde his gā́st on=s=énded._      Cross 49,

    _=b=étre him wǣre þæt hē =b=rṓðor ā́hte._      Gnom. Ex. 175.

Less frequently the second foot has two unaccented syllables, and in
that case the first foot has either one or sometimes two unaccented
syllables, thus

     (i) –́ × || –́ × × | –́ ×, or (ii) –́ × × || –́ × × | –́ ×,

    as      (i) _saā́ þū =Á=bele wū̀rde._      Gen. 1019;

with resolution of the first arsis,

  _=s=ígor and =s=ṓðne gelḗafan._      Jud. 89.

     (ii) _=r=ínca tō =r=ū̀ne gegángan._      Jud. 54.

=Type A2A=, –́ ×̀ –́ × –́ ×, which is type AA with secondary accent on
the first thesis, occurs, according to Sievers, some twenty times, and
always in the first hemistich. Examples are,

    _=w=ǣ́rfæ̀st =w=íllan mī́nes._      Gen. 2168;

with resolution of the last arsis,

    _=þ=éarlmò̄d =þ=ḗoden gúmena._      Jud. 66;

with disyllabic second thesis,

    _=f=rḗobèarn =f=ǽðmum beþéahte._      Gen. 2867.

=Type A*A=, –́ . ×̀ × | –́ × . | –́ ×, which is AA strengthened and with
disyllabic first thesis, is nearly as common as A2A, and is always in
the first hemistich, as for example,

    _=ā́=rlḕas of =ḗ=arde þī́num._      Gen. 1019,

    _=b=éalofùl his =b=éddes nḗosan._      Jud. 63;

with trisyllabic first thesis,

    _=h=rḗohmò̄d wæs sē =h=ǣ́ðena þḗoden._      Dan. 242.

=Type AB=, –́ × . . . –́ × . –́, some thirty instances equally
distributed between the first and second hemistichs. Examples are,

    _=é=orðan =ȳ́=ðum þéaht._      Riddle xvii. 3,

    _=w=ǽsceð his =w=ā́rig hrǽgl._      Gnom. Ex. 99.

=Type AC=, –́ × . . . –́ –́ ×, about twenty-nine instances, of which
more than the half occur in the first hemistich, as

    _=h=ríncg þæs =h=ḗan lándes._      Gen. 2854,

    _=w=lítige tō =w=óruldnýtte._      Gen. 1016.

=Type AD=, –́ × . . –́ –́ × ×̀, is rarer, occurring about twelve times,
apparently only in the first hemistich, as

    _=b=éalde =b=ýrnwíggènde._      Jud. 17,
    _=J=ū̀das hire on=g=ḗn þíngòde._      El. 609.

=Type A E=, –́ × . . –́ ×̀ × . –́, somewhat more common than the last,
and in both hemistichs, as

    _=s=wéord and =s=wā́tigne hélm._      Jud. 338,
    _sǽgde him =ú=nlȳ̀tel spéll._      Gen. 2405.

=Type B A=, × . –́ × . . . –́ × . –́ ×, about 120 instances, has as its
simplest form, × –́ × –́ × –́ ×, as

    _ā=l=ǣ́ton =l=ī́ges gánga._      Dan. 263;

with disyllabic thesis after the first arsis, × –́ × × –́ × –́ ×, as

    _ā=w=ýrged tō =w=ī́dan áldre._      Gen. 1015;

with trisyllabic thesis, × –́ × × × –́ × –́ ×, as

    _hȳ =t=wḗgen sceolon =t=ǣ́fle ymbsíttan._    Gnom. Ex. 182;

the initial thesis or anacrusis is rarely disyllabic.

=Type B B=, × . –́ × . . . –́ ×. –́, about nine times and mostly in the
first hemistichs, as

    _ge=b=ī́dan þæs hē ge=b=ǣ́dan ne mǣ́g._    Gnom. Ex. 105;

with resolution of two of the accented syllables,

    _ofer=c=úmen bið hē ǣ́r hē ā=c=wéle._     Gnom. Ex. 114.

=Type B C=, × . . –́ × . . . –́ –́ ×, nearly as common as the last and
nearly always in the first hemistich, as

    _and nā́hte =é=aldfḗondum._      Dan. 454,

    _be=g=óten of þæs =g=úman sī́dan._      Cross 49.

=Type B D=, × . –́ × . . –́ –́ ×̀ ×, about sixteen times, and in either
hemistich, as

    _on =é=orðan =ú=nswǣ́slī̀cne._      Jud. 65,

    _a=l=ḗdon hīe þǣr límwḗrìgne._      Cross 63.

=Type C A=, × –́ –́ ×. –́ ×, with some fifteen examples, of which eight
are in the first hemistich, as

    _ge=s=ḗoð =s=órga mǣ́ste._      Crist 1209,

    _tō =c=wále =c=níhta fḗorum._      Dan. 226.

=Type C C=, × . . . . –́ –́ –̆́×, occurs only nine times, of which
six are in the second hemistich, as

    _þæt wæs =g=ód ǽlmíhtig._      Cross 396;

with resolution of the first accented syllable,

    _ne sē =b=rýne =b=ḗtmǽcgum._      Dan. 265,

    _þē þæt =w=éorc stáðoláde._      And. 800.

Other combinations are given by Sievers, _Altgermanische Metrik_,
§ 95, but these occur so rarely or are so doubtful that they need not
be mentioned here. A few lengthened hemistichs have four beats, as

    _engel in þone ófn ínnan becwṓm._      Dan. 238,

and others in Sievers's _Altgermanische Metrik_, § 96.

     Formation of Stanzas and Rhyme.

§ =40.= OE. poetry is mainly narrative, and does not run into any kind
of recurring stanza or strophe, but is entirely stichic. Traces of an
arrangement of lines so as to form a stanza are found in Dēor, the
Runic Poem, the Psalms and Hymns, the so-called First Riddle, and in
the Gnomic verses of the Exeter Book, which may be compared to the Old
French 'tirades'.[94]

On the other hand, end-rhyme of the two hemistichs, combined with
alliteration, is not very uncommon, though in most cases it seems only
an incidental ornament, as

    _=f=ýlle ge=f=ǣ́gon; =f=ǽgere geþǣ́gon._      Beow. 1014.

    _=w=órd-gyd =w=récan ond ymb =w=ér sprécan._      Beow. 3172.

In the Rhyming Poem of the Exeter Book we have eighty-seven lines in
which the first and second hemistichs rhyme throughout, and in some
passages of other poems, noticeably in the _Elene_, vv. 114-115, and
vv. 1237-1251, in which Cynewulf speaks in his own person, or Crist
591-595, And. 869-871, 890, Gūthl. 801, Phoen. 15-16, 54-55;
assonance is found not unfrequently alongside of perfect rhyme, as in
Gūthl. 802, Phoen. 53. These places are sufficient to prove a
systematic and deliberate use of rhyme, which serves to accentuate
the lyrical tone of the passages.

Monosyllabic rhymes such as _nān: tān_ (Rhym. Poem 78), _rād: gebā́d_
(ib. 16), _onlā́h: onwrā́h_ (ib. 1) are called masculine, and disyllabic
rhymes like _wóngum: góngum_ (ib. 7), _géngdon: méngdon_ (ib. 11), or
trisyllabic _hlýnede: dýnede_ (ib. 28), _swínsade: mínsade_ (ib. 29),
_bífade: hlífade_ (ib. 30), are called feminine.

According to their position in the hemistich, rhymes fall into two
classes (_a_) interior rhymes like _hónd rónd gefḕng_ Beow. 2609,
_stī́ðmò̄d gestṓd_ Beow. 2567, in compounds _wórd-hòrd ontḗac_ Beow.
259, in co-ordinate formulae like _þā wæs sǣ́l and mǣ́l_ Beow. 1008,
_wórdum and bórdum_ El. 24, _grund ond sund_ And. 747, and as so-called
grammatical rhymes _lāð wið lāðum_ Beow. 440, _béarn æfter béarne_, Gen.
1070; (_b_) sectional rhymes joining the two halves of one line, as

    _=s=écgas mec =s=ǣ́gon =s=ýmbel ne ālǣ́gon._    Rhym. P. 5;

not unfrequently, very often in the Rhyming Poem, two, three, four or
more alliterative lines are connected in this fashion.

The OE. end rhymes are either (_a_) complete rhymes as _hond: rond_,
_gefǣ́gon: geþǣ́gon_, or (_b_) assonances, in which only the
vowels correspond, as _wæf: læs_ El. 1238; _wrā́ðum: ā́rum_ Crist.
595; _lúfodon: wúnedon_ And. 870; that the assonances are not
accidental is clear from the fact that they occur alongside of perfect


   [15] Tacitus, _Germania_, cap. 2.

   [16] Grein-Wülker, iii. 1, p. 156.

   [17] The influence of the Latin system on Otfrid is clear from his own
        words, I. i. 21.

   [18] For a review of recent metrical theories see Sievers,
        _Altgermanische Metrik_, 1893, pp. 2-17, and his article on metre
        in Paul's _Grundriss_, ii. 2.

   [19] Cf. Lachmann, 'Über althochdeutsche Betonung und Verskunst,'
        _Schriften_, ii. 358 ff., and 'Über das Hildebrandslied', _ib._,
         ii. 407 ff.

   [20] _Germania_, iii, p. 7.

   [21] _Zeitschrift für deutsches Altertum_, i, p. 318, and _de Carmine
        Wessofontano_, 1861, p. 10.

   [22] _De Anglo-Saxonum arte metrica_, 1871.

   [23] 'Grundzüge der altgermanischen Metrik,' _Zeitschrift für deutsche
        Philologie_, ii. 114 ff.

   [24] _Ibid._, iii. 280 ff.

   [25] _Zur althochdeutschen Alliterationspoesie_, Kiel and Leipzig.

   [26] John Lawrence, _Chapters on Alliterative Verse_, London, 1893;
        reviewed by K. Luick, _Anglia_, Beiblatt iv, pp. 193, 201.

   [27] Möller's own notation; Lawrence's sign for the rest is a small
        point, and his sign for the end of a section is a thick point.

   [28] _Untersuchungen zur westgermanischen Verskunst_ I, Leipzig, 1889;
        'Zur Metrik des alts. und althochd. Alliterationsverses,'
        _Germania_, xxxvi. 139 ff., 279 ff.; 'Der altdeutsche Reimvers
        und sein Verhältnis zur Alliterationspoesie,' _Zeitschrift für
        deutsches Altertum_, xxxviii. 304 ff.

   [29] _Die Metrik des westgermanischen Alliterationsverses_, Marburg,

   [30] Paul's _Grundriss der germanischen Philologie_, ed. I, ii. i.

   [31] _Der altenglische Vers_: I. _Kritik der bisherigen Theorien_,
        1894; II. _Die Metrik des Beowulfliedes_, 1894; III. _Die Metrik
        der sog. Caedmonischen Dichtungen_, &c., 1895. This last part is
        by F. Graz. These are reviewed by K. Luick, _Anglia_, Beiblatt
        iv. 294; M. Trautmann, ib., iv. 131; vi. 1-4; Saran, _Zeitschrift
        für deutsche Philologie_, xxvii. 539.

   [32] _Geschichte der deutschen Litteratur_, 1894, i. 228, and
        _Ergänzungsheft zu Band I, Die altsächsische Genesis_, 1895,
        p. 28 ff.

   [33] 'Zur Kenntniss des germanischen Verses, vornehmlich des
        altenglischen,' in _Anglia_, Beiblatt v. 87 ff.

   [34] _Z. f. d. A._, xxxviii. 304.

   [35] _Certayne notes of Instruction concerning the making of verse or
        ryme in English_, 1575; Arber's reprint, London, 1868, p. 34.

   [36] _Ane Schort Treatise, conteining some Revlis and Cautelis to be
        obseruit and eschewit in Scottis poesie_, 1585, pp. 63 ff. of
        Arber's reprint. The scheme would be ` ` ´ ` ` ´ ` ` ´ ` ` ´ `.

   [37] From Hickes's _Antiq. Literat. Septentrional._, tom. i, p. 217.

   [38] It is now well known that this innovation was introduced much

   [39] From Alexander Montgomery, _The Flyting_, &c., l. 476.

   [40] 'Über den Versbau der alliterierenden Poesie, besonders der
        Altsachsen,' _Bay. Akademie der Wissenschaften, philos.-histor.
        Classe_, iv. 1, p. 207 ff.

   [41] _Litteraturgeschichte_, p. 45 ff., second ed., p. 57.

   [42] _Über die germanische Alliterationspoesie_, Vienna, 1872, and
        _Zum Muspilli_, &c., Vienna, 1872.

   [43] 'Über die Verstheilung der Edda,' _Zeitschr. für deutsche Phil._,
        Ergänzungsband, p. 74.

   [44] _Die Alt- und Angelsächsische Verskunst_, Halle, 1876, reprinted
        from _Z. f. d. Ph._, vol. vii.

   [45] The author's larger work on English Metre was indebted in
        paragraphs 28-33 to Rieger's essay; succeeding paragraphs (34-39)
        of the same work exhibited in detail the further development or
        rather decay of the Old English alliterative line.

   [46] C. R. Horn, _Paul und Braune's Beiträge_, v. 164; J. Ries,
        _Quellen und Forschungen_, xli. 112; E. Sievers, _Zeitschr.
        f. deutsche Phil._, xix. 43.

   [47] _Paul und Braune's Beiträge_, x, 1885, pp. 209-314 and 491-545.

   [48] Sievers, Paul's _Grundriss_, ii. 1, p. 863, or ii. 2, p. 4,
        second ed.

   [49] _Paul und Braune's Beiträge_, xi. 470.

   [50] Ph. Frucht, _Metrisches und Sprachliches zu Cynewulfs Elene,
        Juliana und Crist_, Greifswald, 1887.

   [51] M. Cremer, _Metrische und sprachliche Untersuchung der altengl.
        Gedichte Andreas, Gûðlâc, Phoenix_, Bonn, 1888.

   [52] _Altgermanische Metrik_, Halle, 1893.

   [53] Mainly by H. Möller, _Das Volksepos in der ursprünglichen
        strophischen Form_, Kiel, 1883.

   [54] Besides the unaccented syllables of polysyllabic words, many
        monosyllables, such as prepositions, pronouns, &c., are
        unstressed, and occur only in the theses.

   [55] This rule applies to modern English also, as in words like

   [56] If this cross alliteration is intentional. See Sievers, _Altger.
        Metrik_, p. 41.

   [57] See Koch, _Historische Grammatik der englischen Sprache_, Weimar,
        1863, i. 156.

   [58] Compare Streitberg, _Urgermanische Grammatik_, 1900, § 143,
        p. 167, or Wilmanns, _Deutsche Grammatik_, 1897, i, p. 407,
        § 349.

   [59] For exceptions to these rules see _Englische Metrik_, i, pp. 43,

   [60] Koch adds _wiðǽftan_, _wiðfóran_, _wiðnéoðan_.

   [61] Sievers, _Beiträge_, x. 225, and _Angelsächsische Grammatik_³,
        §§ 410, 411, 415.³

   [62] For details on these points and on the question of the treatment
        of forms in which vowel contraction is exhibited in the MSS. see
        Sievers, _Altgermanische Metrik_, §§ 74-77, and _Beiträge_, x.
        475 ff.

   [63] 'Elements,' Sweet, _Anglo-Saxon Reader_, § 365.

   [64] Sievers, _Altgerm. Metrik_, § 9, 3. 4.

   [65] See, for example, Rieger, _Alt- und Angelsächsische Verskunst_,
        p. 62.

   [66] _Paul-Braune's Beiträge_, x, p. 209.

   [67] For the type –́ × × | –́ see below, § 29, and Sievers,
        _Paul-Braune's Beiträge_, x, p. 262.

   [68] Sievers, _Paul-Braune's Beiträge_, x, p. 262.

   [69] As Sievers calls them, _Altgerm. Metrik_, § 13. 2; they are
        marked A*, B*, &c.

   [70] The notation of Sievers for hemistichs with anacrusis
        (_auftaktige Verse_) is aA, aD, aE, &c.

   [71] Sievers, _Altgermanische Metrik_, pp. 33 ff.

   [72] It must be remembered that _ea_, _eo_, &c., are diphthongs, and
        have not the value of two vowels.

   [73] Sievers, _Paul-Braune's Beiträge_, x, p. 233.

   [74] Here _n_ counts as a syllable, see Sievers, _Angelsächsische
        Gram._,§ 141, and _Altgerm. Metrik_, § 79.

   [75] See the statistics in Sievers, _Paul-Braune's Beiträge_, x,
        p. 290.

   [76] Sievers, _Paul-Braune's Beiträge_, x. 241 and 294.

   [77] Sievers, _Altgerm. Metrik_, § 85, 2, Anm. 3.

   [78] Cf. Sievers, _Altgermanische Metrik_, § 15, 3 c, and § 116. 9.

   [79] See Max Cremer, _Metrische und sprachliche Untersuchungen der
        altenglischen Gedichte Andreas, Gūðlāc, Phoenix_, &c., 1888,
        pp. 31 ff.; Sievers, _Altgermanische Metrik_, § 86; and chiefly
        Eduard Sokoll, 'Zur Technik des altgermanischen
        Alliterationsverses,' in _Beiträge zur neueren Philologie_,
        Vienna, 1902, pp. 351-65.

   [80] But on this last expression see Sievers, _Phonetik_^4, § 359.

   [81] Edited by Grein in _Anglia_, ii. 141 ff.

   [82] The Old Norse _hofuðstafr_, Germ. _Hauptstab_. The alliterations
        in the first hemistich are called in Old Norse _stuðlar_ (sing.
        _stuðill_) 'supporters', Germ. _Stollen_ or _Stützen_.

   [83] Sievers, _Altgerm. Metrik_, § 20.

   [84] This is not very common in poetry of the more regular metrical
        structure, but is found in Ælfric's lines, in which we find
        hemistichs without any alliterating letter, and others where the
        alliteration is continued in the following line; two-thirds,
        however, of his lines are formed quite correctly.

   [85] Snorri, the Icelandic metrician, permits this in the case of
        certain monosyllabic words, but looks on it as a licence (_leyfi
        en eigi rétt setning_, Hāttatal, p. 596).

   [86] The subject of the preceding paragraphs was first investigated by
        M. Rieger in his essay _Alt- und Angelsächsische Verskunst_,
        p. 18, where many details will be found.

   [87] Cf. Sievers in _Paul-Braune's Beiträge_, xii. 455; K. Luick,
        _ib._, xiii. 389, xv. 441; F. Kaufmann, _ib._, xv. 360; Sievers,
        in _Paul's Grundriss_, pp. 891 ff., and in _Altgermanische
        Metrik_, §§ 88-96.

   [88] In _Paul-Braune's Beiträge_, xii, pp. 454, 455, Sievers gives a
        list of the undoubted regular lengthened verses occurring in OE.

   [89] Sievers discusses the lengthened verses of these poems in
        _Beiträge_, xii. 479.

   [90] _Beiträge_, xii. 458.

   [91] _Beiträge_, xiii. 388, xv. 445.

   [92] _Altgermanische Metrik_, § 94. 3.

   [93] _Altgermanische Metrik_, § 95.

   [94] See Sievers, _Altgerm. Metrik_, § 97.

   [95] For other subdivisions of rhyme see Sievers, _Altgerm. Metrik_,
        §§ 99-102, with the treatises on the subject, and Bk. II, sect.
        ii, ch. 1 of this work.



  A. Transitional Forms.

=§ 41. Increasing frequency of Rhyme.= The alliterative line was, as
we have seen, the only kind of verse known in English poetry down to
the end of the Old English period. In the eleventh century, however,
the strict conventions which governed the use of alliteration began
to be relaxed and, at the same time, end-rhyme began to invade the
alliterative line, and by this means it was resolved in the course of
time into two separate lines. The process by which this came about is
of great importance in enabling us to follow the further development of
English versification. It has two varieties:--

1. Systematic combination of end-rhyme and alliteration.

2. Unintentional or accidental combination of rhyme and alliteration.

The former--the intentional combination of rhyme with
alliteration--never became popular in Old English; indeed, the few
examples previously quoted are all that have been preserved. In these
examples the hemistichs of each line conform to the ancient rules with
regard to their rhythmic and alliterative structure, but are more
uniform in type than was usual in the older poetry, and are more closely
paired together by the use of final rhyme, which occurs in all its three
varieties, monosyllabic, disyllabic, and trisyllabic.

    _=w=úniende =w=ǣ́r =w=ílbec biscǣ́r.
     =s=céalcas wǣron =sc=éarpe, =sc=ýl wæs héarpe,
     =hl=ū̀de =hl=ýnede; =hl=éoðor dýnede._      Rhyming Poem 26-28.

The rhythm of the verse is mostly descending, Type A being the prevalent
form, while Types D and E occur more rarely. The Types B and C, however,
are also found. Possibly this kind of verse was formed on the model of
certain Mediaeval Latin rhymed verses, or, somewhat more probably, on
that of the Old Norse 'runhenda', as this poetic form may have been
made known in England by the Old Norse poet, Egil Skallagrimsson, who in
the tenth century had lived in England and twice stayed at the court of
King Æõelstan.

§ =42.= Of greater interest than this systematic combination of
alliteration and rhyme is the irregular and more or less unintentional
occurrence of rhyme which in the eleventh century is found frequently in
the native metre.

Isolated instances of rhyme or assonance may be met with even in the
oldest Old English poems. For certain standing expressions linked by
such a similarity of sound, mostly causing interior rhyme (i.e. rhyme
within a hemistich), were admitted now and then in alliterative poetry,

    _siþþan ic =h=ónd and rónd | =h=ébban míhte._      Beow. 656.

    _=s=ǣ́la and mǣ́la; | þat is =s=ṓd métod._      ib. 1611.

In other cases such rhymes are to be found at the end of two hemistichs,

    _Hrṓðgār máðelode, | =h=ílt scḗawode._      Beow. 1687.

    _=W=ýrmum bewúnden, | =w=ítum gebúnden._      Judith 115.

Examples of this kind occur not unfrequently in several early OE.
poems, but their number increases decidedly in the course of time from
_Beowulf_, _Andreas_, _Judith_, up to _Byrhtnoth_ and _Be Dōmes

From the two last-mentioned poems, still written in pure alliterative
verse, a few examples of rhyming-alliterative verses, or of simply
rhymed verses occurring accidentally among the normal alliterative
lines, may also be quoted here:

    _=B=ýrhtnōð máðelode, | =b=órd háfenode._      Byrhtn. 42.

    _ǣ́fre embe =st=únde | he =s=éalde sume wúnde._      ib. 271.

    _þǣr þā wǽterbúrnan | swḗgdon and úrnon._      Dom. 3.

    _=i=nnon þam gemónge | on =ǣ́=nlicum wónge._      ib. 6.

    _nū̀ þū scealt =g=rḗotan, | tḗaras =g=ḗotan._
     ib. 82.

Thus it may be taken for granted that end-rhyme would have come into
use in England, even if Norman-French poetry had never been introduced,
although it is certainly not to be denied that it only became popular in
England owing to French influence.

But can this influence explain the gradually increasing use of
end-rhyme in some OE. poems written shortly before the Norman Conquest
(as e.g. _Byrhtnoth_, _Be Dōmes dæge_, the poetical passage in the
_Saxon Chronicle_ of the year 1036), or are we to attribute it to
the influence of mediaeval hymn poetry, or, lastly, to the lingering
influence of the above-mentioned Old Norse 'runhenda'? It is not easy to
give a decided answer to these questions.

In any case it would appear that towards the end of the Old English
period combined Mediaeval Latin and French influence on English metre
became of considerable importance on account of the constantly growing
intercourse between the British isles and the continent. This may
be seen in the more frequent use of rhyme, as indeed was only to be
expected in consequence of the increasing popularity of Norman-French
and Mediaeval-Latin poetry in England and the reception of Norman-French
words into the language.

This combination of alliteration and rhyme, however, only becomes
conspicuous to a considerable extent for the first time in the
above-mentioned passage of the _Saxon Chronicle_, and in another passage
of the year 1087.[96]

The chief difference between these verses and those of the _Rhyming
Poem_ is this, that the former have not such a symmetrical structure as
the latter, and that rhyme and alliteration are not combined in all of
them, but that regular alliterative lines, rhyming-alliterative lines,
and lines with rhyme only occur promiscuously, as e.g. in the following
lines (4-7) of the above-mentioned passage of the _Chronicle_ of the
year 1036:

  _=s=úme hī man =b=énde, | =s=úme hī man =b=lénde,
   =s=úme man =h=ámelode | and =s=úme =h=ḗanlīce =h=ǽttode;
   ne wearþ =d=rḗorlīcre =d=ǣ́d | ge_=d=ṓn on þisan éarde,
   siððan Déne cṓmon | and hēr frýð nā́mon.

The verses of the year 1087 of the _Saxon Chronicle_ have a similar
but on the whole less rhythmical structure. In some of the lines the
hemistichs are neither joined by alliteration, nor by end-rhyme, but
merely by the two-beat rhythm of each of them; cf. 11. 1-5:

  _Castelas he let wyrcean | and earme men swiðe swencean.
   Se cyng wes swa swiðe stearc | and benam of his under-þeoddan
   manig marc goldes | and ma hundred punda seolfres;
   þat he nam be wihte | and mid mycelan unrihte
   of his =l=and=l=eode | for =l=itelre neode._[97]

On the other hand, the poetical piece of the _Saxon Chronicle_ on
Eadweard of the year 1065 is written in perfectly regular alliterative

These two ways of treating the old alliterative line which occur in
the latter part of the _Saxon Chronicle_, and which we will call the
progressive and the conservative treatment, indicate the course which
this metre was to take in its further development. Out of the long
alliterative line, separated by the caesura into two hemistichs, again
connected by rhyme, there sprang into existence a short rhyming couplet.
This was by no means identical with the three-beat couplet evolved from
two rhyming hemistichs of a line on the model of the French Alexandrine,
nor with the short four-beat couplets modelled on the French _vers
octosyllabe_, but had points of similarity enough to both, especially to
the former one, to be easily used in conjunction with them, as several
Early English poems show.

The conservative treatment of the old alliterative line, which probably
at no time was altogether discontinued, was revived in the thirteenth
and especially in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, when it
degenerated again in the same way as the progressive line had done
several centuries before.

     =B. The 'Proverbs of Alfred' and Layamon's 'Brut'.=

§ =43.= The first subject which we have to consider here is the further
development of the progressive form of the alliterative line, the
representatives of which[98] are closely connected in their rhythmic
form with the two specimens of the poetical parts of the _Saxon
Chronicle_ quoted above. From _Alfred's Proverbs_ we take No. xv (ll.

    _Þus queþ Alured:
     Ne schal-tu néuere þi =w=íf | by hire =w=lýte chéose,_      247-8
    _for néuer none þínge | þat heo tó þe brýngeþ;
     ac leorne hire =c=úste, | heo =c=úþeþ hi wel sóne;
     for móny mon for =á=yhte | =ú=vele i=á=uhteþ,
     and ófte mon of =f=áyre | =f=rákele ichéoseþ._      255-6
    _Wó is him þat =ú=vel wìf | brýngeþ to his cótlýf;
     só is him alýve | þat úvele ywýueþ.
     For hé schal uppen éorþe | dréori i-wúrþe.
     Mónymon síngeþ | þat wíf hom brýngeþ
     Wíste he hwat he bróuhte | wépen he mýhte._      265-6

The metre of Layamon's _Brut_ may be illustrated by the following
passage (ll. 13841-13882):

    _Þa =á=nswerede þe =ó=ðer | þat was þe =á=ldeste bróðer
     'Lust me nú, lauerd =k=íng | and ích þe wullen =c=úðen
     what =c=níhtes we béoð, | and whanene we i=c=úmen séoð.
     Ich hátte =H=éngest, | =H=órs is mi bróðer;
     we beoð of =Á=lemáinne, | =á=ðelest alre lónde;_      13849-50
    _of þat =í=lken =ǽ=nde | þe =Á=ngles is iháten.
     Béoð in ure lónde | sélcùðe tíðènde:
     vmbe =f=íftène ȝér | þat =f=ólc is isómned,
     al ure =l=édene fólc, | and heore =l=óten wérpeð;
     uppen þán þe hit =f=áleð, | he scal =u=áren of lónde;_     13859-60
    _bilǽuen scullen þa =f=íue, | þa séxte scal =f=órð-lìðe
     =ú=t of þan =l=éode | to =ú=ncùðe =l=ónde;
     ne beo he ná swa =l=eof mon | vorð he scal =l=íðen.
     For þer is fólc swiðe =m=úchel, | =m=ǽre þene heo wálden;
     ba =w=íf fareð mid chílde | swa þe déor =w=ílde;_      13869-70
    _ǽueralche ȝére | heo béreð chíld þère.
     þat beoð an us =f=éole | þat we =f=ǽren scólden;
     ne míhte we bi=l=ǽue | for =l=íue ne for dǽðe,
     ne for náuer nane þínge, | for þan fólc-kìnge.
     =þ=ús we uerden =þ=ére | and for =þ=í beoð nu hére,_      13879-80
    _to séchen vnder =l=úfte | =l=ónd and godne =l=áuerd._

These extracts illustrate only the general metrical character of the
two literary monuments, the versification of which in many passages
considerably deviates from the type here exhibited. It frequently shows
a still more arbitrary mixture of the different kinds of verse, or a
decided preference for some of them over the others. But the examples
given will suffice to show that here, as in the two passages from the
_Saxon Chronicle_ quoted above, we have four different kinds of verse
distinguished by the different use of rhyme and alliteration, viz.:

1. Regular alliterative lines, which are very numerous, and at least in
the first half of Layamon's _Brut_, possibly throughout the poem, form
the bulk, e.g. _Prov._ xv. 247-8, Layamon, 13847-8, 13851-2, 13855-6,
13859-60, 13867-8, 13881-2, or

    _=B=úte if he =b=éo | in =b=óke iléred._      Prov. iii. 65-6.

    _þat his =b=lód and his =b=rain | =b=á weoren todáscte._
                                                            Lay. 1468-9.

2. Rhyme (or assonance) and alliteration combined; equally numerous,
e.g. _Prov._ xv. 253-4, Lay. 13841-2, 13845-6, 13869-70, &c., or

    _Þat þe =ch=íriche habbe grýþ | and the =ch=éorl beo in frýþ._
                                                            Prov. v. 93.

    _his =s=édes to =s=ówen, | his =m=édes to mówen._      ib. 95.

    _biuóren wende =H=éngest, | and =H=órs him alre =h=ǽndest._
                                                            Lay. 13973-4.

    _Heo cómen into =h=álle | =h=ǽndeliche álle._      ib. 13981-2.

3. Verses with rhyme (or assonance) only, without alliteration, also not
unfrequent, e.g. _Prov._ xv. 249-50 ff., or Lay. 13853-4, &c.

    _And his plóuh beo idrýue | to ure álre bihóue._      Prov. v. 97-8.

    _þe póure and þe ríche | démen ilýche._      ib. iv. 80-1.

    _On Itálȝe heo comen to lónde, | þer Róme nou on stóndeþ._
                                                             Lay. 106-7.

    _fele ȝér under súnnan | nas ȝet Róme biwónnen._      ib. 108-9.

4. Four-beat verses without either rhyme or alliteration, occurring
comparatively rarely, and in most cases probably to be attributed to
corruption of the text. Examples:

    _he may béon on élde | wénliche lórþeu._      Prov. vi. 101-2.

    _we habbeð séoue þúsund | of góde cníhten._      Lay. 365-6.

It is certain that these four different forms of verse cannot have been
felt by the poets themselves as rhythmically unlike; their rhythmic
movement must have been apprehended as essentially one and the same.

§ =44. Nature and origin of this metre. Theories of Trautmann and
Luick.= We need not here discuss the theory of Prof. Trautmann, who
endeavours to show that the hemistichs of Layamon's verse were composed
in imitation of the four-beat short-lined metre in which the Old High
German poet Otfrid had written his religious poem _Krist_, a form which,
according to Trautmann and his followers, had been frequently employed
in late Old English and early Middle English poetry. References to the
criticisms of this hypothesis, by the present writer and others, are
given by G. Körting in his _Encyklopädie der Englischen Philologie_, p.
388, and by K. Luick in Paul's _Grundriss der Germanischen Philologie_,
ed. 2, II. ii. 152. The author of this book, in his larger work on the
subject (_Englische Metrik_, i. §§ 67-73), has shown, as English and
German scholars had done before him, that Layamon's verse has its roots
in the Old English alliterative line. Twelve years after the publication
of that work this theory received further confirmation at the hands of
Prof. Luick, who has shown in Paul's _Grundriss_ (l.c.) that the five
types of the Old English alliterative line, discovered by Prof. Sievers,
reappear (although in a modified form) in the lines of Layamon's _Brut_.
But we are unable wholly to agree with Prof. Luick's view on the origin
and nature of this metre.

In order to explain the origin of Layamon's verse he starts from the
hypothesis of Prof. Sievers[99] that the Old Germanic alliterative
verse, as historically known, which was intended to be _recited_,
and therefore not restricted to uniformity of rhythm, originated
from a primitive Old Germanic verse meant to be sung, and therefore
characterized by rhythmic regularity. According to Prof. Luick this
primitive metre, although not represented by any extant example in Old
English, had never quite died out, and forms the basis of the metre of
Layamon and his predecessors in early Middle English. For this ingenious
hypothesis, however, no real evidence exists. On the contrary, the fact
that the beginnings of the peculiar kind of metre used by Layamon can be
traced back to purely alliterative Old English poems, where they occur
amongst regular alliterative lines, and therefore undoubtedly must be
of the same rhythmical structure, seems to be decisive against Prof.
Luick's theory.

For the same reason it is impossible to follow Prof. Luick in regarding
Layamon's line as having an even-beat rhythm, and containing not only
two primary accents, but two secondary accents as well. A further strong
objection to this view is to be found in the circumstance, that in
the early part of Layamon's _Brut_, although rhyme already occurs not
unfrequently, alliterative lines decidedly predominate; in the passage
consisting of forty long lines (ll. 106-185, quoted in our _Altenglische
Metrik_, pp. 152-3), we have thirty-three regular alliterative lines and
only five rhymed lines, two of which are alliterative at the same time.
Even in the middle portion of Layamon's _Chronicle_, where the poet, as
Prof. Luick thinks, must have attained to a certain skill in handling
his metre, alliterative lines are in some passages quite as numerous as
rhymed ones. In the passage quoted above (p. 68), for example, which
consists of twenty-one long lines, eleven of them are alliterative and
ten are rhymed. On the other hand, in the continuation of this passage
(quoted _Altengl. Metrik_, p. 156), containing twenty-nine long lines,
the reverse is the case, the number of alliterative lines being only
seven, and that of rhymed and assonant lines twenty-two in all; of the
latter, however, eleven are alliterative at the same time.

While then it might be admissible to speak of progressive neglect of
alliteration and of increasing predilection for end-rhyme on the part of
the poet, as he advances with his work, it is not in accordance with the
facts to assert that 'alliteration had ceased to play its former part,
and had been reduced to the level of a mere ornament of the verse'.
On the contrary, in the first part of the _Chronicle_ alliteration is
the predominant form, and, as the work advances, it is still used to a
considerable extent as a means to connect the two hemistichs or short
lines so as to form one long line. The strict laws formerly observed in
the use of alliteration, it is true, are not unfrequently disregarded,
chiefly with respect to the head-stave, which often falls on the fourth
accented syllable of the long line; and other licences (first occurring
in Ælfric's _Metrical Homilies_) may be met with. Nevertheless both
_Alfred's Proverbs_ and Layamon's _Brut_ (as is sufficiently shown by
the many specimens quoted in our _Altenglische Metrik_, pp. 150 ff.),
contain a great number of perfectly regular alliterative lines. The fact
that, in the second half of Layamon's _Chronicle_, end-rhyme is used
more and more frequently as a means to connect the two hemistichs, is
with much more probability to be explained by the continual occupation
of the poet with the Norman-French original poem, and by the increasing
influence which its short octosyllabic couplets must naturally have
exercised upon his own rhythms, than by a supposed intention of the
poet to write in 'primitive Germanic four-beat song-metre', the very
existence of which is hypothetical. Furthermore, the fact that in
some (not all or even most) of the passages, where end-rhyme is used
almost exclusively, e.g. in the passage quoted above (ll. 13883-940),
an even-beat rhythm is distinctly noticeable, can be explained quite
naturally by the influence of the Norman-French original, the
even-measured verses of which the poet was translating.

But even supposing that Layamon _intended_ to use the primitive Germanic
four-beat song-metre in his translation of Wace's _Chronicle_, although
it certainly was not intended for singing, what can have been his reason
for composing the first half of his work, and a very considerable
portion of the rest, in a rhythmical form which only to a small extent
shows the peculiarities of a rhyming even-beat metre, whereas the main
part of it consists of the native unevenly stressed alliterative verse?
It is quite incorrect to say that the author in the course of his work
not unfrequently fell back into the alliterative verse. The fact is
just the opposite: the author started by using the native alliterative
verse to which he was accustomed, and gradually came to adopt the
rhymed verse of the Norman-French chronicle which he was translating,
without, however, entirely giving up the former metre. Alliteration
and end-rhyme, which he used sometimes separately and sometimes in
combination, were evidently looked upon by Layamon as equally legitimate
means for connecting his hemistichs or short lines.

§ =45. Number of stresses.= Quite as unfounded as the assertion that
Layamon's verse is of an even-beat nature is the other assertion that it
contains two primary and two secondary accents, and that the second of
these secondary accents in verses with disyllabic endings may fall on a
syllable which by its etymology ought to have no accent.

This statement is refuted by the treatment of rhyme in Layamon's _Brut_
and in some earlier poems of a similar form or containing the same kind
of verse.

Not only in the _Brut_, but also in several Old English and earlier
Middle English poems, we meet both with regular rhymes and with simple
assonances and other still more imperfect correspondences in sound
intended to serve as rhymes.

Examples of actual rhyme in the _Brut_ are the monosyllabic pairs:
_seon: beon_ 13837-8, _king: þing_ 13883-4, _cniht: riht_ 13887-8;
besides inexact rhymes like _mon: anān_ 13605-6, 13615-16, _mon: dōn_
13665-6, 13677-8, _wīn: in_ 14349-50, 14998-9, _chin: wīn_ 14994-5;
disyllabic rhymes: _icúmen: gúmen_ 13787-8, _gṓde: flṓde_ 13791-2,
_sṓhten: rṓhten_ 13803-4, _ṓðer: brṓðer_ 13841-2, _chī̀lde: wī́lde_
13870-1, _pḗre: hḗre_ 13871-2, _hálle: álle_ 13981-2. We see no reason
to accent these last-mentioned rhymes differently from similar rhymes
occurring in Old English poems, as e.g. _wédde: aspḗdde_ Andr. 1633,
_wúnne: blúnne_ ib. 1382, _bewúnden: gebúnden_ Jud. 115, _stúnde:
wúnde_ Byrhtn. 271, &c.

Examples of the more numerous group formed by assonances are _tō: idōn_
13801-2, _lond: gold_ 13959-60, _strong: lond_ 13969-70, and disyllabic
assonances like _cníhten: kínges_ 13793-4, _wólden: londe_ 13821-2, &c.

These are strictly parallel with instances like _wæf: læs_ El. 1238,
_onlā́g: hād_ ib. 1246, or like _wrā́ðum: ā́rum_ Crist 595, _lýre: cýme_
Phoen. 53, _rǣ́dde: tǣ́hte_ By. 18, _flā́nes: genāme_ ib. 71, _hlḗorum:
tḗarum_ Be Dōmes dæge 28, &c., and must, in our opinion, be metrically
interpreted in exactly the same way. That is to say, the root-syllable
must, not only in real assonances like _cníhten: kínges_,
_lónde:strónge_, but also in consonances like _Péohtes: cníhtes_,
_mónnen:ínnen_, be looked upon as the chief part of the rhyme, and the
flexional endings, whether rhyming correctly or incorrectly, must be
regarded as forming only an unessential, unaccented, indistinctly heard
part of the rhyme, just as they admittedly do in the similar Old English
assonances quoted above.

Now, as it is inconsistent with the two-beat rhythm of the hemistich in
Old English verse, to attribute a secondary accent to those endings,
although they were in some cases more distinctly pronounced than the
Middle English endings, it is impossible to suppose that the Middle
English endings bore a secondary accent. A further objection is that
although the syllables which, according to Luick's theory, are supposed
to bear a secondary accent are of course usually preceded by a long
root-syllable, it not unfrequently happens that a disyllabic word with
long root-syllable rhymes with one having a short root-syllable, in
which case the ending is not suited to bear a secondary accent at all,
e.g. _flúȝen: únnifṓge_ 14043-4, _to-fóren: grḗten_ 14071-2,
_sǣ́res: wólde_ 14215-16, _fáreð: iuḗren_ 14335-6, _icúmen:
Þréoien_ 14337-8, _lágen_ (=_laws_)_: lónde_ 14339-40, _húnden: lúuien_
14480-1, _scóme: sṓne_ 14604-5, _cúmen: hálden_ 14612-13, _scípe:
brṓhte_ 14862-3, _fáder: unrǣ́des_ 14832-3, _fáder: rǣ́des_
14910-11, _fṓten: biscópen_ 14821-2, _iwī́ten: scipen_ 14251-2,
_wī́ten: wenden_ 15060-1, _gúme: bisī́den_ 15224-5, _fréondscìpe:
séoluen_ 15226-7, _wúde: wéien-lǣ́len_ 15508-9, _ibóren: béarne_
15670-1, _biȝáte: wéorlde-rī́che_ 15732-3, _scáðe: fólke_
15784-5, _biswíken_ (pret. pl.): _cráften_ 29016-17, _aȝíuen:
ȝélden_ 29052-3, _biuóren: fū̀sen_ 29114-15, _súne: pḗode_
29175-6, _idríuen: kínerī́chen_ 29177-18, _grúpen_ (pret. pl.):
_mū̀ȝen_ 29279-80, _stúden_ (=_places_)_: bérnen_ 29285-6, &c.

The only cases in which a secondary accent seems to be required for an
unaccented final syllable are such rhymes as the following:--_hálì:
forþí_ 13915-16 (cf. _Altengl. Metrik_, p. 160); _men: cómèn_
13997-8 (MS. B: _men: here_), _men: dédèn_ 13975-6, _isómned wés:
lóndès_ 25390-1, and so forth.[100] But rhymes of this kind are in
comparison to the ordinary disyllabic or feminine endings so very rare
(occurring, for the most part, in lines which admit of a purely
alliterative scansion, or which have come down to us in an incorrect
state), that they have no bearing on the general rhythmic accentuation
of those final syllables, or on the rhythmic character of Layamon's
verses in general (cf. p. 78, end of § 47).

§ =46. Analysis of verse-types.= In turning now to a closer examination
of the rhythmic structure of the metre in Layamon's _Brut_ and in the
somewhat earlier _Proverbs of Alfred_, we are glad to find ourselves
more nearly than hitherto (though still not altogether) in agreement
with the views of Prof. Luick.

It is no small merit of his to have shown for the first time that the
five types of rhythmic forms pointed out by Sievers as existing in the
alliterative line are met with also in each of the four forms of verse
of Layamon's _Brut_ and of the _Proverbs_. And here it is of interest
to note that not only are the normal types of frequent occurrence
(chiefly in the _Proverbs_), but the extended types also, especially
in Layamon's _Brut_, are met with even more frequently.

On account of our limited space only a few examples of each of the five
types can be given in this handbook.

Instead of quoting hemistichs or isolated short lines as examples of
each of the single types A, B, C, D, E, we prefer always to cite two
connected short lines, and to designate the rhythmic character of the
long line thus originating by the types of the two hemistichs, as
follows: A + A, A* + B, B* + C, C* + E, &c., where A*, B*, C* signify
the extended types, to be discussed more fully below, and A, B, C, &c.,
the normal types. This mode of treatment is necessary in order that our
examples may adequately represent the structure of the verse. The short
lines are always connected--either by alliteration, by rhyme (or
assonance), or by both combined, or sometimes merely by identity of
rhythm--into pairs. These pairs of short lines are regarded by Luick as
even-measured couplets, while we regard them as alliterative long lines;
but on either view each of them forms a coherent unity. We believe that
an examination of the couplet or long line as an undivided whole will
show unmistakably that the assumption of the even-measured character
of Layamon's verse is erroneous, or at least that it applies only in
certain cases, when the metre is strongly influenced by Romanic
principles of versification. The examples are for the most part the same
as those which Prof. Luick has quoted,[101] but we have in all cases
added the complementary hemistichs, which are generally of somewhat
greater length:

  A + A: _Ich =h=átte =H=éngest, | =H=órs is my bróðer._
                                                           Lay. 13847-8.

  A*+ A: _and ích be wulle =r=ǽchen | déorne =r=únen._
                                                           ib. 14079-80.

  B + A: _þær þa sǽxisce mén | þæ sǽ isóhten._      ib. 14738-9.

  B(E?) + A: _hw hi héore =l=íf | =l=éde schólde._      Prov. i. 15-16.

  A + B: _=l=ónges =l=ýves, | ac him =l=ýeþ þe wrénch._    ib. x. 161-2.

  B*+ A: _vmbe =f=íftene ȝér | þat =f=ólc is isómned._
                                                           Lay. 13855-6.

  B + C: _and eoure =l=éofue gódd | be ȝe tó =l=úteð._
                                                            ib. 13891-2.

  B + C: _ne wurð þu néver so =w=ód, | ne so =w=ýn-drúnke._
                                                       Prov. xi. 269-70.

  A + C: _mi gást hine i=w=dárðeð | and =w=írð stílle._    Lay. 17136-7.

  C + C: _for þat wéorc stóndeð | inne Írlónde._      ib. 17176-7.

  A*+ D: _=k=ómen to þan =k=ínge | wíl-tíþende._      ib. 17089-90.

  D + A*: _vólc únimete | of móni ane lónde._      ib. 16188-9.

  E + E: _fíf þusend mén | wúrcheð þer ón._      ib. 15816-17.

  B*+ E: _þæt he héfde to iwíten | séouen hundred scíþen._  ib. 15102-3.

  D + *A: _for nys no =w=rt =u=éxynde | a =w=úde ne a =w=élde._
                                                         Prov. x. 168-9.

  A*+ D: _þat =é=uer mvwe þas =f=éye | =f=úrþ =ý=p-holde._   ib. 170-1.

It is easy to observe that it is only when two identical types, like
A + A, C + C, E + E, are combined, that an even-beat rhythm (to some
extent at least) can be recognized; in all the other combinations this
character is entirely absent.

§ =47. Extended types.= We now turn to the more numerous class of such
couplets or long lines which in both their component hemistichs exhibit
extended variations of the five types, resulting from anacrusis or from
the insertion of unstressed syllables in the interior of the line. These
verses, it is true, are somewhat more homogeneous, and have a certain
resemblance to an even-beat rhythm in consequence of the greater number
of unaccented syllables, one of which (rarely two or more) may, under
the influence of the even-beat metre of the Norman-French original, have
been meant by the poet to be read with a somewhat stronger accentuation.
We are convinced, however, that in feminine endings, in so far as these
are formed, which is usually the case, by the unaccented endings _-e_,
_-en_, _-es_, _-eþ_, &c., these final syllables never, or at most only in
isolated cases, which do not affect the general character of the rhythm,
have a stronger accent or, as Prof. Luick thinks, form a secondary
arsis. As little do we admit the likelihood of such a rhythmic
accentuation of these syllables when they occur in the middle of the
line, generally of such lines as belong to the normal types mentioned

It is convenient, however, to adopt Luick's formulas for these common
forms of Layamon's verse, with this necessary modification, that we
discard the secondary accent attributed by him to the last syllable of
the types A, C, D, accepting only his types B and E without any change.
We therefore regard the normally constructed short lines of Layamon's
metre--so far as they are not purely alliterative lines of two accents,
but coupled together by rhyme or assonance, or by alliteration and rhyme
combined--as belonging to one or other of the following two classes:
(1) lines with four accents and masculine or monosyllabic endings (types
B and E); and (2) lines of three accents and feminine or disyllabic
endings (types A, C, D). In this classification those unaccented
syllables which receive a secondary stress are, for the sake of brevity,
treated as full stresses--which, indeed, they actually came to be in the
later development of the metre, and possibly to some extent even in
Layamon's own verse.

Assuming the correctness of this view, the chief types of Layamon's
verse may be expressed by the following formulas, in which the bracketed
theses are to be considered optional:

     Type A: (×) –́ (×) ×̀ × –́ ×.
     Type B: (×) ×̀ × –́ (×) ×̀ × –́.
     Type C: (×) ×̀ × –́ –́ ×.
     Type D: (×) –́ × –́ ×̀ ×.
     Type E:  × –́ (×) ×̀ × ×̀ × –́.

As these types may be varied by resolutions in the same way as the
primary types, there arise various additional formulas such as the

     A: (×) ⏑́ × (×) × –́ ×.
     B: (×) ×̀  × –́ (×) ×̀ × ⏑́ ×.
     C: (×) ×̀  × ⏑́ × –́ ×, &c.

Other variations may be effected by disyllabic or even polysyllabic
theses in the beginning ('anacruses') or in the middle of the verse
instead of monosyllabic theses.

Apart from these another frequently occurring variation of type C must
be mentioned which corresponds to the formula (×) ×̀ × –́ × –́ ×, and may
be designated (with Professors Paul and Luick) as type Cª, because the
position of its accented syllables points to type C, while on the other
hand it bears a certain resemblance to type A.

The following examples, many of which have been quoted before by Luick,
may serve to illustrate these types of short lines or rather hemistichs
and their combination in couplets or long lines, in which a normal
hemistich is often followed by a lengthened one and vice versa:

  A* + A*: _Stróng hit ìs to rówe | ayèyn þe sée þat flóweþ._
                                                         Prov. x. 145-6.

  A* + A*: _And swá heo gùnnen wénden | fórð tò þan kínge._
                                                          Lay. 13811-12.

  A*+ A*: _ne míhte wè bilǽue | for líue nè for dǽþe._
                                                            ib. 13875-6.

  B + A*: _ùmbe =f=íftène ȝer | þat =f=ólc is isómned._
                                                            ib. 13855-6.

  A* + C*: _ǽveràlche ȝére | heo bèreð chíld þére._   ib. 13871-2.

  B* + B*: _þèr com =H=éngest, þèr com =H=órs, | þèr com míni mòn
             ful óht._
                                                           ib. 14009-10.

  B* + B*: _ànd þe clérek ànd þe knýht, | he schùlle démen èuelyche
                                                         Prov. iv. 78-9.

  Cª+ C*: _þèr þes =c=níhtes =c=ómen | bifòren þan fólc-=k=ínge._
                                                          Lay. 13817-18.

  C* + A*: _ȝìf heo gríð sóhten, | and of his fréondscipe róhten?_
                                                            ib. 13803-4.

  C* + Cª: _hìt beoð tíðénde | ìnne Sǽxe lónde._      ib. 14325-6.

  A* + C*: _for he wólde wìð þan kínge | hòlden rúnínge._  ib. 14069-70.

  A* + D*: _heo sǽden tò þan kínge | néowe tíðènden._     ib. 13996-7.

  A* + D*: _and míd him bròuhte hére | an húndred rídǣ̀ren._
                                                            ib. 15088-9.

  E* + B*: _Hǽngest wès þan kìnge léof | ànd him Líndesàȝe géf._
                                                           ib. 14049-50.

Types with resolutions:

  A* + A*: _and þ=ú=s þìne =d=úȝeþe | stílle hè for=d=émeð._
                                                            ib. 14123-4.

  A* + B*: _Wóden hèhde þa hǽhste làȝe | an ùre ǽldèrne
                                                            ib. 13921-2.

The first hemistich of the last line offers a specimen of a variation
of the ordinary types with feminine endings (chiefly of A, C, and
Cª), designated by Prof. Luick as A1, C1, Cª₁, and showing the
peculiarity that instead of the ending –́ × somewhat fuller forms occur,
consisting either of two separate words or of a compound word, and
thus corresponding either to the formula –́ ×̀, or, if there are three
syllables, to the formula –́ × ×̀, or in case of a resolution (as in the
above example) to the formula –́ × ⏑́ ×. We differ from Prof. Luick,
however, in admitting also endings corresponding to the formula ⏑́ ×̀ ×.

As a rule, if not always, such forms of verse are occasioned by the
requirements of rhyme. This is not the case, it is true, in the
following purely alliterative line:

  A1* + A*: _þe kíng sòne úp stòd | and sétte hine bì him séoluen_.
                                                           Lay. 14073-4.

but in other verses it is so, e.g.:

  B* + A1*: _Ah of éou ich wùlle iwíten | þurh sóðen èouwer wúrðscìpen._
                                                            ib. 13835-6.

and similarly (not corresponding to –́ × ×̀, as Prof. Luick thinks):

  A1* + B*: _bìdden us to fúltúme | þàt is Críst gòdes súne._
                                                           ib. 14618-19.

but the formula –́ × ×̀ is represented by the following verses:

  A1* + A1*: _þe =þ=únre heo ȝìven =þ=únresdǽi | for=þ=í þat
             hèo heom helpen mæ̀i._
                                                           ib. 13929-30.

  A1* + A1*: _þe =éo=rl ànd þe =é=þel[`y]ng | ib=ú=reþ ùnder gódne
                                                         Prov. iv. 74-5.

  C1* + Cª₁*: _nès þer nán crístindòm, | þèr þe kíng þat máide nòm._
                                                           Lay. 14387-8.

In the last but one of these examples this accentuation is corroborated
in the Jesus College MS. by the written accent on the word _gódne_,
whereby not only the rhyme _-lyng: king_ is shown to be an unaccented
one, but at the same time the two-beat rhythm of the hemistich is proved
as well as that of the preceding hemistich. Moreover, the alliteration
in all these examples is a further proof of the two-beat character of
their rhythm.

§ =48.= It was owing to the use of these two more strongly accented
syllables in each verse which predominate over the other syllables,
whether with secondary accents or unaccented, that the poets, who wrote
in this metre, found it possible to regard the different kinds of verse
they employed as rhythmically equivalent. These were as follows: (1)
purely alliterative lines with hemistichs of two stresses, (2) extended
lines of this kind with secondary accents in the middle of the
hemistich, (3) rhyming-alliterative or merely rhyming lines with a
feminine ending and a secondary accent in the middle of the verse, or
with a masculine ending and two secondary accents, one on the last
syllable, as is also the case with the corresponding verses mentioned
under the second heading. These two last-mentioned verse-forms are very
similar to two popular metres formed on the model of Romanic metres. The
former of them--the hemistich with three stresses (one of which is
secondary) and feminine ending, together with the much rarer variety
that has a masculine ending--resembles the sections of the Alexandrine;
and the hemistich with a masculine ending (more rarely a feminine) and
four stresses (two of which have secondary accents only) is similar to
the short four-beat couplet, and also to the first section of the
Septenary line (the second section being similar to the former
three-beat group). It is, therefore, not to be wondered at that this
metre of Layamon in its different forms (that of the purely alliterative
line included) is in several Middle English poems, chiefly in _The
Bestiary_, employed concurrently (both in separate passages and in the
same passage) with the above-mentioned foreign metres formed on Romanic
or mediaeval-Latin models. By this fact the influence of the Romanic
versification on the origin and development of this form of the native
verse gains increased probability.[102]

The limits of our space do not permit of further discussion of this
peculiar metre, which, as presented in the extant examples, appears
rather as in process of development than as a finished product, and of
which a complete understanding can be attained only by elaborate
statistical investigation.

  C. The progressive form of the alliterative line,
     rhymed throughout. 'King Horn.'

§ =49.= The further development of the Layamon-verse is very simple and
such as might naturally be expected from its previous history.

The use of final rhyme becomes constant, and consequently alliteration,
although remnants of it still are noticeable even in short lines
connected together, becomes more and more scarce.[103]

The unaccented syllables are interposed between the accented ones with
greater regularity; and among the unaccented syllables the one (or,
in some sub-species of the verse, more than one) which is relatively
stronger than the rest receives full metrical stress, or at least nearly
approaches the fully-stressed syllables in rhythmical value.

This form of the metre is represented by a short poem[104] consisting
of only twelve lines, belonging to the first half of the thirteenth
century, and by the well-known poem _King Horn_[105] (1530 lines) which
belongs to the middle of the same century.

The prevailing rhythmical form of this poem is exemplified by the
following verses, which for the sake of convenience we print here, not
in the form of couplets (as the editors, quite justifiably, have done),
but in that of long lines as they are written in the Harleian MS.:

    _Hórn þu àrt wel kéne | and þat is wèl iséne._                 91-2.
    _Þe sé bigàn to flówe | and Hórn chìld to rówe._             117-18.

This form occurs in more than 1300 out of the 1530 short lines of which
the poem consists. It is evident that the rhythm of these lines is
nearly the same as in the following taken from earlier poems:

    _ǣ́fre embe stúnde | he séalde sume wúnde._      Byrhtn. 271.

    _ínnon þām gemónge | on ǣ́nlicum wónge._      Dom. 6.

    _súme hi man bénde | súme hi man blénde._      Chron. 1036. 4.

    _þát he nam be wíhte | and mid mýcelan unríhte._      ib. 1087. 4.

    _wiþ póuere and wiþ ríche | wiþ álle monne ilýche._     Prov. 375-6.

    _ne míhte we bilǽve | for líve ne for dǽþe._     Lay. 13875-6.

If those syllables which have the strongest accent in the unaccented
parts of these verses are uttered a little more loudly than was usual
in the alliterative line the rhythm becomes exactly the same as in the
corresponding verses of King Horn, where the three-beat rhythm already
has become the rule.

This rule, however, is by no means without exceptions, and even the old
two-beat rhythm (which may have been the original rhythm) is, in the
oldest form of the poem, sometimes clearly perceptible, rarely, it is
true, in both hemistichs, as e.g. in the following line:

    _Hi slóȝen and fúȝten | þe níȝt and þe úȝten._               1375-6,

but somewhat oftener in one of them, as in the following:

    _Hi wénden to wísse | of hère líf to mísse._                  121-2.

    _So schál þi náme sprínge | from kínge to kínge._            211-12.

    _In Hórnes ilíke | þú schalt hùre beswíke._                  289-90.

    _Hi rúnge þe bélle | þe wédlak fòr to felle._                1253-4.

Of this type of verse a great many examples are of course to be met
with in the earlier alliterative poems:

    _wúldres wédde | wī́tum āspḗdde._      An. 1633.

    _wýrmum bewúnden, | wī́tum gebúnden._      Jud. 115.

    _rā́d and rǣ́dde | ríncum tǣ́hte._      Byrhtn. 18.

    _on míddan gehǣ́ge | éal swā ic sécge._      Dom. 4.

    _þat lónd to léden | mid láweliche déden._      Prov. 75-6.

    _þe póure and þe ríche | démen ilíche._      ib. 80-1.

    _bivóren þan kínge | fáirest àlre þínge._      Lay. 14303-4.

The third type (three beats with masculine ending), which is of rarer
occurrence, is represented by the following lines:

    _Þú art grèt and stróng, | fáir and èuene lóng._      93-4.

    _Þu schàlt be dúbbed kníght | are còme séue níȝt._      447-8.

    _Léue at hìre he nám | and into hálle cám._      585-6.

As corresponding lines of earlier poems may be quoted:

    _éarn ǣ́ses gèorn, | wæs on éorþan cýrm._      Byrhtn. 107.

    _þat þe chírche hàbbe grýð | and þe chéorl bèo in frýð._ Prov. 93-4.

    _lóuerd kìng wæs hæil! | for þine kíme ìch æm vǽin._
                                                          Lay. 14309-10.

The fourth type (four beats with masculine ending), which occurs
somewhat oftener, has the following form:

    _Ófte hàdde Hòrn beo wó, | ac nèure wúrs þan hìm was þó._    115-16.

    _Þe stúard wàs in hèrte wó, | fòr he núste whàt to dó._       275-6.

The corresponding rhythm of the earlier poems occurs in verses like:

  _and his gefḗran he fordrā́f, | and sume míslice of slṓh._
                                                           Chr. 1036. 2.

  _þe éorl ànd þe éþelìng | ibúreþ ùnder gódne kìng._      Prov. 74-5.

  _and sélde wùrþ he blýþe and glèd | þe món þat ìs his wíves quèd._
                                                              ib. 304-5.

  _þe þúnre heo ȝìven þúnres dæ̀i, | forþí þat hèo heom hélpen mæ̀i._
                                                           Lay. 13931-2.

The fifth type (four beats with feminine endings) is represented
by the following verses:

  _To déþe hè hem álle bròȝte, | his fáder dèþ wel dére hi bòȝte._

  _Tomóreȝe bè þe fíȝtinge, | whàne þe líȝt of dáye sprìnge._    817-18.

As corresponding verses of earlier poems we quote:

  _=s=úme hi man wiþ fḗo =s=éalde, | =s=úme hrēowlice ācwéalde._
                                                         Chron. 1036. 3.

  _and sóttes bòlt is sóne iscòte, | forþí ich hòlde híne for dòte._
                                                            Prov. 421-2.

  _in þæ̀re sǽ heo fùnden utláwen, | þa kénneste þa wèoren ò þon
      dáwen._                                               Lay. 1283-4.

The circumstance that these different types of verse occur in different
poems promiscuously makes it evident that they must all have been
developed from one original rhythmical form. It is clear that this
fundamental type can only be found in the old two-beat alliterative
hemistich, the more so as this kind of verse is the very metre in which
the earlier poems _Byrhtnoth_ and _Be Dōmes Dæge_ for the greatest part
are written, and which is exemplified in about a third part of the
poetical piece of the _Saxon Chronicle_ of 1036 and a fifth part of the
later-piece of 1087, and again very frequently in _Alfred's Proverbs_
and in Layamon's _Brut_, and which still can be traced as the original
rhythm of _King Horn_.

§ =50.= The evidence of the metre of this poem, showing its affinity to
the alliterative line and its historical origin from it, is so cogent
that it is unnecessary to discuss the theories of Prof. Trautmann and
the late Dr. Wissmann, both of whom, although from different points of
view, agree in ascribing a four-beat rhythm to this metre.[106]

The frequent use again in this poem of the types of line occurring in
Layamon's _Brut_, as pointed out by Prof. Luick (l. c.), puts the close
connexion of the metre of _King Horn_ with that form of the alliterative
line beyond doubt. We cannot, however, in conformity with the view we
have taken of Layamon's verse, agree with Prof. Luick in assigning a
secondary accent to the last syllable of the feminine ending of the
ordinary three-beat verse, in which the greater part of _King Horn_ is
written. Prof. Luick himself does not insist upon that particular point
so strongly for this poem as he did for the earlier poems written in a
similar metre.

The following examples serve to show that the same extended types of
line which were found to be the commonest in Layamon's _Brut_ (cp.
p. 77) recur as the most usual types also in this poem:

  A + C: _Álle bèon he blíþe | þat tò my sóng lýþe!_                1-2.

  A + A: _A sáng ihc schàl ȝou sínge | of Múrrȳ̀ þè kínge._    2-3.

  A + A: _He fónd bì þe strónde, | aríued òn his lónde_,           35-6.

  B + C: _Àll þe dáy and àl þe nī́ȝt, | tìl hit spráng dái lìȝt._ 123-4.

  B + B: _Fàirer nis nón þàne he wás, | hè was bríȝt sò þe
               glás._                                             13-14.

  C + C: _Bì þe sé síde, | ase hè was, wóned ( ⏑́ ×) ríde._         33-4.

  C + A: _Of þìne méstére, | of wúde and òf rivére._             229-30.

  D + A: _Schípes fíftène | with sárazìn[e]s kéne._                37-8.

  C + A: _Þe chìld him ánswérde, | sóne so hè hit hérde._       199-200.

  B + E: _Hè was whít sò þe flúr, | róse-rèd was hìs colúr._      15-16.

In most cases we see that identical or similar types of verse are
connected here so as to form a couplet (printed by us as one long line).
Even where this is not so, however, the two chief accents in each short
line serve to make all the different forms and types of verse occurring
in this poem sound homogeneous. This admits of a ready explanation,
as the poem, in which no stanzaic arrangement can be detected, although
styled a 'song' (line 2), was certainly never meant to be sung to a
regular tune. On the contrary, it was undoubtedly recited like the
'Song' of Beowulf--probably not without a proper musical
accompaniment--by the minstrels.

At all events the treatment of the words with regard to their rhythmic
use in this poem does not deviate from that of Layamon.

§ =51.= The two poems are of the same period, and in both the
etymological and syntactical accentuation of natural speech forms the
basis of the rhythmic accentuation. Monosyllabic words and the accented
syllables of polysyllabic words having a strong syntactical accent are
placed in the arsis; unaccented inflectional syllables as a rule form
the theses of a verse; second parts of compounds and fully sounding
derivative syllables are commonly used for theses with a somewhat
stronger accent, and may, if placed in the arsis, even bear the
alliteration, or, if they are less strongly accented, the rhyme:

  _Þèr þas =c=níhtes =c=ómen | bi=f=òren þan =f=ólc-=k=ínge._
                                                          Lay. 13818-19.

  _Ah of éou ich wùlle i=w=íten | þurh =s=óðen èouwer =w=úrðscìpen._
                                                            ib. 13835-6.

  _A móreȝe bò þe dáy gan sprìnge, | þe kíng him ròd an húntìnge._
                                                             Horn 645-6.

  _He wàs þe faíréste, | ànd of wít þe béste._      ib. 173-4.

Unaccented inflexional syllables as a rule stand in the thesis of a
verse. Only in exceptional cases, which admit of a different explanation
(see above, pp. 74 and 76), they may bear the rhythmical accent if the
rhyme demands it.

That a thesis in Layamon's _Brut_ and in _Alfred's Proverbs_ may be
disyllabic or even trisyllabic both in the beginning and the middle of a
line is evident from the many examples quoted above.

In _King Horn_, where the division of the original long lines into two
short ones has been carried out completely, and where the rhythm of the
verse has consequently become more regular, the thesis, if not wanting
entirely, as usually the case, in the types C, D, E, is generally
monosyllabic. But, as the following examples, _faírer ne mìȝte_ 8, _þe
paíns còme to lónde_ 58, _þanne schólde withùten óþe_ 347, will show,
disyllabic theses do also occur, both after the first and second arsis,
and in the beginning of the line.


   [96] Some less important examples, of which the metrical character is
        not quite clear, are mentioned by Luick, Paul's _Grundriss_, ed.
        2, II. ii. p. 144.

   [97] In this passage and for the future we refrain from indicating the
        quantity of the vowels. The rhythmic accentuation is omitted, as
        being very uncertain in this passage.

   [98] Viz. the so-called _Proverbs of King Alfred_ (ed. by R. Morris,
        E.E.T.S., vol. XLIX), and Layamon's _Brut_, ed. by Sir Frederic
        Madden, London, 1847, 2 vols.

   [99] Paul's _Grundriss_, ed. 2, II. ii. p. 10, and _Altgermanische
        Metrik_, p. 139.

  [100] On the nature of these rhymes, cf. § 53 and the author's paper,
        'Metrische Randglossen,' in _Englische Studien_, x. 192 ff.,
        chiefly pp. 199-200.

  [101] In Paul's _Grundriss_, ed. 2, II. ii. pp. 145-7.

  [102] Cf. our remarks in Book I, Part II, on the Septenary Verse in
        combination with other metres.

  [103] Cf. Wissmann, _King Horn_, pp. 59-62, and _Metrik_, i, pp.

  [104] _Signs of Death_ in _Old Engl. Misc._ (E. E. T. S.), p. 101.

  [105] Cf. Hall's edition (Clar. Press, 1901), pp. xlv-l, where our
        views on the origin and structure of the metre are adopted.

  [106] See Paul's _Grundriss_, ed. 2, II. ii. p. 156.



  A. The alliterative verse without rhyme.

§ =52.= The progressive or free form of the alliterative line came to an
end as early as the middle of the thirteenth century, when it broke up
into short rhyming couplets. The stricter form was for nearly three
centuries longer a very popular metre in English poetry, especially in
the North-Western and Northern districts of England and in the adjacent
lowlands of Scotland. The first traces, however, of its existence after
the Norman Conquest are to be found in the South of England, where some
poetical homilies and lives of saints were written at the end of the
twelfth and in the beginning of the thirteenth century which are of the
same character, both as to their subjects and to their metre, as the
poetical paraphrases and homilies written by Ælfric. These poems are
_Hali Meidenhad_ (a poetical homily), the legends of _St. Marharete_,
_St. Juliana_, and _St. Katherine_. These poems have been edited for
the Early English Text Society, Nos. 18, 13, 51, 80; the first three
by Cockayne as prose-texts, the last by Dr. Einenkel, who printed it in
short couplets regarded by him as having the same four-beat rhythm
(Otfrid's metre) which he and his teacher, Prof. Trautmann, suppose to
exist in Layamon and _King Horn_.[107] The Homilies have no rhymes.

The form of these homilies and legends occasionally exhibits real
alliterative lines, but for the most part is nothing but rhythmical
prose, altogether too irregular to call for an investigation here.
Some remarks on passages written in a form more or less resembling
alliterative verse may be found in our _Englische Metrik_, vol. i, § 94.

It is quite out of the question to suppose these Southern works, with
their very irregular use of alliteration and metre, to have had any
influence on the metrical form of the very numerous alliterative poems
written in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in the Midland and
Northern districts of England. It is, however, not at all likely that
alliterative poetry should have sprung up there without any medium of
tradition, and that it should have returned to the strict forms of the
Old English models. Nor can we assume that it was handed down by means
of oral tradition only on the part of the minstrels from Old English
times down to the fourteenth century. The channel of tradition of the
genuine alliterative line must be sought for in documents which for the
most part have been lost.

A few small remnants, however, have been preserved, viz. a charm in a
MS. of the twelfth century (cf. Zupitza, _Zeitschrift für deutsches
Altertum_, xxxi. 49), a short poem, entitled 'Ten Abuses', belonging
to the same period (E. E. T. S. 49, p. 184), a prophecy of five lines
contained in the chronicle of Benedict of Peterborough (_Rerum
Britannicarum Scriptores_, 49, ii. 139), finally a prophecy ascribed
to Thomas of Erceldoune (E.E. T. S., vol. 61, xviii, _Thom. of Erc._,
ed. by A. Brandl, p. 26). But these pieces, treated by Prof. Luick in
Paul's _Grundriss_, ed. 2, II. ii, p. 160, are either too short or
are too uncertain in text to admit of our making definite conclusions
from them.

But from the middle of the fourteenth century onward we have a large
number of poems composed in regular alliterative verse, e.g. _King
Alisaunder_ (Als.) and _William of Palerne_ (W.), both in E. E. T. S.,
Extra-Ser. No. 1; _Joseph of Arimathie_ (J.A.), E. E.T. S. 44; _Sir
Gawain and the Green Knight_ (Gr.), E.E. T. S. 4; _Piers Plowman_
(P. P.), by W. Langland, E. E. T. S., Nos. 17, 28, 30, 38, 54; _Pierce
the Plowman's Crede_ (P. P. Cr.), E. E. T. S. 30; _Richard the Redeles_
(R. R.), E. E. T. S. 54; _The Crowned King_ (Cr. K.), ibid.; _The
Destruction of Troy_, E. E.T. S. 39, 56; _Morte Arthure_, E. E. T. S. 8;
_Cleanness_ and _Patience_, E. E. T. S. 1; _The Chevalere Assigne_,
E. E.T. S., Extra-Ser. 6; and others of the end of the fifteenth and the
beginning of the sixteenth centuries: see Prof. W. W. Skeat's list in
'Bishop Percy's Folio MS.', London, 1867 (ed. Furnivall and Hales), vol.
iii, p. xi, and many recent publications of the Early English Text

On the =structure of this metre= the opinions of scholars differ a good
deal less than on that of the progressive or free form of the
alliterative line. Yet there are a few adherents of the four-beat theory
who apply it to the alliterative line of this epoch, amongst others
Rosenthal ('Die alliterierende englische Langzeile im 14. Jahrhundert,'
_Anglia_, i. 414 ff.). The two-beat theory, on the other hand, has been
upheld also for this form of the alliterative line by Prof. W. W. Skeat,
_Essay on Alliterative Poetry_, Percy Folio MS. 1867 (ed. Furnivall and
Hales), by the present writer in _Englische Metrik_, i, pp. 195-212, and
by Prof. Luick, _Anglia_, xi, pp. 392-443 and 553-618, and subsequently
in Paul's _Grundriss_, ed. 2, II. ii, pp. 161-3.

§ =53. The use and treatment of the words in the verse= is on the
whole the same as in the Old English period. The chief divergence is,
that in this period of the language the difference between long and
short syllables was lost, in consequence of the lengthening of short
vowels in open syllables which had taken place in the interval, and
that consequently the substitution of a short accented syllable and
an unaccented one for a long accented syllable (the so-called
resolution) was no longer admissible. Otherwise syllables with a primary
accent, syllables with a secondary accent, and unaccented syllables are
treated just as in the Old English poetry. Accented syllables are as
a rule placed in the arsis, as are also second parts of compounds. Other
syllables with secondary accent (derivative and inflectional syllables)
are only in exceptional cases placed in the arsis of a verse.

It is of special interest, however, to notice that words of Romanic
origin which in the course of time had been introduced into the language
are in many cases accented according to Germanic usage. Words of which
the last syllable was accented in French have in their Middle-English
form the chief accent thrown on a preceding, frequently on the first,
syllable, and in consequence of this the originally fully accented
syllable in trisyllabic words receives the secondary accent and is
treated in the rhythm of the verse in the same way as syllables with
a secondary accent in English words. The laws, too, which in Old English
affect the subordination and position of the parts of speech in their
relationship to the rhythm of the verse and to the alliteration, remain,
generally speaking, in force. It is remarkable that 'if an attributive
adjective is joined to a substantive, and a verb to a prepositional
adverb, the first part of these groups of words still has the chief
accent' (Luick). The relationship, on the other hand, of verse and
sentence is changed. While in Old English poetry run-on-lines were
very popular and new sentences therefore frequently began in the
middle of a line, after the caesura, we find that in Middle English, as
a rule, the end of the sentence coincides with the end of the line.
Hence every line forms a unity by itself, and the chief pause falls at
the end, not, as was frequently the case in Old English times, after the

§ =54. Alliteration.= On the whole, the same laws regarding the
position of the alliterative sounds are still in force as before; it is
indeed remarkable that they are sometimes even more strictly observed.
In the _Destruction of Troy_, e.g. triple alliteration according to the
formula _a a a x_ is employed throughout.

  _Now of =T=róy forto =t=élle | is myn en=t=ént euyn,
  Of the =st=óure and þe =st=rýfe, | when it di=st=róyet wás._
                                                             Prol. 27-8.

Alongside of this order of alliteration we find in most of the other
poems the other schemes of alliteration popular in Old English times,
e.g. _a x a x, x a a x, a b a b, a b b a_:

  _In þe =f=órmest yére, | that he =f=írst réigned._      Als. 40.

  _Þénne gonne I =m=éeten | a =m=érvelous svévene._      P. P. Prol. 11.

  _I had =m=índe on my =s=lépe | by =m=éting of =s=wéuen._     Als. 969.

  _And =f=ónd as þe =m=éssageres | hade =m=únged be=f=óre._     W. 4847.

Irregularities, however, in the position of the alliteration are
frequently met with, e.g. parallel alliteration: _a a, b b_:

  _What þis =m=óuntein be=m=éneþ | and þis =d=érke =d=ále._  P. P. i. 1;

or the chief alliterative sound (the 'head-stave') may be placed in the
last accented syllable (_a a x a_):

  _'Now be =C=ríst,' quod the =k=íng, | 'ȝif I míhte =c=hácche._
                                                            ib. ii. 167;

or it may be wanting entirely, especially in _William of Palerne_:

  _Sche =k=ólled it ful =k=índly | and áskes is náme._      W. 69;

and there are even found a certain number of verses without any
alliteration at all in _Joseph of Arimathie_:

  _Whan Jóseph hérde þer-of, | he bád hem not demáyȝen._    J. A. 31.

In such cases it may sometimes be noticed that a line which has no
internal alliteration is linked by alliteration with a preceding or with
a following line, in the same way as was to be observed already in the
last century of the Old English period (cf. p. 50):

  _Bot on the =C=ristynmes dáye, | whene they were álle =s=émblyde,
   That =c=ómliche =c=ónquerour | =c=ómmaundez hym =s=elvyne._
                                                       Morte Arth. 70-1.

Again an excess of alliteration is found, which happens in different
ways, either by admitting four alliterative sounds in one line
(_a a a a_) as was sometimes done even in Old English:

    _In a =s=ómer =s=éson | when =s=ófte was þe =s=ónne._ P. P. Prol. 1;

or by retaining the same alliterative sound in several consecutive
lines, e.g.:

  _þenne was =C=ónscience i=c=léþet | to =c=ómen and apéeren_
  _tofore the =k=ýng and his =c=óunsel, | =c=lérkes and óþure._
  _=k=néolynge =C=ónscience | to the =k=ýng lóutede._
                                                        ib. iii. 109-11;

or, finally, by allowing the somewhat more strongly accented syllables
of the theses to participate in the alliteration:

    _and was a =b=íg =b=old =b=árn | and =b=réme of his áge._   W. 18.

By the increasing use of this kind of alliteration it ultimately
degenerated so much that the real nature of it was completely forgotten.
This is evident from the general advice which King James VI gives in his
_Revlis and Cavtelis to be observit and eschewit in Scottis Poesie_
(Arber's Reprint, p. 63):

  Let all your verse be _Literall_, sa far as may be, quhatsumeuer kynde
  they be of, but speciallie _Tumbling_ verse [evidently the
  alliterative line] for flyting. Be _Literall_ I meane, that the maist
  pairt of your lyne sall rynne vpon a letter, as this tumbling lyne
  rynnis vpon F.

     _Fetching fade for to feid it fast furth of the Farie._[108]

He then gives a description of this kind of verse which makes it evident
that he looked upon 'tumbling verse' as a rhythm of two beats in each
hemistich or four beats in the full line, for he says:

  Ȝe man observe that thir Tumbling verse flowis not on that fassoun
  as vtheris dois. For all vtheris keipis the reule quhilk I gave
  before, to wit the first fute short the secound lang and sa furth.
  Quhair as thir hes twa short and are lang throuch all the lyne quhen
  they keip ordour, albeit the maist pairt of thame be out of ordour
  and keipis na kynde nor reule of Flowing and for that cause are
  callit Tumbling verse.

King James VI was a contemporary of the last poets who wrote in
alliterative lines in the North and therefore undoubtedly had heard such
poems read by reciters who had kept up the true tradition of their
scansion. We have here then the very best proof we can desire not only
of the four-beat rhythm of the line, but also of the fact that
unaccented words, although they may alliterate intentionally, as they
do often in poems of the fifteenth century, or unintentionally, as
earlier, do not get a full accent in consequence of the alliteration, as
some scholars have thought, but remain unaccented.[109]

As to the quality of the alliteration the same laws on the whole still
prevail as in Old English poetry, but are less strictly observed. Thus
frequently voiced and unvoiced sounds alliterate together, and the
aspiration is neglected; _f_ alliterates with _v_, _v_ with _w_, _w_
with _wh_, _s_ with _sh_ or with combinations of _s_ and other
consonants, _g_ with _k_, _h_ with _ch_:

    _=h=értes and =h=índes | and =ó=þer bestes mánye._      W. 389.

    _of =f=álsnesse and =f=ásting | and =v=óuwes ibróken._
                                                         P. P. Prol. 68.

    _bat he =w=íst =w=íterly | it was the =v=óis of a childe._    W. 40.

    _to a=c=órde wiþ þe =k=íng | and =g=ráunte his wílle._     ib. 3657.

    _I =s=áyle now in þe =s=ée | as =sch=íp boute mást._      ib. 567.

    _such =ch=ástite withouten =ch=árite | worþ =cl=áymed in hélle!_
                                                           P. P. i. 168.

On the other hand, sometimes (as e.g. in the _Alisaunder_ fragments)
greater strictness may be noticed in regard to alliteration of vowels,
as only the same vowels[110] are allowed to alliterate:

    _wiþ þé =é=rldam of =É=nuye | =é=uer forto láste._     P. P. ii. 63.

Later on, in the fifteenth century, vocalic alliteration in general
falls into disuse more and more.

§ =55. Comparison of Middle English and Old English alliterative
verse.= With regard to the rhythmic structure of the verse the Middle
English alliterative line is not very different from the corresponding
Old English metre. Two beats in each hemistich are, of course, the
rule, and it has been shown by Dr. K. Luick, in a very valuable
paper on the English alliterative line in the fourteenth, fifteenth,
and sixteenth centuries,[111] that all the different types which
Prof. Sievers has discovered for the two sections of the Old English
alliterative line occur here again, but with certain modifications.

The modifications which the five chief types have undergone originated
in the tendency to simplify their many varieties exactly in the same way
as the Old English inflexional forms of the language were simplified and
generalized in the Middle English period.

Only three of the five old types, viz. those with an even number of
members (A, B, C), are preserved in the second section of the verse,
and those not in their original forms. They show further a certain
tendency to assimilate to each other.

In types B and C the variations with disyllabic anacrusis occurred most
frequently, as was also the case in type A, and verses of this kind now
become predominant. Furthermore, in the Old English alliterative line,
endings consisting of an accented and an unaccented syllable (feminine
endings) prevailed; and type B was the only one of the symmetrical
types ending with an accented syllable. In Middle English the use of
feminine endings goes so far that the original type B has disappeared
altogether and given place to a new type with an unaccented last
syllable corresponding to the form × × –́ × –́ ×.

Prof. Luick very properly calls this type BC, holding that it
originated from the variations × × –́ × ⏑́͜× and × × ⏑́͜× –́ × of
the old types B and C in consequence of the lengthening of the
originally short accented syllable. Verse-ends with two unaccented
syllables, which might have arisen in the same way from –́ × = ⏑́͜× ×,
did not become popular; and verse-ends with one unaccented syllable
predominated. Lastly, an important feature of the later verse-technique
deserves notice, that a monosyllabic anacrusis (an initial unaccented
syllable) is generally allowed in types where it was not permitted in
the Old English alliterative line. The consequence of these changes
is that the rhythm of the verse which was in Old English a descending
rhythm, becomes in Middle English ascending, and is brought into line
with the rhythm of the contemporary even-beat metres.

This is the state of development presented by the Middle English
alliterative line in one of the earliest poems of this group, viz. in
the fragments of _King Alisaunder_, the versification of which, as a
rule, is very correct.

Here the three types only which we have mentioned occur in the second

Type A is most common, corresponding to the formula (×)–́ × × –́ ×:

  _=l=órdes and óoþer_ 1, _=d=éedes of ármes_ 5, _=k=íd in his tíme_
   11, _=t=érme of his lífe_ 16,

or with anacrusis:

  _or =st=érne was hólden_ 10, _and =s=óne beráfter_ 25.

More than two unaccented syllables may occur _after_ the first accented
syllable. These two peculiarities seldom occur together in one and the
same second hemistich (though frequently in the first hemistich); but
there are some examples:

  _is =t=úrned too him álse_ 165, _and =p=ríkeden abóute_ 382, _hee
  =f=áred òn in háste_ 79;

in this last example with a secondary accent on the word _òn_ as
also in the verse: _þe =m=éssengères þei cámme_ 1126.

Type C, (×) × × –́ –́ ×:

  _was þe mán hóten_ 13, _þat his =k=íth ásketh_ 65, _as a =k=íng
  shólde_ 17, _withoute =m=íscháunce_ 1179.

Type BC, (×) × × –́ × –́ ×:

  _or it =t=ýme wére_ 30, _in his =f=áders life_ 46, _of þis =m=éry
  tále_ 45, _þat þei no =c=ómme þáre_ 507.

The same types occur in the first hemistich; but type C disappears almost
entirely, and in the other two the last syllable not unfrequently is
accented, especially if a considerable number of unaccented syllables
occur in the middle of the hemistich; such verses may be looked upon as
remnants of types B and E:

  _þo was =c=róuned =k=íng_ 28, _hee made a =u=éry =u=ów_ 281, _and
  =w=édded þat =w=íght_ 225, _þe =b=érn couth þerbý_ 632, &c.

Type D also seems to occur sometimes:

  _=m=óuth =m=éete þertò_ 184, _what =d=éath =d=rý[e] thou shàlt_ 1067.

Besides these types the first hemistich has, as in Old English times,
some forms of its own. The succession of syllables –́ × × –́ × (type A)
is extended either by several unaccented syllables before the first
accented one (polysyllabic anacrusis) or by the insertion of a
secondary accent between the two main accented syllables, or after the
second accented syllable, with a considerable number of medial
unaccented syllables.

     (_a_) _That ever =st=éede be=st=róde_ 10,
           _Hee brought his ménne to þe =b=órowe_ 259.

     (_b_) _And =ch=éued fòrthe with þe =ch=ílde_ 78,
           _Þe =c=ómpanìe was =c=árefull_ 359.

     (_c_) α. _=G=lísiande as =g=óldwìre_ 180,
              _Þei =c=raked þe =c=ournales_ 295.

           β. _Hue =l=óued so =l=écherìe_ 35,
              _And =Ph=ílip þe =f=érse kìng_ 276.

           γ. _=St=ónes =st=írred þei þò_ 293,
              _Þe =f=ólke too =f=áre with hìm_ 158.

The examples under (_a_) show the tendency noticeable already in the
first hemistich of the Old English alliterative line to admit anacrusis.
The examples under (_b_) and (_c_) may be looked upon as extended forms
of types E and D.

§ =56.= Several poems of somewhat later date deviate more frequently
from these types than the _Alisaunder_ fragments, chiefly in the
following points:

The end of the hemistich sometimes consists of an accented syllable
instead of an unaccented one; the thesis is sometimes monosyllabic
instead of polysyllabic, especially in A, or the anacrusis may be
polysyllabic instead of monosyllabic. Secondary accents are introduced
more frequently into the second hemistich also, but by poets whose
technique is careful they are admitted only between the two accented
syllables. Owing to these licences, and to the introduction of
polysyllabic theses, the rhythm of the verse sometimes becomes very

Belonging to this group are _William of Palerne_, _Joseph of Arimathie_,
both belonging to the middle of the fourteenth century, the three
editions of William Langland's _Vision concerning Piers Plowman_, of
somewhat later date, and a few minor poems. The _Romance of the
Chevelere Assigne_, written in the East Midland district, at the end of
the fourteenth century, and the works of the Gawain-poet, viz. _Sir
Gawain and the Green Knight_, _Cleanness_, _Patience_, and the _Legend
of St. Erkenwald_ (Horstmann, _Altengl. Legenden_, 1881, p. 265), form
the transition to another group of poems belonging to the North of
England, but differing somewhat from the preceding with regard to their

The most important amongst these is Langland's great work, but it is at
the same time most unequal in respect to its versification. In many
passages, especially in the beginning of the several Passus, as they are
called, the flow of the verses is very regular; in other passages the
theses are frequently of such great length, and the arsis stands out so
indistinctly, that the rhythm of the verse can only be made out with
difficulty. Some examples taken from the B-text (c. 1377) may serve to
illustrate this:

Extended second hemistich (Type A):

  _To =b=óres and to =b=róckes | þat =b=réketh adòwn myne hégges._
                                                                 vi. 31.

  _And so I =t=rówe =t=réwly | by þat men =t=élleth of chárite._
                                                                xv. 158.

  _Ac ȝut in =m=ány mo =m=áneres | =m=én offènden þe hóligòste._
                                                              xvii. 280.

Extended first hemistich (Type A):

  _=L=éue him nòuȝt, for he is =l=écherous | and =l=íkerous of tónge._
                                                                vi. 268.

  _=L=áboreres þat haue no =l=ánde | to =l=ýue on but her hándes._
                                                                ib. 309.

  _'Now, by þe =p=éril of my soúle!' quod Pieres, | 'I shal a=p=éyre
     ȝou álle!'_
                                                                vi. 173.

Such verses obviously contain only two beats in each hemistich,
although at the same time some of the syllables forming the thesis may
have a somewhat stronger accent than others. For as a rule such extended
verses are succeeded by a normal line, clearly bringing out again the
general four-beat rhythm, as is the case with the line (A + A) following
immediately upon the last-mentioned example:

  _And =h=óuped after =h=únger | þat =h=érd hym atte fírste._
                                                                vi. 174.

Type A is in _Piers Plowman_ the usual one, but the types C and BC
frequently occur. In the following examples we have type C in the second

  _And hadden =l=éue to =l=ye | al here =l=ýf áfter._      Prol. 49.

  _I seigh =s=ómme that =s=éiden | þei had  y=s=óuȝt =s=éyntes_.
                                                                 ib. 50;

in the first hemistich it occurs rarely:

  _Ac on a =M=áy =m=órnynge | on =M=áluerne húlles._              ib. 5.

Type B C is frequently to be met with in both hemistichs; e.g. in the

  _In a =s=ómer =s=éson, | whan =s=óft was the =s=ónne._          ib. 1.

  _And as I =l=áy and =l=éned | and =l=óked in þe wáteres._       ib. 9;

in the second:

  _=B=ídders and =b=éggeres | fast a=b=óute ȝéde._               ib. 40.

  _=W=énten to =W=álsyngham, | and here =w=énches áfter._        ib. 54.

Masculine endings, however (originating from the dropping of the final
_-e_ in the last words of the types A and C, as e.g. in _and =d=rédful
of síght_ Prol. 16, _=c=ristened þe =k=ýnge_ xv. 437, _as þe kýng híght_
iii. 9), occur very rarely here. They are, on the other hand,
characteristic forms in another group of alliterative poems.

§ =57.= These belong to the =North of England= and the adjacent parts
of the Midlands.

In these districts the final _e_ had by this time become silent, or was
in the course of becoming so. Thus many verses of West-Midland poems
were shortened in the North by omitting the final _-e_, and then these
forms were imitated there. Hence the middle of the line was much less
modified than the end of it.

Types A, C, B C, therefore, occur not only in the ordinary forms with
unaccented syllables at the end, but also, although more rarely, with
accented ones, viz. corresponding to the schemes:

  A1, (×) –́ × × –́,  C1, (×) × × –́ –́,  BC1, (×) × × –́ × –́.

These forms of the hemistich first occur in the _Destruction of Troy_,
a poem written in a West-Midland dialect very like to the Northern
dialect, and in the North-English poems, _Morte Arthure_ and _The Wars
of Alexander_ (E. E. T. S., Extra-Ser. 47). Examples of these types
(taken from the first-mentioned poem) are: of type A1 in the second
hemistich, _for =l=érning of ús_ 32, _þat =ó=nest were =á=y_ 48; with a
polysyllabic thesis, _and =l=ympit of the sóthe_ 36; with a secondary
accent, _with =c=léne mèn of wít_ 790; without anacrusis,[112] _=l=émond
as góld_ 459, _=b=léssid were Í_ 473; in the first hemistich, with
disyllabic anacrusis, _þat ben =d=répit with =d=éth_ 9, _þat with the
=G=rékys was =g=rét_ 40; without anacrusis, _=B=ýg y-noghe vnto =b=éd_
397, _=T=rýed men þat were =t=áken_ 258, &c.; examples for C1 (only
occurring in the second hemistich), _þat he =f=óre with_ 44, _into your
=l=ond hóme_ 611, _ye have =s=áid well_ 1122, _þat ho =b=órne wás_ 1388,
_of my =c=órs hás_ 1865; examples for B C1, in the second hemistich
(of rare occurrence), _when it de=st=róyet wás_ 28, _and to =s=órow
bróght_ 1497, _þere þe =c=ítie wás_ 1534.

The same modification of types took place later in other parts of the
Midlands, as appears from two works of the early sixteenth century,
_Scottish Field_ and _Death and Life_ (Bishop Percy's Folio MS.,
edited by Furnivall and Hales, i. 199 and iii. 49). The last
North-English or rather Scottish poem, on the other hand, written in
alliterative lines without rhyme, Dunbar's well-known Satire, _The twa
mariit wemen and the wedo_, has, apart from the normal types occurring
in the North-English poems, many variants, chiefly in the first
hemistich, which are characterized by lengthy unaccented parts both at
the beginning of the line, before the second arsis, and after it;
frequently too syllables forming the thesis have a secondary accent and
even take part in the alliteration, as e.g. in the following examples:

  _=Ȝ=aip and =ȝ=íng, in the =ȝ=ók | ane =ȝ=éir for to dráw._        79.

  _Is =b=àir of =b=lís and =b=áilfull, | and greit =b=árrat wírkis_.

Sometimes the second hemistich participates in this cumulation of
alliterating words, which not unfrequently extends over several, even as
many as six or seven consecutive lines:

  _He =g=ráythit me in =g=áy silk | and =g=údlie arráyis,
   In =g=ównis of in=g=ránit clayth | and =g=reit =g=óldin chénȝeis._

This explains how King James VI came to formulate the metrical rule
mentioned above (p. 89) from the misuse of alliteration by the last
poets who used the alliterative line, or the alliterative rhyming
line to be discussed in the next paragraph, which shares the same

 B. The alliterative line combined with rhyme.

§ =58.= In spite of the great popularity which the regular alliterative
line enjoyed down to the beginning of the Modern English period,
numerous and important rivals had arisen in the meantime, viz. the many
even-beat rhymed kinds of verse formed on foreign models; and these
soon began to influence the alliterative line. The first mark of this
influence was that end-rhyme and strophic formation was forced upon
many alliterative poems. In a further stage the alliterative line was
compelled to accommodate its free rhythm of four accents bit by bit
to that of the even-beat metres, especially to the closely-related
four-foot iambic line, and thus to transform itself into a more or
less regular iambic-anapaestic metre. The alliterative line, on the
other hand, exercised a counter influence on the newer forms of verse,
inasmuch as alliteration, which was formerly peculiar to native
versification, took possession in course of time to a considerable
extent of the even-beat metres, especially of the four-foot iambic
verse. But by this reciprocal influence of the two forms of verse the
blending of the four-beat alliterative line with that of four equal
measures and the ultimate predominance of the even-beat metres was
brought about more easily and naturally.

Alliterative-rhymed lines, the connexion of which into stanzas or
staves will be treated of in the second part of this work under the
heading of the 'Bob-wheel-stanza', were used during the Middle English
period alike in lyric, epic, and dramatic poetry.

§ =59. Lyrical stanzas.= The earliest stanzas written in alliterative
rhyming lines were lyrical.

We must distinguish between isometric and anisometric stanza forms.
In the former the whole stanza consists of four-beat alliterative
lines, commonly rhyming according to a very simple scheme (either _a a
a a_ or _a b a b_). In the latter four-beat long lines as a rule are
combined with isolated lines of one measure only and with several of
two measures to form the stanza. The two-beat verses frequently have a
somewhat lengthened structure (to be discussed further on sections on
the epic stanzas), in consequence of which many of them having theses
with secondary accents can be read either as even-beat verses of three
measures or as three-beat verses on the model of those in _King Horn_.
The four-beat alliterative lines, on the other hand, are mostly of more
regular structure, the distances between the first and second arsis
not being so unequal and the theses as a rule being disyllabic. The
anacrusis too in these verses admits of a somewhat free treatment.
The difference, however, between the first and second hemistich is
less conspicuous than it was in those forms of the Middle English
alliterative line before mentioned. Alliteration, on the other hand, is
abundantly used.

The main rhythmic character of the verse is again indicated here by
the frequent occurrence of the types A and A1. The types BC, BC1,
C, C1, however, likewise occur pretty often, and the two last types
present serious obstacles to the assumption that the lines of these
poems were ever recited with an even beat. But how exactly these poems
were recited or to what sort of musical accompaniment can hardly be
definitely decided in the absence of external evidence.

The first verses of a West-Midland poem of the end of the thirteenth
century (Wright's _Political Songs_, p. 149) may serve as a specimen:

    _Ich herde =m=én vpo =m=óld | =m=áke muche =m=ón,
       Hou hé beþ i=t=éned | of here =t=ílýnge:
     =G=óde ȝeres and córn | bóþe beþ a=g=ón,
       Ne képeþ here no =s=áwe | ne no =s=óng =s=ýnge._

The second hemistichs in ll. 2 and 4 belong to type C. In other poems
also, with lines of more regular rhythm (chiefly type A), this type
may be met with now and then, e.g. in a poem published in Wright's
_Specimens of Lyric Poetry_, p. 25, especially in the second hemistich,
e.g. _haueþ þis =m=ái =m=ére_, line 9, _and þe =g=ýlófre_, line 40,
_þat þe =b=ór =b=éde_, line 44.

It is not difficult to distinguish such rhymed four-beat alliterative
lines from those of four measures which have fairly regular
alliteration, for the long line of the native metre always has a
somewhat looser fabric, not the even-beat rhythmic cadence peculiar
to the iambic verse of four measures, and, secondly, it always has a
caesura after the first hemistich, whereas the even-beat verse of four
measures may either lack distinct caesura or the caesura may occur in
other places in the verse as well as after the second arsis. This will
be evident by comparing the following four-beat verses of the last
stanza of a poem in Wright's _Spec. of Lyr. Poetry_, p. 31:

    _=R=íchard | =r=óte of =r=ésoun =r=ýght,
       =r=ýkeníng of =r=ým ant =r=ón,
     Of =m=áidnes =m=éke þóu hast =m=ýht,
       on =m=ólde y hólde þe =m=úrgest =m=ón;_

with the following first four-beat alliterative lines of another poem
(ibid. p. 25):

     _Ichot a =b=úrde in a =b=óure, | ase =b=éryl so =b=rýght,
      Ase =s=áphir in =s=élver | =s=émly on =s=ýht,
      Ase =i=áspe þe =g=éntil, | þat =l=émeþ wiþ =l=ýht,
      Ase =g=érnet in =g=ólde, | and =r=úby wel =r=ýht._

In similar lines are written several other poems, as _=M=on in þe
=m=one_ (ibid. p. 110); _Of =r=ibaudz y =r=yme_ (Wright's _Pol. Songs_,
p. 237); and five songs by Laurence Minot (nos. ii, v, ix, x, xi),
written in the middle of the fourteenth century.

§ =60.= In other poems the four-beat long lines used in the main part
of the stanza are followed by shorter lines forming the cauda, which in
part are of a variable rhythmic cadence either of three beats (or three
measures) or of two beats, as e.g. in the well-known poem in Percy's
_Reliques_, ii, p. 1.[113] The first stanza may be quoted here:

    _Sitteþ alle stílle | and hérkneþ to mé:
     Þe kýng of Alemáigne, | bi mi léauté,
     Þrítti þousent pound | áskede hé
     Forte máke þe pées | in þé countré,
         Ant só he dùde móre.
         þah þou be éuer tríchard,
         Trícchen shàlt þou néuer mòre._

In the following stanzas of this poem the four-beat rhythm, although
rarely marked by regular alliteration, is (in the main part or 'frons')
still more distinctly recognizable, in spite of several rhythmically
incorrect lines.

Second hemistichs of the type C1 are not infrequent, e.g. _opon
swývýng_ 9, _sire Édwárd_ 46, _o þy lýárd_ 47. Lines 5 and 7 are of a
two-beat rhythm, l. 8 probably as well (cf. our scansion).

There is a decided similarity in regard to structure and versification
between this stanza and that of a poem in Wright's _Pol. Songs_, p.
153, although the long lines are divided in the middle by interlaced
rhyme. This may be illustrated by its second stanza:

     _Nou haþ =p=rúde þe =p=rís | in éuervche =p=láwe,
      By mony =w=ýmmon o=w=ís | y =s=úgge mi =s=áwe.
      For ȝef a =l=ády =l=ýue ìs | =l=éid after =l=áwe,
      Vch a strúmpet þat þer ís | such =d=ráhtes wol dráwe.
        In prúde
        Vch a =s=créwe wol hire =sh=rúde,
        Þoh he nábbe nout a smók | hire fóule ers to húde._

There is no line here corresponding to l. 5 of the preceding poem.
Otherwise, however, the _cauda_ of this poem is of a similar structure
to that of the preceding one, at least in this and possibly in the
following stanzas, whereas the last line of the first stanza has a
two-beat rhythm, and in the others the last lines probably are to be
scanned with three beats. The second line of the _cauda_ of the first
stanza of this poem belongs to type C. Another poem (Wright's _Polit.
Songs_, p. 155; Böddeker, _P.L._ no. iv) shows a very artificial form of
stanza, either corresponding to the formula _a a₄ b₂ c c₄ b₂ d d₄ b₂ e
e₄ b₂ f f g g g f₂_ (if we look upon the verses as four-beat and
two-beat lines, which the poet probably intended), or corresponding to
the formula _a a₄ b₃ c c₄ b₃ d d₄ b₃ e e₄ b₃ f f g g g f₂_ (if we look
upon the _frons_ as consisting of ordinary tail-rhyme-stanza lines of
four and three even-beat measures).

The four- and two-beat cadence of the verses comes out still more
clearly in the stanzas of another poem (Wright's _Pol. Songs_, p. 187;
Ritson, _Anc. Songs_, i. 51; Böddeker, _P.L._ no. v), the rhymes of
which follow the scheme _a a a₄ b₂ c c c₄ b₂_ (extended
tail-rhyme-stanzas). Some of its long lines, it is true, admit of being
read as even-beat verses of three measures, e.g. _and béo huere
chéuentéyn_ 20, _and móni anóþer swéyn_ 24, but the true scansion in all
probability is _and béo huere chéuenteȳ̀n_ (or _chèuentéyn_): _ant
móni anòþer swéyn_, in conformity with the scansion of the following
lines _to cóme to parís: þourh þe flóur de lís_ 52-6, or _wiþ éorl and
wiþ knýht: with húem forte fýht_ 124-8.

As a first step to the epic forms of stanza to be considered in the next
paragraph a poem of the early fourteenth century (Wright's _Pol. Songs_,
p. 212; Ritson, _Anc. Songs_, p. 28; Böddeker, _P.L._ no. vi) may be

    _=L=ýstne, =L=órdinges, | a newe sóng ichulle bigýnne
     Of þe =t=ráytours of Scótland, | þat =t=áke beþ wyþ gýnne.
     Món þat loveþ fálsnesse, | and nule néuer blýnne,
     Sóre may him dréde | þe lýf þat he is ýnne,_

                       _Ich vnderstónde:
                    Sélde wes he glád,
                    Þat néuer nes asád
                      Of nýþe ant of ónde._

The fifth line has one arsis only (as appears more clearly from that
in the second stanza: _wiþ Lóue_), thus corresponding to the
above-mentioned poems (pp. 99, 100); the other lines of the _cauda_
have two stresses.

Prof. Luick[114] looks upon the long lines of this poem and of several
others (e.g. Wright's _Pol. Songs_, pp. 69 and 187) as doubled native
verses of the progressive or Layamon form, but rhyming only as long
lines. This can hardly be, as the rhythmic structure of these verses
does not differ from that of the other poems quoted above, which belong,
according to Prof. Luick himself, to the class of the normal, lyric
rhyming-alliterative lines.

§ =61. Narrative verse.= Alliterative-rhyming verses occur in their
purest form in narrative poetry, especially in a number of poems
composed during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in stanzas of
thirteen lines, and republished recently in a collective edition by the
Scottish Text Society in vol. 27 under the title _Scottish Alliterative
Poems_ (ed. by F.J. Amours, Edinburgh, 1892). The poems contained in
this collection are _Golagras and Gawane_ (also in _Anglia_, ii. 395),
_The Book of the Howlat_ by Holland, _Rauf Coilȝear_ (also in E. E.
T. S., Extr.-Ser. vol. xxxix), _The Awntyrs off Arthure at the Terne
Wathelyne_, _The Pistill of Susan_ (also in _Anglia_, i. 93). Douglas's
_Prologue_ to the Eighth Book of his translation of the _Aeneid_
(although written in the beginning of the sixteenth century) likewise
belongs to this group, as do also the poems of John Audelay, composed in
Shropshire in the fifteenth century (Percy Soc. xiv, p. 10 ff.), and a
poem _Of Sayne John the Euaungelist_ (E. E. T. S. 26, p. 87) written in
stanzas of fourteen lines in the North of England. The stanzas of all
these poems--generally speaking--consist of two unequal parts, the
_frons_ written in alliterative lines, rhyming according to the formula
_a b a b a b a b_, and the _cauda_ which contains five or six lines, the
first of which may either be a long line as in the _frons_, or, as in
_The Pistill of Susan_, a short one-beat one, with four two-beat
sectional verses following. Only in the last-mentioned poem does the
_cauda_ consist of six two-beat sectional verses.

The rhythm of this alliterative-rhyming metre may first be illustrated
by the opening lines of _Golagras and Gawane_:


  _In the =t=ýme of Árthur, | as =t=réw men me =t=áld,
   The king =t=úrnit on ane =t=ýde | =t=ówart =T=úskane,
   Hym to =s=éik our the =s=éy, | that =s=áiklese wes =s=áld,
   The =s=ýre that =s=èndis all =s=éill, | =s=úthly to =s=áne;
   With =b=ánrentes, =b=árounis, | and =b=érnis full =b=áld,
   =B=ìggast of =b=áne and =b=lúde | =b=réd in =B=rítàne.
   Thei =w=álit out =w=érryouris | with =w=ápinnis to =w=áld,
   The =g=àyest =g=rúmys on =g=rúnd, | with =g=éir that myght =g=áne;
   =D=úkis and =d=ígne lòrdis, | =d=óuchty and =d=éir,
   =S=émbillit to his =s=úmmòvne,
   =R=énkis of grete =r=énòvne,
   =C=ùmly =k=íngis with =c=róvne
   Of góld that wes cléir._


  _Thus the =r=óyale can remóve, | with his =R=óund Tábill,
   Of all =r=íches maist =r=íke, | in =r=íall a=rr=áy.
   Wes neuer =f=úndun on =f=óld, | but =f=énȝeing or =f=ábill,
   Ane =f=àyrar =f=lóure on ane =f=éild | of =f=résche men, in fáy;_ &c.

Lines like the four last quoted illustrate the normal structure of the
rhyming-alliterative verse, especially the relationship of rhyme and
alliteration to each other in monosyllabic and disyllabic words. It will
be seen that the rhyming syllable, as a rule the root-syllable, or at
least the accented syllable of the word, at the same time carries the
fourth accent of the line, and in consequence the fourth alliterative
sound. In all other respects the rhymed-alliterative verse is
structurally similar to that without rhyme, and it is therefore evident
that rhyme exercises no decisive influence on the rhythm of the verse.
In this comparatively pure form--if we do not take into account the
secondary accents occurring in the first hemistichs of the stanza in the
later poem--are written the great majority of the lines in the earliest
of poems mentioned above, viz. _The Awntyrs off Arthure_.

§ =62.= The relation, however, between rhyme and alliteration and
consequently the relation of the rhythmic accentuation of the words to
their natural accentuation is less clear in the first stanza quoted
above. The following verses rhyming together may serve to elucidate

    _Than schir =G=áwyne the =g=áy, | =g=úde and =g=ráciùs....
     =J=óly and =g=éntill, | and full =ch=éuailrús._
     Gol. 389, 391.

    _Ouer heor =h=édes gon =h=ýng
     Þe =w=ínce and þe =w=éderlȳ̀ng._
     Susan, 101-2;

or the verses _Gol._ 648, 650, 654:

    _Thus =é=ndit the =á=uynantis | with mékil h=ó=nòur;
     Thair =b=ódeis wes =b=éryit | =b=áith in ane hòur,
     Ane =ú=thir heght =É=dmond, | that =p=róuit =p=áramòur._

In the first couplet the last syllable of the word _gráciùs_, although
bearing only a secondary accent and forming the last thesis of the
verse, rhymes with the last syllable of the word _=ch=éuailrús_, which
likewise in ordinary speech has a secondary accent, but here is the
bearer of the fourth metrical accent of the verse. In the second
couplet the syllable _lyng_ of the word _wéderlỳng_, which has a
secondary accent and forms part of the thesis, rhymes with the word
_hyng_ which has the rhythmical accent. In the last group of verses the
last syllable of the words _paramour_, _honour_ having secondary accents
rhymes with the word _hour_, the bearer of the last rhythmical accent.
Similar rhymes occur even in Modern English poetry, e.g. in the works
of Thomas Moore: _Váin were its mélodỳ, Róse, without thée_ or _Whát
would the Róse bè Únsung by thée?_[115]

It also frequently happens that all the rhyming syllables, which have a
secondary accent and occur in the thesis of a verse, belong to
trisyllabic words, while the accented syllables in the arsis, whether
alliterating or not, do not take part in the rhyme, e.g.:

    _Þou brak gódes Comáundement,
     To slé such an Ínnocent
     With ény fals júggement._      Susan, 321-3.

Similar unaccented rhymes are also met with in disyllabic words:

    _'In fáith,' said Schir Rólland,
     'That is fúll euill wýn land
     To háue quhill thow ar léuand.'_          Rauf Coilȝear, 917-19.

Other rhymes of the same kind are _sémbland: léuand_, _conséntand:
endúrand_, Gol. 428 ff., &c.

In all such cases the natural accentuation of the words is not
interfered with by the rhythm of the verse.

The kind of irregular rhyme most frequently occurring, however, is that
which is formed by the unaccented syllable of a disyllabic word (the
first syllable of which alliterates and bears the last arsis of the
verse) rhyming with a monosyllabic word which likewise bears the fourth
rhythmical accent of another alliterative line (or the second of a short
line forming part of the cauda) and takes part in the alliteration as
well, as e.g. in the rhymes _=T=úskane: sane: =B=rítane: gane_ and
_=s=úmmovne: =r=énovne: =c=rovne_ of the above-mentioned stanza of the
poem _Golagras and Gawane_.

It is not likely that a complete shifting of accent in favour of the
rhyming syllable ever took place, as the first syllables of the words
usually take part in the alliteration, and therefore have a strongly
marked accent. Sometimes, it is true, in the poems of this epoch,
unaccented syllables do participate in the alliteration, and in the case
of the words _Tuskane_, _Britane_, _summovne_, _renovne_ their Romance
origin would explain the accent on the last syllable; but these words,
both as to their position and as to their treatment in the line, are
exactly on a par with the Germanic rhyme-words in ll. 870-2:

  _For he wes =b=ýrsit and =b=éft, | and =b=ráithly =b=lédand ...
   And wáld that he nane =h=árm hynt | with =h=árt and with =h=ánd._

In both cases we thus have 'accented-unaccented rhymes' (cf. Chapter I
in Book II), which probably were uttered in oral recitation with a
certain level stress. This is probable for several reasons. First it is
to be borne in mind that Germanic words in even-beat rhythms of earlier
and contemporary poems were used in the same way, e.g.:

    _Quhen thái of Lórne has séne the kíng
     Set ín hymsélff sa grét helpíng._      Barbour, Bruce, iii. 147-8.

    _And bád thame wénd intó Scotlánd
     And sét a sége with stálward hánd._      ib. iv. 79-80.

Only in these cases the rhythmical accent supersedes the word accent
which has to accommodate itself to the former, while in the uneven-beat
rhythm of the four-beat alliterative line the word-accent still
predominates. In the even-beat lines, therefore, the rhythmical accent
rests on the last syllable of a disyllabic rhyme-word, but in the
alliterative lines it rests on the penultimate. In the case of words of
Romance origin, however, which during this period of the language could
be used either with Germanic or with Romanic accentuation, the
displacement of the word-accent by the rhythmic accent in
non-alliterative words may in these cases have been somewhat more
extensive; cf. e.g. rhymes like _rage: curáge: suáge_ Gol. 826-8; _day:
gay: journáy_ ib. 787-9; _assáill: mettáill: battáil_ R.
Coilȝear, 826-8, &c. (but _ȝone =b=érne in the =b=áttale_ Gol.

As a rule, however, for these too the same level-stress accentuation
must be assumed as for the rhyme-words of the first stanza of _Golagras_
quoted above (p. 102).

§ =63.= This is all the more probable because, in these
alliterative-rhyming poems, there are many sectional verses
corresponding to the old types C and C1, these answering best the
combined requirements of alliteration and of end-rhyme, for which
frequently one and the same Germanic or Romanic word had to suffice in
the second hemistich, as e.g. in the following sectional verses rhyming
together:--_What is þi góod réde: for his =k=níȝthéde: (by =cr=ósse
and by =cr=éde)_ Awnt. of Arth. 93-7; (_and =b=láke to þe =b=óne): as a
=w=ómáne_ ib. 105-7; _en=c=lósed with a =c=rowne: of the =t=résóne_ ib.
287-91; _of ane fáir =w=éll: =t=éirfull to =t=éll: with ane =c=ástéll:
=k=éne and =c=rúèll_, or, as Prof. Luick scans, _kéne and cruéll_ (but
l. 92 _=c=rúel and =k=éne_) Gol. 40-6; _at the mýddáy: (=w=ént thai
thar wáy)_ Howl. 665-7. &c.

Also in the even-beat metres the influence of this type is still
perceptible; cf. rhymes like

    _Súmwhat óf his clóþíng
     Fór þe lóue of héuene kýng._    Rob. Mannyng, Handl. Sinne, 5703-4.

which are of frequent occurrence.

For the rest both in these alliterative-rhyming poems and in the poems
with alliteration only the types A and A1, B C and B C1 are frequent.
These alliterative-rhyming lines have this feature in common with the
pure alliterative lines, that the first hemistich differs materially
from the second in having often an anacrusis of several syllables
(initial theses) and somewhat lengthened theses in the middle of the
line, and in permitting such theses with only a secondary accent to take
part in the alliteration. All this tends to give a somewhat heavy
rhythmic cadence to the whole line.

§ =64.= The same difference is perceptible, as Prof. Luick was the first
to show (_Anglia_, xii, pp. 438 ff.), in the single two-beat lines of
the _cauda_, the three first (ll. 10-12 of the whole stanza) having the
looser structure of the extended first hemistichs of the long lines,
while the last two-beat line (line 13 of the whole stanza) has the
normal structure (commonly type A, A1, as e.g. _Birnand =th=rétty
and =th=ré_ Gol. 247; _Of góld that wes cléir_ ib. 1) of second sections
of the long line, as is evident from the first stanza of _Golagras and
Gawane_ quoted above (p. 102). In this concluding line, however, other
types of verse peculiar to the second hemistich of long lines may also
be met with, as e.g. C, C1, BC, BC1, e.g.: _For thi mánhéde_ Awnt. of
Arth. 350; _Withoutin dístánce_ Gol. 1362; _As I am tréw kníght_ Gol.
169; _Couth na léid sáy_ ib. 920; _In ony ríche réime_ ib. 1258, _Quhen
he wes líghtit dóun_ ib. 130.

In other poems the group of short lines rhyming according to the scheme
_a a a b_ and forming part of the _cauda_ is preceded neither by a long
alliterative line nor by a one-beat half section of it (as in _Susan_),
but by a complete two-beat sectional verse, which then, in the same way
as the last verse rhyming with it, corresponds in its structure to that
of the second hemistich of the long line; as e.g. in _The Tournament of
Tottenham_ (Ritson's _Ancient Songs_, i. 85-94), rhyming on the scheme
_A A A A b c c c b_ (the capitals signifying the long lines), and in
_The Ballad of Kynd Kittok_, possibly by W. Dunbar (Laing, ii. 35, 36;
Small, i. 52, 53; Schipper, 70).

In _Sayne John the Euaungelist_ the 'cauda' has the structure of a
complete tail-rhyme-stanza, the order of rhymes of the whole stanza
being _A B A B A B A B c c d c c d_.

§ =65.= In connexion with this it is particularly interesting to note
that such two-beat sections of the alliterative line are also used by
themselves for whole poems written in tail-rhyme-stanzas (as was first
shown by Prof. Luick, _Anglia_, xii, pp. 440 ff.); cf. e.g. the
translation of the _Disticha Catonis_ (E.E.T.S. 68), the two first
stanzas of which may be quoted here:

    _If þóu be made wíttenèsse,
     For to =s=áy þat =s=óþ ìs,
        =S=áue þine honóur,
     Als míkil, as þou may fra bláme,
     Lame þi fréndis sháme,
        And sáue fra dishonóur._

    _For-sóþ =f=lípers,
     And alle =f=áls =f=láters
        I réde, sone, þou =f=lé;
     For þen sálle na gode mán,
     Þat any góde lare cán,
        Þár-fore blame þé._

In the same stanza _The Feest_ (Hazlitt, _Remains_, iii. 93) is written.

Still more frequently such lines were used for extended
tail-rhyme-stanzas rhyming on the scheme _a a a b c c c b d d d b e e e
b_, as e.g. in a poem, _The Enemies of Mankind_, of the beginning of
the fourteenth century, published by Kölbing (_Engl. Studien_, ix. 440

The first stanza runs as follows:

    _Þe =s=ìker =s=óþe who so =s=éys,
     Wiþ =d=ìol =d=réye we our =d=áys
     And =w=àlk máni =w=il =w=áys
         As =w=ándrand =w=íȝtes.
     Al our =g=ámes ous a=g=ás,
     So mani =t=énes on =t=ás
     Þurch =f=ónding of =f=ele =f=ás,
         Þat =f=ást wiþ ous =f=íȝtes.
     Our =f=lèsche is =f=óuled wiþ þe =f=énd;
     Þer we =f=índe a =f=als =f=rénde:
     Þei þai =h=éuen vp her =h=énde,
         Þai no =h=óld nouȝt her =h=íȝtes.
     Þis er =þ=ré, þat er =þ=rá,
     Ȝete þe =f=érþ is our =f=á,
     =D=èþ, þat =d=érieþ ous swá
         And =d=íolely ous =d=íȝtes._

Here, again, the difference between the lines on the pattern of the
first hemistich of the long line, which form the body of the stanza (_a
a a, b b b, c c c, d d d_), and those on the pattern of the second
hemistich used as tail-rhyme lines (_b, b, b, b_) is plainly

The same is the case in other poems written in this form of stanza, as
e.g. in the Metrical Romances, _Sir Perceval_, _Sir Degrevant_
(Halliwell, _Thornton Romances_, Camden Society, 1844, pp. 1, 177) and
others; cf. Luick, _Anglia_, xii, pp. 440ff., and Paul's _Grundriss_, ii
a, p. 1016. But in these later works, one of the latest of which
probably is the poem _The Droichis Part of the Play_, possibly by Dunbar
(Laing, ii. 37; Small, ii. 314; Schipper, 190), the two-beat lines are
frequently intermingled and blended with even-beat lines, which from the
beginning of the fifth stanza onward completely take the place of the
two-beat lines in the last-mentioned poem. Likewise in the
'Bob-wheel-staves', i.e. stanzas of the structure of those
sixteenth-century stanzas quoted above (§§ 60, 61), the _cauda_, as is
expressly stated by King James VI in his _Revlis and Cavtelis_, is
written in even-beat lines of four and three measures, though the main
part of the stanza (the _frons_) is composed in four-beat
rhyming-alliterative lines (cf. Luick, _Anglia_, xii, P. 444).

§ =66.= In the contemporary =Dramatic Poetry= this mixture of four-beat
(or two-beat) alliterative lines with lines of even measures is still
more frequent, and may be used either strophically or otherwise.

In the first place, we must note that in the earlier collections of
Mystery Plays (_Towneley Mysteries_, _York Plays_, and _Ludus
Coventriae_) the rhyming alliterative long line, popular, as we have
seen, in lyric and in narrative poetry, is also used in the same or
cognate forms of stanzas.

But the form of verse in these Mysteries, owing to the loss of regular
alliteration, cannot with propriety be described as the four-beat
alliterative long line, but only as the four-beat long line. In many
instances, however, the remnants of alliteration decidedly point to the
four-beat character of this rhythm, as e.g. in the following stanza of
the _Towneley Mysteries_ (p. 140):

    _Moste =m=ýghty =M=áhòwne | =m=éng you with =m=ýrthe,
     Both of búrgh and of tówne | by =f=éllys and by =f=ýrthe;
     Both =k=ýng with =c=równe | and =b=árons of =b=írthe,
     That =r=ádly wylle =r=ówne, | many =g=réatt =g=ríthe
                        Shalle be hápp;
                Take =t=énderly in=t=ént
                What =s=óndes ar =s=ént,
                Els =h=ármes shall ye =h=ént
                        And =l=óthes you to =l=ap._

In this form of stanza the different groups of lines or even single
lines are frequently, as e.g. in the so-called _Processus Noe_ (the
_Play of the Flood_), very skilfully divided between several persons
taking part in the dialogue. The interlaced rhyme in the long lines
connects it with the stanza form of the lyric poem quoted above (p.
100), and the form of the 'cauda' relates it to that of the lyric poem
quoted (p. 101), and in this respect is identical with that of _The
Pistill of Susan_.

The rhythmic treatment of the verses is, both with regard to the
relation between rhyme and the remnants of alliteration and to the use
of the Middle English types of verse, on the whole the same as was
described in §§ 62-4 treating of this form of verse in narrative poetry.
The types A and A1, B C and B C1, are chiefly met with; now and then,
however, type C1 also occurs in the second hemistich, as e.g. in the
verses _that wold vówch sáyf_ 172, _of the tént máyne_ 487, _wille com
agáne sóne_ 488, of the _Play of the Flood_ mentioned above.

But in the 'cauda' the difference explained in § 65 between first and
second short lines forming the close of a stanza is often very regularly

In other places of the _Towneley Mysteries_ similar stanzas are written
in lines which have almost an alexandrine rhythm (cf. _Metrik_, i. 229),
while, on the other hand, in the _Coventry Mysteries_ we not
unfrequently meet with stanzas of the same form written in lines which,
in consequence of their concise structure, approach even-beat lines of
four measures, or directly pass into this metre. The intermixture of
different kinds of line is even carried here to such a length that to a
_frons_ of four-beat lines is joined a _cauda_ of even-beat lines of
four or three measures corresponding to King James VI's rule quoted
above (p. 108) for such stanzas; and on the other hand to a _frons_ of
even-beat lines of four measures is joined a _cauda_ of two-beat short

§ =67.= The distinctly four-beat line, however, still forms the staple
of the different kinds of verse occurring in these poems, and was also
used in them for simple forms of stanza. In the further development of
dramatic poetry it remained much in use. Skelton's Moral Play
_Magnificence_, and most of the Moralities and Interludes contained in
Dodsley's _Old Plays_ (ed. Hazlitt), vols. i-iv, are written chiefly in
this popular metre. As a rule it rhymes here in couplets, and under the
influence of the even-beat measures used in the same dramatic pieces it
gradually assumes a pretty regular iambic-anapaestic or
trochaic-dactylic rhythm. This applies for the most part to the humorous
and popular parts; allegorical and historical personages are made to
converse in even-beat verses.

Verses of an ascending (iambic-anapaestic) rhythm were especially
favoured, as might be expected from the fact that the Middle English
alliterative line in the preceding centuries usually begins with one or
two unaccented syllables before the first accented one.

Of the different types used in the Middle English alliterative line type
C (C1), which does not harmonize well with the even-beat tendency of
the rhythm, and which is only very seldom if at all to be met with even
in the _Coventry Plays_, becomes very rare and tends to disappear
altogether, type A (A1) and (although these are much less frequent)
type B C (B C1) alone remaining in use.

§ =68.= Of the more easily accessible pieces of Bishop John Bale
(1495-1563) his _Comedye Concernynge Thre Lawes_, edited by A. Schröer
(_Anglia_, v, pp. 137 ff., also separately, Halle, Niemeyer, 1882) is
written in two-beat short lines and four-beat long lines, and his _King
Johan_ (c. 1548) (edited by Collier, Camden Society, 1838) entirely in
this latter metre. The latter play has a peculiar interest of its own,
containing as it does lines which, as in two Old English poems (cf. pp.
123, 124), consist either half or entirely of Latin words. Now, as the
accentuation of the Latin lines or half-lines admits of no uncertainty,
the four-beat scansion of the English verses of this play and of the
long lines in _The Three Lawes_ is put beyond doubt, though Schröer
considers the latter as eight-beat long lines on the basis of the
four-beat theory of the short line.

Some specimens may serve to illustrate the nature of these 'macaronic'
verses, e.g.:

    _A péna et =c=úlpa | I desíre to be =c=lére._      p. 33.

    _In nómine pátris, | of all that éver I hárd._      p. 28.

    _Iudicáte pupíllo, | deféndite víduam._      p. 6.

Other verses of the same kind occur, pp. 5, 6, 53, 62, 78, 92.

But apart from this irrefutable proof of the four-beat scansion of the
long line, the rhythmic congruity of it with the rhyming alliterative
lines discussed in § 67 can easily be demonstrated by the reoccurrence
of the same types, although a difference between the first and the
second hemistich no longer seems to exist.

Type A, of course, is the most frequent, and occurs in many sub-types,
which are distinguished chiefly by monosyllabic, disyllabic, or
polysyllabic anacruses, disyllabic or polysyllabic theses between the
first and second arsis, and monosyllabic, disyllabic, or trisyllabic
theses after the latter. The most usual form of this type corresponds
to the scheme (×) × –́ × × –́ ×, while the form –́ × × –́ × is rarer.
Type A1 likewise admits of polysyllabic anacruses and theses,
corresponding mostly to the formula (×) × –́ × × –́, less frequently to
–́× × –́. Type B C (×) × × –́ × –́ × is rare, type B C1 (×) × × –́ ×
–́, on the other hand, very common; type C (×) × × –́ –́ × still occurs
now and then, but type C1 (×) × × –́ –́ has become exceedingly scarce.

§ =69.= Statistical investigations as to the frequency of occurrence,
and especially on the grouping of these different types are still
wanting, and would contribute greatly toward the more exact knowledge of
the development of the iambic-anapaestic and the trochaic-dactylic metre
out of the four-beat verse. Of course in such an investigation the use
of anacrusis in the types A and A1 should not be neglected. According
to the presence or absence of anacrusis in the two hemistichs four
different kinds of line may be distinguished:

1. Lines with anacrusis in both hemistichs. These are the most numerous
of all, and are chiefly represented by the combinations of types A(A1)
+ A(A1), A(A1) + B C1(B C):

 A  + A  : _For by méasure, i wárne you, | we thýnke to be gýdyd._
                                                       Skelt. Magn. 186.

 A  + A1 : _For =m=ýschefe wyl =m=áyster vs, | yf =m=éasure vs forsáke._
                                                                ib. 156.

 A1 + B C: _Full gréat I do abhór | this your wícked sáying._
                                          Lusty Juventus, Dodsl. ii. 72.

 A1 + B C1: _You may =s=áy you were =s=íck, | and your héad did áche,
             That you lústed not this níght | any súpper máke._
                                              Jack Juggler, ib. ii. 119.

 A1 + A1  : _And you nóthing regárd | what of mé may betíde?_
                                            Jacob and Esau, ib. ii. 216.

 A1 + B C1: _Our láwes are all óne, | though you do thré apére._
                                                    Bale, Laws, line 63.

 A  + A1  : _Whome =d=áyly the =d=éuyll | to great sýnne doth allúre._
                                                                ib. 747.

 A1 + B C1: _By hým haue I góte | thys fowle dyséase of bódye,_

 A1 + A   : _And, ás ye se hére, | am now thrówne in a léprye._
                                                             ib. 749-50.

 A1 + B C : _Regárde not the pópe, | not yet hys whórysh kýngedom._
                                                                ib. 770.

 A1 + A1  : _Such lúbbers, as háth | dysgysed =h=éads in their
                      =h=óodes._                      Bale, Johan, p. 2.

 A  + A   : _Peccávi mea cúlpa: | I submýt me to yowr hólynes._
                                                              ib. p. 62.

 A  + A   : _With =á=ll the =ó=fsprynge, | of =Á=ntichristes
                      generácyon._                           ib. p. 102.

 A + B C1 : _Maister Ráufe Royster =D=óyster | is but =d=éad and gón._
                                              Roister Doister, I. i. 43.

 C + A    : _And as thré téachers, | to hým we yow dyréct._
                                                      Bale, Laws, l. 67.

 C + B C1 : _Of their =f=írst =f=rédome, | to their most hýgh decáye._
                                                                 ib. 82.

 A1 + C1  : _Such an óther is nót | in the whóle sóuth._      ib. 1066.

2. Lines with anacrusis in the first section and without it in the
second. These are almost exclusively represented by the combination
A(A1) + A(A1); rarely by B C1(B C) + A(A1):

 A + A1   : _For wélthe without méasure | =s=ódenly wyll =s=lýde._
                                                     Skelton, Magn. 194.

 A + A1   : _Howe sódenly =w=órldly | =w=élth dothe dekáy,_

 A + A1   : _How =w=ýsdom thórowe =w=ántonnesse | =v=ányisshyth a=w=áy._
                                                            ib. 2579-80.

 A + A1   : _Behóld, I práy you, | sée where they áre._
                                            Four Elements, Dodsl. i. 10.

 BC + A1  : _I am your =é=ldest són, | =É=sau by my náme._
                                            Jacob and Esau, ib. ii. 249.

3. Lines without anacrusis in the first section and with anacrusis in
the second; likewise chiefly represented by the types A (A1) + A (A1),
rarely by A (A1) + B C (B C1):

 A + A1  : _Méasure contínwyth | prospérite and wélthe._
                                                     Skelton, Magn. 142.

 A1 + A  : _Méasure and Í | will néuer be devýdyd._      ib. 188.

 A + A1  : _=S=íghing and =s=óbbing | they =w=éep and they =w=áil._
                                           Gammer Gurton's Needle, Prol.

 A + A   : _Ésau is gíven | to =l=óose and lewd =l=íving._
                                         Jacob and Esau, Dodsl. ii. 196.

 A1 + A1 : _Líving in this =w=órld | from the =w=ést to the éast._
                                          Roister Doister, III. iii. 28.

 A + A1  : _Chárge and enfórce hym | in the wáyes of vs to go._
                                                   Bale, Laws, line 102.

 A + A   : _Quáerite judícium, | subveníte opprésso._
                                                      Bale, Johan, p. 6.

 A + B C : _=F=ór by con=f=éssion | the holy =f=áther knóweth._
                                                              ib. p. 11.

 A + B C1: _=D=ó they so in =d=éde? | Well, they shall not =d=ó so
                lónge._                                       ib. p. 97.

4. Lines without anacrusis in either section, so that they are wholly
dactylic in rhythm, only represented by A (A1) + A1 (A):

 A + A  :  _Sáncte Francísse | óra pro nóbis!_
                                                     Bale, Johan, p. 25.

 A + A  :  _Péace, for with my spéctables | vádam et vidébo._
                                                              ib. p. 30.

 A + A  :  _Sýr, without ány | lónger délyaunce._
                                                     Skelton, Magn. 239.

 A + A1 : _Wín her or lóse her, | =t=rý you the =t=ráp._
                                    Appius and Virginia, Dodsl. iv. 132.

 A + A1 : _Líkewise for a cómmonwealth | óccupied is hé._
                                                Four Elements, ib. i. 9.

 A + A1 : _Whát, you sáucy | málapert knáve._
                                              Jack Juggler, ib. ii. 145.

The numerical preponderance of types A + A1 is at once perceptible, and
usually these two types of hemistichs are combined in this order to form
a long line.

The result is that in the course of time whole passages made up of lines
of the same rhythmical structure (A + A1) are common in the dramatic
poetry of this period, as e.g. in the Prologue to _Gammer Gurton's

    _As Gámmer Gúrton, with mánye a wýde stítch,
     Sat pésynge and pátching of Hódg her mans bríche,
     By chánce or misfórtune, as shée her gear tóst,
     In Hódge lether brýches her néedle shee lóst._

Possibly this preference of the type A1 in the second half line may
go back to the influence of the difference between the rhythmical
structure of the first and the second hemistich of the alliterative line
in early Middle English poetry.

§ =70.= This view derives additional probability from the manner
in which lines rhythmically identical with the alliterative hemistich
are combined into certain forms of stanza which are used
in the above-mentioned dramatic poems, especially in Bale's
_Three Lawes_.

For in this play those halves of tail-rhyme stanzas, which form the
'wheels' of the alliterative-rhyming stanzas previously described (§§ 61
and 66) as used in narrative poetry and in the mysteries, are completed
so as to form entire tail-rhyme stanzas (of six or eight lines) similar
to those mentioned in § 65. This will be evident from the following

    _With holye óyle and wátter,
     I can so =cl=óyne and =cl=átter,
     That I =c=án at the látter
       Manye súttelties contrýve.
     I can worke wýles in báttle,
     If I do ónes but spáttle,
     I can make =c=órn and =c=áttle,
       That =th=éy shall never =th=rýve._      ll. 439-446.

    _I have chármes for the plówgh,
     And álso for the cówgh,
     She shall geue mýlke ynówgh,
       So lóng as I am pléased.
     Apace the mýlle shall gó,
     So shall the crédle dó,
     And the músterde querne alsó
       No mán therwith dyséased._      ll. 463-470.

The difference in rhythm which we have previously pointed out between
the lines of the body of the stanza (corresponding to first halves of
the alliterative line) and those of the tail (corresponding to second
halves) may again be observed in most of the stanzas of this play,
although not in all of them.

In other passages the sequence of rhymes is less regular; e.g. in ll.
190-209, which rhyme according to the formulas _a a a b c c b_, _d d b e
e b_, _e e e f g g f_.

§ =71.= Lastly, we must mention another kind of verse or stave
originating in the resolution of the four-beat alliterative line into
two sections, and their combination so as to form irregular tail-rhyme
stanzas, viz. the so-called Skeltonic verse. This kind of verse,
however, was not invented (as is erroneously stated in several Histories
of English Literature) by Skelton, but existed before him, as is evident
from the preceding remarks. The name came to be given to the metre from
the fact that Skelton, poet laureate of King Henry VII, was fond of this
metre, and used it for several popular poems.

In Skelton's metre the strict form of the alliterative four-beat line
has arrived at the same stage of development which the freer form had
reached about three hundred years earlier in Layamon's _Brut_, and
afterwards in _King Horn_. That is to say, in Skelton's metre the long
line is broken up by sectional rhyme into two short ones. The first
specimens of this verse which occur in the _Towneley Mysteries_, in the
_Chester Plays_, and in some of the Moralities, e.g. in _The World and
the Child_ (Dodsl. i), resemble Layamon's verse in so far as long lines
(without sectional rhymes) and short rhyming half-lines occur in one and
the same passage. On the other hand, they differ from it and approach
nearer to the strophic form of the alliterative line (as occurring in
the Miracle Plays) in that the short lines do not rhyme in couplets, but
in a different and varied order of rhyme, mostly _a b a b_; cf. the
following passage (l. c., p. 247):

    _Ha, há, now Lúst and Líking is my náme.
     Í am =f=résh as =f=lówers in Máy,
     Í am =s=émly-=s=hápen ín =s=áme,
     And =p=róudly a=pp=áreled in =g=árments =g=áy:
     My =l=óoks been full =l=óvely to a =l=ády's eye,
     And in =l=óve-=l=ónging my héart is sore sét.
     Might I =f=índ a =f=óode that were =f=áir and =f=rée
     To lie in héll till dómsday for =l=óve I would not =l=ét,
     My =l=óve for to wín,
     All =g=áme and =g=lée,
     All =m=írth and =m=élody,
     All rével and ríot,
     And of =b=óast will I never =b=lín_, &c.

In Skelton's _Magnificence_ the short lines rhyme in couplets like those
of _King Horn_, in a passage taken from p. 257 (part of which may be
quoted here):

    _Nowe lét me se abóut,
     In áll this rówte,
     Yf I cán fynde óut
     So sémely a snówte
     Amónge this prése:
     Éven a hole mése--
     Péase, man, péase!
     I réde, we séase.
     So farly fáyre as it lókys,
     And her bécke so comely crókys,
     Her naylys shárpe as tenter hókys!
     I haue not képt her yet thre wókys
     And howe stýll she dothe sýt!_ &c., &c.

In other poems Skelton uses short lines of two beats, but rhyming in a
varied order under the influence, it would seem, of the strophic system
of the virelay, which rhymes in the order _a a a b b b b c c c c d_. But
the succession of rhymes is more irregular in the Skeltonic metre, as e.
g. in the passage:

    _What cán it auáyle
     To drýue fórth a snáyle,
     Or to máke a sáyle
     Of an hérynges táyle;
     To rýme or to ráyle,
     To wrýte or to endýte,
     Eyther for delýte,
     Or élles for despýte;
     Or bókes to compýle
     Of dívers maner stýle_, &c.                  Colin Cloute (i. 311).

In other cases short bob-lines of one beat only interchange with
two-beat rhythms, as e.g. in Skelton's poem _Caudatos Anglos_ (i. 193):

    _Gup, Scót,
     Ye blót:
     Sét in bétter
     Thy péntaméter.
     This Dúndás,
     This Scóttishe ás,
     He rýmes and ráyles
     That Énglishman have táyles.
     Skeltónus laureátus,
     Ánglicus nátus,
     Próvocat Músas
     Cóntra Dúndas
     Spurcíssimum Scótum
     Úndique nótum_, &c.

The mingling of Latin and English lines, as in this passage, is one of
the characteristic features of the Skeltonic verse.

In some passages, as e.g. in the humorous poems _Phyllyp Sparowe_ and
_Elinour Rummyng_, the three-beat rhythm seems to prevail. In such cases
it probably developed out of the two-beat rhythm in the same way as in
_King Horn_.

    _Yet óne thynge ìs behýnde
     That nów còmmeth to mýnde;
     An épytàphe I wold háue
     For Phýllỳppes gráue;
     But fór I àm a máyde,
     Týmorous, hàlf afráyde,
     That néuer yèt asáyde
     Of Elycònys wéll,
     Whère the Múses dwell;_ &c.
                                                Phyllyp Sparowe (i. 69).

Skelton's verse was chiefly used by poets of the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries for satirical and burlesque poetry. One of its
chief cultivators was John Taylor, the Water-poet. A list of Skeltonic
poems is given in Dyce's edition of Skelton's poems, i. introduction,
pp. cxxviii-cxxix.

  =C. Revival of the old four-beat alliterative verse
      in the Modern English period.=

§ =72.= If after what precedes any doubt were possible as to the
scansion of the verses quoted on p. 113 from the Prologue to the Early
Modern English comedy of _Gammer Gurton's Needle_, this doubt would be
removed at once by the following couplet and by the accents put over the
second line of it by the sixteenth-century metrician, George

    _No =w=ight in this =w=orld | that =w=ealth can attayne,
     Unlésse hè bèléve | thàt áll ìs bùt váyne._

For the rhythm of these lines is perfectly identical with that of the
lines of the above-mentioned prologue, and also with that of the
alliterative line quoted ten years later (A. D. 1585), and called
tumbling-verse by King James VI in his _Revlis and Cavtelis_, viz.:

    _Fetching fúde for to féid it | fast fúrth of the Fárie._

This is the very same rhythm in which a good many songs and ballads of
the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries are written, as e.g. the
well-known ballad of _King John and the Abbot of Canterbury_, which
begins with the following stanzas[117]:

    _An áncient stóry | I'le téll you anón
     Of a nótable prínce, | that was cálled king Jóhn;
     And he rúled Éngland | with máine and with míght,
     For he díd great wróng, | and maintéin'd little ríght._

    _And I'le téll you a stóry, | a stóry so mérrye,
     Concérning the Abbot | of Cánterbúrye;
     How for his hóuse-kéeping, | and hígh renówne,
     They rode póst for him | to faire Lóndon tówne._

This four-beat rhythm, which (as is proved by the definition King James
VI gives of it) is the direct descendant of the old alliterative line,
has continued in use in modern English poetry to the present day.

It occurs in the poem _The recured Lover_, by Sir Thomas Wyatt, one of
the earliest Modern English poets, where it is intermixed sometimes with
four-feet rhythms, as was the case also in several Early English poems.
The general rhythm, however, is clearly of an iambic-anapaestic nature.
Fifteen years after the death of Wyatt Thomas Tusser wrote part of his
didactic poem _A hundred good points of Husbandry_ in the same metre. In
Tusser's hands the metre is very regular, the first foot generally being
an iambus and the following feet anapaests:

    _Whom fáncy persuádeth | amóng other cróps,
     To háve for his spénding, | suffícient of hóps,
     Must wíllingly fóllow, | of chóices to chóose.
     Such léssons appróved, | as skílful do úse._

The four beats of the rhythm and the regular occurrence of the caesura
are as marked characteristics of these verses as of the earlier
specimens of the metre.

Spenser has written several eclogues of his _Shepheard's Calendar_ in
this metre (February, May, September), and Shakespeare uses it in some
lyric pieces of his _King Henry IV_, Part II, but also for dialogues, as
e.g. _Err._ III. i. 11-84. In more modern times Matthew Prior
(1664-1715) wrote a ballad _Down Hall_ to the tune, as he says, of _King
John and the Abbot of Canterbury_, which clearly shows that he meant to
imitate the ancient popular four-beat rhythm, which he did with perfect
success. In other poems he used it for stanzas rhyming in the order _a b
a b_. Swift has used the same metre, and it became very popular in
Scottish poetry through Allan Ramsay and Robert Burns, one of whose most
famous poems is written in it, viz.:

    _My héart's in the Híghlands, | my héart is not hére;
     My héart's in the Híghlands, | a-chásing the déer;
     Chásing the wíld deer | and fóllowing the róe,
     My héart's in the Híghlands | wheréver I gó._

Sir Walter Scott used it frequently for drinking-songs, and Thomas Moore
wrote his _Letters of the Fudge Family_ in it.

By Coleridge and Byron this metre was used in the same way as by Wyatt,
viz. intermixed with regular four-foot verse according to the subject,
the four-beat iambic-anapaestic rhythm for livelier passages, the pure
iambic for passages of narration and reflection. Byron's _Prisoner of
Chillon_ and his _Siege of Corinth_ are good specimens of this kind of
metre.[118] On the other hand the regular four-foot rhythm, as will be
shown below, if it is of a looser structure, develops into a kind of
verse similar to the iambic-anapaestic rhythm--an additional reason for
their existing side by side often in one poem.

A few variations of this metre remain to be mentioned, which occur as
early as Tusser. The first variety arises from interlaced rhyme, by
which the two four-beat verses are broken up into four two-beat verses
rhyming in the order _a b a b_.

    _If húsbandry brággeth
     To gó with the bést,
     Good húsbandry bággeth
     Up góld in his chést._

On the model of these stanzas others were afterwards formed by Tusser
consisting of three-beat verses of the same rhythm. The same verse was
used for eight-line stanzas rhyming _a b a b c d c d_ by Nicholas Rowe,
Shenstone, Cowper, and in later times by Thackeray in one of his
burlesque poems (_Malony's Lament_ in _Ballads_, _the Rose and the
Ring_, &c., p. 225). For examples of these variations see the sections
treating of the iambic-anapaestic verses of three and two measures.

§ =73.= In modern times a few attempts have been made to revive the old
four-beat alliterative line without rhyme, but also without a regular
use of alliteration. These attempts, however, have never become

The following passage from William Morris's dramatic poem _Love is
enough_ may give an idea of the structure of this kind of verse:

    _Fáir Master =Ó=liver, | thóu who at =á=ll times
     Mayst =ó=pen thy héart | to our lórd and máster,
     =T=éll us what =t=ídings | thou hást to delíver;
     For our =h=éarts are grown =h=éavy, | and whére shall we túrn to,
     If thús the king's =g=lóry, | our =g=áin and salvátion,
     Must =g=ó down the wínd | amid =g=lóom and despáiring._

The rhythm, together with the irregular use of alliteration, places
these four-beat alliterative lines on the same level with those of the
dramatic poems of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

The same kind of versification is found in Longfellow's translation of
the late Old English poem on _The Grave_, and in James M. Garnett's
translations of _Beowulf_ and Cynewulf's _Elene_. On the other hand,
George Stephens, in his translation of the Old English poem on _The
Phoenix_, published 1844, not only adheres strictly to the laws of
alliteration, but confines himself to Germanic words, sometimes even
using inflexional forms peculiar to Middle English.

§ =74.= We shall conclude this survey of the development of the
four-beat alliterative line by giving a series of examples in reversed
chronological order, beginning with writers of the present day and
ending with the earliest remains of Old English poetry, in order to
illustrate the identity in rhythmic structure of this metre in all
periods of its history.

Nineteenth Century, End:

    _For níne days the kíng | hath slépt not an hóur
     And táketh no héed | of soft wórds or beseéching._
                                                              W. Morris.

Nineteenth Century, Beginning:

    _So that =w=íldest of =w=áves, | in their ángriest móod,
     Scarce =b=réak on the =b=oúnds | of the lánd for a róod._
                                         Byron, Siege of Corinth, 382-4.

Eighteenth Century, End:

    _My =h=éart's in the =H=íghlands, | my =h=éart is not =h=ére;
     My =h=éart's in the =H=íghlands, | a-chásing the déer._      Burns.

Eighteenth Century, Middle:

    _A cóbbler there wás, | and he líved in a stáll._[119]

Eighteenth Century, Beginning (1715):

   _I síng not old Jáson | who trável'd thro' Gréece
    To kíss the fair máids  | and posséss the rich fléece._
               Prior, Down-Hall, to the tune of King John and the Abbot.

Seventeenth Century, Beginning (or Sixteenth Century, End):

    _An áncient stóry | I'le téll you anón
     Of a nótable prínce, | that was cálled king Jóhn._
                                  King John and the Abbot of Canterbury.

Sixteenth Century, End (1585):

    _Fetching =f=úde for to =f=éid it | fast =f=úrth of the

Sixteenth Century (1575):

    _No =w=íght in this =w=órld | that =w=éalth can attáyne
     Un=l=ésse hè bè=l=éve | thàt áll ìs bùt váyne._[121]
                                                           G. Gascoigne.

Sixteenth Century (before 1575):

    _As =G=ámmer =G=úrton, | with mánye a wyde stýche,
     Sat =p=ésynge and =p=átching | of Hódg her mans brýche._
                                                 Gammer Gurton's Needle.

Sixteenth Century, Middle (about 1548):

    _Such lúbbers as =h=áth | dysgysed =h=éads in their hóods._
                                   Bale (_died_ 1563), King Johan, p. 2.

    _Thýnke you a Róman | with the Rómans cannot lýe?_
                                                            ibid. p. 84.

    _For as =C=hríste ded say to Péter, | =C=áro et sánguis
     Non revelávit tíbi | sed =P=áter meus celéstis._
                                                         ibid. pp. 92-3.

    _A péna et =c=úlpa | I desýre to be =c=lére,
     And thén all the dévylles | of héll I wold not fére._
                                                            ibid. p. 33.

    _Judicáte pupíllo, | deféndite víduam:
     Defénde the wýdowe, | whan she ís in dystrésse._
                                                             ibid. p. 6.

    _Sáncte Domínice, | óra pro nóbis.
     Sáncte pyld mónache, | I be-shrów vóbis.
     Sáncte Francísse, | óra pro nóbis._
                                                            ibid. p. 25.

Sixteenth Century, Beginning:

    _Apón the =m=ídsummer évin, | =m=írriest of níchtis._
                                            Dunbar, Twa Mariit Wemen, 1.

Fifteenth Century, Second Half:

    _In the =ch=éiftyme of =Ch=árlis, | that =ch=ósin =ch=íftane._
                                                       Rauf Coilȝear, 1.

Fifteenth Century, ? First Half:

    _In the =t=ýme of Árthour, | as =t=réw men me =t=áld_.
                                                 Golagras and Gawane, 1.

Fourteenth Century, End:

    _Moste =m=ýghty =M=áhowne | =m=éng you with =m=ýrthe,
     Both of búrgh and of tówne, | by =f=éllys and by =f=ýrthe._
                                             Towneley Mysteries, p. 140.

    _Oute, alás, I am góne! | oute apón the, mans wónder!_
                                                            ibid. p. 30.

Fourteenth Century, Second Half:

    _In a =s=ómer =s=éson, | whan =s=óft was the =s=ónne._
                                                 Piers Plowman, Prol. 1.

    _Þen com a =v=óis to Jóseph | and séide him þise =w=órdes._
                                   Joseph of Arimathie, 21 (about 1350).

Fourteenth Century, Beginning:

    _Ich herde =m=én vpo =m=óld | =m=áke much =m=ón._
                                                    Wright's Pol. Songs.

    _=L=ýstneþ =L=órdynges, | a newe sóng ichulle bigýnne._
                                                           ibid. p. 187.

Thirteenth Century, Middle:

    _Álle =b=èon he =b=líþe | þat tò my sóng líþe:
     A =s=óng ihc schàl you =s=ínge | of Múrry þe kínge._
                                                         King Horn, 1-4.

Thirteenth Century, Beginning:

    _And swá heo gùnnen wénden | fórð tò þan kínge._
                                                      Layamon, 13811-12.

    _Vmbe =f=íftene ȝér | þat =f=ólc is isómned._      ibid. 13855-6.

Twelfth Century:

    _þat þe =ch=íriche hàbbe grýþ | and þe =ch=éorl bèo in frýþ
     his =s=édes to =s=ówen, | his =m=édes to =m=ówen._
                                               Proverbs of Alfred, 91-4.

    _=b=úte if he =b=éo | in =b=óke iléred._      ibid. 65-6.

Eleventh Century, End:

    _þat he nám be wíhte | and mid mýcelan únrìhte._
                                                        Chron. an. 1087.

Eleventh Century, First Half:

    _súme hi man =b=énde, | =s=úme hi man =b=lénde._
                                                        Chron. an. 1037.

    _ne wearð =d=reṓrlìcre =d=ǣ́d | ge=d=ṓn on þisan éarde._      ibid.

Eleventh Century, Beginning:

    _se of ǽðelre =w=ǽs | vírginis pártū
     =c=lǣ́ne a=c=énned, | =C=hrístus in órbem._
                                              Oratio Poetica, ed. Lumby.

    _hwæt! ic =ā́=na sǽt | =í=nnan béarwe,
     mid =h=élme beþéaht, | =h=ólte tō-míddes,
     þǣr þā wǽterbúrnan | swḗgdon and úrnon,
     on míddan gehǽge, | éal =s=wā ic =s=écge._
                                                          Be Dōmes Dæge.

    _þæt =S=ámson se =s=tránge | swā of=s=lḗan míhte
    =ā́=n þūsend mánna | mid þæs =á=ssan cínbā́ne._
                                                  Ælfric, Judges, 282-3.

Tenth Century, End:

    _ǣ́fre embe =s=túnde | he =s=éalde sume wúnde,
     þā h=w=ī́le þe hē =w=ǣ́pna | =w=éaldan mṓste._
                                                       Byrhtnoth, 271-2.

Ninth Century:

    _=w=ýrmum be=w=únden, | =w=ítum gebúnden,
     =h=éarde ge=h=ǣ́fted | in =h=élle brýne._      Judith, 115-16.

Eighth Century:

    _=h=ā́m and =h=ḗahsètle | =h=éofena rī́ces._      Genesis, 33.

    _=w=úldre bi=w=únden | in þǣre =w=lítigan býrig.
     háfað ūs ā=l=ȳ́fed | =l=ū̀cis áuctor
     þæt wē =m=ṓtun hḗr | =m=éruḗrī[122]
     =g=ṓddǣdum be=g=íetan | =g=áudia in cǣ́lō._
                                                         Phoenix, 666-9.

    _on=f=ḗngon =f=úlwihte | and =f=réoðowǣ́re
     =w=úldres =w=édde | wī́tum āspḗdde._      Andreas, 1632-3.

    _þǣr wæs =b=órda ge=b=réc | and =b=éorna geþréc
     =h=éard =h=ándgeswìng | and =h=érga gríng,
     sýððan hēo =é=arhfære | =ǣ́=rest mḗtton._      Elene, 114-16.

    _=b=úgon Þā tō =b=énce | =b=lǣ́d-ā́gènde
     =f=ýlle ge=f=ǣ́gon. | =f=ǽgene geþǣ́gon
     =m=édofull =m=ánig | =m=ā́gas þā́ra._      Beowulf, 1013-15.

Seventh Century:

    _nu scýlun =h=érgan | =h=éfænrīcæs uárd,
     =m=étudæs =m=ǽcti | end his =m=ṓdgidanc._      Cædmon's Hymn.

§ =75.= The evidence contained in this chapter, with regard to the
continuous survival, in its essential rhythmical features, of the Old
English native verse down to modern times, may be briefly summed up as

1. In the oldest remains of English poetry (_Beowulf_, _Elene_,
_Andreas_, _Judith_, _Phoenix_, &c.) we already find lines with combined
alliteration and rhyme intermixed with, and rhythmically equivalent to,
the purely alliterative lines, exactly as we do in late Old English and
early Middle English poems such as _Byrhtnoth_, _Be Dōmes Dæge_,
_Oratio Poetica_, _Chronicle_ an. 1036, _Proverbs of Alfred_, and
Layamon's _Brut_.

2. In some of these poems, viz. the _Phoenix_ and the _Oratio Poetica_,
Latin two-beat hemistichs are combined with English hemistichs of
similar rhythm to form regular long lines, just as is done in Bale's
play of _Kinge Johan_ (sixteenth century).

3. The lines of this play agree in the general principle, and frequently
in the details of their rhythmical structure, with alliterative-rhyming
long lines which occur in lyric and epic poems of the same period, and
which two contemporary metrists, Gascoigne and King James VI, recognized
(independently of each other) as lines of four accents.

4. The rhythm of these sixteenth-century lines is indistinguishable from
that of a four-accent metre which is popular in English and German
poetry down to the present day.

These facts appear to leave no room for doubt that the Germanic metre
has had a continuous history in English poetry from the earliest times
down to the present, and that the long line, in Old and Middle English
as in Modern English, had four accents (two in each hemistich). The
proof acquires additional force from the fact, established by recent
investigations, that the most important of the metrical types of the Old
English hemistich are found again in Middle and Modern English poetry.


  [107] This view has been combated by the author. The stages of the
        discussion are to be found in articles by Einenkel, _Anglia_,
        v. Anz. 47; Trautmann, _ibid._ 118; Einenkel's edition of _St.
        Katherine_, E. E. T. S. 80; the author's 'Metrische
        Randglossen', _Engl. Studien_, ix. 184; _ibid._ 368; and
        _Anglia_, viii. Anz. 246. According to our opinion Otfrid's
        verse was never imitated in England, nor was it known at all in
        Old or Middle English times.

  [108] This line is inaccurately quoted by King James from the poet
        Alexander Montgomerie, who lived at his court. It should read
        as follows:--

          _Syne fetcht food for to feid it, | foorth fra the Pharie._
                                                            Flyting 476.

  [109] Cf. the writer's paper 'Zur Zweihebungstheorie der
        alliterierenden Halbzeile' in _Englische Studien_ v. 488-93.

  [110] Cf. _Chapters on Alliterative Verse_ by John Lawrence, D. Litt.
        London: H. Frowde. 1893. 8º (chapter iii).

  [111] 'Die englische Stabreimzeile im 14., 15., 16. Jahrhundert'
        (_Anglia_, xi. 392-443, 553-618).

  [112] Prof. Luick, in his longer treatise on the subject (_Anglia_,
        xi. 404), distinguishes between two forms of this type with
        anacrusis (× –́ × × –́) and without (–́ × × –́), which he
        calls A1 and A2, a distinction he has rightly now abandoned
        (Paul's _Grundriss_, ed. 2, II. ii. p. 165).

  [113] Also printed in Ritson's _Ancient Songs_, i, p. 12; Wright's
        _Pol. Songs_, p. 69; Mätzner's _Altenglische Sprachproben_, i,
        p. 152; Böddeker's _Altenglische Dichtungen, Pol. Lieder_,
        no. i.

  [114] Paul's _Grundriss_, ed. 2, II. ii, p. 158.

  [115] Cf. _Metrik_, ii. 146; and Luick, _Anglia_, xii. 450, 451.

  [116] See G. Gascoigne, _Certayne Notes of Instruction concerning the
        making of verse or ryme in English_, 1575, in Arber's
        _Reprints_, together with _The Steele Glas_, &c., London, 1868,
        8vo, p. 34.

  [117] Bürger's version _Der Kaiser und der Abt_ introduces a regular
        alternation of masculine and feminine couplets not observed in
        the original metre which he is copying.

  [118] Cf. the chapter on the four-foot iambic verse.

  [119] Recognized by Bishop Percy (1765) as rhythmically equivalent to

           _In a sómer séason, | when sóft was the sónne
           I shópe me into shróudes, | as I a shépe wére_
                                                        (Piers Plowman).

           _Hā́m and hḗahsetl | héofena rī́ces_
                                                              (Gen. 33).

           _Scḗop þā and scýrede | scýppend ū̀re_
                                                             (ibid. 65).

  [120] This alliterative-rhyming long line is scanned by the
        contemporary metrist King James VI in the manner indicated by
        the accents.

  [121] The second of these lines is thus marked by Gascoigne as having
        four stresses.

  [122] We retain the MS. reading; see Sievers, _Altgerm. Metrik_,
        p. 17.




§ =76.= It was not till about 150 years after the Norman Conquest that
foreign metres were introduced in English literature under the influence
of French and Low Latin versification. For these, too, the general law
observed in all accentual poetry holds good, viz. that the word-accent
and the syntactical accent must coincide with the rhythmical accent.
This rule, however, was easier to observe in the old native four-beat
alliterative metre, in which the proportion and order of accented and
unaccented syllables admit of many variations, than in metres consisting
of equal measures, which follow stricter rules in that respect. In the
older native verse accordingly we seldom find deviations from this
fundamental rule, whereas in the newer foreign metres they are more
frequent and striking.

The ordinary native alliterative metre was founded, as we have seen, on
the principle that four accented syllables had to occur in each long
line, together with an undefined number of unaccented ones, the position
and order of those different syllables admitting many variations. The
new metres constructed on foreign models during the Middle English
period differ from the earlier rhythmic forms by the regularity of the
alternation of unaccented and accented syllables and by the uniformity
of their feet or measures; they are accordingly styled even-measured or
even-beat verses.

Four different kinds are to be distinguished, viz. ascending and
descending disyllabic measures, and ascending and descending trisyllabic
measures, commonly called _iambic_, _trochaic_, _anapaestic_, and
_dactylic_ measures. In Middle English poetry, however, only iambic
rhythms were used. The three other kinds of rhythms did not come in till
the beginning of the Modern English period.

With regard to the development of various even-measured rhythms from
these four different kinds of feet, it will suffice to consider the
iambic and trochaic metres only, as these are the most important, and
the formation of the anapaestic and the dactylic metres is to be
explained in the same way.

§ =77.= According to the number of feet we may classify =the different
kinds of line=--retaining the classical nomenclature--as dimeters,
trimeters, tetrameters, &c.; (one meter always consisting of _two_
iambic or trochaic, or anapaestic feet), so that, for instance, an
iambic tetrameter contains eight iambic feet. Lines or rhythmical
sections consisting of complete feet, i.e. of an equal number of
accented and unaccented syllables, are called _acatalectic_ or
_complete_ lines (dimeters, trimeters, &c.). If, however, the last foot
of a line or of a rhythmical section be characterized by the omission of
the last syllable, i.e. by a pause, the line is called _catalectic_ or
_incomplete_. The following examples will serve to illustrate the
meaning of these terms:

Acatalectic iambic tetrameter:

  _Y spéke óf Ihésu, Márie sóne, | of álle Kínges hé is flóur,
   Þat súffred déþ for ál man-kín, | he ís our álder créatóur._
                                      Seynt Katerine, i. ll. 89-92.[123]

  _Come lísten tó my móurnful tále, | ye ténder héarts and lovers déar;
   Nor wíll you scórn to héave a sígh, | nor wíll you blúsh to shéd a
     téar._                                     Shenstone, Jenny Dawson.

Catalectic iambic tetrameter:

    _Ne sólde nó man dón a fírst | ne sléuhþen wél to dónne;
     For mány man behóteð wél, | þet hít forȝét wel sóne._
                                                    Moral Ode, ll. 36-7.

    _They cáught their spéares, their hórses rán, | as thóugh there hád
          been thúnder,
     And strúck them éach amídst their shíelds, | wherewíth they bróke
          in súnder._
                                    Sir Lancelot du Lake, ll. 65-8.[124]

Acatalectic trochaic tetrameter (not represented in Middle

    _Wérther hád a lóve for Chárlotte, | súch as wórds could néver
     Wóuld you knów how fírst he mét her? | shé was cútting bréad
               and bútter._
                                Thackeray, Sorrows of Werther, ll. 1, 2.

Catalectic trochaic tetrameter:

    _Áh! what pléasant vísions háunt me, | ás I gáze upón the séa:
     Áll the óld romántic légends, | áll my dréams come báck to mé!_
                                Longfellow, Secret of the Sea, ll. 1, 2.

A line in which the whole last foot is supplied by a pause is called

Brachycatalectic iambic tetrameter:

    _The Brítons thús depárted hénce, | seven Kíngdoms hére begóne,
     Where díverselý in dívers bróils | the Sáxons lóst and wón._
                                          Warner, Albion's England.[125]

Brachycatalectic trochaic tetrameter:

    _Hásten, Lórd, to réscue mé | and sét me sáue from tróuble;
     Sháme thou thóse who séek my sóul, | rewárd their míschief dóuble._
                                              Translation of Psalm lxix.

If both rhythmical sections of a tetrameter are brachycatalectic
we get one of the four varieties of the Middle English Alexandrine--the
only one that has continued in use in Modern English poetry.


    _Mid ývernésse and prúde | and ýssing wés that ón;
     He núste nouht þát he wés | bóþe gód and món._
                                    The Passion of our Lord, ll. 35, 36.

    _Of Álbion's glórious ísle | the wónders whílst I wríte,
     The súndry várying sóils, | the pléasures ínfiníte._
                                          Drayton, Polyolbion, ll. 1, 2.

These are the principal forms of rhythmical sections made up
of disyllabic feet that occur in Middle English and Modern
English Poetry.

§ =78. The breaking up of these long lines= (consisting of two
rhythmical sections) into shorter lines is usually effected by rhyme.
Thus, if both rhythmical sections of the acatalectic tetrameter are
divided by what is called leonine rhyme we get the short four-foot
couplet imitated from the French _vers octosyllabe_, as in the
following verses taken from the Middle English _A lutel soth sermon_
(ll. 17-20):

    _He máde him ínto hélle fálle,
     And éfter hím his chíldren álle;
     Þér he wás fortó ure dríhte
     Hine bóhte míd his míhte._

A Modern English example is--

    _Amóngst the mýrtles ás I wálk'd,
     Lóve and my síghs thus íntertálk'd:
     'Téll me,' said Í in déep distréss,
     'Where I may fínd my shépherdéss.'_
                                             Carew, Poets, iii, p. 703.

Another stanza of four lines is formed when the first rhythmical
sections of two tetrameters rhyming together are also connected in the
corresponding place (viz. before the caesura) by another species of
rhyme, called _interlaced_ or _crossed_ rhyme (_rime entrelacée_):

    _I spéke of Ihésu of hévene withín;
     Off álle kýngys he is flóur;
     Þat súffryd déþ for álle mankýn,
     He ís our alle créatóur._
                                         Saynt Katerine, ii, ll. 89-92.

Cf. these verses with an earlier version of the same legend (quoted p.
127), where only the second sections are connected by rhyme.

A Modern English example is--

    _When yóuth had léd me hálf the ráce
     That Cúpid's scóurge had máde me rún;
     I lóoked báck to méte the pláce
     From whénce my wéary cóurse begún._
                                 Surrey, Restless Lover, p. 4, ll. 1-4.

Corresponding short trochaic lines result from the acatalectic trochaic
tetrameter broken by leonine or inserted rhyme. In Middle English
poetry, however, they occur but very seldom in their pure form, i.e.
with disyllabic rhymes; in most cases they have monosyllabic or
alternate monosyllabic and disyllabic rhymes.

In like manner the catalectic iambic tetrameter is broken up by inserted
rhyme into two short verses, viz. one of four feet with a monosyllabic
ending, and one of three feet with a disyllabic ending, as in the
following examples:

    _Bytwéne mérsh and áverýl,
       When spráy bigínneþ to sprínge,
     Þe lútel fóul haþ híre wýl
       On hýre lúd to sínge._

     Wright's Spec. of Lyric Poetry, p. 27.

    _A chíeftain tó the híghlands bóund
       Cries: 'Bóatman, dó not tárry,
     And Í'll give thée a sílver póund
       To rów us ó'er the férry.'_
                               Campbell, Lord Ullin's Daughter, ll. 1-4.

A tetrameter brachycatalectic in both sections may also be broken up
either by leonine or by inserted rhyme. The following examples
illustrate respectively these two methods:

    _Wiþ lónging ý am lád,
     On mólde y wáxe mád,
     Y gréde, y gróne, vnglád
     For sélden ý am sád._
                                  Wright's Spec. of Lyric Poetry, p. 29.

    _Lo, Ióseph, ít is Í,
       An ángelle sénd to thé;
     We, léyf, I práy the, whý?
       What ís thy wýlle with mé?_
                                             Towneley Mysteries, p. 135.

In the same manner the verse of four feet mentioned above is broken up
into two lines of two feet, and the two-feet line into two lines of one
foot, as in the following examples:

    _Moost góod, most fáir,
     Or thíngs as ráre,
     To cáll you's lóst;
     For áll the cóst ... &c._
                      Drayton, An Amouret Anacreontic (Poets, iii. 582).

    _What shóuld I sáy
       Since fáith is déad,
     And trúth awáy
       From mé is fléd?_
                                                          Wyatt, p. 130.

    _For míght is ríht,            |  _I ám the kníght,
     Líht is níght,                |   I cóme by níght._
     And fíht is flíht._           |      The Nutbrowne Mayd,
        Wright's Political Songs,  |          line 33.
           p. 254.                 |

§ =79.= In the fourteenth century the =heroic verse= was added to these
Middle English metres; a rhyming iambic line of five feet, formed after
the model of the French line of ten syllables, e.g.:

    _A kníght ther wás, | and thát a wórthy mán._
                                                      Chaucer, Prol. 43.

Finally, the verse used in the =tail-rhyme staves= (_rime couée_) must
be mentioned. As this verse, however, usually appears only in that form
in which it is broken up into three short ones which compose one half of
the stave, its origin will be more properly discussed in the second
Book, treating of the origin and form of the different stanzas. To begin
with, however, it was simply a long line of three rhythmical sections.
Indications of this are here and there found in the way in which it is
arranged in MSS. and early printed books, e.g. in the first version of
the _Legend of Alexius_,[126] where it is written in triple columns on
the large folio pages of the Vernon MS. in the Bodleian Library:

   _Sítteþ stílle withóuten stríf, | And Í will télle yóu the líf |
              Óf an hóly mán.
    Álex wás his ríght náme, | To sérve gód thought hím no sháme, |
              Therof néver hé ne blán._

§ =80.= These are the simplest forms of verse used in Middle English
poetry; they can be varied, however, in many ways. First, they are not
restricted to monosyllabic or masculine endings or rhymes, but like
their French models, admit also of disyllabic or feminine rhymes.
Further, the caesura, where it occurs at all, may be masculine as well
as feminine. The septenary line, however, in its strict form admits only
of monosyllabic caesura and disyllabic ending.

Caesura and rhyme are in this respect closely analogous. For the
difference between the two kinds of caesura and between the two kinds of
rhyme is, that in the case of a masculine caesura or rhyme the pause
occurs immediately after the last accented syllable of the rhythmical
section, whereas in the case of a feminine caesura or rhyme an
unaccented syllable (sometimes even two or more unaccented
syllables[127]) follows upon the last accented one before the pause
takes place. Combinations of masculine caesura with masculine or with
feminine line-endings or rhymes, or the reverse, are, of course, allowed
and of frequent occurrence.

We quote in the first place some Middle English and Modern English
examples of masculine caesura in the Septenary, in the Alexandrine, in
lines of five and of four measures and--for the sake of comparison--in
the four-beat verse:

    _They cáught their spéares, their hórses rán, | as thóugh there
           hád been thúnder._
                                              Percy's Rel. (cf. p. 127).

    _The lífe so shórt, so fráil, | that mórtal mén live hére._
                                                          Wyatt, p. 155.

    _A kníght there wás, | and thát a wórthy mán._
                                                   Chaucer, Prol. l. 43.

    _For wánt of wíll | in wóe I pláin._
                                                           Wyatt, p. 44.

    _For wómen are shréws, | both shórt and táll._
                                         Shakesp. 2 Hen. IV, v. iii. 36.

Of the feminine caesura there are two different kinds, viz. the
so-called _Epic_ and _Lyric_ caesura.[128] In the Epic caesura in Iambic
metre the pause occurs, as in the feminine rhyme, after a supernumerary
syllable which follows upon the last accented one of the section the
next iambic foot following upon it in the usual manner. In the Lyric
caesura in Iambic metre, on the other hand, the pause occurs within a
foot, i.e. after the regular unaccented syllable of an iambic foot.

These three different kinds of caesura may be more simply defined as
follows: In the ordinary iambic line the caesura occurring after a
regular unaccented syllable is a feminine Lyric one (thus:
...⏑–́⏑|–́⏑–́...); the caesura occurring after an accented syllable is a
masculine one (thus: ...⏑–́|⏑–́ ⏑–́...); and that which occurs after a
supernumerary unaccented syllable immediately following upon an accented
 one is a feminine Epic caesura (thus: ...⏑–́⏑|⏑–́⏑–́...).

These different kinds of caesura strictly correspond to their French
models. The Epic caesura, which to some extent disturbs the regular
rhythmic flow of a verse, is by far the least frequent in metres of
equal feet.

In the alliterative line, on the other hand, as this metre does not
consist of equal feet, the feminine caesura, which is, from a rhythmical
point of view, identical with the Epic, is commonly used both in the Old
English and in the Middle English period, being produced by the natural
quality of the types A, C, D, and by the resolution of the last accented
syllable in the types B and D (of the Old English verse). For this
reason it also occurs more frequently than the other kinds of caesura in
the Modern English four-beat line.

This may be illustrated by the following examples:

     Epic caesura:

    _To Cáunterbúry | with fúl devóut couráge._
                                                 Chaucer, Prol. line 22.

    _He knóweth how gréat Atrídës | that made Troy frét._
                                                          Wyatt, p. 152.

    _And yét there ís anóther | between those héavens twó._
                                                          Wyatt, p. 161.

    _Witóuten grúndwall | to bé lastánd: stand._
                                                 Cursor Mundi, line 125.

     Lyric caesura:

    _Þer hé was fóurty dáwes | ál withúte méte._
                                                       Passion, line 29.

    _Se séttled hé his kíngdom | ánd confírmd his ríght._
                                      Spenser. Faerie Queene, II, x. 60.

    _And wél we wéren ésed | átte béste._
                                                      Chaucer, Prol. 29.

    _Þat álre wúrste | þát hi wúste._
                                                Owl and Night., line 10.

    _And Í should háve it | ás me líst._
                                                           Wyatt, p. 30.

All three kinds of caesura will have to be treated systematically later
on in connexion with the iambic rhyming verse of five measures, the
character of which they affect very much.

§ =81.= The variety caused by the different kinds of caesura in the
structure of the metres of equal measures, formed on the principle of a
regular alternation of unaccented and accented syllables, is much
increased by other causes arising from the different nature of Romanic
and Germanic versification. These variations came into existence, partly
because the poets, in the early days of the employment of
equal-measured rhythms, found it difficult, owing to want of practice,
to secure the exact coincidence of the word-accent and the metrical
accent, partly because for linguistic or (in the case of the later
poets) for artistic reasons they considered it unnecessary to do so.
They therefore either simply suffered the discord between the two kinds
of accentuation to remain, or, in order to avoid it, permitted
themselves licences that did violence either to the rhythmic laws of the
verse itself, or to the customary pronunciation of the words as regards
the value of syllables (i.e. their being elided or fully sounded) or

The changes which the equal-measured rhythms have undergone and still
undergo from the causes mentioned thus have relation partly to the
rhythmic structure of the verse itself, partly to the value of
syllables, and partly to the word-accent. From these three points of
view we shall first consider the iambic equal-measured rhythm in general
(this being the only species used in Middle English, and the one which
in Modern English is of most frequent occurrence and influences all the
rest), before we proceed to examine its individual varieties.


  [123] Horstmann, _Altenglische Legenden_, _Neue Folge_, p. 244.

  [124] Percy's _Reliques_, I. ii. 7.

  [125] Quoted in _Chambers's Cyclop. of Eng. Lit._, i. 242.

  [126] Ed. by J. Schipper, _Quellen und Forschungen_, xx.

  [127] In the 'tumbling'--or, to use the German name, the 'gliding'
        (_gleitend_) caesura or rhyme.

  [128] For the introduction and explanation of these technical terms
        cf. Fr. Diez, 'Über den epischen Vers,' in his _Altromanische
        Sprachdenkmale_, Bonn, 1846, 8vo, p. 53, and the author's
        _Englische Metrik_, i, pp. 438, 441; ii, pp. 24-6.

  [129] The occurrence of this licence in Chaucer's heroic verse has
        been disputed by ten Brink (_Chaucer's Sprache und Verskunst_,
        p. 176) and others, but see _Metrik_, i. 462-3, and
        Freudenberger, _Ueber das Fehlen des Auftaktes in Chaucer's
        heroischem Verse_, Erlangen, 1889.



§ =82.= As in Greek and Latin metre, so also in the equal-measured
rhythms of Middle and Modern English, it is a general law that the
beginning or end of a metrical foot should, so far as possible, not
coincide with the beginning or end of a word, but should occur in the
middle, so that the individual feet may be more closely connected with
each other. When this law is not observed, there arises what is
technically called _diaeresis_, that is to say, the breaking up of the
line into separate portions, which as a rule renders the verse
inharmonious. On this account lines composed entirely of monosyllables
are to be avoided. This law is more frequently neglected in Modern
English poetry than in that of earlier times, because the rarity of
inflexional endings makes its constant observance difficult.

Even in Middle English poems, however, we often find lines, especially
if they are short, which are composed of monosyllabic words only.

These observations may be illustrated by the following examples:

(_a_) Lines with diaeresis:

      _Ne ís no quéne so stárk ne stóur._
                             Wright's Spec. of Lyr. Poetry, p. 87, l. 4.

      _And hé was clád in cóote and hóod of gréne._
                                                Chaucer, Prol. line 103.

      _Had cást him óut from Héaven with áll his hóst._
                                                Milton, Parad. L. i. 37.

      _Had shóok his thróne. What thóugh the fíeld be lóst?_
                                                                ib. 105.

(_b_) Lines without diaeresis:

      _Nou shrínkeþ róse and lýlie flour._
                           Wright's Spec. of Lyr. Poetry, p. 87, line 1.

      _And smále fówles máken mélodíe._
                                                  Chaucer, Prol. line 9.

      _And réassémbling óur afflícted pówers._
                                               Milton, Parad. L. i. 186.

§ =83.= With regard to modulation, too, the lines with diaeresis differ
from those without it. In lines with diaeresis all syllables or words
with a rhythmic accent upon them are pronounced with nearly the same
stress, while in lines without diaeresis the difference between the
accented syllables is more noticeable. The two following examples taken
from Milton's _Paradise Lost_ will serve to illustrate this, the
difference of stress being indicated by different numbers under the
accented syllables:

    _Had cást him óut from Héaven with áll his hóst_
      0   1    0   2    0     2     0   2   0    2

    _And réassémbling óur afflícted pówers._
      0   1 0  2  0    1    0  3 0    2

As a general rule, the syllables which stand in an arsis are, just
because they bear the metrical stress, of course more strongly accented
than those which stand in a thesis.

Occasionally, however, a thesis-syllable may be more strongly accented
than an arsis-syllable in the same line which only carries the
rhythmical accent, but neither the word-accent nor the logical accent of
the sentence.

Thus in the following line from _Paradise Lost_--

    _Irreconcileable to our grand Foe_,

the word _grand_, although it stands in a thesis, is certainly, because
of the rhetorical stress which it has, more strongly accented than the
preceding word _our_ or the syllable _-ble_, both of which have the
rhythmical accent. Milton's blank verse abounds in such resolved
discords, as they might be called. In not a few cases, however, they
remain unresolved. This occurs chiefly in lines where the short
unaccented syllables or unimportant monosyllabic words must be
lengthened beyond their natural quantity in order to fit in with the
rhythm of the verse, as in the following lines:

    _Of Thámuz yéarly wóunded: thé love-tále._      Par. L. i. 452.

    _Únivérsal repróach far wórse to béar._      Par. L. vi. 34.

On the other hand long syllables standing in a thesis may be shortened
without harshness, e.g. the words _brought_ and _our_ in the following

    _Brought déath intó the wórld and áll our wóe._

§ =84.= With regard to the treatment of the rhythm the Middle English
even-beat metres in some respects are considerably different from the
Modern English metres, the reason being that the earlier poets, as yet
inexperienced in the art of composing in even-beat measures, found it
more difficult than Modern English poets to make the rhythmic accent
coincide with the word-accent and the syntactic-accent (cf. pp. 126-7,

Certain deviations from the ordinary iambic rhythm which partly disturb
the agreement of the number of accented and unaccented syllables in a
line are more frequent in Middle English than in Modern English poetry.
One of these licences is the =suppression of the anacrusis= or the
absence of the first unaccented syllable of the line, or of the second
rhythmical section, e.g.

    _Þán sche séyd: ȝe trówe on hím | þát is lórd of swíche pousté._
                  Horstmann's Altengl. Legend. N. F., p. 250, ll. 333-4.

    _Gíf we léornið gódes láre,
     Þénne ofþúncheþ hít him sáre._      Pater Noster, 15-16.

    _Únnet líf ic hábbe iléd, | and ȝíet, me þíncð, ic léde._
                                                        Moral Ode, l. 5.

    _Twénty bóokes, | clád in blák and réde._   Chaucer, Prol. 294.[129]

    _Sóme, that wátched | wíth the múrd'rer's knífe._     Surrey, p. 59.

    _Góod my Lórd, | give mé thy fávour stíll._
                                              Shakesp. Temp. iv. i. 204.

    _Nórfolk sprúng thee, | Lámbeth hólds thee déad._     Surrey, p. 62.

    _Vor mánies mánnes sóre iswínch | hábbeð ófte unhólde._
                                                Moral Ode, Ms. D. l. 34.

    _Enhástyng hím, | tíl he wás at lárge._
                                         Lydgate, Story of Thebes, 1075.

    _The tíme doth páss, | yét shall nót my lóve!_        Wyatt, p. 130.

While this metrical licence may mostly be attributed to want of
technical skill in Middle English poets, it is frequently employed in
the Modern English period, as the last example shows, with distinct
artistic intention of giving a special emphasis to a particular word.
Several Middle English poets, however, make but scant use of this
licence, e.g. the author of _The Owl and the Nightingale_ and Gower,
while some of them, as Orm, never use it at all.

§ =85.= These latter poets, on the other hand, make very frequent use of
another kind of rhythmical licence, viz. =level stress= or _hovering
accent_, as Dr. Gummere calls it; i.e. they subordinate the word-accent
or the syntactic accent to the rhythmic accent, and so far violate the
principal law of all accentual metre, which demands _that those three
accents should fall on one and the same syllable_.

This licence is found chiefly in metres of a certain length, e.g. in the
Septenary or in the iambic five-foot line, but not so frequently in
shorter metres, as the resulting interruption of the flow of the rhythm
is not so perceptible in long as in short lines.

The least sensible irregularity of this kind occurs when the
(syntactically) less emphatic of two consecutive monosyllabic words is
placed in the arsis, as in the following lines:

    _For whý this ís more thén that cáuse is._
                                                Chaucer, H. of Fame, 20.

    _There ís a róck in thé salt flóod._      Wyatt, p. 144.

    _Now seemeth féarful nó more thé dark cáve._      ib. p. 210.

If the accented syllable of a word consisting of two or more syllables
is placed in the thesis, and the unaccented one in the arsis, the
licence is greater. This is a licence often met with in Middle English
poetry, as e.g.:

    _I wílle not léyf you álle helpléss | as mén withóuten fréynd._
                                                  Towneley Myst. p. 182.

    _Of clóth-makýng | she hádde súch an háunt._     Chaucer, Prol. 447.

    _With blóod likewíse | ye múst seek yóur retúrn._    Surrey, p. 117.

The effect is still more harsh, if inflexional endings are used in this
way, though this does not often occur. The following are examples:

    _Þa béodes hé b=eo=d=é=þ therínne._      Pater Noster, 23.

    _Annd áȝȝ =a=fft=érr= þe Góddspell stánnt._      Orm. 33.

    _All þúss iss þátt h=a=llgh=é= g=o=ddsp=é=ll._      ib. 73.

In most cases dissonant rhythmical accentuations of this sort are caused
by the rhyme, especially in Middle English poetry, e.g.:

    _Sównynge alwáy th' encrés of his wynnýnge.
     He wólde the sée were képt for ény thínge._
                                                     Chaucer, Prol. 275.

Cf. also: _thing: wr+i+t+ý+ng_ ib. 325-6; _br+e+mst+óo+n: non_ ib.
629-30; _+a+le-st+á+ke: cake_ ib. 667-8; _g+o+dd+é+sse: gesse_ Chaucer,
Knightes Tale, 243-4; _herde: +a+nsw+é+rde_ ib. 265-6; _ass+e+mbl+ý+nge:
thynge_ Barclay, Ship of Fools, p. 20; similar examples are even to be
met with in early Modern English poetry, e.g.: _n+o+th+í+ng: bring_ Sur.
15; _bem+oa+n+í+ng: king_ Wyatt, 206; _w+e+lf+á+re: snare_ ib. 92;
_g+oo+dn+é+ss: accéss_ ib. 209; _m+a+n+é+re: chere_ Surrey, 124, &c.

Sometimes it may be doubtful how a line should be scanned. In some cases
of this kind the usage of the poet will decide the question; we know,
for instance, that Orm never allows the omission of the first unaccented
syllable. Where decisive evidence of this kind is wanting, the verse
must be scanned in such a manner as to cause the least rhythmical
difficulty. If a compound, or a word containing a syllable with
secondary accent, does not fit in with the rhythmical accent, it is to
be read, as a rule, with level stress when it occurs in the middle of a
line (and, of course, always when it is the rhyme-word). On the other
hand, if according to the rhythmical scheme of the line an unaccented
syllable would be the bearer of the rhythmical stress, we must in most
cases assume suppression of the anacrusis.

It would not be admissible therefore to scan:

    _Love, thát l+i+v+é+th | and réigneth ín my thóught_,
                                                          Surrey, p. 12.

    _Lóve that líveth | and réigneth ín my thóught._

The licence of displacement of accent is an offence against the
fundamental law of accentual verse, and therefore becomes more and more
rare as the technique of verse becomes more perfect.

§ =86=. Another metrical licence, which is not inadmissible, is
=the absence of a thesis in the interior of a line=. This
licence is not of the same origin in Middle English as in Modern
English poetry.

In Middle English it generally appears to be a relic of the
ancient alliterative verse (Types C and D) and to be analogous
to the similar usage of the contemporary Middle English alliterative
line, as e.g.:

    _Ne léve nó mán to múchel | to chílde ne to wíue._
                                                     Moral Ode, line 24.

    _Þet ís al sóth fúl iwís._      Pater Noster, 2.

    _hálde wé gódes láȝe._      ib. 21.

    _Óf the próphéte | that hátte Séynt Iohán._      Passion, 26.

Not unfrequently, also, this licence is caused by the rhyme, as in the
following examples:

    _Myd Hárald Árfáger, | kýng of Nórthwéy: eye._    Rob. of Glouc. 22.

    _As wás king Róbert of Scótlánd: hand._      Barbour, Bruce, 27.

    _And gúd Schyr Iámes of Dóuglás: was._      ib. 29.

    _Súmwhat óf his clóþíng: king._
                                  Rob. Mannyng, Handlyng Sinne, l. 5703.

The same manner of treatment may be found applied to words which end in
_-lyng_, _-esse_, _-nesse_, and similar syllables, and which have a
secondary accent on the last syllable and the chief accent on the
preceding root-syllable.

In Modern English verse the absence of a thesis between two accented
syllables sometimes arises from phonetic conditions, i.e. from the pause
which naturally takes place between two words which it is difficult to
pronounce successively. This pause supplies the place of the missing
thesis, as e.g. in the following lines:

    _And fírst cléns us fróm the fíend._      Townl. Myst. p. 9.

    _An óld témple there stánds, | whereás some tíme._   Surrey, p. 142.

    _And scórn the Stóry | thát the Kníght tóld._      Wyatt, p. 192.

In other instances the emphasis laid upon a particular word compensates
for the absence of the unaccented syllable, especially, if the accented
syllable is long: e.g.

    _And thóu, Fáther, |  recéive intó thy hánds._      Surrey, p. 142.

    _Júst as you léft them | áll prísoners, sír._  Shak. Temp. V. i. 8.

    _My ówn lóve, | my ónly déar._      Moore.

    _Mórning, évening, | nóon and night
     Práise Gód, | sang Théocríte._      R. Browning, ii. 158.

This licence is of frequent occurrence in even-beat measures.

§ =87.= Another metrical peculiarity caused by the influence of the
rhythm is the =lengthening= of a word by the introduction of an
unaccented extra syllable, commonly an _e_, to supply a thesis lacking
between two accented syllables.

This occurs in Middle English and in Modern English poetry also. (i) In
disyllabic words, commonly those with a first syllable ending with a
mute, the second beginning with a liquid, e.g.:

    _Of Éng(e)lónd | to Cáunterbúry they wénde._      Chauc. Prol. 16.

    _If yóu will tárry, | hóly píl(e)grím_.
                                        Shakesp. All's Well, III. v. 43.

(ii) In Modern English poetry only in certain monosyllabic words ending
in _r_ or _re_, preceded by a diphthong, as e.g. in _our_, _hour_,
_fire_, &c., e.g.:

    _So dóth he féel | his fíre mánifóld._      Wyatt, 205.

This peculiarity will be mentioned again in the next chapter.

§ =88.= Another deviation from the regular iambic line is the =inversion
of the rhythm=; i.e. the substitution of a trochee for an iambus at the
beginning of a line or after the caesura. The rhythmical effect of this
licence has some resemblance to that of the suppression of anacrusis. In
both cases the rhythmic accent has to yield to the word-accent. But
while in the latter case the whole verse becomes trochaic in consequence
of the omission of the first syllable, in the former the trochaic
cadence affects one foot only (generally the first), the rest of the
verse being of a regular iambic rhythm. Hence the number of syllables in
each line is the same as that in all the other regular lines (including
those with level stress), whereas verses with suppressed anacrusis may
easily be distinguished from the former by their smaller number of
syllables. On the other hand, the number of syllables (being the same in
both cases) affords no help in distinguishing between change of
word-accent and inversion of rhythm. Which of these two kinds of licence
is to be recognized in any particular case can be determined only by the
position which the abnormal foot occupies in the line. Inversion of
rhythm (i.e. the substitution of a trochee for an iambus) occurs, as a
rule, only at the beginning of a line or hemistich, where the flow of
the rhythm has not begun, so that the introduction of a trochee does not
disturb it. If, therefore, the discord between normal word-stress and
iambic rhythm occurs in any other position in the line, it must be
regarded as a case of level stress.

The following examples will serve to illustrate the difference between
these three species of metrical licence:

Omission of anacrusis:

    _Herknet tó me góde men_.  Hav. 1.                           7 syll.

    _Nórfolk sprúng thee, Lámbeth hólds thee déad._
                               Surrey, p. 62.                    9  "

Level stress:

    _A stálw+o+rþí man ín a flok_.  Hav. 24.                     8  "

    _And Rýpheús that mét thee bý m+oo+nlíght._
                               Surrey, p. 126.                  10  "

Inversion of rhythm:

    _Míchel was súch a kíng to préyse_.   Hav. 60.               8  "

    _Míldly doth flów alóng the frúitful fíelds._
                               Surrey, p. 145.                  10  "

    _Shróuding themsélves únder the désert shóre._
                               Surrey, p. 113.                  10  "

Inversion of rhythm may be caused in the interior of a rhythmical series
only when a particularly strong emphasis is laid upon a word, e.g. to
express an antithesis or for similar reasons:

    _That íf_ góld ruste | _whát shal ýren dó?_      Chaucer, Prol. 500.

    _And wé'll_ nót fail | _When Dúncan ís asléep._
                                              Shakesp. Macb. I. vii. 61.

We may distinguish between two kinds of inversion of rhythm, viz. (i)
_natural_ inversion, and (2) _rhetorical_ inversion. The former is
caused by word-accent, the latter by the rhetorical accent, as
illustrated by the last examples. The second kind differs very clearly
from level stress, as the word in question or the first syllable of it
(see the second line of the following quotation) is to be uttered with
an unusually strong emphasis, e.g.:

    Síck, or _in héalth, | in évil fáme or góod._      Surrey, p. 17.

    Lústy _of scháip,_ lýght of _delíveránce_.
                                            Dunbar, Thriss. and Rois 95.

In the second example inversion of rhythm occurs (as it often does)
twice over, viz. at the beginning of the verse and after the caesura.

Not unfrequently also two inversions of rhythm follow immediately upon
one another, e.g.:

    Wórldly gládnes | _is mélled wíth affráy_.
                                     Lydgate, Min. Poems, xxii, line 11.

    Réigned óver | _so mány péoples and réalms._      Surrey, p. 135.

Such verses, however, may also be looked upon as instances of the
omission of anacrusis combined with epic caesura.

This would be the only admissible explanation in verses the first
accented word of which is a word which usually does not bear an accent
or is not accented rhetorically, e.g.:

    _Óf the wórdes | that Týdeús had sáid._
                                      Lydgate, St. of Thebes, line 1082.

    _Tó have líved | áfter the cíty táken._      Surrey, p. 139.

But in a line with an emphasized first word inversion of rhythm is the
more probable explanation: e.g.

    _Nát astónned, | nor ín his hérte afférde._
                                      Lydgate, St. of Thebes, line 1069.

    _Gód, that séndeth, | withdráweth wínter shárp._      Surrey, p. 58.

§ =89. Disyllabic or polysyllabic thesis.= Another important deviation
from the regular iambic rhythm, which is clearly to be distinguished
from the double thesis caused by inversion of rhythm, consists in the
use of two or sometimes even more unaccented syllables instead of one to
form a regular thesis of a verse. This irregularity, which is almost as
common in Modern English as it is in Early English poetry, may occur in
any part of the verse. If it occurs in the first foot, it may be called
disyllabic or polysyllabic anacrusis, as in the following examples:

    _Gif we clépieþ híne féder þénne._      Pater Noster, 19.

    _Se þe múchel vólȝeð hís iwíl, | him sélue hé biswíkeð._
                                                          Moral Ode, 15.

    _To purvéie þám a skúlkyng, | on þe Énglish éft to ríde._
                                        Rob. Mannyng, Chron. p. 3, l. 8.

    _With a thrédbare cópe, | as ís a póure scolér._
                                                     Chaucer, Prol. 260.

    _And why thís is a revelációun._      Chaucer, H. of Fame, l. 8.

    _My comáundemént that kéeps trulý, | and áfter ít will dó._
                                                  Towneley Myst. p. 182.

    _There was néver nóthing | móre me páin'd._      Wyatt, p. 57.

    _I beséech your Gráces | bóth to párdon mé._
                                           Shakesp. Rich. III, I. i. 84.

    _By thy lóng grey béard and glíttering éye._
                                              Coleridge, Anc. Mar. l. 3.

This metrical licence may occur also immediately after the caesura,

    _Wel láte he léteþ úfel wéorc | þe hit né may dón na máre._
                                                         Moral Ode, 128.

    _And thríes hádde sche bén | at Ierúsalém._      Chauc. Prol. 463.

    _My wíll confírm | with the spírit of stéadfastnéss._
                                                          Wyatt, p. 220.

    _But thén we'll trý | what these dástard Frénchmen dáre._
                                         Shakesp. 1 Hen. VI, I. iv. 111.

It most frequently occurs, however, in the interior of the rhythmical
sections, and there it is found in any of the feet, except the last, as
will be seen by the following examples:

    _Intó þis ðhísternesse hér benéðen._      Gen. and Exod. 66.

    _For þér we hit míhte fínden éft | and hábben búten énde._
                                                          Moral Ode, 52.

    _In Wéssex was thán a kíng, | his náme wás Sir Íne._
                                        Rob. Mannyng, Chron. p. 2, l. 1.

    _Of Éngelónd | to Cáunterbúry they wénde._      Chauc., Prol. 16.

    _So fervent hót, | thy díssolute lífe._      Surrey, p. 68.

    _And Windsor, alás! | doth cháse me fróm her síght._      ib. p. 14.

    _Succéeding his fáther Bólingbróke, | did réign._
                                          Shakesp. 1 Hen. VI, II. v. 83.

§ =90.= Unaccented extra syllables are found also before a caesura or at
the end of the line. In the former case they constitute what is known as
_epic caesura_, in the latter they form feminine or double endings (if
there is only one extra syllable) or tumbling endings (if there are two
extra syllables). In both cases this irregularity is softened or
excused, so to say, by the pause, except where the accented or masculine
ending of the hemistich is required by the very nature of the metre,
viz. in the first acatalectic half of the Septenary line. It does,
however, not unfrequently occur in some Early Middle English poems
written in Septenary metre, e.g. in the _Moral Ode_ and several others,
but this may be only owing to want of skill or carelessness on the part
of the authors of these poems. The following example taken from the
_Moral Ode_ may serve to illustrate this:

    _Nis nán wítnesse éal se múchel, | se mánnes ágen héorte._      114.

In the _Ormulum_ irregularities of this kind never occur, a certain
proof that Orm thought them metrically inadmissible, and felt that an
extra syllable at the end of the first hemistich would disturb the flow
of the rhythm.

Epic caesura certainly is more in place, or at any rate more common, in
other kinds of verse, especially in the Middle English Alexandrine
formed after the Old French model, e.g.:

    _Untó the Ínglis kínges, | þat hád it ín þer hónd._
                                      Robert Mannyng, Chron. p. 2, l. 4.

In the four-foot and five-foot rhymed verse, and especially in blank
verse, it is of frequent occurrence:

    _Why thís a fántom, | why thése orácles._      Chauc. H. of F. 11.

    _To Cáunterbúry, | with fúl devóut coráge._      id. Prol. 22.

    _What shólde he stúdie | and máke hym séluen wóod?_    ib. 184.[130]

    _So crúel príson | how cóuld betíde, alás._      Surrey, p. 19.

    _O míseráble sórrow! | withóuten cúre._      Wyatt, p. 124.

    _With hídden hélp or vántage, | or thát with bóth._
                                              Shakesp. Macb. I. iv. 113.

    _But hów of Cáwdor? | The tháne of Cáwdor líves._    ib. I. iii. 72.

    _But thís delíver'd, | he sáw the ármies jóin._
                                       Fletcher, Loyal Subj. II. i. 333.

    _For íf my húsband táke you, | and táke you thús._
                                                id. Rule a Wife, v. 495.

    _By vísion fóund thee ín the Témple, | and spáke._
                                               Milton, Par. Reg. i. 256.

    _Creáted húgest | that swím the Ócean-stréam._   id. Par. L. i. 202.

    _And chíefly thóu, O Spírit! | that dóst prefér._      ib. i. 17.

    _Have fílled their víals | with sálutáry wráth._
                                          Coleridge, Relig. Musings, 84.

§ =91.= Double or feminine endings are more frequent than epic caesuras,
especially in Middle English poetry. They become rarer, however, in the
course of time in Modern English in consequence of the gradual
disappearance of the inflexional endings, e.g.:

    _Þet wé don álle hís ibéden,
     Ánd his wílle fór to réden._      Pater Noster, 7-8.

    _Tó my wýtte | that cáuseth swévenes
     Éyther on mórwes | ór on évenes._      Chauc. H. of Fame, 3-4.

    _Áfter Éthelbért | com Élfríth his bróther,
     Þat was Égbrihtes sónne, | and ȝit ther wás an óþer._
                                  Robert Mannyng, Chron. p. 21, ll. 7-8.

    _Withóuten óther cómpainýe | in yóuthe,
     But therof néedeth nóught | to spéke as nóuthe._
                                                     Chauc. Prol. 461-2.

    _And ín her síght | the séas with dín confóunded?_    Sur. p. 164.

    _Or whó can téll thy lóss, | if thóu mayst ónce recóver._
                                                          Wyatt, p. 154.

    _Lie there, my árt. | Wípe thou thine eyes; have cómfort._
                                               Shakesp. Temp. 1. ii. 25.

    _The dífference 'twíxt the covetous | ánd the pródigall._
                                     Ben Jonson, Staple of News, ii. 12.

    _Nothing at áll! | I'll téach you tó be treacherous._
                                          Fletcher, Mad Lover, iii. 255.

    _Nó, Sir, | I dáre not leave her | tó that sólitariness._
                                               id. Rule a Wife, iv. 479.

    _What yóung thing's thís?-- | Good mórrow, béauteous géntlewoman._
                                              id. Loy. Subj. v. ii. 402.

The two last quotations are noteworthy because the number of extra
syllables after the last accented one is two, three, or even four, a
peculiarity which is one of the characteristics of Fletcher's
versification. Other poets, e.g. Shakespeare, preferred feminine
endings in some periods of their literary career, so that it is possible
to use the proportion of masculine and feminine endings occurring in a
play, compared with others of the same poet, as a means of ascertaining
the date of its origin.

It is also to be observed that in certain epochs or kinds of poetry
feminine endings are more in favour than in others. In the eighteenth
century they are very scarce, whereas they become more frequent again in
the nineteenth century. Byron and Moore especially use them copiously in
their satirical and humorous poems to produce burlesque effects.

§ =92.= Another metrical licence also connected with the end of the line
is what is known as the =enjambement= or _run-on line_--that is to say,
the carrying over of the end of a sentence into the following line.

The rule that the end of a line must coincide with the end of a
sentence, is, from the nature of the case, more difficult to observe
strictly--and, consequently, the run-on line is more readily
admitted--in verse composed of short lines (which often do not afford
room for a complete sentence) than where the lines are longer. In blank
verse, also, the run-on line is more freely allowed than in rhymed
verse, where the pause at the end of the line is more strongly marked.

Generally speaking, enjambement is not allowed to separate two short
words that stand in close syntactical connexion and isolated from the
rest of the sentence, though examples of this do occur (especially in
the older poets) in which an adjective is separated from its

    _I wíll yive hím the álderbéste
     Yífte, that éver he abóod his líve._      Chauc. Blaunche, 246.

    _My lúte awáke, perfórm the lást
     Lábour, that thóu and Í shall wáste._      Wyatt, p. 29,

or a verb from its subject or object, formed by a monosyllabic word:

    _To téllen shórtly, whán that hé
     Was ín the sée, thús in this wíse._      Chauc. Blaunche, 68.

    _Me néed not lóng for tó beséech
     Hér, that hath pówer me tó commánd._      Wyatt, p. 31.

But if, on the other hand, two closely connected parts of a sentence are
each of them long enough to fill up two measures, they may be separated
by enjambement:

    _Whan Zéphirús eek wíth his swéte bréethe
     Enspíred háth in évery hólte and héethe
     The téndre cróppes, ánd the yónge sónne
     Háth in the Rám his hálfe cóurs irónne_, &c.      Chauc. Prol. 5-8.

    _There áre a sórt of mén, whose vísagés
     Do créam and mántle líke a stánding pónd._
                                             Shakesp. Merch. I. i. 88-9.

The admissibility or inadmissibility, however, of run-on lines depends
on many different and complicated considerations, for which the reader
may be referred to ten Brink, _Chaucer's Sprache und Verskunst_, §§
317-20, and to our own larger work, vol. ii, pp. 59-62.

In Shakespeare's versification, and probably also in that of other
poets, the more or less frequent use of run-on lines is characteristic
of certain periods of their literary career, and is therefore looked
upon as a valuable help in determining the date of the different plays
(cf. § 91). The largest percentage of run-on lines probably occurs in
Milton's epics.

§ =93.= The judicious use of run-on lines is often resorted to for
the purpose of avoiding monotony. Another metrical licence connected
with the line-end, which is adopted for the same purpose, is
=rhyme-breaking=. This occurs chiefly in rhyming couplets, and consists
in ending the sentence with the first line of the couplet, instead of
continuing it (as is usually done) till the end of the second line. Thus
the close connexion of the two lines of the couplet effected by the
rhyme is broken up by the logical or syntactic pause occurring at the
end of the first line. This is used rarely, and so to say unconsciously,
by the earlier Middle English poets, but is frequently applied, and
undoubtedly with artistic intention, by Chaucer and his successors.
The following passage contains examples both of rhyme-breaking and of
the more normal usage:

    _A Yéman hádde he, ánd servántz namó
     At thát tyme, fór him líste ríde sóo;
     And hé was clád in cóte and hóod of gréne:
     A shéf of pécok árwes bríght and shéne
     Únder his bélt he bár ful thríftilý.
     Wél koude he drésse his tákel yémanlý;_ &c.
                                               Chauc. Prol. ll. 101-6.

Rhyme-breaking may, of course, also take place in other metres, as e.g.
in four-foot iambic verses:

    _Which hópe I kéep full súre in mé,
     As hé, that áll my cómfort ís.
     On yóu alone, which áre my blíss_, &c.
                                                      Surrey, pp. 79-80.

Chapman, in his translation of Homer, often uses it in Septenary
verses as well as in five-foot iambic verses. In certain stanzas
rhyme-breaking at particular places is a strict rule, as e.g. in the
Rhyme-Royal stanza (_a b a b . b c c_), in the ballade-stanza of eight
lines (_a b a b . b c b c_), and also between the two quatrains of the
regular Italian sonnet.

On the other hand this licence is rare in the works of the poets of the
eighteenth century who wrote under French influence, and in modern times
(especially at the present day) it seems to be rather avoided than
intentionally admitted.

§ =94.= Another peculiarity of frequent but irregular occurrence in
even-beat verse is =alliteration=, a feature which is derived from the
old native metre, and is still (consciously or unconsciously) employed
by many poets as an ornament of their verse.

The arbitrary use of alliteration in the freer form of the long line has
been already discussed.

In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries it is mostly used merely to
give a stronger emphasis to those words of the verse which bear the
logical and rhythmical accent,[131] but even as early as this we can
observe a decided predilection for accumulated alliteration. Sometimes
the same alliterative sound is retained through several successive
lines. In other instances a fourth alliterating word is admitted in the
line (as in the example referred to above). In the fifteenth and
sixteenth centuries this striving after accumulation of alliteration was
carried to such a length that it became a rule that as many words in the
line as possible, whether accented or not, should begin with the same
letter. This accounts for King James VI's metrical rule quoted above (p.
89), that in 'Tumbling verse' the line is to be 'literal'. Even Chaucer,
in spite of his well-known hostile attitude to regular alliterative
poetry,[132] allowed his diction to be influenced strongly by it, e.g.:

    _I =w=réche_, =w=hích that =w=épe and =w=áylle thús_,
     =W=as =w=hílom =w=ýf to =k=ýng =C=apáneús_.
                                                     Kn. Tale, ll. 73-4.

    _And =h=é =h=im =h=úrtleth wíth =h=is =h=órs adóun_.
                                                          ib. line 1758.

This accumulation of alliterative sounds occurs in the works of many
Modern English poets, some of whom, as Peele and Shakespeare, have
themselves ridiculed it, but were unable, or were not careful, to avoid
it altogether in their own practice.

    _And wíth =sh=arp =sh=rílling =sh=ríekes | doe bóotlesse crý_.
                                               Spens. F. Q. I. iii. 127.

    _=W=hich =w=íth a rúshy =w=éapon | Í =w=ill =w=óund_.
                                          Peele, Old Wifes Tale, p. 467.

    _Théy =l=ove =l=éast that =l=ét men know their =l=óve_.
                                                        Shak. Rom. i. 3.

     For particulars see _Neuengl. Metrik_, pp. 68-76, and the following

 _Die Alliteration im Layamon_, by K. Regel; _Germanistische Studien_,
 ed. K. Bartsch, Vienna, 1874, i. 172 ff.

 _Die Alliteration bei Chaucer_, by Dr. F. Lindner, _Jahrbuch f. rom.
 und engl. Literatur_, N. Ser. ii, p. 311 ff.

 _Die Alliteration in den Werken Chaucers mit Ausschluss der
 Canterbury Tales_, by E. Petzold. Dissertation, Marburg, 1889.

 _Die alliterierenden Sprachformeln in Morris's Early English
 Alliterative Poems und im Sir Gawayne and the Green Knight_, by Joh.
 Fuhrmann. Dissertation, Kiel, 1886.

 Prof. Dr. K. Seitz, _Die Alliteration im Englischen vor und bei
 Shakspere_, and _Zur Alliteration im Neuenglischen_.
 Realschulprogramme i-iii, Marne, 1875, Itzehoe, 1883, 1884.

 M. Zeuner, _Die Alliteration bei neuenglischen Dichtern_.
 Dissertation, Halle, 1880.

 _Die stabreimenden Wortverbindungen in den Dichtungen Walter
 Scott's_, by Georg Apitz. Dissertation, Breslau, 1893.


  [130] We therefore hold ten Brink to be wrong in asserting
        (_Chaucer's Sprache und Verskunst_, § 307, 3. Anm.) that no
        redundant or hypermetrical syllable is permissible in the
        caesural pause of Chaucer's iambic line of five accents,
        although he recognizes that in lines of four accents Chaucer
        admits the very same irregularity, which moreover has remained
        in use down to the present day. Cf. Skeat, _Chaucer Canon_,
        Oxford, 1900, pp. 31-3, and Schipper in Paul's _Grundriss_,
        ed. 2, II. ii, pp, 217-18. On this point, as also on several
        others, Miss M. Bentinck Smith, the translator of ten Brink's
        work, is of our opinion (cf. her Remarks on Chapter III of ten
        Brink's _Chaucer's Sprache und Verskunst_ in _The Modern
        Language Quarterly_, vol. v, No. 1, April, 1902, pp. 13-19). A
        contrary view with regard to 'extra syllables' in the heroic
        and the blank-verse line (sixteenth and seventeenth centuries)
        is taken by A. P. van Dam and Cornelis Stoffel, _Chapters on
        English Printing, Prosody, and Pronunciation_ (1550-1700),
        Heidelberg, 1902 (Anglistische Forschungen herausgegeben von
        Dr. Johannes Hoops, Heft 9), pp. 48-113.

  [131] Cf. the lines from Wright's _Spec. of Lyr. Poetry_, p. 31,
        quoted on p. 98.

  [132] Cf. _Parson's Prologue_, 42-3.



§ =95.= As the root-syllables of words (leaving out of account the words
of Romanic origin) almost universally retain their full syllabic value,
whether occurring in arsis or in thesis, they require no notice in this
chapter. We therefore confine our remarks to the formative and
inflexional syllables, which, though as a rule found only in thesis,
admit of being treated metrically in three different ways. (1) A
syllable of this kind may retain its full value, so as to form by itself
the entire thesis of a foot. (2) It may be slurred, so that it combines
with another unaccented syllable to form a thesis. (3) It may lose its
syllabic value altogether, its vowel being elided and its consonantal
part (if it has any) being attracted to the root-syllable. By the
last-mentioned process, as is well known, the number of inflexional
syllables has been greatly reduced in Modern as compared with Middle and
Old English.

The inflexional endings which in Middle English (we are here considering
chiefly the language of Chaucer) have ordinarily the value of
independent syllables are the following:--

_-es_ (_-is_, _-us_) in the gen. sing. and the plur. of the substantive,
and in certain adverbs.

_-en_ in the nom. plur. of some substantives of the weak declension, in
certain prepositions, in the infinitive, in the strong past participle,
in the plur. of the pres. of strong verbs, and in the pret. plur. of all

_-er_ in the comparative.

_-est_ in the superlative and the 2nd person pres.

_-eth_ (_-ith_) in the 3rd person pres. sing., in the plur. pres. and
plur. imperative.

_-ed_ (_-id_, _-ud_) in the past participles of weak verbs, and often in
the 1st and 3rd person sing. and the whole plur. pret. of the weak verbs
with short root-syllable, instead of the fuller endings _-ede_, _-eden_,
which also occur; in weak verbs with long root-syllable the endings are
_-de_, _-den_.

_-edest_, or _-dest_ in the 2nd pers. sing. pret. of the weak verb.

_-e_ in a certain number of inflexional forms of the verb (as e.g. in
the inf. and in the past part. of strong verbs, where _n_ is dropped),
and of the substantive and adjective, and as an ending of Romanic words,

Of all these endings only the comparative and superlative suffixes
_-er_, _-est_ are preserved in an unreduced state in Modern English. The
final _-e_ has disappeared in pronunciation (with some exceptions
occurring in Early Modern English). The important suffixes _-en_, _-es_,
_-ed_, _-est_ (2nd pers. sing.), _-eth_ (for which _-s_, the northern
ending, instead of _-es_, is commonly substituted) have been contracted
through syncope so as to form one syllable with the root, except where
the nature of the final consonant of the stem prevents syncope, e.g. in
_-es_ and _-est_ after sibilants, in _-ed_ after dentals, in _-en_ after
_v_, _s_, _t_, _d_, _k_ (as in _houses_, _ended_, _risen_, _written_,
_hidden_, _broken_, _driven_). As, however, these are always full
syllables they may here be disregarded. The ending _-edest_ has been
shortened into _-edst_.

It is to be observed that the syncopation of the vowel (_e_) of the
inflexional endings was not so nearly universal in Early Modern English
as it is at present; and further, that it is still much less prevalent
in poetry than in prose, because the poets for metrical reasons often
preserve the fuller endings when in ordinary speech they are no longer
used.[133] In examining the metrical treatment of the Early English
inflexional endings, we shall therefore have occasion to consider the
usage of the present day, notwithstanding the fact that some of these
endings are obsolete in modern prose.

The chief difference between Early and Modern English with regard to the
treatment of the inflexions is that in Early English poetry the full
pronunciation is the rule--in accordance with the practice in ordinary
speech--and the syncopation of the vowel (_e_, rarely _i_ or _u_) is the
exception; while in Modern English it is the shortened pronunciation
that is normal, the full syllabic form being used only exceptionally as
a poetic licence.

§ =96.= The first point that requires notice is the treatment of the
unaccented _e_ of words of three and four syllables in Middle English.
The following observations are founded on those of ten Brink, _Chaucer's
Sprache und Verskunst_, § 256.

1. If each of the two last syllables of a trisyllabic word has
an unaccented _e_, one of them is generally elided or slurred over under
the influence of the rhythmical accent. Thus the past tense singular of
the weak verbs _clepede_, _werede_, _makede_, _lovede_ may be scanned
either _clepte_, _werde_, _made_, _lovde_, or _cleped_, _wered_,
_maked_, _loved_. Just in the same way the plural forms _clepeden_,
_makeden_, &c., may be read either _clepten_, _maden_, &c., or _cleped_,
_maked_, &c.; likewise the plural endings of nouns _faderes_, _hevenes_
may be pronounced _fadres_, _hevnes_ or _faders_, _hevens_. In Early
Middle English, however, and also in the language of Chaucer, exceptions
to this rule are found, trisyllabic scansion occurring chiefly in the
plur. pret., e.g.:

    _Þatt úre Lóverrd Iésu Chríst, swa þóledé þe déofell._
                                                             Orm. 11822.

    _I dórste swére, they wéyedén ten póunde._
                                                       Chauc. Prol. 454.

    _Yélledén_, id. N. Pr. Tale, 569; _wónedén_,
                                                       id. Leg. 712, &c.

The _e_ following upon an unaccented syllable which is capable of
receiving the accent, whether in a word of Teutonic or Romanic origin,
is commonly mute. E.g. _banere_, _manere_, _lovere_, _ladyes_,
_housbondes_, _thousandes_ are generally to be pronounced in verse (as,
indeed, they were probably pronounced in prose) as, _baner_, _maner_,
_lover_, _ladys_, _housbonds_, _thousands_. But this _e_, on the other
hand, not unfrequently remains syllabic, especially in the _Ormulum_,
where it is dropped only before a vowel or _h_. E.g. _cneolénn
meoklík(e) annd lútenn_ 11392, _meocnéss(e) is þrínne kíness_ 10699,
_Forr án godnéss(e) uss háveþþ dón_ 185. Before a consonant or at the
end of a line, however, it is always sounded: _Ennglísshe ménn to láre_
279, _God wórd and gód tiþénnde_ 158, _forrþí birrþ áll Cristéne fóllc_
303. _Goddspélless hállȝhe láre_ 14, 42, 54, _þa Góddspelléss neh álle_
30. Other examples are: _And þó þet wéren gítserés_ Moral Ode, MS. D. l.
269; _For thóusandés his hóndes máden dýe_ Chauc. Troil. v, 1816;
_enlúminéd_ id. A B C 73.

In words of four syllables a final _e_ which follows upon an unaccented
syllable with a secondary accent may at pleasure either become mute or
be fully pronounced. So words like _óutrydère_, _sóudanèsse_,
_émperòures_, _árgumèntes_ may be read either as three or four
syllables. Examples of _e_ sounded: _Bifórr þe Rómanísshe kíng_ Orm.
6902; _Annd síkerrlíke trówwenn_ ib. 11412; _þurrh hállȝhe
góddspellwríhhtess_ ib. 160; _Till híse lérninngcníhhtess_ ib. 235;
_Annd þúrrh þin góddcunndnésse_ ib. 11358; _An Gódd all únntodǽledd_
ib. 11518; _I glúternésse fállenn_ ib. 11636; _þurrh flǽshes
únntrummnésse_ ib. 11938; _in stránge ráketéȝe_ Moral Ode, 281; _a
thíng(e) unstédeféste_ ib. 319; _bifóre héovenkínge_ ib. 352, &c.
Examples of _e_ mute: _And þá, þe úntreownéss(e) dide þán_ Moral Ode,
267; _þéosternéss(e) and éie_ ib. 279. Orm has it only before vowels or
_h_: _Forr són se glúternéss(e) iss dǽd_ 11663, &c.

§ =97. Special remarks on individual inflexional endings.=

_-es_ (gen. sing., nom. plur., and adverbial) is in disyllables (a) as a
rule treated as a full syllable, e.g. _Ac þét we dóþ for gódes lúue_
Moral Ode 56; _from éuery shíres énde_ Chauc. Prol. 15; _And élles
cértain wére thei to blame_ ib. 375; (b) seldom syncopated or slurred
over, e.g. _Ure álre hláuerd fór his þrélles_ Moral Ode, 189; _He mákede
físses in þére sé_ ib. 83; _I sáugh his sléves purfíled_ Chauc. Prol.
193; _The ármes of dáun Arcíte_ id. Kn. Tale, 2033; _Or élles it wás_
id. Sq. Tale, 209.

In trisyllables the reverse is the case; only Orm, who always, as is
well known, carefully counts his syllables, treats the ending as a full
syllable. Otherwise syncopation or slurring over of the last syllable is
the rule in these words: _a sómeres dáy_ Chauc. Sq. Tale, 64;
_Gréyhoundes he hádde_ id. Prol. 190; _hóusbondes át that tóun_ id. Kn.
Tale, 78; _the távernes wél_ id. Prol. 240.

In Modern English in all these cases elision of the _-e_ is the rule,
those, of course, excepted in which the _-e_ is still sounded at the
present day (after sibilants, dentals, &c.) and which therefore we need
not discuss here. The use of _-es_ as a full syllable is otherwise quite
exceptional, chiefly occurring in the Early Modern English poets, who
use the sounded _e_, occasionally, to gain an unaccented syllable, e.g.:

    _The níghtës cár the stárs abóut doth bríng._      Surrey, p. 15.

    _Sometíme to líve in lóvës blíss._      Wyatt, p. 119.

    _That líke would nót for áll this wórldës wealth._
                                                 Spens. F. Q. I. ix. 31.

    _The héat doth stráight forsáke the límbës cóld_.     Wyatt, p. 205.

    _Bé your éyës yét moon-próofe._      Ben Jonson, i. 979.

The usual sound of these words is _night's_, _love's_, _world's_,
_limbs_, _eyes_, and so in all similar cases.

The syncopation of the _-e_ in the adverbial _-es_ is indicated, as is
well known, by the spelling, in certain cases: e.g. in _else_, _hence_,
_thence_, whence (instead of the Middle English forms _elles_, _hennes_,
&c.); but even in words where it is preserved in writing, as e.g. in
_whiles_, _unawares_, it has become mute and has, as a rule, no metrical
value in Modern English poetry. The archaic _certes_, however, is still
always treated as a disyllabic, e.g.

    _I wáil, I wáil, and certës that is trúe._
                                                Mrs. Browning, i, p. 55.

§ =98.= The ending _-en_ (plur. nom. of nouns; prepositions; infinitive;
strong past part.; plur. pres. and pret. of verbs) is in Middle English
(a) commonly treated as a full syllable during the first period, and
later on mostly, although not always, to avoid hiatus, before vowels and
_h_, e.g. _His éyen stépe_ Chauc. Prol. 201; _Bifórenn Críst allmáhhtig
Gódd_ Orm. 175; _Befóren ánd behýnde_ Alexius, ii. 393; _abóven álle
nációuns_ Chauc. Prol. 53; _þú schalt béren hím þis ríng_ Floris and
Blanch. 547; _Fór to délen with no swích poráille_ Chauc. Prol. 247;
_bifrórenn_ Orm. 13856; _forlórenn_ ib. 1395; _Sche wás arísen ánd al
rédy díght_ Chauc. Kn. T. 183; _Hir hósen wéren óf fyn scárlet reed_ id.
Prol. 456; _For thís ye knówen álso wél as I_ ib. 730; _Swa þátt
teȝȝ shúlenn wúrrþen þǽr_ Orm. 11867; _þatt háffdenn cwémmd
himm í þiss líf_ ib. 210; _Ál þet wé misdíden hére_ Moral Ode, 99; (b)
syncopated or slurred, especially in later times, after the _n_ has been
dropped already in prepositions and verbal inflexions, e.g. _His póre
féren he delde_ Alexius, ii. 210; _Hálles and bóures_, _óxen and plóugh_
ib. 12; _Bifórr þe Rómanísshe kíng_ (instead of _biforenn_) Orm. 6902;
_Hastów had fléen al nýght_ Chauc. Manc. Prol. 17; _She bóthe hir yónge
chíldren untó hir cálleþ_ id. Cl. T. 1081; _is bórn: þat wenten hím
bifórn_ id. Man of Lawes T. 995-7; _withínne a lítel whýle_ id. Sq. T.
590; _And únderfóngen his kínedóm_ Flor. and Blanch. 1264; _þei máde
sówen in þát cité_ Alexius, i. 577; _Bíddeþ his mén cómen him nére_ ib.
134; _Hórn_: _i-bórn_ King Horn, 137-8; _forlóren_: _Hórn_ ib. 479-80;
_Was rísen and rómede_ Chauc. Kn. T. 207; _my líef is fáren on lónde_
id. N. Pr. T. 59; _And fórth we ríden a lítel móre than páas_ id. Prol.
825; _þei drýven him ófte tó skornínge_ Alexius, i. 308; _þei rísen alle
úp with blíþe chére_ ib. 367; _þei cásten upón his cróun_ ib. 312; _And
wíssheden þat hé were déd_ Alexius, ii. 335, &c.

In Modern English this ending is much more rare, and is hardly ever used
as a full syllable of the verse. The plural ending _-en_ of the
substantive occurs now and then in Wyatt's and Surrey's verse, as e.g.
in _éyen_ instead of _éyes_, both in rhyme, e.g. _éyen_: _míne_ Sur. 14,
and in the interior of the line, ib. 126, 128; Wyatt 8, 17, &c.

Prepositions ending in _-en_ are scarcely ever used now; sometimes the
archaic _withóuten_ is to be met with in some Early Modern English
poets, and then, of course, as a trisyllable: _withóuten dréad_ Sur. 95;
_withóuten énd_ Spenser, F. Q. II. ix. 58. The obsolete infinitives in
_-en_ may also be found sometimes in the writings of the same and other
early Modern English poets: _in váyn_: _sáyen_ Sur. 31; _his flócke to
víewën wíde_ Spenser, F. Q. I. i. 23; _to kíllën bád_ Shak. Pericles,
II. Prol. 20. Likewise certain antiquated plural forms of the verb in
_-en_: _dischárgën cléan_ Sur. 30; _fen_: _lífedën_ Spenser, F. Q. II.
x. 7; _and wáxën ín their mírth_ Shak. M. N. Dr. II. i. 56.

It is only the _-en_ of the past participle that is at all often after
certain consonants treated as a full syllable, e.g. _the frózen héart_
Sur. 1; _gótten out_ ib. 10; _the strícken déer_ ib. 54; _hast táken
páin_ Wyatt, 99. Here the full forms are preserved in the ordinary
language. It is only exceptionally that participles that have undergone
shortening, as _come_, reassume their _n_ and regain an extra syllable,
e.g. _tíll he cómën háth_ West (Poets, ix. 484). Contracted forms like
_grown_, _known_, _drawn_, always remain monosyllabic, even in verse,
and words like _fallen_, _swollen_, which are normally disyllabic, are
often contracted in poetry: as _grown_ Sur. 13; _known_ ib. 45; _swoln_
ib. 8; _befallen_ ib. 26; _drawn_ Wyatt, 160. Complete contraction is
effected either by elision of the final consonant of the stem, e.g.
_ta'en_ (instead of _taken_) Sur. 44, or by slurring of the ending, e.g.
_hath gíven a pláce_ Sur. 108; _is béaten with wínd and stórm_ ib. 157,

§ 99. The comparative and superlative endings _-er_, _-est_ are, as a
rule, syllabic. _Hórn is fáirer þáne beo hé_ King Horn, 330; _No lénger
dwélle hý ne mýghte_ Alexius, ii. 85; _But ráther wólde he yéven_ Chauc.
Prol. 487.

These endings are treated, moreover, as full syllables in the unaccented
rhymes _Hǽngest_: _fǽirest_ Layamon, 13889-90; _Hǽngest_:
_héndest_ ib. 13934-5. If an inflexional _-e_ is added to such words, so
as to make them trisyllables, it is commonly elided or apocopated, e.g.
_Fór he ís the fáireste mán_ Horn, 787; _hire grétteste óoth_ Chauc.
Prol. 120; _The férreste in his párisshe_ ib. 494. Slurring or
syncopation takes place in the following examples, _Sche móst wiþ hím no
lénger abíde_ Sir Orfeo, line 328; _No lénger to héle óf he bráke_
Alexius, ii. 127; more rarely in the superlative, _Annd állre láttst he
wúndedd wáss_ Orm. 11779, 11797; _Was thóu not fárist of ángels álle?_
Towneley Myst. p. 4.

In Modern English these endings are treated similarly. The
comparative-ending _-er_ is mostly syllabic on account of the phonetic
nature of the final _r_, and even if slurred, it does not entirely lose
its syllabic character, e.g.:

    _The nígher my cómfort ís to mé._      Surrey, p. 37.

    _Or dó him míghtier sérvice ás his thrálls._
                                                 Milton, Par. L. i. 149.

The ending of the superlative _-est_, too, is commonly syllabic, e.g.

    _In lóngest níght, or ín the shórtest dáy._      Surrey, p. 16.

    _Now léss than smállest dwárfs, in nárrow róom._
                                                   Milton, P. L. i. 779.

Nevertheless many examples of syncopation are found, chiefly in the
writings of the Early Modern English poets: e.g. _the méekest of mínd_
Sur. 77; _the swéet'st compánions_ Shak. Cymb. V. v. 349; _the stérn'st
good níght_ id. Macb. II. ii. 4. Such forms are often used by Ben

§ =100.= The ending _-est_ (2nd pers. pres. sing. ind. and pret. sing.
of weak verbs) is in Middle English generally syllabic: _Annd
séȝȝest swíllc annd swíllc was þú_ Orm. 1512; _Annd ȝíff þu
féȝesst þréo wiþ þréo, þa fíndesst tú þær séxe_ id. 11523-4; _That
bróughtest Tróye_ Chauc. N. Pr. T. 408; _Thow wálkest nów_ id. Kn. T.;
_þat gód þat þóu þénkest do mé_ Alexius, ii. 304; _Hou mýȝtest þóu
þus lónge wóne_ Alexius, i. 445; _And wóldest névere ben aknówe_ ib.

Frequently, however, syncopation or slurring also occurs: _ȝiff þú
seȝȝst tátt tu lúfesst Gódd_ Orm. 5188; _Þu wénest þat éch song
béo grislích_ Owl and Night. 315; _Þu schríchest and ȝóllest to þíne
fére_ ib. 223; _Thou knówest him well_ Chauc. Blaunche, 137; _Trówest
thou? by our Lórd, I wíll thee sáy_ ib. 551; _þou mýȝtest have bén a
grét lordíng_ Alexius, i. 511.

In Modern English syncopation is extremely common, e.g. _Now knówest
thou áll_ Sur. 27; _That mákest but gáme_ Wyatt, 30, &c.; but the full
syllabic pronunciation (in accordance with the modern prose usage) is
also frequent, both in the poetry of the sixteenth century, e.g. _What
frámëst thóu_ Sur. 158; _And lóokëst tó commánd_ Shak. H. VI. I. i. 38;
and in that of recent times, e.g.:

    _Súch as thou stándëst, pále in thé drear líght_.
                                                  Mrs. Browning, i. 4.

    _Wan Scúlptor, wéepëst thóu to táke the cást?_
                                              Tennyson, Early Sonn. 9.

§ =101.= The ending _-eth_, in the North _-es_, _-is_ (3rd pers. sing.
pres., plur. pres., and 3rd pers. sing. imperative), is in most cases
syllabic in Middle English, especially before the fifteenth century;
e.g. _It túrrneþþ hémm till sínne_ Orm. 150; _þat spékeþþ óff þe
déofell_ ib. 11944; _þat ǽfre annd ǽfre stándeþþ ínn_ ib. 2617;
_þánne hi cumeþ éft_ Moral Ode, 236; _Hi wálkeþ éure_ ib. 239; _So
príkeþ hem natúre_ Chauc. Prol. 11; _Cómeþ álle nów to mé_ Alexius, ii.
337; _Ánd a-fóngeþ ȝóure méde_ ib. 375.

But already in the earlier portion of this epoch of the language
slurring or syncopation is often to be met with, and it became gradually
more and more frequent. _Boc séȝȝþ þe bírrþ wel ȝémenn þé_ Orm.
11373, 11981; _Annd áȝȝ afftérr þe góddspell stánnt_ ib. 33; _And
thínkeþ, here cómeþ my mórtel énemý_ Chauc. Kn. T. 785; _Comeþ nér,
quoth hé_ id. Prol. 839; _þat háveþ traváille_ Alexius, i. 350; _Thai
háldis this lánd agáyne resóune_ Barbour's Bruce, i. 488.

In Modern English the endings _-eth_ and _-es_ (_'s_) were at first used
promiscuously; later _-eth_ is employed, if a full syllable is required,
_-es_ (_'s_) if syncopation is intended; but this rule is not strictly

The dropping of _e_ on the whole is the more usual: e.g. _begins_ Sur.
1; _seems_ ib. 2; _learns_ Wyatt, 1; also if written _-eth_: _On hím
that lóveth not mé_ Wyatt, 57; _that séeth the héavens_ Sur. 2.
Treatment as a full syllable is less usual: _But áll too láte Love
léarnëth mé_ Sur. 5; _Lóve that lívëth and réignëth ín my thóught_ Sur.
12. Shakespeare and his contemporaries still use it somewhat frequently
(cf. Hertzberg in _Shakspeare-Jahrb._ xiii, pp. 255-7), and occasional
instances are found even in later poets, as for instance in Keats, who
rhymes: _death: ouershádowéth_, p. 336; Chr. Rossetti, _déath:
fashionéth_ p. 28, ii. ll. 5-6.

§ =102.= The ending _-ed_, in the North _-id_, _-it_ (past part. of weak
verbs), is, as a rule, syllabic in Middle English: e.g. _Min Dríhhtin
háfeþþ lénedd_ Orm. 16; _Annd ícc itt háfe fórþedd té_ ib. 25; _Annd
tǽrfore háfe icc túrrnedd ítt_ ib. 129; _ipróved ófte síthes_ Chauc.
Prol. 485; _hadde swówned wíth a dédly chére_ ib. Kn. T. 55; _Nóu is
Álex dwélled þóre_ Alexius, i. 121; _Lóverd, iþánked bé þou áy_ ib. 157;
_A wéile gret quhíle thar duellyt hé_ Barbour, Bruce, i. 359.

But slurring and syncopation likewise are of frequent occurrence: _þatt
háffdenn cwémmd himm í þiss líf_ ib. 211; _þet scúlle béo to déþe idémd_
Moral Ode, 106; _His lónge héer was kémbd behýnde his bák_ Chauc. Kn. T.
1285; _Fulfíld of íre_ ib. 82; especially in words with the accent on
the antepenultima, e.g. _Ybúried nór ibrént_ ib. 88; _and hán hem
cáried sófte_ ib. 153; _And ben yhónowrid ás a kýng_ Alexius, i. 5, 12
(MS. N).

In this ending, too, syncopation (_-ed_, _'d_, _t_) is the rule already
in the earliest Modern English poets: _offer'd_ Sur. 6; _transgrést_ ib.
11; _that prómised wás to thée_ ib. 35. The use of it as a full
syllable, however, is very frequently to be met with, chiefly in
participles used as adjectives: _the párchëd gréen restórëd ís with
sháde_ Sur. 1; _by wéll assúrëd móan_ Wyatt, 4; _but ármëd síghs_ ib. 4;
_false féignëd gráce_ ib. 4. The dramatists of the Elizabethan time (cf.
_Engl. Metrik_, ii. 336) similarly often use the full ending; and even
in modern poets it is not uncommon: _where wé've involvëd óthers_ Burns,
Remorse, l. 11 ; _The chármëd God begán_ Keats, Lamia, p. 185, &c.

§ =103.= The ending _-ed_ (_-od_, _-ud_) of the 1st and 3rd pers. sing.
pret. and the whole plur. pret. of weak verbs, which is shortened from
_-ede_, _-ode_, _-ude_, _-eden_, _-oden_, _-uden_ (cf. § 96), is in
Middle English usually syllabic: e.g. _Mést al þét me líked(e) þó_
Moral Ode, 7 ; _Oure lóverd þát al máked(e) iwís_ Pop. Science, 2; _He
énded(e) and cléped(e) yt Léicestre_ Rob. of Glouc., p. 29; _The fáder
hem lóued(e) álle ynóȝ_ ib.; _Híre overlíppe wýpud(e) sché so cléne_
Chauc. Prol. 107; _An óutridére þat lóved(e) vénerýe_ ib. 165; _Ne máked
hím a spíced cónsciénce_ ib. 526; _þei préced évere nére and nére_
Alexius, i. 583 (MS. V).

As several of these examples show, slurring occasionally takes place, so
that the ending forms part of a disyllabic thesis, but real syncopation
never occurs; cf. further: _Ánd asségit it rýgorouslý_ Barbour, Bruce,
i. 88; _and évere I hóped(e) of be to hére_ Alexius, ii. 482.

With regard to these endings from the beginning of the Modern English
epoch onward syncopation (_[e]d_, _'d_, _t_) is the rule; _defied_ Sur.
10; _sustain'd_ ib. 15; _opprest_ Wyatt, 107. But the full syllable not
infrequently occurs: _I lóokëd báck_ Sur. 4; _I néver próvëd nóne_
Wyatt, 39. It is characteristic of Spenser's archaistic style, and is
often met with in the Elizabethan dramatists; Shakespeare, however, uses
it much more frequently in his earlier than in his later plays. The more
recent poets admit it in single cases: _said_: _vánishéd_ Keats, Lamia,
p. 202.

§ =104.= The final _-e_ is treated in Modern English poetry in the same
manner as in Modern High German: it may be either used as a thesis, or
be slurred over, or become quite silent. In Middle English, however, the
treatment of the final _-e_ depends much more on the following word than
on the etymological origin of the _-e_. It becomes mute, of course,
mostly before _h_ or a vowel, but is generally preserved (as a thesis)
or slurred before a consonant. This rule has, however, many exceptions.

Orm and other poets of the beginning of the thirteenth century give the
final _e_ its full syllabic value in certain classes of words in which
Chaucer[134] in the second half of the fourteenth century generally
slurs it.

These words are the pronouns _hire_, _oure_, _ȝoure_, _here_, _myne_,
_thyne_ (also spelled without _e_), if they do not stand in rhyme; the
plural forms _thise_, _some_, _swiche_, _whiche_; the past part. of
strong verbs with an originally short root, the inflexional _n_ being
apocopated, e.g. _come_, _write_, _stole_; the 2nd pers. sing. of the
strong pret., e.g. _bare_, _tooke_, except such words as _songe_,
_founde_, and others of the same group; the preterites _were_ and
_made_; the nouns _sone_, _wone_; the French words in _-ye_, _-aye_,
_-eye_, and, finally, the words _before_, _tofore_, _there_, _heere_.

In most of these cases it is easy enough to give examples of the
syllabic use of the _-e_, both from the earliest and from later poets:
_Off úre sáwless néde_ Orm. 11402; _þatt úre Láferrd Iésu Críst_ ib.
11403, 11803, &c.; _ȝérne hy þónkede óure dríghte_ Alexius, ii. 35;
_Annd ȝúre sáwless fóde íss éc_ Orm. 11691, &c.; _þatt ȝúre
préostess hállȝhenn_ ib. 11694; _Till híse déore þéowwess_ ib. 11556;
_Att álle þíne néde_ ib. 11366, 11914, &c.; Owl and Nightingale, 220,
221, &c.; _Cástel gód an míne ríse_ ib. 175, 282; _Forgíve hémm hére
sínne_ Orm. 86; _Annd wílle iss híre þrídde máhht_ ib. 11509; _For híre
héorte wás so grét_ Owl and N. 43, 44, &c.; _At súme síþe hérde ich
télle_ ib. 293; _þése wíkkede fóde_ ib. 333; _And máde mé wíþ him ríde_
Sir Orfeo, 153. &c.

All these words may, however, also be found with slurring or syncopation
of the _e_, even in Early Middle English: _Annd þéowwtenn wél wiþþ áll
þin máhht_ Orm. 11393; _þa wǽre he þǽr bikǽchedd_ ib. 11628;
_Annd súme itt áll forrwérrþenn_ ib. 11512; _Min héorte atflíhþ and fált
mi túnge_ Owl and N. 37; _þár þe úle sóng hir tíde_ ib. 26, 441; _þat
ich schúlle tó hire fléo_ ib. 442; _he wére ischóte_ ib. 23, 53, &c. In
later Middle English this is more common: _An ýmage óf hire sóne_
Alexius i. 105; _þeróf to gód þei máde here móne_ ib. 32; _Sómme þat óf
þe ínne wére_ Alexius ii. 325; _Fáste þey wére ysóught þoróugh_ ib. 14;
_And lóke síre at ȝóure pilgríme_ ib. 394; _And thére our óst bigán_
Chauc. Prol. 827; _Entúned ín hire nóse_ ib. 123; _Nought gréveth ús
youre glórie ánd honóur_ id. Kn. T. 59; _þúrgh yóure géntilnésse_ ib.
62; _ánd hire fálse whéel_ ib. 67; _And pílgryms wére they álle_ Chauc.
Prol. 26, 59; _At níght was cóme intó that hóstelríe_ ib. 23; _With hím
ther wás his sóne, a yóung squyér_ ib. 79; _In mótteléye and hígh_ ib.
271; _cómpanýe in yóuthe_ ib. 461; _no vílanýe is ít_ ib. 740, &c.

§ =105.= The following examples serve to show the arbitrary use of the
final _-e_ in other words, either (_a_) syllabic, or (_b_) slurred or

=1. Infinitive=, (a) _And stónde úpe gódes knýght_ Alexius ii. 269; _to
télle yów áll the condícióun_ Chauc. Prol. 38. (b) _to táke our wéy_ ib.
34; _Mén mote ȝeve sílver_ ib. 232.

=2. Past part.= of strong verbs, (a) _ydráwe né ybóre_ Sq. T. 336; _þó
þe chíld ybóre wás_ Alexius ii. 37; (b) _Ybóre he wás in Róme_ ib. 6;
_Though hé were cóme agáin_ Chauc. Sq. T. 96; _ycóme from hís viáge_ id.
Prol. 77, &c.

=3.= Various =inflexional endings of the verb=, (a) _þát ich réde wé
begínne_ Cant. Creat. E. 225; _And yét I hópe, pár ma fáy_ Chauc. Sir
Thopas l. 2010; _and máde fórward_ id. Prol. 33; _and wénte fór to dóon_
ib. 78; _yet hádde hé but lítel góld in cóffre_ ib. 298; _And séyde tó
her þús_ Alexius i. 69; _gládly wólde préche_ Chauc. Prol. 480. (b)
_devóutly wólde he téche_ ib. 481; _I trówe ther nówher nón is_ ib. 524;
_I trówe some mén_ id. Sq. T. 213; _So hádde I spóken_ id. Prol. 31;
_hádde he bé_ ib. 60; _if thát sche sáwe a móus_ ib. 144; _chíldren
betwéen them hédde þei nóne_ Alexius i. 31; _Bote méte fóunde þeȝ nón
saundóute_ Cant. Creat. O. 62.

=4. Inflexional endings of Germanic substantives=, (a) _His nékke whít_
Chauc. Prol. 238; _Of wóodecráft_ ib. 210; _whán the sónne wás to réste_
ib. 30; _a spánne bróod_ ib. 155; _At méte wél itáught_ ib. 127; _Ne óf
his spéche dáungeróus_ ib. 517; _As wéll in spéche ás in cóntenánce_
id. Sq. T. 93; _of sínne léche_ Alexius i. 59; _He ȝéde tó a
chírche-héi_ ib. 97; _ál for lóve míne_ Alexius ii. 87; _of héwe bríght_
ib. 100; _while gód in érþe máde mán_ Cant. Creat. E. 26. (b) _Tróuthe
and honóur_ Chauc. Prol. 46; _Thát no drópe ne fílle_ ib. 131; _In hópe
to stónden_ ib. 88; _And bý his sýde a swérd_ ib. 112; _tó the pýne of
hélle_ Cant. Creat. O. 240; _þurch príde þat ín his wórd was líȝt_
ib. E. 14.

=5. Romanic substantives=, (a) _átte síege hádde he bé_ Chauc. Prol.
56; _ín hire sáuce dépe_ ib. 129; _Is sígne thát a mán_ ib. 226. (b)
_And báthed éuery véyne in swích licóur_ ib. 3; _of áge he wás_ ib. 81;
_his bénefíce to hýre_ ib. 507.

=6. Adjectives.= (a) Chiefly after the definite article, pronouns, and
in plural forms: _and ín the Gréte Sée_ Chauc. Prol. 59; _The téndre
cróppes ánd the yónge sónne_ ib. 7; _his hálfe cóurs irónne_ ib. 8;
_wíth his swéete bréethe_ ib. 5; _to séken stráunge strondes_ ib. 13;
_the férste niȝt_ Alexius i. 55; _þat ílke dáy_ ib. 159; _þe déde
córs_ ib. 420; _Póuere mén to clóþe and féde_ ib. 10, 13, 93, &c.;
_cómen of hýe kínne_ Alex. ii. 99; _with mílde stévene_ ib. 72; _annd
álle fúle lússtess_ Orm. 11656. (b) Chiefly after the indefinite
article, but in other cases as well: _Annd álle þe flǽshess
kággerléȝȝc_ Orm. 11655; _a fáyr forhéed_ Chauc. Prol. 254; _as ís
a póure scolér_ ib. 260; _as méke as ís a máyde_ ib. 69; _a shéef of
pécock árwes bríght and kéne_ ib. 104.

=7. Adverbs and prepositions.= (a) _Míldelíche hé him grétte_ Alexius
ii. 296; _Ríght abóute nóne_ ib. 387; _And sófte bróuȝte hém obédde_
ib. 23; _Ful ófte time_ ib. 52; _Ful lúde sóngen_ Chauc. Sq. T. 55;
_Abóute príme_ id. Kn. T. 1331; _abóue érpe_ Cant. Creat. E. 573. (b)
_Fáste þei wére ysóught þorúgh_ Alexius ii. 14; _And éek as lóude as
dóth_ Chauc. Prol. 171; _Ther ís namóre to séyne_ ib. 314; _stílle as
ány stóon_ id. Sq. T. 171; _Abóute this kýng_ id. Kn. T. 1321; _Chíldren
betwéne hem hédde þei nóne_ Alexius i. 31; _wiþýnne a whýle_ Cant.
Creat. O. 29; _ȝif ȝít oure lórd abóue þe ský_ ib. O. 186.

=8. Numerals.= (a) _she hádde fýve_ Chauc. Prol. 460; _Fúlle séventéne
ȝére_ Alexius i. 179, 187, 321; _of fíue þóusende wínter and ón_
Cant. Creat. E. 462; _nóþer férste tíme ne lást_ ib. O. 356. (b) _and
fíue and twénti wínter and mó_ ib. E. 463; _táken þe ténde part óf þy
gúod_ ib. O. 332; _álle þe béstis_ ib. 173; _For séventene ȝér hít is
gán_ Alexius i. 194.

§ =106.= In poems written in more southern dialects the final _-e_
retains its syllabic value later than in those of the North, in
agreement with the actual usage of the dialects of these districts. _Sir
Tristrem_ (c. 1300) has still many syllabic _e_'s in thesis; in the
_Cursor Mundi_ (c. 1320) and the _Metrical Homilies_ (c. 1330) they are
not so numerous, and they are still rarer in the poems of Laurence Minot
(c. 1352) and of Thomas of Erceldoune. The editor of the last-mentioned
poet, Prof. Alois Brandl, rejects the syllabic final _-e_ altogether in
opposition to ten Brink and Luick. In Barbour's _Bruce_ (c. 1375) it is
entirely silent.[135]

But in the later poetry of the North, which was largely under the
influence of southern English models, chiefly of Chaucer, many
inflexional endings, especially various kinds of final _-e_, have a
metrical value. King James I, one of the most eminent Scottish poets,
e.g., is a strict follower of Chaucer in this respect, both in
versification and language.[136] This will be shown by the following
examples: _Myn éyen gán to smért_ stanza 8; _To séken hélp_ 99; _that
néver chánge wóld_ 83; _That féynen óutward_ 136; _That ménen wéle_ 137;
_We wéren áll_ 24; _Lýke to an hérte schápin vérilý_ 48; _Thús sall on
thé my chárge béne iláid_ 120; _in lúfe fór a whíle_ 134; _Now, swéte
bírd, say ónes tó me pépe, I dée for wó; me thínk thou gýnnis slépe_ 57;
_And ón the smále gréne twístis sát_ 33; _Withín a chámber, lárge, równ,
and fáire_ 77.

Other Scottish poets, like Dunbar, use the final _e_ in the same way,
but much more sparingly: _Amáng the gréne ríspis ánd the rédis_ Terge
56; _And gréne lévis dóing of déw doun fléit_ Thrissil and Rois 49;
_scho sénd the swífte Ró_ ib. 78; _when Mérche wés with váriand wíndis
past_ ib. 1.

Only the inflexional endings of substantives and of verbs are used by
Dunbar somewhat more frequently as full syllables, e.g.: _Had máid the
bírdis to begín thair hóuris_ Thrissil and Rois 5; _of flóuris fórgit
néw_ ib. 18; _the blástis óf his hórne_ ib. 34; _In át the wíndow lúkit
bý the dáy_ ib. 10; _And hálsit mé_ ib. 11; _Bálmit in déw_ ib. 20; _The
pérlit dróppis schúke_ Terge 14. Even Lyndesay still uses certain full
endings now and then in this way: _Éleméntis: intént is_ Monarchie
247-8; _thay cán nocht ús it: abúsit_ Satire 2897-8; _Quhow Í ressávit
cónfort_ Monarchie 132; _Lyke áurient péirles ón the twístis háng_ ib.
136. But the final _-e_ is hardly ever found in his verses forming a

On the other hand some contemporary authors of the South, reckoned as
included in the Modern English period, continue to admit in several
cases the syllabic final _-e_, but this can only be regarded as an
exception. E. g. _The sótë séason, that búd and blóom forth bríngs_
Surrey, p. 3; _Thát the Gréeks bróught to Tróyë tówn_ ib. 21; _Hersélf
in shádow óf the clósë níght_ ib. 138; _Agáinst the búlwark óf the
fléshë fráil_ Wyatt 207; _But tréated áfter á divérsë fáshion_ ib. 7.

Spenser does not seem to admit syllabic final _-e_, in spite of his
archaic style.

§ =107.= Like the inflexional syllables, the suffixes of derivatives may
be treated in a twofold manner. Those of Germanic origin for the most
part call for little remark, as many of them have coalesced with the
root of the word, and others, as e.g. the syllables _-ing_, _-ness_,
_-y_, _-ly_, can, on account of their phonetic character, only be
metrically treated as full syllables. Only a few fluctuate in their
metrical treatment, as e.g. _-en_, _-er_, _-le_, mostly after a
consonant; these will be dealt with in the section on the slurring of

Of much greater importance are the formative endings of Romanic origin,
especially those which begin with an _i_, _e_, or _u_ + a vowel, as
_-iage_, _-ian_, _-iaunt_, _-iance_, _-ience_, _-ient_, _-ier_, _-ioun_,
_-ious_, _-eous_, _-uous_, _-ial_, _-ual_, _-iat_, _-iour_. Such endings
may either have their full value, or be slurred in rhythm, i.e. they may
be treated either as disyllabic or as monosyllabic.

The full forms do not occur frequently in the interior of the line, but
mostly in the last foot, where the endings bear the last arsis and offer
a convenient rhyme. Hence we conclude, that the slurred pronunciation
(synizesis) had in the later Middle English period already become
general in ordinary speech, although the full value is in rhyme-words
certainly more common: e.g. _viáge: pílgrimáge_ Chaucer, Prol. 77-8;
_langáge: márriáge_ ib. 211-12; _térciáne: báne_ N. Pr. Tale 139-40;
_córdiál: spéciál_ Prol. 443-4; _ethériáll: impériáll_ Lyndesay,
Monarchie 139-40; _curát: licénciát_ Chauc. Prol. 219-20; _láste:
ecclésiáste_ ib. 707-8; _réverénce: cónsciénce_ ib. 225-6; _offénce:
páciénce_ Kn. T. 225-6; _dísposícióun: cónstellációun_ ib. 229-30;
_prisóun: compássióun_ ib. 251-2; _áscendént: páciént_ Prol. 117-18;
_obédiént: assént_ ib. 851-2; _óriént: résplendént_ Lyndesay,
Monarchie 140-2; _glorióus: précióus_ ib. 28-32, 44-5, 48-52, 75-9,
151-2, &c.; _ymágynációun: impréssióun: illusióun_ James I, Kingis
Quair, st. 12; _nációun: mýlióun: méncióun_ ib. st. 78. Slurred
endings: _Ful wél bilóved and fámuliér was hé_ Chauc. Prol. 215; _And
spéciallý_ ib. 15; _a cúrious pýn_ ib. 196; _Perpétuellý, not ónly fór
a yéer_ Kn. T. 600; _Suspécious wás the_ Clerk's T. 540; _This sérgeant
cám_ ib. 575, 582, &c.

Later on slurring becomes more frequent, mainly in the North, e.g. in
Dunbar's poems: _with váriand wíndis pást_ Thrissil and Rois 1; _wíth
ane órient blást_, ib. 3; _So bústeous ár the blástis_ ib. 35; _ane
ínhibítioun tháir_ ib. 64 (but _condítióun: renówn: fassóun_ 79-82); _A
rádius crówn_ ib. 132; Lyndesay, Monarchie: _On sénsuall Lúste_ 9; _Lyke
áurient péirles_ 136; _and búrial bémes_ 142; _his régioun áuroráll_
148; _Quhilk sítuate ár_ 166; _melódious ármonýe_ 195; _off thát
mellífluous, fámous_ 232; _And síc vaine súperstítioun tó refúse_ 242;
_The quhílk gaif sápience_ 249.

In the Modern English period of the language slurring of such syllables
is the rule, in conformity with the actual pronunciation in prose,
contrary to the usage of Chaucer and other Early Middle English poets.
Only exceptionally the unshortened use obtains chiefly in earlier Modern
English, as the following examples show:

    _To wóe a máid in wáy of márriáge._
                                             Shakesp. Merch. II. ix. 13.

    _My búsiness cánnot bróok this dálliánce._      id. Err. IV. i. 59.

    _Becáme the áccents óf the váliánt._    id. 2 Henry IV, II. iii. 25.

    _And yét 'tis álmost 'gáinst my cónsciénce._   id. Haml. v. ii. 307.

    _I dó volítient, nót obédiént._      Mrs. Browning, i, p. 6.

    _The véry chúrches are fúll of sóldiers._
                                       Coleridge, Piccolomini. i. sc. 1.

    _And áfter hárd condítións of péace._      Surrey, p. 173.

    _Áll the sad spáces óf oblívión._      Keats, p. 257.

    _But Brútus sáys he wás ambítióus._
                                           Shakesp. Caesar, III. ii. 91.

    _And lóoking róund I sáw, as úsuál._      D. G. Rossetti, i. p. 64.

For other examples cf. _Metrik_, ii. § 40.

§ =108.= By the side of this artificial attribution of full syllabic
value to Romanic endings which in ordinary pronunciation are contracted,
there are many examples of the opposite process, namely the contraction,
for metrical purposes, of words that are ordinarily pronounced in full.
Both these devices serve the same purpose, that of adjusting the number
of syllables to the requirements of the rhythm.

In the former case a syllable which commonly is pronounced quickly and
indistinctly is uttered more distinctly and more slowly than in ordinary
speech. In the latter, a couple of successive syllables or words are
uttered more indistinctly and quickly than in ordinary speech,
frequently so much so that a syllable may be entirely suppressed. Hence
the slurring of syllables results, according to the degree of
contraction, either in a disyllabic thesis, or in the complete
coalescence of two syllables. The former takes place if the final
unaccented vowel of a polysyllable is run into the following unaccented
word consisting of, or beginning with, a vowel, e.g.:

    _For mány a mán | so hárd is óf his hérte._      Chauc. Prol. 229.

    _Nowhér so bísy a mán | as hé ther nás._      ib. 321.

    _Wél coude she cárie a mórsel | ánd wel képe._      ib. 130.

    _With múchel glórie | and grét solémpnitée._      id. Kn. T. 12.

    _Oh! háppy are théy | that háve forgíveness gótt._
                                                              Wyatt 211.

    _My kíng, my cóuntry I séek, | for whóm I líve._
                                                                ib. 173.

    _Sórry am Í | to héar what Í have héard._
                                        Shakesp. 2 Henry VI, II. i. 193.

In cases like these it cannot be supposed that there is actual elision
of a syllable, by which _many a_, _busy a_, _carie a_, _glorie and_,
_happy are_, _country I_, _sorry am_, would be reduced to regular
disyllabic feet. In several of the instances such an assumption is
forbidden not only by the indistinctness of pronunciation which it would
involve, but also by the caesura.

Further, we find both in Middle and in Modern English poetry many
examples of similar sequences in which there is neither elision nor
slurring, the syllable ending with a vowel forming the thesis, and the
following syllable beginning with a vowel forming the arsis. Hiatus of
this kind has always been perfectly admissible in English verse.

    _And yít he wás but ésy óf dispénse._      Chaucer, Prol. 441.

    _Mówbray's síns so héavy ín his bósom._
                                           Shakesp. Rich. II, I. ii. 50.

§ =109.= The second possibility, viz. complete amalgamation of two
syllables, may occur if a word with an initial vowel or _h_ is preceded
by a monosyllabic word, standing in thesis, e.g. _th'estat_, _th'array_
Chauc. Prol. 716; _th'ascendent_ ib. 117; _t'allege_ (_to allege_) Kn.
T. 2142; _nys_ (_ne ys_) ib. 43. Even in Modern English poetry such
contractions occur rather frequently: _Th'altar_ Sur. 118; _t'assay_
Wyatt 157; _N'other_ ib. 21; often also the words are written in full,
although the first vowel is metrically slurred or elided: _the͡ ónly
darling_ Shakesp. All's Well, II. i. 110. Yet in all such cases the
entire loss of the syllable must not be assumed unless the distinctness
of the pronunciation--which must be the only guide in such matters, not
the silent reading with the eyes--be sufficiently preserved.[137]

Accordingly words like _the_, _to_ are not so often contracted with the
following word, as _ne_, the amalgamation of which, with the verb to
which it belongs, is in accordance with normal Middle English usage:
_nas_ = _ne was_, _nil_ = _ne wil_, _nolde_ = _ne wolde_, _noot_ = _ne
woot_, _niste_ = _ne wiste_, e.g.:

    _There nas no dore that he nolde heve of harre._
                                                      Chauc. Prol. 550.

Neither in Middle English nor in Modern English poetry, however, is
there any compulsion to use such contractions for the purpose of
avoiding the _hiatus_, which never was prohibited. They merely serve the
momentary need of the poet. Forms like _min_ and _thin_, it is true, are
regularly used by Middle English poets before vowels, and _my_ and _thy_
before consonants, and Chaucer applies--according to ten Brink--_from_,
_oon_, _noon_, _an_, _-lych_, _-lyche_ before vowels, and _fro_, _a_,
_o_, _no_, _-ly_ before consonants. But many examples of epic caesura
show that ten Brink goes too far in maintaining that hiatus was strictly
avoided, e.g.: _Whan théy were wónnë; | and ín the Gréete sée_ Prol.
59. This is still more clearly shown by verses in which the final _-e_
forms a necessary thesis before a vowel, e.g.:

    _Fro the senténcë | óf this trétis lýte._
                                                        Sir Thopas 2153.

    _Than hád yóur tálë | ál be tóld in váyn._
                                                      N. Pr. Prol. 3983.

§ =110.= Slurring or contraction is still more frequently the result of
indistinct pronunciation or entire elision of a vowel in the interior of
a word. This is especially the case with e (or another vowel) in the
sequence: conson. + _e_ + _r_ + vowel or _h_, where _e_ is slurred over
or syncopated: e.g. _And báthed év(e)ry véin_ Chauc. Prol. 3; _Thy
sóv(e)rein témple wól I móst honóuren_ Kn. T. 1549; and _év(e)ry trée_
Sur. 9; _the bóist(e)rous wínds_ Sur. 21; _if ám(o)rous fáith_ Wyatt 15;
_a dáng(e)rous cáse_ Sur. 4, &c. The full pronunciation is, of course,
here also possible: _and dángeróus distréss_ Sur. 150. Slurring of a
vowel is also caused by this combination of sounds formed by two
successive words: _a bétre envýned mán_ Chauc. Prol. 342; _Forgétter of
páin_ Wyatt 33. Other words of the same kind are _adder_, _after_,
_anger_, _beggar_, _chamber_, _silver_, _water_, &c.[138] The same rule
applies to the group _e_ + _l_ + vowel or _h_ (also _l_ + _e_ + vowel or
_h_): _hire wýmpel ͡ipynched was_ Chauc. Prol. 151; _At mány a
nóble ͡arríve_ ib. 60; _nóble ͡and hígh_ Wyatt 55; _the néedle his
fínger prícks_ Shak. Lucrece 319.

If a consonant takes the place of the vowel or _h_ at the end of such a
group of sounds, we have a disyllabic thesis instead of slurring: _With
hórrible féar as óne that gréatly dréadeth_ Wyatt 149; _The cómmon
péople by númbers swárm to ús_ Shak. 3 Hen. VI, IV. ii. 2. Similar
slurrings are to be found--although more seldom and mainly in Modern
English poetry--with other groups of sounds, e.g.: _én'mies sword_ Sur.
137; _théat'ner_ ib. 162; _prís'ners_ ib. 12. The vowel _i_, also, is
sometimes slurred; _Incónt(i)nent_ Wyatt, 110; _dést(i)ny_ ib. 8, &c. In
all these cases we must of course recognize only slurring, not
syncopation of the vowel; and in general these words are used with their
full syllabic value in the rhythm of a verse.

Another kind of slurring--occurring almost exclusively in Modern English
poetry--is effected by contraction of a short vowel with a preceding
long one, so that a disyllabic word becomes monosyllabic, e.g.,
_flower_, _lower_, _power_, _tower_, _coward_, _prayer_, _jewel_,
_cruel_, _doing_, _going_, _being_, _seeing_, _dying_, _playing_,
_praying_, _knowing_, &c.: _Whose pówer divíne_ Sur. 118; _prayer:
prayr_ Wyatt 26; _His crúel despíte_ Sur. 7.

All these words are, of course, not less frequently used as disyllables
sometimes even when their usual pronunciation is monosyllabic, e.g.:

    _How óft have Í, my déar and crúël foe._      Wyatt 14.

    _I'll práy a thóusand práyërs fór thy death._
                                                Shak. Meas. III. i. 146.

    _There ís no pówer ín the tóngue of mán._     id. Merch. IV. i. 241.

§ =111.= Other groups of sounds which allow slurring are: vowel + _r_ +
vowel, where the second vowel may be slurred, e.g., _spirit_, _alarum_,
_warrant_, _nourish_, _flourish_, &c.; _My fáther's spírit in árms!_
Shak. Haml. I. ii. 255; _flóurishing péopled tówns_ id. Gentl. V. iv. 3;
_I wárrant, it wíll_ id. Haml. I. ii. 243. In the group vowel + _v_ +
_e(i)_+cons. the _v_ is slurred, if a consonant appears as the initial
sound of the following word, and _e(i)_ if the following word begins
with a vowel. Such words are: _heaven_, _seven_, _eleven_, _devil_,
_even_, _ever_, _never_, &c.; e.g., _and é'en the whóle_ Wyatt 80; _had
néver his fíll_ id. 108; _disdáin they né'er so múch_ Shak. 1 Hen. VI,
V. iii. 98; _and drível on péarls_ Wyatt 195. These words have, of
course, not less frequently their full syllabic value: _Of Héaven
gátes_ Wyatt 222; _Then sét this drível óut of dóor_ Sur. 79. Also _th_
between vowels may be subjected to slurring, as in _whether_, _whither_,
_hither_, _thither_, _either_, _neither_, _rather_, _further_, &c.;
e.g., _go ásk him whíther he góes_ Shak. 1 Hen. VI, II. iii. 28; _Good
Sír, say whéther you'll ánswer mé or nót_, id. Caes. V. iv. 30; _Whether
óught to ús unknówn_ id. Haml. II. ii. 17.

When a syllabic inflexional ending forms one thesis with a following
syllable, as in _The ímages of revólt_ Shak. Lear, II. iv. 91; _I hád
not quóted him_ id. Haml. II. i. 112, &c., it is preferable to assume a
disyllabic thesis rather than a slurring. Sometimes, however, the _-ed_
of past participles (rarely of preterites) of verbs ending in _t_ is
actually cut off, as _torment_ instead of _tormented_ Wyatt 137;
_deject_ instead of _dejected_ Shak. Haml. III. i. 163.

Contractions of another kind--partly to be explained by negligent
colloquial pronunciation--are: _ta'en_ (=_taken_) Wyatt 182; _I'll_ (=_I
will_) Shak. Tempest, II. ii. 419; _carry 'em_ (=_carry them_) id. 2
Hen. VI, I. iv. 76, &c.; _Ma(d)am_ id. Gent. II. i. 6; _in's_ (=_in
his_), _doff_ (=_do off_), _dout_ (=_do out_), _o' the_ (=_of the_),
_w'us_ (=_with us_), _let's_ (=_let us_), _thou'rt_ (=_thou art_), &c.,

Finally, we have to mention the apocopation, for metrical reasons, of
unaccented prefixes, as _'bove_ (_above_), _'cause_ (_because_),
_'longs_ (_belongs_), &c., which on the whole cannot easily be

§ =112=. A contrast to these various forms of shortening is presented by
the =lengthening= of words for metrical purposes, which we have already
in part discussed in the preceding chapter (see for examples § 87).
Disyllabic words are made trisyllabic by inserting an _e_ (or rarely
_i_) between mute and liquid, e.g., _wond_(_e_)_rous_, _pilg_(_e_)_rim_,
_count_(_e_)_ry_, _breth_(_e_)_ren_, _ent_(_e_)_rance_, _child(e)ren_,
_Eng_(_e_)_land_, _troub_(_e_)_lous_, _light_(_e_)_ning_,
_short_(_e_)_ly_, _jugg_(_e_)_ler_, &c.[140]

Among the monosyllabic words or accented endings of words which admit of
a disyllabic pronunciation for the sake of metre we have mainly to
consider such as have a diphthong in their root, as _our_, _sour_,
_devour_, _hour_, _desire_, _fire_, _ire_, _sire_, _hire_, _squire_,
_inquire_, &c., or such as approach diphthongal pronunciation and
therefore admit of being treated as disyllables, e.g., _dear_, _fear_,
_hear_, _near_, _tear_, _clear_, _year_. The disyllabic use of words of
the latter class is very rare, though a striking example is afforded by
the rhyme _see her: clear_ Mrs. Browning, iii, p. 57. Some other words,
phonetically analogous to these, but popularly apprehended as containing
a simple long vowel, as _fair_, _fare_, _are_, _here_, _there_, _rare_,
_sphere_, _were_, _more_, _door_, _your_, are added to the list by
Abbott, but with doubtful correctness (cf. _Metrik_, ii. 115-17).


  [133] In the reading of the Bible and Liturgy the older syllabic
        pronunciation of certain endings is still common, and it is
        occasionally heard in sermons, where a more elevated and
        poetical kind of diction is admissible than would be used in
        secular oratory.

  [134] See ten Brink, _Chaucer's Sprache und Verskunst_, § 260.

  [135] Cf. Luick, _Anglia_, xi. 591-2.

  [136] Cf. King James I, _The Kingis Quair_, ed. by W. W. Skeat,

  [137] Cf. _Metrik_, ii. 101-3 _note_.

  [138] Cf. Ellis, _E. E. Pr._, i. 367-8.

  [139] A long list of the words so treated is to be found in Abbott,
        _Shakespearian Grammar_, § 460.

  [140] Cf. Abbott, § 477; Ellis, _E. E. Pr._, iii. 951-2; _Metrik_,
        ii, 117-18.



§ =113.= In discussing the English Word-accent and its relationship to
rhythmic accent it is necessary to consider the Middle English and the
Modern English periods separately, for two reasons. First, because the
inflexional endings which play an important part in Middle English are
almost entirely lost in Modern English, and secondly, because the
word-accent of the Romanic element of the language differs considerably
in the Middle English period from what it became in Modern English. In
the treatment of each period it will be convenient to separate Germanic
from Romanic words.

I. Word-accent in Middle English.

=A. Germanic words.= The general laws of Germanic accentuation of
words, as existing in Old English, have been mentioned above (cf. §§ 18,
19). The same laws are binding also for Middle English and Modern

The main law for all accentual versification is this, that verse-accent
must always coincide with word-accent. This holds good for all even-beat
kinds of verse, as well as for the alliterative line.

The language in all works of the same date and dialect, in whatever
kinds of verse they may be written, must obey the same laws of
accentuation. For this reason the results derived from the relation in
which the word-accent and the metrical value of syllables stand to the
verse-accent, with regard to the general laws of accentuation, and
especially those of inflexional syllables, must be the same for the
language of all even-beat kinds of verse as for that of the contemporary
alliterative line, or the verse of Layamon's _Brut_ and other works
written in a similar form of verse and derived from the ancient native

Now, when we wish to ascertain the state of accentuation of forms of
words no longer spoken the evidence supplied by the even-beat rhythms is
especially valuable. This is so, chiefly because it is much more
difficult to make the word-accent agree with the verse-accent in this
kind of rhythm, in which it is essential that accented and unaccented
syllables should alternate continuously, than in the alliterative line,
which allows greater freedom both in the relative position of accented
and unaccented syllables and in the numerical proportion between the
unaccented and the accented syllables.

In the alliterative line the position of the rhythmic accent depends on
the accent of the words which make up the verse. In the even-beat metres
on the other hand the regular succession of thesis and arsis is the
ruling principle of the versification, on which the rhythmic accent
depends, and it is the poet's task to choose his words according to that
requirement. The difficulties to be surmounted in order to bring the
word-accent into conformity with the verse-accent will frequently drive
the poet using this kind of rhythm to do violence to the accented and,
more frequently still, to the unaccented syllables of the word. He will
be induced either to contract the unaccented syllables with the accented
ones, or to elide the former altogether, or to leave it to the reader to
make the word-accent agree with the verse-accent by making use of level
stress, or by slurring over syllables, or by admitting disyllabic or
even polysyllabic theses in a verse. On the other hand, the poet who
writes in the native alliterative long line or in any of its descendants
is allowed as a rule to use the words required for his verse in their
usual accentuation or syllabic value, or at least in a way approximating
very closely to their ordinary treatment in prose. Hence those
unaccented syllables which, in even-beat rhythms, are found to be
subjected to the same treatment (i.e. to be equally liable to slurring,
elision, syncopation, or apocopation, according to the requirements of
the verse) must be presumed to have been at least approximately equal in
degree of accentual force.

Now when we examine the relation between word-accent and verse-accent in
certain poetical works of the first half of the thirteenth century, viz.
the _Ormulum_ (which on account of its regularity of rhythm is our best
guide), the _Pater Noster_, the _Moral Ode_, the _Passion_, and other
poems, we arrive at the following results:--

§ =114.= The difference in degree of stress among inflexional endings
containing an _e_ (sometimes _i_ or another vowel) which is alleged by
some scholars--viz. that such endings (in disyllabic words) have
secondary stress when the root-syllable is long, and are wholly
unaccented when it is short--has no existence: in both cases the endings
are to be regarded as alike unaccented. For we find that in even-beat
measures (especially in the _Ormulum_) these endings, whether attached
to a long or to a short root-syllable, are treated precisely alike in
the following important respects:--

1. Those inflexional endings which normally occur in the thesis, and
which are naturally suited for that position, are found in the arsis
only in an extremely small number of instances, which must undoubtedly
be imputed to lack of skill on the part of the poet, as e.g. in
_hallȝhé_ Orm. 70, _nemmnéd_ ib. 75, whereas this is very frequent in
those disyllabic compounds, the second part of which really has a
secondary accent, as e.g. _larspéll_ ib. 51, _mannkínn_ ib. 277.

2. It is no less remarkable, however, that such syllables as those last
mentioned, which undoubtedly bear a secondary accent, are never used by
Orm to form the catalectic end of the septenary verse, evidently because
they would in consequence of their specially strong accent annul or at
least injure the regular unaccented feminine verse-ending. On the other
hand, inflexional endings and unaccented terminations containing an _e_
are generally used for that purpose, as on account of their lightness of
sound they do not endanger in any way the feminine ending of the
catalectic section of the verse. In any case, inflexional syllables
following upon long root-syllables cannot have the same degree of
stress, and cannot be used for the same rhythmic functions, as the
end-syllables of disyllabic compounds, which undoubtedly bear a
secondary accent.

The _regular_ rhythmic employment of the two last-mentioned groups of
syllables proves their characteristic difference of stress--the former
being wholly unaccented, the latter bearing a secondary accent. Further
inquiry into the _irregular_ rhythmic employment of the two similar
classes of inflexional endings, those following upon long
root-syllables, and those following upon short ones, tends to prove no
less precisely that they do not differ in degree of stress, and so that
they are both unaccented. For it is easy to show that with regard to
syncope, apocope, elision, and slurring they are treated quite in the
same way.

Elision of the final _-e_ before a vowel or an _h_ takes place quite in
the same way in those inflexional syllables following upon long
root-syllables as it does in those less numerous syllables which follow
upon short ones, e.g. _Annd ȝétt ter tákenn marẹ inóh_ Orm. 37; _Wiþþ
állẹ swillc rímẹ alls hér iss sétt_ ib. 101; _For áll þat ǽfrẹ onn érþẹ
is néd_ ib. 121; _a wíntrẹ and éc a lóre_ Moral Ode 1; _Wel lóngẹ ic
hábbe chíld ibíen_ ib. 3; _Icc háfẹ itt dón forrþí þatt áll_ Orm. 115,
&c. It is the same with apocopation: _Forr gluternésse wácneþþ áll
Galnésses láþe strénncþe, Annd állẹ þe flǽshess kággerleȝȝc Annd álle
fúle lússtess_ Orm. 11653-6; cf. also: _þatt hé wass hófenn úpp to kíng_
ib. 8450, and _wass hófenn úpp to kínge_ ib. 8370; _o fáderr hállf_ ib.
2269, and _o fáderr hállfe_ 2028, &c.; similarly with syncopation, cf.
_ȝiff þú seȝȝst tátt_ ib. 5188, and _annd séȝȝest swíllc_ ib. 1512; _þet
scúlen bén to déaþe idémd_ Moral Ode 106; _for bétere is án elmésse
bifóren_ ib. 26, &c.; and again with the slurring of syllables following
upon long as well as upon short root-syllables, as the following
examples occurring in the first acatalectic sections of septenary verse
will show sufficiently: _Ál þet bétste þét we héfden_ Moral Ode 51;
_Gódes wísdom ís wel míchel_ ib. 213, &c.

Now as a syllable bearing a secondary accent cannot become mute, as an
unaccented syllable does, if required, it is evident that those
inflexional syllables which follow upon long root-syllables and
frequently do become silent cannot bear that secondary accent which has
been ascribed to them by several scholars; on the contrary, all
syllables subject in the same way to elision, apocope, syncope, and
slurring must have the same degree of stress (i.e. they must be alike
unaccented) whether preceded by short or by long root-syllables.

Other terminations of disyllabic words which, though not inflexional,
consist, like the inflexional endings, of _e_ + consonant, are treated
in the same way, e.g. words like _fader_, _moder_, _finger_, _heven_,
_sadel_, _giver_, &c. Only those inflexional and derivational endings
which are of a somewhat fuller sound, as e.g., _-ing_, _-ling_, _-ung_,
_-and_, _-ish_, and now and then even the comparative and superlative
endings _-er_, _-est_, and the suffixes _-lic_, _-lich_, _-ly_, _-y_,
may be looked upon as bearing a secondary accent, as they may be used at
will either in the arsis of the verse or lowered to the state of
unaccented syllables as the thesis.

§ =115.= In a trisyllabic simple word the root-syllable, of course, has
the primary accent, and of the two following syllables, that which has
the fuller sound, has the secondary accent, as in _áskedèst_,
_wrítìnge_, _dággère_, _clénnèsse_, _híèste_. If, however, the two last
syllables are equally destitute of word-accent, as e.g. in _clepede_,
_lufede_, they are both metrically unaccented; and, as mentioned before
(cf. § 96), may be shortened either to _lufde_, _clepte_, or to _lufed_,
_cleped_. If they are used, however, as trisyllables in the iambic
rhythm they naturally admit of the metrical accent on the last syllable.

It is the same with compounds of nouns or adjectives. The first syllable
takes the chief accent, and of the two others that has the secondary
accent which is the root-syllable of the second part of the compound, as
in _fréendshìpe_, _shírrève_, but _wódecràft_, _bóldelỳ_.

In verbal compounds the primary accent, in conformity with the Old
English usage, generally rests on the root-syllable of the verb, while
the first and last syllable are mostly unaccented, as e.g. _alihten_,
_bisechen_, _forgiven_, _ibidden_, _ofþunchen_. In denominatives, which
in Old English have the primary accent on the first syllable, as e.g.
_ándswarian_, both kinds of accentuation are allowed: _ánswere_ and

In disyllabic and trisyllabic compounds of nouns with certain prefixes,
partly accented in Old English, as e.g. _al-_, _un-_, _for-_, _mis-_,
_y-_, _a-_, _bi-_, the primary accent does not rest on these syllables,
but on the second syllable, this being the root-syllable of the word,
e.g. _almíhti_, _forgétful_, _unhéele_, _bihéeste_; the first syllable
in this case bears a secondary accent if it has a determinative
signification, as e.g. _al-_, _mis-_, _un-_, but it is unaccented if it
is indifferent to the meaning, as e.g. _a-_, _y-_, _bi-_.

§ =116.= A peculiar rhythmical position is held by those words which we
may call parathetic compounds.[141] To these belong certain compound
nouns formed by two words of almost the same weight from a syntactical
and metrical point of view, as e.g. _goodman_, _goodwyf_, _longswerd_,
and also by similar composite particles, as e.g. _elleswhere_, _also_,
_into_, _unto_. Although the regular colloquial pronunciation was
probably in the Middle English period, as it is in Modern English, with
the accent on the first syllable, they may be pronounced with the accent
on the second syllable, or at least with level stress, as e.g.
_g+oo+dm+á+n_, _+a+ls+ó+_, _+i+nt+ó+_, &c. To this class also belong
certain compounds of adverbs with prepositions, as e.g. _herein_,
_therefore_, _thereof_, the only difference being that the usual accent
rests here on the last syllable, but may be placed also on the first, as
in _hereín_ and _hérein_, _thereóf_ and _théreof_, &c.

§ =117.= These gradations of sound in the different words regulate their
rhythmical treatment in the verse. In disyllabic words as a rule the
syllable with the primary accent is placed in the arsis of the verse,
the other syllable, whether it be an unaccented one, or have a secondary
accent, is placed in the thesis. Such words as those described in the
preceding section may much more easily be used with level stress than
others. In that case the rhythmical accent rests on the syllable which
has the secondary accent, while the syllable which in ordinary speech
has the chief accent is used as a thesis.

The ordinary as well as the abnormal use of one and the
same word will be illustrated by the following example:--

    _O mánnkinn swá þatt ítt mannkínn._      Orm. 277.

With regard to the rhythmical treatment of trisyllables two classes of
such words are to be distinguished, namely, (1) those in which the
syllable bearing the primary accent is followed or (rarely) preceded by
a syllable bearing a secondary accent, as e.g. _gódspèlles_, _énglìshe_,
and (2) those in which the syllable bearing the primary accent is
preceded or followed by a syllable wholly unaccented, as e.g.
_bigínnen_, _òvercóme_, _crístendòm_, _wéathercòck_. In the latter case
level stress is hardly ever met with, as the natural word-accent would
be interfered with to an intolerable extent by accentuations like
_cristéndom_, _weathércock_, _ovércome_, _bíginnén_, _fórgottén_,
_béhavióur_, &c.

Words like these therefore can in regular iambic or trochaic verse be
used only with their natural accentuation, and hence those syllables
which either have the primary or the secondary accent are always placed
in the arsis, and the unaccented ones in the thesis, e.g.: _To wínnenn
únnder Crísstenndóm_ Orm. Ded. 137; _off þátt itt wáss bigúnnenn_ ib.
88; _Though the séas thréaten, théy are mércifúl_ Shakesp. Temp. V. 178;
_Ónly compóund me wíth forgótten dúst_ id. 2 Hen. IV, IV. v. 116, &c. On
the other hand, when primary and secondary accent occur in two adjacent
syllables level stress is very common, in Middle English, especially
between the first and the second syllable, as _g+o+dspélles háll[gh]he
láre_ Orm. 14, more rarely between the second and the third syllable, as
_þa Góddsp+e+ll+é+ss neh álle_ ib. 30; it also occurs in Chaucer's
poems, as _For thóus+a+nd+é+s his hóndes máden dýe_ Troil. v. 1816; in
the same way Modern English words are treated to fit the rhythm, as e.g.
_mídsùmmer_, _faíntheàrted_, in _Farewéll_, _f+á+int-h+éa+rted ánd
degénerate kíng_ Shak. 3 Hen. VI. I. i. 138; _And górgeous ás the sún at
míds+u+mm+é+r_ 1 Hen. IV, IV. i. 102. With the more recent poets this
latter kind of rhythmical accentuation becomes the more usual of the
two, although the nature and the meaning of the compound word always
play an important part in such cases.

With regard to their accentuation and metrical employment words of four
syllables also fall into three classes: 1. Inflected forms of words
belonging to the first group of trisyllables, like _crístendómes_, which
can be used in the rhythm of the verse only with their natural
accentuation; 2. words like _fordémde_ (first and last syllable
unaccented, the second syllable having the chief accent) with a
determinative prefix, as e.g. _únfordémde_; these likewise are used in
the rhythm of the verse according to their natural accentuation; 3.
words of the third group with a prefix which either has the secondary
accent, or is unaccented, as _ùnwíslìce_ or _iwítnèsse_; the metrical
usage of these is regulated according to the rules for the trisyllabic
words. The same is to be observed with regard to words of five and six
syllables like _únderstándìnge_, _únimételiche_, which, however, are
only of rare occurrence.

§ =118. B. Romanic words.= It was not till the thirteenth and fourteenth
centuries that Romanic words passed in considerable numbers into the
English language; and they were then accommodated to the general laws of
accentuation of English. The transition, however, from Romanic to
Germanic accentuation certainly did not take place at once, but
gradually, and earlier in some districts and in some classes of society
than in others; in educated circles undoubtedly later than amongst the
common people. The accentuation of the newly introduced Romanic words
thus being in a vacillating state, we easily see how the poets writing
at that period in foreign even-beat rhythms, of whom Chaucer may serve
as a representative, could use those words with whichever accentuation
best suited their need at the moment, admitting the Romanic accentuation
chiefly in rhymes, where it afforded them great facilities, and the
usual Germanic accentuation mostly in the interior of the line. A few
examples will suffice to illustrate this well-known fact. We arrange
them in five classes according to the number of syllables in the words;
the principles of metrical accentuation not being precisely identical in
the several classes.

=Disyllabic words.= I. Words whose final syllable is accented in French.
They are used in even-beat rhythms (1) with the original accentuation,
e.g. _prisóun: raunsóun_ Kn. T. 317-18; _pítouslý: mercý_ ib. 91-2;
_pitóus: móus_ Prol. 143-4; (2) with the accent on the first syllable
according to the accentuation which had already become prevalent in
ordinary English speech, e.g. _This prísoun cáusede me_ Kn. T. 237;
_With hérte pítous_ ib. 95; _But wé beséken mércy ánd socóur_ ib. 60.

II. Words having in French the accent on the first syllable, the last
syllable being unaccented. These words, partly substantives or
adjectives, as _people_, _nombre_, _propre_, partly verbs, as _praye_,
_suffre_, _crie_ (in which case the accentuation of the sing. of the
present tense prevails), are always used in verse with the original
accentuation, the second unaccented syllable either (1) forming a full
thesis of the verse, as in _the péple préseth thíderward_ Kn. T. 1672;
_bý his própre gód_ Prol. 581, or (2) being elided or slurred and
forming only part of the thesis, as in _the nómbre and éek the cáuse_
ib. 716; _and crýe as hé were wóod_ ib. 636.

As a rule also the original and usual accent is retained by disyllabic
words containing an unaccented prefix, as in _accord_, _abet_, _desyr_,
_defence_, &c. Only words composed with the prefix _dis-_ occur with
either accentuation, as _díscreet_ and _discréet_.

§ =119. Trisyllabic words.= I. Words, the last syllable of which in
French has the chief accent, the first having a secondary accent. In
these words the two accents are transposed in English, so that the first
syllable bears the chief accent, the last the secondary accent, and both
of them as a rule receive the rhythmical accent: _émperóur_, _árgumént_.
But if two syllables of such a word form a disyllabic thesis, generally
the last syllable which has the secondary accent is lowered to the
unaccented grade: _árgument_, _émperour_.

II. Words which in French have the chief accent on the middle syllable,
the last being unaccented. These are sometimes used with the original
accentuation, mostly as feminine rhymes, e.g.: _viságe: uságe_ Prol.
109-10; _chére: manére_ ib. 139-40; _penánce: pitánce_ ib. 233-4;
_poráille: vitáille_ ib. 247-8; _prudénce: senténce_ ib. 305-6;
_offíce: áccomplíce_ Kn. T. 2005-6, &c.; more rarely in the interior of
the verse, where the last syllable may either form a thesis as in _Ál
your plesánce férme and stáble I hólde_ Cl. T. 663, or part of it, being
elided or slurred, as in _The sáme lúst was híre plesánce alsó_ ib. 717.
In other instances, mostly in the interior of the verse, they have the
accent on the first syllable, the last being always elided or slurred:
_And sáugh his vísage was in anóther kýnde_ Kn. T. 543; _He fél in
óffice wíth a chámberléyn_ ib. 561.

Verbs ending in _-ice_ (_-isse_), _-ishe_, _-ie_, as e.g. _chérisse_,
_púnishe_, _stúdie_, _cárrie_, _tárrie_, nearly always have the accent
on the first syllable, the last syllable being elided or apocopated,
except where it is strengthened by a final consonant, as e.g.
_chérishëd_, _tárriëd_. If the first syllable of a trisyllabic word be
formed by an unaccented particle, the root-syllable of the word, in
this case the middle one, likewise retains the accent, as e.g. in
_despíse_, _remaíne_.

§ =120. Four-syllable words= of French origin when they are
substantives or adjectives frequently have disyllabic or trisyllabic
suffixes such as: _-age_, _-iage_, _-ian_, _-iant_, _-aunce_, _-iance_,
_-iaunce_, _-ence_, _-ience_, _-ient_, _-ier_, _-ioun_, _-ious_,
_-eous_, _-uous_, _-ial_, _-ual_, _-iat_, _-iour_, _-ure_, _-ie (-ye)_.
As most of these words already have a trochaic or iambic rhythm, they
are used without difficulty in even-beat disyllabic verses, chiefly in
rhymes, and then always with their full syllabic value, as e.g.:
_pílgrimáge: coráge_ Prol. 11-12; _hóstelrýe: cómpanýe_ ib. 23-4;
_resóun: condícióun_ ib. 37-8; _chývalrýe: cúrtesýe_ ib. 45-6;
_chívachíe: Pícardíe_ ib. 185-6; _cónsciénce: réverénce_ ib. 141-2;
_tóun: conféssióun_ ib. 217-18; _curát: licénciát_ 219-20; _góvernáunce:
chévysáunce_ ib. 291-2, &c. In the interior of a verse also the words
not ending in an unaccented _e_ are always metrically treated according
to their full syllabic value, e.g.: _That héeld opínyóun that pléyn
delýt_ Prol. 337; _Of hís compléxióun he wás sangwýn_ ib. 333. In those
words, on the other hand, which end in an unaccented _e_, this vowel is
in the interior of the verse generally elided or apocopated: _no vílanýe
is ít_ ib. 740; _ín that óstelríe alíght_ ib. 720; _So móche of
dáliáunce and fáir langáge_ ib. 211; _And ál was cónsciénce and téndre
hérte_ ib. 150.

Further shortenings, however, which transform an originally
four-syllable word into a disyllabic one, as in the present
pronunciation of the word _conscience_, do not take lace in Middle
English before the transition to the Modern English period. In
Lyndesay's _Monarchie_ we meet with accentuations of this kind, as e.g.:

    _The quhílk gaif sápience tó king Sálomóne._           249.

    _Be tháy contént, mak réverence tó the rést._           36.

In a similar way adjectives ending in _-able_ and verbs ending in
_-ice_, _-ye_ adapt themselves to the disyllabic rhythm, and likewise
verbs ending in _-ine_ (Old French _-iner_); only it must be noticed
that in the preterite and in the past participle verbs of the latter
class tend to throw the accents on the antepenultimate and last
syllables, e.g. _enlúminéd_, _emprísonéd_.

=Words of five syllables= almost without exception have an iambic rhythm
of themselves and are used accordingly in even-beat verses, as e.g.
_expériénce_; the same is the case with words which have Germanic
endings, like _-ing_, _-inge_, _-nesse_, e.g. _discónfytýnge_.

The rhythmic accentuation of foreign proper names both in disyllables
and in polysyllables varies. Thus we may notice the accentuations
_Junó_, _Plató_, _Venús_, and, on the other hand, _Júno_, _Pláto_,
_Vénus_; _Arcíte_, _Athénes_, and _Árcíte_, _Áthenes_; _Antónie_ and
_Ántoníe_. Wherever in such cases level stress may help to smooth the
rhythm it certainly is to be assumed in reading.

II. Word-accent in Modern English.

§ =121.= Modern English accentuation deviates little from that of the
Old English and Middle English; the inflexional endings, however, play a
much less important part; further, in many cases the Romanic
accentuation of Middle English is still in existence, or at least has
influence, in words of French or Latin origin. This is evident from many
deviations in the rhythmic accentuation of such words from the modern
accentuation which we here regard as normal, though it is to be noted
that in the beginning of the Modern English epoch, i.e. in the sixteenth
century, the actual accentuation in many cases was still in conformity
with the earlier conditions.

Only these real and apparent anomalies are noticed here. We have first
to consider the =Romanic endings= _-ace_, _-age_, _-ail_, _-el_, _-ain_,
_-al_, _-ance_, _-ence_, _-ant_, _-ent_, _-er_, _-ess_ (Old French
_-esse_), _-ice_, _-ile_, _-in_, _-on_, _-or_, _-our_, _-une_, _-ure_,
_-y(e)_ (in disyllabic words). As the final _e_ has become mute, all
these endings are monosyllabic.

In the works of the earlier Modern English poets some words ending in
these syllables are only exceptionally used with the accent on the last
syllable according to the Old French or Middle English accentuation, the
Modern English accentuation being the usual one; others are employed
more frequently or even exclusively with the earlier accentuation, e.g.
_paláce_ Sur. 174, _bondáge_ Wyatt 224, _traváil_ Sur. 82, Wyatt 19,
_certáin_ ib. 179, _mountáin_ Sur. 37, _chieftáin_ ib. 112, _cristál_
Wyatt 156, _presénce_ ib. 81, _grievánce_ ib. 55, _penánce_ ib. 209,
_balánce_ ib. 173, _pleasánt_ ib. 130, _tormént_ (subst.) ib. 72,
_fevér_, _fervóur_ ib. 210, _mistréss_ ib. 109, _richés_ ib. 209,
_justíce_ ib. 229, _servíce_ ib. 177, _engíne_ Sur. 130, _seasón_ ib.
149, _honóur_ ib. 166, _armóur_ 148, _colóur_: _therefóre_ Wyatt 6,
_terrór_: _succóur_ ib. 210, &c., _fortúne_: _tune_ ib. 152, Sur. 115,
_measúre_ Wyatt 125, _natúre_: _unsúre_ ib. 144, _glorý_: _mercý_ ib.

In almost all these cases and in many other words with the same endings
this accentuation seems to be due to the requirements of the rhythm, in
which case level stress must be assumed.

§ =122.= It is the same with many other disyllabic words, especially
those both syllables of which are almost of equal sound-value and degree
of stress, as in cases in which two different meanings of one and the
same word are indicated by different accentuation, a distinction not
unfrequently neglected in the metrical treatment of these words.

So the following adjectives and participles are used by Shakespeare and
other poets with variable accentuation: _complete_, _adverse_, _benign_,
_contrived_, _corrupt_, _despised_, _dispersed_, _distinct_, _distract_,
_diverse_, _eterne_, _exact_, _exhaled_, _exiled_, _expired_, _express_,
_extreme_, _famous_, _insane_, _invised_, _misplaced_, _misprised_,
_obscure_, _perfect_, _profane_, _profound_, _remiss_, _secure_,
_severe_, _sincere_, _supreme_, _terrene_; and so are also the many
adjectives and participles compounded with the prefix _un-_, as e.g.
_unborn_, _unchaste_, _unkind_, &c. (cf. Alexander Schmidt,

Substantives and verbs are treated in a similar way, e.g. _c+o+mf+ó+rt_
(subst.) Wyatt 14, _r+e+c+ó+rd_ ib. 156, _d+i+sc+ó+rd_ Sur. 6,
_c+o+nfl+í+ct_ ib. 85, _p+u+rch+á+se_ ib. 58, _m+i+sch+íe+f_ Wyatt 78,
_s+a+fegu+á+rd_ ib. 212, _M+a+d+á+me_ ib. 149, _pr+o+m+é+ss_ ib. 25. So
also in Shakespeare (cf. Alexander Schmidt, l.c.): _+á+cc+e+ss_,
_+a+sp+é+ct_, _c+o+mm+é+rce_, _c+o+ns+ó+rt_, _c+o+ntr+á+ct_,
_c+o+mp+á+ct_, _+e+d+í+ct_, _i+nst+í+nct_, _+ou+tr+á+ge_, _pr+e+c+é+pts_,
_c+é+m+e+nt_, _c+ó+nd+u+t_ (vb.), _c+ó+nf+i+ne_, _p+ú+rs+ue+_,
_r+é+l+a+pse_ (cf. _Metrik_, ii. § 62).

§ =123.= Trisyllabic and polysyllabic words, too, of French or Latin
origin are still used frequently in the beginning of the Modern
English period with an accentuation contrary to present usage.
Words e.g. which now have the chief accent on the second syllable,
the first and third syllable being unaccented, are often used with
the rhythmical accents on these two syllables, e.g.: _c+ó+nf+e+ss+ó+r_
Meas. IV. iii. 133, _c+ó+nt+i+n+úe+_ Wyatt 189; _d+é+p+a+rt+ú+re_
ib. 129; _r+é+p+e+nt+á+nce_ ib. 205, _+é+nd+ea+v+óu+r_ ib. 232;
_d+é+t+e+st+á+ble_ John III. iv. 29, _rh+éu+m+a+t+í+c_ Ven. 135, &c.
Likewise in words the first and third syllables of which are now
accented and the second unaccented, the rhythmical accent is placed on
this very syllable, e.g. _charácter_ Lucr. 807, _confíscate_ Cymb. V. v.
323, _contráry_ Wyatt 8, _impórtune_ Ant. IV. xv. 19, _oppórtune_ Temp.
IV. i. 26, _perséver_ All's Well IV. ii. 37, _prescíence_ Troil. I. iii.
199, _siníster_ Troil. IV. v. 128. Certain verbs also in _-ise_, _-ize_
are used with fluctuating accentuation; Shakespeare e.g. always has
_advértise_ Meas. i. 142, _authórise_ Sonn. 35, _canónize_ Troil. II.
ii. 202; sometimes also _solémnize_ Temp. v. 309 (cf. _Metrik_, ii. §§
64, 65).

Foreign proper names especially in many cases are subject, as in earlier
times, to variable accentuation, as e.g.: _Ajáx_ Sur. 129, _Cæsár_
Wyatt 191, _Cató_ ib. 191, the more usual accentuation also occurring in
the writings of the same poets; similarly _Átridés_ Sur. 129 and
_Atríde_ ib. 116, _Cárthages_ ib. 149 and _Cartháge_ 175. Shakespeare
has always the unclassical _Andrónicus_, _Hypérion_, _Cleopátra_, but
for rhythmical reasons _N+ó+rth+a_mpt+ó+n_ Rich. III, II. iv. 1 instead of
_Northámpton_, and so in several other cases (cf. _Metrik_, ii. § 67).

§ =124.= Amongst the =Germanic vocables= the parathetic compounds
chiefly call for notice, as their accentuation in common speech also
approaches level stress, and for this reason they may be used with
either accentuation. This group includes compounds like _moonlight_,
_welfare_, _farewell_, and some conjunctions, prepositions, and
pronouns, as _therefore_, _wherefore_, _something_, _nothing_,
_sometimes_, _into_, _unto_, _towards_, _without_, as e.g.: _thérefore_
Wyatt 24, &c., _therefóre_ ib. 42, _nóthing_ Rich. II, II. ii. 12,
_nothíng_ Rich. III, I. i. 236, _únto_ Sur. 125, _untó_ Sur. 117 (cf.
_Metrik_, ii. § 58).

Greater arbitrariness in the treatment of word-accent, explained best by
the influence of Middle English usage, is shown in the rhythmical
accentuation of the final syllable _-ing_ in words like _endíng_:
_thing_ Wyatt 27; and of the suffixes _-ness_, _-ly_, _-y_, _-ow_, e.g.
_goodnéss_: _excéss_ Wyatt 206, _free_: _trulý_ 147; _borrów_: _sorrów_:
_overthrów_ ib. 227. Less admissible still are such accentuations with
the endings _-er_, _-est_, used on the whole only by the earlier Modern
English poets, e.g. _earnést_ Wyatt 11, _aftér_ ib. 207, and least of
all with inflexional endings, e.g. _scornéd_ Sur. 170, _causéth_ Wyatt
33 (cf. _Metrik_, ii. §§ 59-61).

As a rule, however, such unnatural accentuations can be avoided by
assuming the omission of a thesis at the beginning or in the interior of
a line. With regard to trisyllabic and polysyllabic words the remarks on
pp. 176-7 are to be compared.





§ =125.=. Among the metres introduced into Middle English poetry in
imitation of foreign models, perhaps the oldest is the four-foot verse,
rhyming in couplets. This metre may be regarded as having originally
arisen by halving the eight-foot line, although only an isolated example
of this, dating from about the middle of the thirteenth century, quoted
above (p. 127), is known in Middle English poetry. This, however, serves
with special clearness to illustrate the resolution, by means of
inserted rhyme, of the eight-foot long-line couplet into four-foot lines
rhyming alternately (cf. § 78).

In the manuscript the verses, though rhyming in long lines, are written
as short lines, with intermittent rhyme _a b c b d b e b_, just as the
example of Modern English eight-foot iambic verse, quoted before (p.
127), is found printed with this arrangement, as is indeed generally the
case with most long-line forms of that type. This metre calls for no
other remarks on its rhythmical structure than will have to be made with
regard to the four-foot verse.

§ =126.= The four-foot line, rhyming in couplets, first appears in a
paraphrase of the _Pater Noster_ of the end of the twelfth century,[142]
doubtless in imitation of the Old French _vers octosyllabe_ made known
in England by Anglo-Norman poets, such as Gaimar, Wace, Benoit, &c.

This French metre consists of eight syllables when the ending is
monosyllabic, and nine when it is disyllabic.

The lines are always connected in couplets by rhyme, but masculine and
feminine rhymes need not alternate with one another.

It is exactly the same with the Middle English four-foot line, except
that the rising iambic rhythm comes out more clearly in it, and that,
instead of the Romanic principle of counting the syllables, that of the
equality of beats is perceptible, so that the equality of the number of
syllables in the verses is not so strictly observed. Hence, all the
deviations before mentioned from the strict formal structure of
even-beat verses occur even in this early poem, and quite regularly
constructed couplets are indeed but rare in it. Examples of this type
are the following:

    _Ah, láverd gód, her úre béne,
     Of úre súnne máke us cléne,
     Þet hé us ȝéue alswá he méi,
     Þet ús bihóueð úlche déi._      ll. 167-170.

The first ten lines of the poem give a sufficient idea of the structure
of the verse, and its characteristics:

    _Ure féder þét in héouene ís,
     Þet ís all sóþ fúl iwís!
     Weo móten tó þeos wéordes iséon,
     Þet to líue and to sáule góde béon,
     Þet wéo beon swá his súnes ibórene,
     Þet hé beo féder and wé him icórene,
     Þet wé don álle hís ibéden
     Ánd his wílle fór to réden.
     Lóke weo ús wið hím misdón
     Þurh béelzebúbes swíkedóm._

Here we find almost all the rhythmical licences to be found in even-beat
metres. Thus we have suppression of the anacrusis in line 8 and again in
two consecutive lines, such as 15, 16:

    _Gíf we léornið gódes láre,
     Þénne of-þúnceð hít him sáre;_

and very often in the course of the poem, e.g. ll. 22, 29, 30, 37, &c.,
so that it acquires a loose, iambic-trochaic cadence; further, the
absence of an unaccented syllable in the middle of the line (line 2);
inversion of accent in line 9, and again in line 81, _Láverd he ís of
álle scáfte_; two unaccented syllables at the beginning and in the
interior of the verse in 4; light slurrings ll. 1, 3, 5; only ll. 7 and
10 are regularly constructed throughout. The same proportion of regular
to irregular verses runs through the whole poem, in which, besides the
licences mentioned, that of level stress is also often to be met with,
especially in rhymes like _w+u+rþ+í+ng: héovenkíng_ 99-100; _h+a+t+í+ng:
king_ 193-4, 219-20; _fóndúnge: swínkúnge_ 242-3.

§ =127.= The treatment of the caesura in this metre also deserves,
special mention, for this, as has already been stated, is one of the
chief points in which the four-foot even-beat metre differs from the
four-stress metre, as represented either by the old alliterative long
line or by the later non-alliterating line. For there must be a caesura
in every four-beat verse, and it must always be found in one definite
place, viz. after the second beat next to any unaccented syllable or
syllables that follow the beat, the line being thus divided into two
rhythmically fairly equal halves. On the other hand, for the four-foot
verse, not only in this, its earliest appearance, but in the rest of
Middle and Modern English literature, the caesura is not obligatory, and
when it does occur it may, theoretically speaking, stand in any place in
the line, although it most frequently appears after the second foot,
particularly in the oldest period.

The caesura may (§ 80) be of three kinds:

(1) Monosyllabic or masculine caesura:

    _Ne képeð he nóht | þet wé beon súne._        18.

(2) Disyllabic or feminine caesura, two kinds of which are to
be distinguished, viz.

  (_a_) Lyric caesura, within a foot:

    _And ȝéfe us míhte | þúrh his héld._      240.

  (_b_) Epic caesura caused by a supernumerary unaccented
        syllable before the pause:

    _Ure gúltes, láverd, | bon ús forȝéven._   173.

These three kinds of caesura, the last of which, it is true, we meet
here only sporadically, may thus in four-foot verse also occur _after_,
as well as _in_ the other feet. Thus we find in the very first line, a
lyrical caesura after the first foot:

    _Ure féder | þét in héouene ís._

This, however, seldom happens in the oldest examples, in which caesuras
sharply dividing the line are rare, enjambement being only seldom
admitted. Examples of verses without caesuras are to be found, among
others, in the following: _Þúrh béelzebúbes swíkedóm_ 10, _Intó þe
þósternésse héllen_ 104. As a rule, in the four-foot verse as well as in
French octosyllabics, a pause does not occur until the end, on account
of the shortness of this metre, which generally only suffices for one
rhythmic section, while in four-beat verse a regular division into two
rhythmic sections, and consequently the constant occurrence of a
caesura, is rendered possible by the greater number of unaccented

The end of the line may, in any order, have either a masculine rhyme, as
in ll. 1-4, 9, 10, or a feminine rhyme, as in ll. 7 and 8. There occur
besides, but seldom, trisyllabic rhymes, such as those in ll. 5-6, or
_súnegen: múnegen_ 141-2.

§ =128.= This metre continued to be very popular in Middle and Modern
English poetry, and is still extensively used. As a rule its structure
constantly remained the same; nevertheless we may, in both periods,
distinguish between two well-marked ways of treating it. It was, for
instance, at the end of the thirteenth and in the first half of the
fourteenth century, very freely handled in the North of England in the
_Surtees Psalter_, further by Robert Mannyng in his _Handlyng Sinne_,
and by Richard Rolle de Hampole in his _Pricke of Conscience_. Their
treatment of this verse is characterized, for instance, by the
remarkably frequent occurrence of two and even three unaccented
syllables at the beginning and in the middle of the line, e.g.:

    _In þi rightwísenésses biþénke I sál
     Þine sághes nóght forgéte withál._
                                                    Psalm cxviii, v. 16.

    _And rékened þe cústome hóuses echóne,
     At whých þey had góde and at whýche nóne._
                                    Mannyng, Handlyng Sinne, ll. 5585-6.

Other rhythmical licences, such as the omission of unaccented syllables
in the middle of a verse, and inversion of accent, are frequent in these
compositions. Level stress, on the other hand, for the most part is
found only in rhyme, as _sh+e+nsh+é+pe_: _kepe_ Hampole 380-1; _come_:
_b+o+ghs+ó+me_ ib. 394-5.

The other extreme of strict regularity in the number of syllables is
exhibited in another group of North English and Scottish compositions of
the fourteenth century, such as the _Metrical Homilies_, the _Cursor
Mundi_, Barbour's _Bruce_, Wyntoun's _Chronykyl_. The metrical licences
most frequent here are level stress, suppression of the anacrusis, and
the omission of unaccented syllables in the middle of the line, in the
_Metrical Homilies_. The rhythm is, however, as a rule, strictly iambic,
and the number of syllables eight or nine, according as the rhymes are
masculine or feminine.

§ =129.= The contemporaneous literary productions of the Midlands and
South written in this metre generally observe a mean between the free
and the strict versification of the two northern groups.

These are inter alia _The Story of Genesis and Exodus_, _The Owl and
Nightingale_, _The Lay of Havelok_, _Sir Orfeo_, _King Alisander_,
several compositions of Chaucer's,[143] as, for instance, _The Book of
the Duchesse_, _The House of Fame_, Gower's _Confessio Amantis_, and
others. The last work, as well as _The Owl and Nightingale_, is written
in almost perfectly regular iambic verses, in which the syllables are
strictly counted. The other compositions more frequently admit the
familiar rhythmical licences and have a freer movement, but none to the
same extent as the _Pater Noster_. In artistic perfection this metre
presents itself to us in Chaucer, who was particularly skilful in
employing and varying the enjambement. A short specimen from his _House
of Fame_ (ll. 151-74) will illustrate this:

    _Fírst sawgh I thé destrúccióun
     Of Tróy, thórgh the Gréke Synóun,
     Wíth his fálse fórswerýnge,
     And his chére and hís lesýnge
     Máde the hórs broght into Tróye,
     Thorgh whích Tróyens lost ál her joýe.
     And áfter thís was gráve, allás,
     How Ílyóun assáyled wás
     And wónne, and kýnge Pr+iá+m ysláyne
     And Políte his sóne, certáyne,
     Dispítouslý of dáun Pirr+ú+s,
     And néxt that sáwgh I hów V+e+n+ú+s,
     Whan thát she sáwgh the cástel brénde,
     Dóune fro the hévene gán descénde,
     And bád hir sóne Enéas flée;
     And hów he fléd, and hów that hé
     Escáped wás from ál the prés,
     And tóoke his fáder, Ánch+i+sés,
     And báre hym ón hys bákke awáy,
     Crýinge 'Allás and wélawáy!'
     The whíche Anchíses ín hys hónde
     Báre the góddes óf the lónde,
     Thílke thát unbrénde wére.
     And Í saugh néxt in ál hys fére_, &c.

§ =130.= Four-foot verses often occur also in Middle English in
connexion with other metrical forms, especially with three-foot verses,
e.g. in the Septenary, which is resolved by the rhyme into two short
lines, and in the tail-rhyme stanza, or _rime couée_ (cf. §§ 78, 79).

In these combinations the structure of the metre remains essentially the
same, only there are in many poems more frequent instances of
suppression of the anacrusis, so that the metre assumes a variable
cadence, partly trochaic, partly iambic. At the end of the Middle
English period the four-foot verse was, along with other metrical forms,
employed by preference in the earlier dramatic productions, and was
skilfully used by Heywood, among others, in his interlude, _The Four

§ =131.= In he Modern English period this metre has also found great
favour, and we may, as in the case of other metres, distinguish between
a strict and a freer variety of it. The strict form was, and is, mostly
represented in lyric poetry, in verses rhyming in couplets or in cross
rhyme. The rhythm is generally in this case (since the separation
between iambic and trochaic verse-forms became definitely established)
strictly iambic, generally with monosyllabic rhymes.

A greater interest attaches to the freer variety of the metre, which is
to be regarded as a direct continuation of the Middle English four-foot
verse, inasmuch as it was practised by the poets of the first Modern
English period in imitation of earlier models, and has been further
cultivated by their successors down to the most recent times. The
characteristic feature in this treatment of the four-foot verse is the
frequent suppression of the anacrusis, by which it comes to resemble the
four-beat verse, along with which it is often used. But whilst the
latter generally has an iambic-anapaestic or trochaic-dactylic
structure, and is constantly divided by the caesura into two halves, the
Modern English four-foot verse of the freer type has, as a rule, an
alternately iambic and trochaic rhythm, with a rare occurrence of
caesuras. Shakespeare and other dramatists often employ this metre for
lyrical passages in their dramas. Of longer poems in the earlier period
Milton's _L'Allegro_ and _Il Penseroso_ are conspicuous examples.

The following passage from _L'Allegro_ (ll. 11-16) may serve as a

    _But cóme thou Góddess fáir and frée,
     In héaven yclépt Euphrósyné,
     Ánd by mén héart-easing Mírth,
     Whom lóvely Vénus, át a bírth,
     Wíth two síster Gráces móre,
     To ívy-crównëd Bácchus bóre_, &c.

The structure of the verse is essentially iambic, though the iambic
metre frequently, by suppression of the initial theses, as in the
thirteenth and fifteenth lines of this passage, falls into a trochaic
cadence. Pure trochaic verses, i.e. those that begin with an accented
syllable and end with an unaccented one, occur in these two poems, in
couplets, only once, _L'Allegro_ (ll. 69-70):

    _Stráight mine éye hath cáught new pléasures,
     Whíles the lándscape róund it méasures._

With masculine endings such couplets are frequent, e.g. _Il Penseroso_,

    _Tó behóld the wándering móon,
    Ríding néar the híghest nóon;_

further, ll. 75-6, 81-2, 141-2, &c.

As a rule, pure iambic lines rhyme together, or an iambic with a line
that has a trochaic cadence, as, for instance, in the above specimen,
_L'Allegro_, 13-14 and 15-16.

Besides initial truncation there also occur here the other metrical
licences observed in iambic rhythm.

§ =132.= Many sections of the narrative poems of Coleridge, Scott, and
Byron, e.g. the latter's _Siege of Corinth_, are written in this form,
with which, in especially animated passages, four-beat verses often
alternate. Cf., for instance, the following passage, xvi, from the
last-named poem:

    _Stíll by the shóre Alp mútely músed,
     And wóo'd the fréshness níght diffúsed.
     There shrínks no ébb in that tídeless séa,
     Which chángeless rólls etérnallý;
     So that wíldest of wáves, in their ángriest móod,
     Scarce bréak on the bóunds of the lánd for a róod;
     And the pówerless móon behólds them flów
     Héedless if she cóme or gó:
     Cálm or hígh, in máin or báy,
     Ón their cóurse she háth no swáy._

Lines 5-7 can be at once recognized as four-stress verses by the
iambic-anapaestic rhythm, as well as by the strongly-marked caesura,
which, in the four-foot verses 4, and especially 8 and 10, is entirely
or almost entirely absent (cf. pp. 98-9); and both metrical forms, the
calmer four-foot verse and the more animated four-stress metre, are in
harmonious agreement with the tone of this passage.

Four-foot lines, forming component parts of metrically heterogeneous
types of stanzas, such, for instance, as the tail-rhyme stave, are
generally more regularly constructed than in the Middle English period.

§ =133.= Among the metrical forms which took their rise from the
four-foot line, the most noteworthy are the two-foot and the one-foot
verse, the former the result of halving the four-foot verse, the latter
of dividing the two-foot verse, as a rule, by means of the rhyme. These
verse-forms only seldom occur in the Middle English period, as a rule in
anisometrical stanzas in connexion with verses of greater length. Thus,
in the poem in Wright's _Specimens of Lyric Poetry_, p. 38, composed in
the entwined tail-rhyme stanza, the short lines have two accents:
_wiþóute stríf: y wýte, a wýf_ 10-12; _in tóune tréwe: while ý may
gléwe_ 4-6. The eighteen-lined enlarged tail-rhyme stave of the ballad,
_The Nut-brown Maid_ (Percy's _Reliques_, iii. 6), also consists of two-
and three-foot lines; in this case the two-foot lines may be conceived
as the result of halving the first hemistich of the septenary line.

In Modern English two-foot lines are also rare and are chiefly found in
anisometrical stanzas. They do occur, however, here and there in
isometrical poems, either written in couplets or in stanzas of lines
rhyming alternately; as, for instance, in Drayton, _An Amouret

    _Most góod, most fáir,
     Or thíngs as ráre
     To cáll you's lóst;
     For áll the cóst
     Wórds can bestów,
     Só póorly shów
     Upón your práise
     That áll the wáys
     Sénse hath, come shórt_, &c.

The commonest rhythmical licences are inversion of accent and initial
truncation. In stanzas verses of this sort occur, for the most part it
seems, with the rhyme-order _a b c b_, for instance in Burns, _The Cats
like Kitchen_, and Moore, _When Love is Kind_, so that these verses
might be regarded as four-foot lines rhyming in couplets.

§ =134.= One-foot lines, both with single and with double ending,
likewise occur in Middle English only as component parts of
anisometrical stanzas, as a rule as _bob_-verses in what are called
_bob-wheel_ staves; as, for instance, in a poem in Wright's _Songs and
Carols_ (Percy Society, 1847), the line _With áye_ rhyming with the
three-foot line _Aye, áye, I dár well sáy_; in the _Towneley Mysteries_,
the verse _Alás_ rhyming with _A góod máster he wás_; in an _Easter
Carol_ (Morris, _An Old Engl. Miscellany_, pp. 197-9), the line _So
strónge_ rhyming with _Jóye hím wit sónge_, or _In lónde_ and _of hónde_
rhyming with _Al with jóye þat is fúnde_.

Metrical licences can naturally only seldom occur in such short lines.

One-foot iambic lines occur also in the Modern English period almost
exclusively in anisometrical stanzas. A little poem entitled _Upon his
Departure hence_, in Herrick's _Hesperides_, may be quoted as a
curiosity, as it is written in continuous one-foot lines of this kind,
rhyming in triplets:

  _Thus Í_,     _As óne_     _I'm máde_   _I' the gráve,_  _Where téll_
  _Passe bý_,   _Unknówn_,   _A sháde_    _There háve,_    _I dwéll._
  _And díe_,    _And góne_,  _And láid_   _My cáve:_       _Farewéll._

One-foot lines with feminine ending are employed by Moore as the middle
member of the stanza in the poem _Joys of Youth, how fleeting_.



§ =135. The Septenary= is a favourite Middle English metre, going back
to a Mediaeval Latin model. It cannot, however, be definitely determined
whether this is to be found in the (accentual) catalectic iambic
tetrameter, an example of which is preserved, among other instances, in
the _Planctus Bonaventurae_ (1221-74) printed by Mone in his _Latin
Hymns of the Middle Ages_, which begins as follows:

    _O crux, frutex salvificus, | vivo fonte rigatus,
    Quem flos exornat fulgidus, | fructus fecundat gratus_,

or possibly in another Latin metre which was a far greater favourite
with the Anglo-Norman Latin poets. This is the (accentual)
brachycatalectic trochaic tetrameter, which frequently occurs, among
other instances, in the poems ascribed to Walter Map, e.g. in the still
popular verses:

    _Mihi est propositum | in taberna mori,
    Vinum sit appositum | morientis ori._

The result of an attempt to adopt this metre in Middle English might, on
account of the preference of the language for iambic rhythm, very
naturally be to transform it into the iambic catalectic tetrameter by
the frequent addition of an unaccented opening syllable at the beginning
of each half-line. Probably the latter verse-form was the model, as may
be seen from Leigh Hunt's Modern English translation of the Latin
drinking-song just quoted.[145]

Moreover, many mediaeval Latin verses also have a wavering rhythm
resulting in a form at times characterized by level stress, e.g.

    _Fortunae rota volvitur; | descendo minoratus,
     Alter in altum tollitur | nimis exaltatus.
     Rex sedet in vertice, | caveat ruinam,
     Nam sub axe legimus | 'Hecubam' reginam._
                                                 Carmina Burana, lxxvii.

§ =136.= These verses correspond pretty exactly, in their metrical
structure, to the opening lines of the _Moral Ode_, which, as far as is
known, is the earliest Middle English poem in septenary lines, and dates
from the twelfth century:

    _Íc am élder þánne ic wés, | a wíntre and éc a lóre;
     ic éaldi móre þánne ic déde: | mi wít oȝhte tó bi móre.
     Wel lónge ic hábbe chíld ibíen | on wórde ánd on déde;
     þéȝh ic bí on wíntren éald, | to ȝíung ic ám on réde._

The other common licences of even-beat metre which affect the rhythm of
the line, the metrical value of syllables, and the word-accent, also
occur in the _Moral Ode_. Suppression of the anacrusis is very often met
with; it occurs, for instance, in the first hemistich, in lines 1 and 4
above; in the second hemistich, _ér ic hít iwíste_ l. 17, in both, _þó
þet hábbeð wél idón | éfter híre míhte_, l. 175; so that a pure iambic
couplet seldom occurs, although the iambic rhythm is, on the whole,
predominant. The omission of unaccented syllables in the middle of the
line is also often found (although many verses of this kind probably
require emendation), as _Ne léve nó mán to múchel_ 24; also in the
second hemistich, as _and wól éche dede_ 88. Transpositions of the
accent are quite usual at the beginning of the first as well as of the
second hemistich: _Elde me ís bestólen ón_ 17; _síððen ic spéke cúðe_ 9.
Level stress is also not absent: _For bétere is án elmésse bifóre_ 28.
We often meet with elision, apocope, syncope, slurring of syllables, and
the use of a disyllabic thesis both at the beginning of the line and in
other positions: _þo þet wél ne dóeþ þe wíle he múȝe_ 19; _nís hit
búte gámen and glíe_ 188. A noteworthy indication of want of skill in
the handling of the Septenary in this first attempt is the frequent
occurrence of a superfluous syllable at the close of the first
hemistich, which should only admit of an acatalectic ending, e.g.: _Hé
scal cúme on úuele stéde | búte him Gód beo mílde_ 26; _Eíðer to lútel
ánd to múchel | scal þúnchen éft hem báthe_ 62, &c. The end of the
second hemistich, on the other hand, in accordance with the structure of
the metre, is in this poem always catalectic.

§ =137.= The irregularity of the structure of the Septenary rhyming line
of the _Moral Ode_ stands in marked contrast with the regularity of the
rhymeless Septenary verse of the _Ormulum_. The first hemistich here is
always acatalectic, the second catalectic, and the whole line has never
more nor less than fifteen syllables.

Hence the only metrical licences that occur here are elision, syncope,
and apocope of the unaccented _e_ of some inflexional endings, and the
very frequent admission of level stress in disyllabic and polysyllabic
words, which are to be found in all places in the line:

    _Icc þátt tiss Énnglissh háfe sétt | +E+nnglísshe ménn to láre,
     Icc wáss þær þǽr I crísstnedd wáss | +O+rrmín bi náme némmnedd,
     Annd ícc +O+rrmín full ínnwarrdlíȝ | wiþþ múð annd éc wiþþ
                                                           Dedic. 322-7.

In all such cases, in the versification of Orm, whose practice is to
count the syllables, there can only be a question of level stress, not
of inversion of accent. _Ennglisshe_ at the beginning of the second
hemistich of the above line, 322, is no more an example of inversion of
rhythm than in the hemistich _Icc háfe wénnd inntill +E+nnglíssh_ l. 13.

§ =138.= After the _Moral Ode_ and the _Ormulum_ the Septenary often
occurs in combination with other metres, especially the Alexandrine, of
which we shall speak later on.

In some works of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries the Septenary
was, however, employed in a fairly unmixed form, as, for instance, in
the _Lives of Saints_, ed. Furnivall, 1862, the _Fragment of Popular
Science_, ed. Wright in _Popular Treatises on Science_, London, 1841,
and several others.

The most important deviation from the Septenary of Orm and of the _Moral
Ode_ is the frequent occurrence of long lines with a masculine instead
of the usual feminine ending. Both forms are to be found in the opening
lines of the _Fragment of Popular Science_:

    _The ríȝte pút of hélle ís | amídde the úrþe wiþínne,
     Oure Lóverd þát al mákede iwís, | quéinte ís of gýnne,
     Héuene and úrþe ymákede iwís, | and síþþe alle þíng þat ís,
     Úrpe is a lútel húrfte | aȝén héuene iwís._

It may fairly be assumed that the structure of the Alexandrine (which,
according to French models, might have either a masculine or a feminine
ending) may have greatly furthered the intrusion of monosyllabic feet
into the Septenary verse, although the gradual decay of the final
inflexions may likewise have contributed to this end. For the rest, all
the rhythmic licences of the Septenary occurring in the _Moral Ode_ are
also to be met with here; as, for instance, the suppression of the
anacrusis in the first hemistich of l. 4 of the passage quoted, and in
the second of l. 2, and the omission of the unaccented syllable in the
second hemistich of the fourth line, the inversion of accent and
disyllabic thesis in the first hemistich of the third line, and other
licences, such as the anapaestic beginning of the line, &c., in other
places in these poems (cf. _Metrik_, i, p. 246).

§ =139.= In lyrical poems of this time and in later popular ballad poetry
the Septenary is employed in another manner, namely, in four-lined
stanzas of four- and three-foot verse, rhyming crosswise, each of which
must be looked on as consisting of pairs of Septenaries with middle
rhyme inserted (interlaced rhyme), as is clearly shown by the Latin
models of these metrical forms quoted above (p. 192). Latin and English
lines are thus found connected, so as to form a stanza, in a poem of the
fifteenth century:

    _Fréeres, fréeres, wó ȝe bé!
       Mínistrí malórum,
     For mány a mánnes sóule bringe ȝé
       Ad póenas ínfernórum._      Political Poems, ii. 249.

In many lyrical poems of the older period some stanzas rhyme in long
lines, others rhyme in short lines, which shows the gradual genesis of
the short-lined metre, rhyming throughout. Thus, in the poem in Wright's
_Spec. of Lyr. P._, p. 90, the opening verses of the first stanza rhyme
in long lines:

    _My déþ y lóue, my lýf ich háte, | fór a léuedy shéne,
     Héo is bríht so daíes líht, | þat ís on mé wel séne_,

whereas those of the second rhyme in short lines:

    _Sórewe and sýke and dréri mód | býndeþ mé so fáste,
     Þát y wéne to wálke wód, | ȝef hít me léngore láste._

Instances of this kind are frequent; but the four lines of the single
stanzas are never completely rhymed throughout as short-lines, as, for
instance, is the case in the opening parts or 'frontes' of the stanzas
of the poems in Wright's _Spec. of Lyr. P._, pp. 27 and 83, the lines of
which are far more regularly constructed. The rhymes are in these
compositions still generally disyllabic.

The metrical structure of the old ballads _The Battle of Otterborn_ and
_Chevy Chase_ is similar to that of the poem just quoted. In those
ballads some original long lines are provided with middle rhyme, others
not, so that the stanzas partly rhyme according to the formula _a b c
b_, partly according to the formula _a b a b_. The versification is,
moreover, very uneven, and the endings are, as a rule, if not without
exception, masculine:

    _Sir Hárry Pérssy cam to the wálles,
     The Skóttish óste for to sé;
     And sáyd, and thou hast brént Northómberlónd,
     Full sóre it réwyth mé._

The ballads of the end of the Middle English period are generally
composed in far more regular lines or stanzas. The feminine endings of
the Septenary are, however, as a rule replaced by masculine endings,
whether the lines rhyme crosswise or only in the three-foot verses. Cf.
the ballad, _The Lady's Fall_ (Ritson, ii. 110), which, however, was
probably composed as late as the Modern English period:

    _Mark wéll my héavy dóleful tále,
       You lóyal lóvers áll,
     And héedfullý béar in your bréast
       A gállant lády's fáll._

§ =140.= In Modern English the Septenary has been extensively used, both
in long and in short rhyming lines. One special variety of it,
consisting of stanzas of four lines, alternately of eight and six
syllables (always with masculine ending), is designated in hymn-books by
the name of Common Metre.

In the long-lined form this metre occurs at the beginning of this period
in poems of some length, as, for instance, in William Warner's _Albion's
England_, and in Chapman's translation of the _Iliad_. Here, too, the
ending of the line is almost without exception masculine, and the
rhythm, on the whole, pretty regular, although this regularity,
especially in Chapman, is, in accordance with the contemporary practice,
only attained by alternate full pronunciation and slurring of the same
syllables (Romanic _-ion_, _-ious_, &c., and Germanic _-ed_, &c.) and by
inversion of accent. The caesura is always masculine at the end of the
first hemistich, but masculine or feminine minor caesuras are often met
with after the second or in the third foot, sometimes also after the
first or in the second:

    _Occásioned thús: | Chrýses the príest || cáme to the fléet to
         búy._                                                    i. 11.

    _To plágue the ármy, | ánd to déath || by tróops the sóldiers
       wént._                                                    ib. 10.

Secondary caesuras also occur, though less frequently, in other places
in the line, particularly in the second hemistich:

    _But íf thou wílt be sáfe begóne. || This sáid, | the séa-beat
        shóre._                                                  ib. 32.

    _All mén in óne aróse and sáid: || Atrídes, | nów I sée._
                                                                 ib. 54.

These last examples suffice to show the rich variety of the caesura,
which may be referred perhaps to the influence of blank verse, in the
management of which Chapman displays great skill, and to the frequent
use which he makes of the enjambement. Rhyme-breaking also sometimes
occurs in his verse. Occasionally three consecutive lines rhyme
together, as in W. Warner, whose versification is otherwise extremely
regular, similar to that of lyrical poetry. In this branch of poetry the
Septenary, with the simple rhyme-order _a b c b_ and especially with the
more artistic form _a b a b_, has continued to be very popular from the
time of Wyatt down to the present day. The three-foot line has naturally
in most instances a masculine ending, but lines also occasionally occur
with feminine rhyme. In many poems the feminine rhyme is, moreover,
regularly employed in this metre; as, for instance, in Burns's _To John
Taylor_ (p. 158):

    _With Pégasús upón a dáy,
         Apóllo wéary flýing,
     Through frósty hílls the jóurney láy,
         On fóot the wáy was plýing._

In ballad poetry, on the other hand, the Septenary metre tends to assume
a somewhat freer construction, similar to, though not so capricious as
that in the old ballads edited by Percy. A well-known example is offered
by Coleridge's _Rime of the Ancient Mariner_:

    _It ís an áncient Márinér, | And he stoppeth óne of thrée:
     'By thy lóng grey béard and glíttering éye, | Now whérefore
         stópp'st thou mé?'_

Two unaccented opening syllables and two unaccented syllables in the
middle of the line are, in particular, often met with.

§ =141. The Septenary in combination with other metres.= After its
occurrence in the _Moral Ode_ and the _Ormulum_ the Septenary, as we
have seen, appears at first very seldom by itself, but generally in
connexion with other metres, especially the old long line in its freer
development, the four-foot metre (though more rarely), and,
particularly, the Alexandrine.

The Middle English Alexandrine was constructed on the model of the Old
French Alexandrine--except for the use of Teutonic licences in even-beat
rhythm--and it thus possessed four different types, which the following
examples from _On god Ureison of ure Lefdi_[146] may serve to
illustrate. We give the corresponding Old French metrical types from the
_Roman d'Alixandre_ (Bartsch, _Chrestomathie de l'ancien français_, p.

  _a._ Masculine caesura with masculine line-ending:

       _En icele forest, | dont voz m'oëz conter._      24.

         _Nim nu ȝéme to mé, | so me bést a béo ðe béo._      129.

  _b._ Feminine (epic) caesura with masculine line-ending:

       _nesune male choze | ne puet laianz entrer._      25.

         _vor þín is þé wurchípe, | ȝif ich wrécche wel iþéo._      130.

  _c._ Masculine caesura with feminine line-ending:

       _Moult fut biaus li vregiers | et gente la praële._      1.

         _Þine blísse ne méi | nówiht únderstónden._      31.

  _d_. Feminine (epic) caesura with feminine line-ending:

       _Moult souëf i flairoient | radise et canele._      2.

         _Vor ál is gódes ríche | an únder þíne hónden._      32.

Alexandrines of this sort, particularly of the last type, are
found in a group of poems of the close of the twelfth, or beginning
of the thirteenth century, intermingled with Septenaries,
and also, though more seldom, combined with four-beat alliterative
rhyming long lines and with four-foot verses. Such poems
are _On god Ureison of ure Lefdi_ (quoted above), _A lutel soth
sermon_ (_Old English Miscellany_, ed. R. Morris, pp. 186 ff.),
and _A Bestiary_ (ib. pp. 1-25).

The following lines from _A lutel soth sermon_ may serve to illustrate
this mixture:

    _Hérknied àlle góde mèn, | and stílle sìtteþ adún,
    And ích ou wùle téllen | a lútel sòþ sermún.
    Wél we wìten álle, | þag ìch eou nóȝt ne télle,
    Hu ádam ùre vórme fàder | adún vel ìnto hélle.
    Schómeliche hè vorlés | þe blísse þàt he hédde;
    To ȝívernèsse and prúde | nóne nèode he nédde.
    He nòm þen áppel òf the tré | þat hìm forbóde wás:
    So reúþful dède idón | néuer nòn nás.
    He máde him ìnto hélle fàlle, | and éfter hìm his chíldren àlle;
    Þér he wàs fort ùre dríhte | hìne bóhte mìd his míhte.
    He hìne alésede mìd his blóde, | þàt he schédde upòn the róde,
    To déþe he ȝèf him fòr us álle, | þó we wèren so strònge
    Álle bácbìteres | wéndet to hélle,
    Róbberes and réueres, | and þe mónquélle,
    Léchurs and hórlinges | þíder sculen wénde,
    And þér heo sculen wúnien | évere buten énde._

Here we have Septenaries (ll. 1, 4, 7) and Alexandrines (ll. 2, 3, 5, 6,
8) intermixed in ll. 1-8, eight-foot long lines resolved by means of
_sectional rhyme_ into four-foot lines in ll. 9-12, and four-beat
rhyming alliterative long lines of the freer type in ll. 13-16. The easy
intermixture of metres may be explained by the fact that in all these
different long-lined metrical forms four _principal stresses_ are
prominent amid the rest, as we have indicated by accents (´).

§ =142.= In the _Bestiary_ this mixture of metrical forms has assumed
still greater proportions, inasmuch as alongside of the long-lined
rhyming Septenaries and alliterative long lines there are found also
Layamon's short-lined rhyming verses and Septenary lines resolved into
short verses by middle rhyme.

The following passages may more closely illustrate the metrical
construction of this poem; in the first place, ll. 384-97:

    _A wìlde dér is, þàt is =f=úl | of =f=éle wíles,
     =F=óx is hère tó-nàme, | for hìre quéðscípe;
     Húsebondes hìre =h=áten, | for hère =h=árm-dédes:
     þe =c=óc and tè =c=apún | ge fècheð ófte ìn ðe tún,
     And te =g=ándre ànd te =g=ós, | bì ðe =n=écke and bì ðe =n=óz,
     =H=áleð is tò hire =h=óle; | forðí man hìre =h=átieð,
     =H=átien and =h=úlen | bòðe mén and fúles._

Here we have unmistakable long lines of the freer type.

In other passages the alliterative long lines pass into Septenaries, as,
for instance, ll. 273-98:

    _ðe =m=íre =m=úneð us | =m=éte to tílen,
     =l=óng =l=ívenoðe, | ðis =l=ítle wíle
     ðe we on ðis =w=érld =w=únen: | for ðanne we óf =w=énden,
     ðánne is ure =w=ínter: | we sulen =h=únger =h=áuen
     and =h=árde súres, | buten we ben wár =h=ére.
     Do wé forðí so dóð ðis dér, | ðánne wé be dérue
     Ón ðat dái ðat dóm sal bén, | ðát ít ne us hárde réwe_:
              *       *       *       *       *
    _þe córn ðat gé to cáue béreð, | áll ge it bít otwínne,
     ðe láge us léreð to dón gód, | ánd forbédeþ us sínne_, &c.

In a third instance (ll. 628-35) Septenary and four-foot lines run into
one another:

    _Hú he résteð him ðis dér,
       ðánne he wálkeð wíde,
     hérkne wú it télleð hér,
       for hé is ál unríde.
     A tré he sékeð to fúligewís
     ðát is stróng and stédefast ís,
     and léneð hím tr+o+stl+í+ke ðerbí,
     ðánne he ís of wálke w+e+r+í+._

In many passages in the poem one or other of these different types of
verse occurs unmixed with others. Thus we have short couplets in the
section 444-5; in ll. 1-39 alliterative rhymeless verse, occasionally of
marked archaic construction, concluding with a hemistich (39) which
rhymes with the preceding hemistich so as to form a transition to the
following section (ll. 40-52), which again consists of four-foot and
Septenary verses. These are followed by a section (ll. 53-87) in which
four-foot and three-foot lines (that is to say, Alexandrines) rhyming in
couplets are blended; and this is succeeded by a further section (ll.
88-119) mostly consisting of Septenaries resolved by the rhyme into
short lines. (Cf. _Metrik_, i, §§ 79-84.)

Hence we may say that the poet, in accordance with his Latin model
(likewise composed in various metres), has purposely made use of these
different metrical forms, and that the assertion made by Trautmann and
others,[147] that the Septenary of the _Ormulum_ and the _Moral Ode_,
which is contemporary with Layamon, represents the final result of the
development of Layamon's verse (the freer alliterative long line), must
be erroneous.

§ =143.= In _On god Ureison of ure Lefdi_, on the other hand, the
alliterative long lines play only an insignificant part, a part which is
confined to an occasional use of a two-beat rhythm in the hemistichs and
the frequent introduction of alliteration. Septenaries and Alexandrines
here interchange _ad libitum_.

The following short passage (ll. 23-34) will suffice to illustrate these
combinations of metres:

    _Nís no wúmmen ibóren | þét þe béo ilíche,
     Ne nón þer nís þin éfning | wiðínne héoueríche.
     Héih is þi kínestól | onúppe chérubíne,
     Biuóren ðíne léoue súne | wiðínnen séraphíne.
     Múrie dréameð éngles | biuóren þín onséne,
     Pléieð and swéieð | and síngeð bitwéonen.
     Swúðe wél ham líkeð | biuóren þe to béonne,
     Vor heo néuer né beoð séad | þi uéir to iséonne.
     Þíne blísse ne méi | nówiht únderstónden,
     Vor ál is gódes ríche | anúnder þíne hónden.
     Álle þíne uréondes | þu mákest ríche kínges;
     Þú ham ȝíuest kínescrúd, | béies and góldrínges._

Lines 26 and 34, perhaps also 25 and 30, are Septenaries, l. 28 is the
only line of the poem which contains two beats in both hemistichs
(hemistichs of this sort are further found in the first hemistich of ll.
3, 12, 44, 72, 77, and in the second of ll. 30, 45, 46, 52, and 70); the
remaining lines of this passage are most naturally scanned as

§ =144.= Now, this unsystematic combination of Alexandrines
and Septenaries is a metre which was especially in vogue in the
Middle English period. In this metrical form two religious
poems, _The Passion of our Lord_ and _The Woman of Samaria_
(Morris, _Old English Miscellany_), were composed so early as
the beginning of the thirteenth century. From the first we
quote ll. 21-4:

    _Léuedi þu bére þat béste chíld, | þat éuer wés ibóre;
     Of þe he mákede his móder, | vor hé þe hédde ycóre.
     Ádam ánd his ófsprung | ál hit wére furlóre,
     Ýf þi súne nére, | ibléssed þu béo þervóre._

Many lines of these poems may be scanned in both ways;
in the third line of the preceding extract, for instance, we may
either take the second syllable of the word _ofsprung_, in the manner
of the usual even-beat rhythm, to form a thesis (in this case
hypermetrical, yielding an epic caesura), or we may regard it as
forming, according to ancient Germanic usage, a fourth arsis of
the hemistich, which would then belong to a Septenary. At any
rate, this scansion would, in this case, be quite admissible, as
indeed the other licences of even-beat rhythm all occur here.

It is in this metre that the South English Legends of Saints (_Ms.
Harleian_ 2277) and other poems in the same MS., as the _Fragment on
Popular Science_ (fourteenth century), are written. The same holds good
for Robert of Gloucester's Rhyming Chronicle (cf. _Metrik_, i, §§ 113,
114). Mätzner (in his _Altengl. Sprachproben_, p. 155), and Ten Brink
(_Literaturgeschichte_, i, pp. 334, 345) concur in this opinion, while
Trautmann (in _Anglia_, v, Anz., pp. 123-5), on a theory of metrical
accentuation which we hold to be untenable, pronounces the verses to be

The following passage (Mätzner, _Altengl. Sprachproben_, i, p. 155) may
serve to illustrate the versification of Robert of Gloucester:

    _Áftur kýng Báthulf | Léir ys sóne was kýng,
     And régned síxti ȝér | wél þoru álle þýng.
     Up þe wáter of Sóure | a cíty óf gret fáme
     He éndede, and clépede yt Léicestre, | áftur is ówne náme.
     Þre dóȝtren þis kýng hádde, | þe éldeste Górnorílle,
     Þe mýdmost hátte Régan, | þe ȝóngost Córdeílle.
     Þe fáder hem lóuede álle ynóȝ, | ác þe ȝóngost mést:
     For héo was bést an fáirest, | and to háutenésse drow lést.
     Þó þe kýng to élde cóm, | álle þré he bróȝte
     Hys dóȝtren tofóre hým, | to wýte of hére þóuȝte._

§ =145.= At the end of the thirteenth century the Septenary and
Alexandrine were, however, relegated to a subordinate position by the
new fashionable five-foot iambic verse. But we soon meet them again in
popular works of another kind, viz. in the Miracle Plays, especially in
some plays of the _Towneley Collection_, like the _Conspiratio et
Capcio_ (p. 182), and actually employed quite in the arbitrary sequence
hitherto observed, Alexandrine sometimes rhyming with Alexandrine,
Septenary with Septenary, but, more frequently, Alexandrine with
Septenary. A passage from the Towneley Mysteries may make this clear:

    _Now háve ye hárt what Í have sáyde, | I gó and cóm agáyn,
     Therfór looke yé be páyde | and álso glád and fáyn,
     For tó my fáder I wéynd, | for móre then Í is hé,
     I lét you wýtt, as fáythfulle fréynd, | or thát it dóne bé.
     That yé may trów when ít is dóne, | for cértes, I máy noght nów
     Many thýnges so sóyn | at thís tyme spéak with yóu._

This metre is also employed in many Moral Plays with a similar liberty
in the succession of the two metrical forms.

But we may often observe in these works, as, for instance, in Redford's
_Marriage of Wit and Science_ (Dodsley, ii, p. 325 sq.), that
Alexandrines and Septenaries are used interchangeably, though not
according to any fixed plan, so that sometimes the Septenary and
sometimes the Alexandrine precedes in the couplet, as, for instance, in
the last four lines of the following passage (Dodsley, ii, p. 386):

    _O lét me bréathe a whíle, | and hóld thy héavy hánd,
     My gríevous fáults with sháme | enóugh I únderstánd.
     Take rúth and píty ón my pláint, | or élse I ám forlórn;
     Let nót the wórld contínue thús | in láughing mé to scórn.
     Mádam, if Í be hé, | to whóm you ónce were bént,
     With whóm to spénd your tíme | sometíme you wére content:
     If ány hópe be léft, | if ány récompénse
     Be áble tó recóver thís | forpássed négligénce,
     O, hélp me nów poor wrétch | in thís most héavy plíght,
     And fúrnish mé yet ónce agáin | with Tédiousnéss to fíght._

§ =146.= In other passages in this drama, e.g. in the speech of _Wit_,
p. 359, this combination (Alexandrine with Septenary following) occurs
in a sequence of some length. It existed, however, before Redford's
time, as a favourite form of stave, in lyrical as well as in narrative
poetry, and was well known to the first Tudor English prosodists under
the name of _The Poulter's Measure_.[148]

The opening lines of Surrey's _Complaint of a dying Lover_ (p. 24)
present an example of its cadence:

    _In wínter's just retúrn, | when Bóreas gán his réign,
     And évery trée unclóthed fást, | as Náture táught them pláin:
     In místy mórning dárk, | as shéep are thén in hóld,
     I híed me fást, it sát me ón, | my shéep for tó unfóld._

Brooke's narrative poem _Romeus and Juliet_, utilized by Shakespeare for
his drama of the same name, is in this metre. Probably the strict iambic
cadence and the fixed position of the caesura caused this metre to
appear especially adapted for cultured poetry, at a time when rising and
falling rhythms were first sharply distinguished. It was, however, not
long popular, though isolated examples are found in modern poets, as,
for instance, Cowper and Watts. Thackeray uses it for comic poems, for
which it appears especially suitable, sometimes using the two kinds of
verse promiscuously, as Dean Swift had done before him, and sometimes
employing the Alexandrine and Septenary in regular alternation.

§ =147. The Alexandrine= runs more smoothly than the Septenary. The
Middle English Alexandrine is a six-foot iambic line with a caesura
after the third foot. This caesura, like the end of the line, may be
either masculine or feminine.

This metre was probably employed for the first time in Robert Mannyng's
translation of Peter Langtoft's rhythmical Chronicle, partly composed in
French Alexandrines. The four metrical types of the model mentioned
above (p. 198) naturally also make their appearance here.

    _a. Méssengérs he sent | þórghout Ínglónd_
    _b. Untó the Ínglis kýnges | þat hád it ín þer hónd._
                                                          p. 2, ll. 3-4.
    _c. Áfter Éthelbért | com Élfríth his bróther,_
    _d. Þát was Égbrihtes sónne, | and ȝít þer wás an óþer;_
                                                         p. 21, ll. 7-8.

The Germanic licences incidental to even-beat rhythm are strikingly
perceptible throughout.

In the first line we have to note in both hemistichs suppression of the
anacrusis, in the second either the omission of an unaccented syllable
or lengthening of a word (_Ing(e)lond_). The second line has a regular
structure: in the third the suppression of the anacrusis is to be noted
and the absence of an unaccented syllable in the second hemistich. The
last line has the regular number of syllables, but double inversion of
accent in the first hemistich. A disyllabic thesis at the beginning or
in the middle of the line also frequently occurs.

    _To purvéie þám a skúlking, | on the Énglish éft to ríde_;
                                                             p. 3, l. 8.

    _Bot soiórned þám a whíle | in rést a Bángóre_;
                                                            p. 3, l. 16.

    _In Wéstsex was þán a kýng, | his náme wás Sir Íne_;
                                                             p. 2, l. 1.

There is less freedom of structure in the Alexandrine as used in the
lyrical poems of this period, in which, however, the verse is generally
resolved by middle rhyme into short lines, as may be seen from the
examples in § 150.

§ =148.= The structure of the Alexandrine is, on the other hand,
extremely irregular in the late Middle English Mysteries and the Early
English Moral Plays, where, so far as we have observed, it is not
employed in any piece as the exclusive metre, but mostly occurs either
as the first member of the above-mentioned _Poulter's Measure_, and
occasionally in uninterrupted sequence in speeches of considerable
length. We cannot therefore always say with certainty whether we have in
many passages of _Jacob and Esau_ (Dodsley's _Old Plays_, ed. Hazlitt,
vol. ii, pp. 185 ff.) to deal with four-beat lines or with unpolished
Alexandrines (cf. Act II, Sc. i). In other pieces, on the other hand,
the Alexandrine, where it appears in passages of some length, is pretty
regularly constructed, as, for instance, in Redford's _Marriage of Wit
and Science_ (Dodsley, ii, pp. 325 ff.), e.g. in Act II. Sc. ii (pp.

    _How mány séek, that cóme | too shórt of théir desíre:
    How mány dó attémpt, | that daíly dó retíre.
    How mány róve abóut | the márk on évery síde:
    How mány think to hít, | when théy are much too wíde:
    How mány rún too fár, | how mány light too lów:
    How féw to góod efféct | their trávail dó bestów!_ &c.

The caesura and close of the line are in this passage, which comprises
eighteen lines, monosyllabic throughout.

§ =149.= In Modern English the Alexandrine is also found in a long-lined
rhyming form, as, for instance, in the sixteenth century in certain
poems by Sidney, but notably in Drayton's _Polyolbion_.

The Modern English Alexandrine is particularly distinguished from the
Middle English variety by the fact that the four types of the Middle
English Alexandrine are reduced to one, the caesura being regularly
masculine and the close of the line nearly always so; further by the
very scanty employment of the Teutonic rhythmical licences; cf. the
opening lines of the _Polyolbion_ (_Poets_, iii. pp. 239 ff.):

    _Of Álbion's glórious ísle | the wónders whílst I wríte,
    The súndry várying sóils, | the pléasures ínfiníte,
    Where héat kills nót the cóld, | nor cóld expéls the héat,
    The cálms too míldly smáll, | nor wínds too róughly gréat_, &c.

Minor caesuras seldom occur, and generally in the second hemistich, as,
e.g., minor lyric caesuras after the first foot:

    _Wise génius, | bý thy hélp || that só I máy descrý._
                                                                  240 a;

or masculine caesura after the second foot:

   _Ye sácred bárds | that to || your hárps' melódious stríngs._

Enjambement is only sporadically met with; breaking of the rhyme still
more seldom.

Less significance is to be attached to the fact that Brysket, in a poem
on Sidney's death, entitled _The Mourning Muse of Thestylis_ (printed
with Spenser's works, Globe edition, p. 563), makes Alexandrines rhyme
together, not in couplets, but in an arbitrary order; further, that
Surrey and Blennerhasset occasionally composed in similarly constructed
rhymeless Alexandrines (cf. _Metrik_, ii, p. 83).

Of greater importance is the structure of the Alexandrine when used as
the concluding line of the Spenserian stanza and of its imitations.

It is here noteworthy that the lyric caesura, unusual in Middle English,
often occurs in Spenser after the first hemistich:

    _That súch a cúrsed créature || líves so lóng a spáce._
                                                         F. Q. I. i. 31;

as well as in connexion with minor caesuras:

    _Upón his fóe, | a Drágon, || hórriblé and stéarne._
                                                            ib. I. i. 3.

The closing line of the Spenserian stanza is similarly handled by other
poets, such as Thomson, Scott, Wordsworth, while poets like Pope, Byron,
Shelley, and others admit only masculine caesuras after the third foot.
By itself the Alexandrine has not often been employed in Modern English.

Connected in couplets it occurs in the nineteenth century in
Wordsworth's verse, e.g. in _The Pet Lamb_ (ii. 149), and is in this use
as well as in the Spenserian stanza treated by this poet with greater
freedom than by others, two opening and medial disyllabic theses as well
as suppression of anacrusis, being frequently admitted, while on the
other hand the caesura and close of the verse are always monosyllabic.

§ =150. The three-foot line= has its origin theoretically, and as a
rule also actually, in a halving of the Alexandrine, and this is
effected less frequently by the use of leonine than by cross rhyme.

Two Alexandrine long lines are, for instance, frequently resolved in
this metrical type into four three-foot short lines with crossed rhymes,
as, e.g., in Robert Mannyng's _Chronicle_, from p. 69 of Hearne's
edition onwards.

From our previous description of the four types of the Middle English
Alexandrine, determined by the caesura and the close of the verse, it is
clear that the short verses resulting from them may rhyme either with
masculine or feminine endings, as, e.g., on p. 78, ll. 1, 2:

     _Wílliam the Cónqueróur_          _Óut of his fírst erróur_
     _Chángis his wícked wíll;_        _repéntis óf his ílle_.

In accordance with the general character of the metre the verses in this
Chronicle are, even when rhyming as short lines, printed as long lines,
especially as this order of rhymes is not consistently observed in all
places in which they occur.

In lyrical poetry this metre is naturally chiefly found arranged in
short lines, as in the following examples:

    Wright's Spec. of L. P., 97:      Minot, ed. Hall, 17:
      _Máyden móder mílde,_       _Tówrenay, ȝów has tíght_
        _oiéz cel óreysóun;_         _To tímber tréy and téne_
      _from sháme þóu me shílde,   A bóre, with brénis bríght_
         _e dé ly málfelóun._        _Es bróght opón ȝowre gréne_.

With another order of rhymes these verses are also met
with in tail-rhyme stanzas of different kinds, as, for instance,
in Wright's _Spec. of L. P._, p. 41:

      _Of a món mátheu þóhte,_       _In márewe mén he sóhte,_
      _þo hé þe wýnȝord wróhte;_  _at únder mó he bróhte,_
      _and wrót hit ón ys bóc,_        _and nóm, ant nón forsóc_.

As a rule, the verses in such lyrical compositions intended to be sung
are more regularly constructed than in those of narrative poetry, where
the usual Germanic metrical licences occur more frequently.

In Modern English the three-foot verse has remained a favourite, chiefly
in lyrical poetry, and occurs there as well with monosyllabic as with
disyllabic rhymes, which may either follow one another or be crossed,

          Surrey, p. 128:                    Surrey, p. 39:
    _Me líst no móre to síng_         _Though Í regárded nót_
    _Of lóve, nor óf such thing,_     _The prómise máde by mé;_
    _How sóre that ít me wríng;_      _Or pássed nót to spót_
    _For whát I súng or spáke,_       _My fáith and hónestý:_
    _Mén did my sóngs mistáke._       _Yét were my fáncy stránge_, &c.

We seldom find three-foot verses with disyllabic rhymes throughout.
There is, on the other hand, in lyrical poetry a predilection for
stanzas in which disyllabic rhymes alternate with monosyllabic, as, for
instance, in Sheffield, _On the Loss of an only Son_:

    _Our mórning's gáy and shíning,
       The dáys our jóys decláre;
     At évening nó repíning,
       And níght's all vóid of cáre.
     A fónd transpórted móther
       Was óften héard to crý,
     Oh, whére is súch anóther
       So bléss'd by Héaven as Í?_ &c.

Rhythmical licences, such as suppression of the anacrusis, seldom occur
in such short lines. The species of licence that is most frequent
appears to be inversion of accent.



§ =151.= Among all English metres the five-foot verse may be said to be
the metre which has been employed in the greatest number of poems, and
in those of highest merit.

Two forms can be distinguished, namely, the rhymed and the rhymeless
five-foot verse (the latter being known as _blank verse_), which are of
equal importance, though not of equal antiquity.

The rhymed five-foot verse was known in English poetry as far back as
the second half of the thirteenth century, and has been a favourite
metre from Chaucer's first poetic attempts onward to the present, whilst
the blank verse was first introduced into English literature about the
year 1540 by the Earl of Surrey (1518-47), and has been frequently
employed ever since that time. The rhymed five-foot verse was, and has
continued to be, mainly preferred for lyrical and epic, the blank verse
for dramatic poetry. The latter, however, has been employed e.g. by
Milton, and after him by Thomson and many others for the epic and allied
species of poetry; while rhymed five-foot verse was used during a
certain period for dramatic poetry, e.g. by Davenant and Dryden, but by
the latter only for a short time.

=Rhymed five-accent verse= occurs in Middle English both in poems
composed in stanza form and (since Chaucer's _Legend of Good Women_, c.
1386) in couplets.

This metre, apart from differences in the length of the line and in
number of accents, is by no means to be looked upon as different from
the remaining even-stressed metres of that time. For, like the Middle
English four-foot verse and the Alexandrine, it derives its origin from
a French source, its prototype being the French decasyllabic verse. This
is a metre with rising rhythm, in which the caesura generally comes
after the fourth syllable, as e.g. in the line:

  _Ja mais n'iert tels | com fut as anceisors._      Saint Alexis, l. 5.

To this verse the following line of Chaucer's corresponds
exactly in point of structure:

  _A kníght ther wás, | and thát a wórthy mán._
                                                  Cant. Tales, Prol. 43.

§ =152.= The English verse, like the French decasyllabic, admits
feminine caesuras and feminine line-endings, and the first thesis
(anacrusis) may be absent; there are, therefore, sixteen varieties
theoretically possible.

                I. Principal Types.

    1. ⏑ – ⏑ –    |  ⏑ – ⏑ – ⏑        10 syll.
    2. ⏑ – ⏑ – ⏑  |  ⏑ – ⏑ – ⏑ –      11  "
    3. ⏑ – ⏑ –    |  ⏑ – ⏑ – ⏑ – ⏑    11  "
    4. ⏑ – ⏑ – ⏑  |  ⏑ – ⏑ – ⏑ – ⏑    12  "

            II. With Initial Truncation
           (omission of the first thesis).

    5. – ⏑ –      |  ⏑ – ⏑ – ⏑ –      9 syll.
    6. – ⏑ – ⏑    |  ⏑ – ⏑ – ⏑ –     10   "
    7. – ⏑ –      |  ⏑ – ⏑ – ⏑ – ⏑   10   "
    8. – ⏑ – ⏑    |  ⏑ – ⏑ – ⏑ – ⏑   11   "

           III. With Internal Truncation
           (omission of the thesis after
                   the caesura).

    9. ⏑ – ⏑ –    |  – ⏑ – ⏑ –       9 syll.
   10. ⏑ – ⏑ – ⏑  |  – ⏑ – ⏑ –      10   "
   11. ⏑ – ⏑ –    |  – ⏑ – ⏑ – ⏑    10   "
   12. ⏑ – ⏑ – ⏑  |  – ⏑ – ⏑ – ⏑    11   "

         IV. With both Initial and Internal

   13. – ⏑ –      |  – ⏑ – ⏑ –       8 syll.
   14. – ⏑ – ⏑    |  – ⏑ – ⏑ –       9   "
   15. – ⏑ –      |  – ⏑ – ⏑ – ⏑     9   "
   16. – ⏑ – ⏑    |  – ⏑ – ⏑ – ⏑    10   "

This table at the same time also contains the formal exposition, and
indeed possibly the actual explanation (by suppression of the thesis
following the epic caesura), of such lines as may be regarded as lines
with lyric caesura, and are identical with these in regard to rhythm and
number of syllables. To this class belong the forms given under 10, 12,
14, and 16.

The following examples will serve to illustrate these sixteen types:

  I. Principal Types.

    1. _A kníght ther wás, | and thát a wórthy mán._      Prol. 43.

    2. _What schúlde he stúdie, | and máke himsélven wóod?_     ib. 184.

    3. _But thílke téxt | held hé not wórth an óystre._      ib. 182.

    4. _To Cáunterbúry | with fúl devóut coráge._      ib. 22.

  II. With Initial Truncation.

    5. _Úpon whích | he wíl auénged bé._
                                         Lydgate, Story of Thebes, 1086.

    6. _Óf the wórdes | that Týdeús had sáid._      ib. 1082.

    7. _Fró the kíng | he gán his fáce tóurne._      ib. 1068.

    8. _Nát astónned, | nor ín his hért aférde._      ib. 1069.

  III. With Internal Truncation after the caesura.

    9. _A stérne pás | thórgh the hálle he góth._      ib. 1072.

    10. _And whích they wéren, | ánd of whát degré._  Chaucer, Prol. 40.

    11. _And yét therbý | sháll they néuer thrýve?_
                                         Barclay, Ship of Fooles, p. 20.

    12. _And máde fórward | érly fór to rýse._      Chaucer, Prol. 33.

     IV. With Initial Truncation and Truncation after the caesura.

    13. _Ín al hást | Týdeús to swé._    Lydgate, Story of Thebes, 1093.

    14. _Twénty bókes, | clád in blák and réed._     Chaucer, Prol. 294.

    15. _Spáred nát | wómen gréet with chýlde._
                                            Lydgate, Guy of Warwick, 16.

    16. _Fór to délen | wíth no súch poráille._      Chaucer, Prol. 247.

In this five-foot metre all the Germanic licences of the even-beat
rhythm may occur in the same way as in the other even-beat metres. The
caesura, for instance, may occur in both (or all three) varieties in the
five-foot verse of Chaucer and of many other poets, either after or
within any of the remaining feet. Hence the structure of this metrical
form gains to an extraordinary degree in complexity.

By the mere fact that the variations adduced above may also occur after
the first, third, and fourth foot, the number of verse-forms produced by
the above-mentioned types of caesura in combination with initial
truncation and the different kinds of verse-ending rises to sixty-four,
to say nothing of the other metrical licences due to inversion of
accent, level stress, and the presence of hypermetrical unaccented
syllables at the beginning, or in the middle and the end of the line. At
any rate, the varieties of even-beat metres, especially of the five-foot
verse, resulting from these metrical licences, are much more numerous
than those connected with the five main types of the alliterative
hemistich. The great diversity of rhythm allowed by this metrical theory
has, indeed, been objected to, but evidently without sufficient reason,
and, as it seems, only because of the unfamiliarity of the idea.

§ =153.= This variable position of the caesura is, however, not found in
the earliest specimens of this metre presented to us in the two poems in
the Harl. MS. 2253 dating from the second half of the thirteenth
century, which are edited in Wright's _Specimens of Lyric Poetry_, Nos.
xl and xli (wrongly numbered xlii).[149] These are written in tripartite
eight-lined, anisometrical stanzas of the form _a₄ b₃ a₄ b₃ c₅ c₅ d₇
d₅_, in which the fifth, sixth, and eighth lines are evidently of five
feet. Ten Brink,[150] it is true, says that he has not been able 'to
convince himself that this was a genuine instance of a metre
which--whether in origin or character--might be identified with
Chaucer's heroic verse, although in isolated instances it seems to
coincide with it'. According to my conviction, there is not the
slightest doubt as to the structure of these verses as lines of five
feet, and Ten Brink has not expressed any opinion as to the nature of
the verse to which they must otherwise be referred.[151]

In both these poems there occur only verses of the type indicated by the
formulas 3, 4, 7, 12:

    3. _His hérte blód | he ȝéf for ál monkúnne._      xl. 35.

    4. _Upón þe róde | why núlle we táken héde?_                 ib. 27.

    7. _Ȝéf bou dóst, | hit wól me réowe sóre._      xli. 20.

    12. _Bote héo me lóuye, | sóre hil wól me réwe._      ib. 27.

Among the Germanic licences the presence of a disyllabic initial or
internal thesis is most noticeable in these which are, so far as is
known, the earliest five-foot verses in English poetry; as, e.g. in xli.
33, 34:

    _Ase stérres beþ in wélkne, | and gráses sóur ant suéte;
    Whose lóueþ vntréwe, | his hérte is sélde séete._

§ =154.= The main difference between Chaucer's five-foot verse and these
early specimens of this metre is that the caesura does not always occupy
a fixed place in it, but is liable to shift its position.[152] It is
either masculine, epic, or lyric, and occurs chiefly after the second or
in and after the third foot, or in the fourth, so that there are thus
(in Chaucer's verse and that of most of the following poets) =six main
types of caesura=:

1. Masculine (monosyllabic) caesura after the second foot; the principal
kind (types 1 and 3):

    _Whan Zéphirús | eek wíth his swéte bréethe._      Prol. 5.

2. Feminine (disyllabic) epic caesura after the second foot; far rarer
(types 2 and 4):

    _To Cáunterbúry[153] | with fúl devóut coráge._      ib. 22.

3. Feminine (disyllabic) lyric caesura in the third foot; more frequent
than the preceding (types 10 and 12):

    _And máde fórward | érly fór to rýse._      ib. 83.

4. Masculine (monosyllabic) caesura after the third foot (first
subordinate type to 1 and 3 = 1a and 3a):

    _That slépen ál the níght | with ópen éye._      ib. 10.

5. Feminine (disyllabic) epic caesura after the third foot, rare (first
subordinate type to 2 and 4 = 2a and 4a):

    _Ther ás he wás ful mérye | and wél át ése._      Nonne Pr. T. 438.

6. Feminine lyric caesura in the fourth foot (first subordinate type to
10 and 12 = 10a and 12a):

    _An ánlas ánd a gípser | ál of sílk._      Prol. 357.

Besides these six principal caesuras we also find all the three types
occurring in rarer instances in the corresponding remaining positions of
the verse, namely, after the first or in the second foot, and after the
fourth or in the fifth foot. Enjambement often gives rise to logical
caesuras in unusual positions, alongside of which another metrical
caesura is generally noticeable in one of the usual positions:

    _Byfél, || that ín that sésoun | ón a dáy._      Prol. 18.

    _In Sóuthwerk | át the Tábard || ás I láy._      ib. 20.

    _Farwél, || for Í ne máy | no lénger dwélle._      Kn. T. 1496.

    _O régne, || that wólt no félawe | hán with thé._      ib. 766.

    _Now cértes, || Í wol dó | my díligénce._      Prioresse T. 1729.

    _Is ín this lárge | wórlde ysprád || --quod shé._      ib. 1644.

    _To Médes ánd | to Pérses yíuen || quod hé._      Monkes T. 3425.

    _And sófte untó himsélf | he séyde | : Fý._      Kn. T. 915.

By the various combinations of such principal and subordinate caesuras
the number of the varieties of this metre is increased to an almost
unlimited extent. Many lines also are devoid of the caesura completely,
or, at most, admit, under the influence of the general rhythm, a light
metrical caesura without any strict logical need, as, for instance, when
it occurs after a conjunction or a preposition, as in the verses:

    _By fórward ánd | by cómposícióun._      Prol. 848.

    _That Í was óf | here félaweschípe anón._      ib. 32.

§ =155.= The end also of the line may be either masculine or feminine.
Both kinds occur side by side on a perfectly equal footing, the feminine
endings probably somewhat oftener in Chaucer's verse owing to the
numerous terminations consisting of _e_ or _e_ + consonant which were
still pronounced at his time. Besides the variety in the caesura and the
end of the verse, the well-known licences of even-beat rhythm play a
considerable part; as, for instance, inversion of accent, ordinary and
rhetorical, at the beginning of the verse and after the caesura: rédy
_to wénden_ Prol. 21; Sýngynge _he wás_ ib. 91; Schórt _was his góune_
ib. 93; Tróuthe _and honóur_, frédom _and cóurteisíe_ ib. 46.

Although omission of the anacrusis is on the whole unfrequent, it yet
undoubtedly occurs (cf. p. 137, footnote):

    _Ál besmótered | wíth his hábergeóun._      Prol. 76.

    _Gýnglen ín a | whístlyng wýnd as clére._      ib. 170.

Disyllabic theses are often found initially and internally.

    _With a thrédbare cópe | as is a póure schóler._      Prol. 262.

    _Of Éngelónd, | to Cáunterbúry they wénde._      ib. 16.

Similar rhythmical phenomena are caused by the slurring of
syllables, such, e.g., as _Many a, tharray_ from _the array_, &c., &c.,
in regard to which reference should be made to the chapter on
the metrical value of syllables.

Level stress occurs most frequently in Chaucer in rhyme: _f+i+ft+é+ne_:
_Trámasséne_ 61-2; _d+a+gg+é+re_: _spere_ 113-14; _thing_: _wr+i+t+ý+ng_
325-6. Enjambement and rhyme-breaking are used by him with great skill
(cf. §§ 92, 93).

§ =156.= In later Middle English this metre on the whole retained the
same character, and individual poets vary from one another only in a few

Of Gower's five-foot verse only short specimens are preserved. Like his
four-foot verse, they are very generally regular. Inversion of accent is
the licence he most often employs. Gower uses almost exclusively the
masculine caesura after the second foot and the lyric caesura in the
third foot. But epic caesura also occasionally occurs in his verse:

    _Fór of batáille | the fínal énde is pés._      Praise of Peace, 66.

A decline in the technique of the five-foot verse begins with Lydgate
and Hoccleve.

These writers deprived the caesura of its mobility and admitted it
almost exclusively after the second beat. Hoccleve uses hardly any
caesuras but the masculine and lyric, whilst in Lydgate's verse epic
caesura is often met with (cf. p. 211). Both indulge in the licences of
initial truncation and omission of the unaccented syllable after the
caesura (cf. l. c.) as well as level stress and the admission of several
unaccented syllables at the beginning of the verse and internally; there
are even cases of the omission of unaccented syllables in the middle of
the verse:

    _Of hárd márble | they díde anóther máke._      Min. P., p. 85, 24.

The slight license of inversion of accent is also taken advantage

Stephen Hawes and Barclay again imparted to this line greater freedom
with regard to the caesura. And yet the metre exhibits under their
hands, in consequence of the frequent occurrence of disyllabic initial
and internal theses, a somewhat uneven rhythm.

The ablest of the successors of Chaucer, in technique as in other
respects, are the Scots: Blind Harry, Henrysoun, King James I, Douglas,
and Dunbar. The verse of Dunbar, in particular, stands on an equality
with Chaucer's in rhythmical euphony, while David Lyndesay often
struggles with difficulties of form, and, by frequent use of level
stress, offends against the first principle of even-beat rhythm, viz.
the coincidence of the metrical accent with the natural accentuation of
the word and sentence.

§ =157.= In Modern English the rhymed five-foot verse remains
essentially the same as in the Middle English period. Feminine rhymes
are indeed rarer than in Middle English poetry in consequence of the
disuse of flexional endings.

For the same reason, and owing to the advance in technical execution,
the epic caesura is also rarer. Still, examples of this as well as of
the other kind of caesuras employed by Chaucer are found in Modern

   I. _The níghtingále | with féathers néw she síngs._      Sur. p. 3.

  II. _The sóte séason | that búd and blóom forth bríngs._     ib. p. 3.

 III. _Itsélf from trávail | óf the dáys unrést._      ib. p. 2.

  IV. _The sún hath twíce brought fórth | his ténder gréen._

   V. _He knóweth how gréat Atrídes, | that máde Troy frét._
                                                             Wyatt, 152.

  VI. _At lást she ásked sóftly, | whó was thére._      ib. 187.

In positions nearer to the beginning or the end of the line the
different kinds of caesura are also rare in Modern English, and occur
mostly in consequence of enjambements.

In Wyatt's poems epic caesuras are found in comparatively large number;
in Spenser, on the other hand, they are probably entirely lacking, owing
to a finer feeling for the technique of the verse.

Inversions of accent occur in the usual positions and at all times with
all the poets. Level stress, on the other hand, is more frequently
detected in such poets as do not excel in technical skill, as, for
instance, in Wyatt and Donne, who also admit initial truncation, and
more rarely the omission of a thesis in the middle of the line. In their
poems disyllabic theses also often occur initially and internally, while
more careful poets more rarely permit themselves these licences. To
Wyatt's charge must be laid further the unusual and uncouth licence of
unaccented rhyme, such rhymes, for example, as _begínnìng: eclípsìng_,
p. 56, 1-3; _dréadèth: séekèth_, _inclósèd: oppréssèd_ 54, &c. In
other poets this peculiarity is hardly ever found.

§ =158.= In narrative poetry the five-foot verse rhyming in couplets,
_heroic verse_, was a favourite metre. As a close in the sense coincides
with that of each couplet, this metre tends to assume an epigrammatic
tone, especially since enjambement seldom occurs after the Restoration.
To avoid the monotony thus occasioned, many Restoration poets linked
three verses together by one and the same rhyme, whereby the regular
sequence of couplets was then interrupted wherever they pleased.
Sometimes such threefold rhymes (_triplets_) serve the purpose of laying
a special stress on particular passages, a practice which is, moreover,
to be observed as early as in some contemporaries of Shakespeare, e.g.
in Donne. A somewhat freer structure than that of the heroic verse is,
as a rule, exhibited by the five-foot line when employed in poems in
stanza form. In this verse a considerable part is played by enjambement.
This also holds good for the rhymed five-foot verse employed in dramatic
poetry, which usually rhymes in couplets, though alternate rhymes are
occasionally used.

After Lyly's _The Maid's Metamorphosis_, entirely written in heroic
verse, this metre was chiefly employed by Shakespeare and his
contemporaries for prologues and epilogues. Rhymed five-foot verses
frequently occur in Shakespeare's earlier dramas, e.g. in _Romeo and
Juliet_, where their technical structure is found to be fairly strict.
In his later dramas, on the other hand, e.g. in the Prologue and
Epilogue to _Henry VIII_, the heroic verse is, on the analogy of the
freer treatment of his later blank verse, also more loosely constructed.
Enjambement, and the caesuras connected with it after the first and
fourth accents, are often met with.

§ =159.= Dryden's dramatic heroic verse does not differ essentially from
that of his satirical poems and translations. After Dryden returned to
blank verse for dramatic writing, heroic verse ceased to be employed for
this purpose. Rhymed verse, rhyming in couplets and stanzas, however,
still continued to be in vogue in lyrical, satirical, didactic, and
narrative poetry.

Pope's heroic verse is still more uniformly constructed than that of
Dryden. Both poets hardly ever employ any caesura but the masculine and
the lyric after the second and third beat, and the end of the line is
almost exclusively masculine. Initial truncation or the absence of an
unaccented syllable internally is hardly to be met with in their poems.
The earlier diversity in the structure of this line was (under the
influence of the French models whom they closely imitated) considerably
restricted. Even transposition of accent occurs comparatively seldom, so
that the word-accent generally exactly coincides with the rhythmical
accent. Enjambement is, however, employed more frequently by Dryden than
by Pope; and the former, moreover, occasionally admits at the close of a
triplet a verse of six feet, while Pope, in his original poems,
completely avoids triplets as well as six-accent lines. The breaking of
rhyme both poets purposely exclude.

A similar uniform character is exhibited by the heroic verse of most of
the poets of the eighteenth century. It is not before the nineteenth
century that this metre, in spite of the persistence of individual
poets, e.g. Byron, in adhering to the fashion set by Pope, again
acquires greater freedom. Shelley and Browning, for instance, are fond
of combining lines of heroic verse by enjambement so as to form periods
of some length. Wordsworth, Coleridge, Southey and others again admit
couplets and triplets with occasional six-foot lines at the close. But
the caesura remains nearly always restricted to the places which it
occupies in Pope's verse, and the close of the line is masculine. Keats
only often indulges in feminine rhymes.

It is, however, remarkable that such rhymes more often occur in
five-foot verses combined in stanzas when employed for satirical and
comic compositions, as e.g. in Byron's _Beppo_ and _Don Juan_. In these
poems the disyllabic thesis, the slurring of syllables, and other
rhythmical licences, also more frequently occur.


  [141] See ten Brink, _The Language and Metre of Chaucer_ (English
        transl.), § 280, where the metrical treatment of these words
        is described. The German term used by ten Brink is

  [142] _Old English Homilies_, ed. R. Morris, First Series, Part I,
        E.E.T.S., No. 29, pp. 55-71.

  [143] Cf. Charles L. Crow, _On the History of the Short Couplet in
        Middle English_. Dissert., Göttingen, 1892.

  [144] Cf. _John Heywood als Dramatiker_, von Wilh. Swoboda, 1888, p.
        83 ff.

  [145] Cf. our metrical notes ('Metrische Randglossen') in _Engl.
        Studien_, x, p. 192 seq.

  [146] In _Old English Homilies_, ed. R. Morris, pp. 190ff.

  [147] Trautmann, _Anglia_, v, Anz., p. 124; Einenkel, ibid., 74;
        Menthel, _Anglia_, viii, Anz., p. 70.

  [148] According to Guest (ii. 233) 'because the poulterer, as
        Gascoigne tells us, giveth twelve for one dozen and fourteen
        for another'.

  [149] These poems are also printed in Böddeker, _Altengl.
        Dichtungen_, Geistl. Lieder, xviii, Weltl. Lieder, xiv.

  [150] _Chaucer's Sprache und Verskunst_, § 305, note.

  [151] The verses he calls five-foot lines have, on the other hand,
        decidedly not this structure, but are four-foot lines with
        unaccented rhymes; for a final word in the line, such us
        _wrécfúl_, as is assumed by Ten Brink, with the omission of an
        unaccented syllable between the last two accents, would be
        utterly inconsistent with the whole character of this metre.

  [152] According to Ten Brink, _Chaucer's Sprache und Verskunst_,
        § 305, the shifting character of Chaucer's caesura was chiefly
        caused by his acquaintance with the Italian _endecasillabo_.
        This influence may have come in later, but even in Chaucer's
        early _Compleynt to Pitee_ (according to Ten Brink,
        _Geschichte der englischen Literatur_, ii. p. 49, his first
        poem written under the influence of the French decasyllabic
        verse) the caesura is here moveable, though not to the same
        extent as in the later poems. The liability of the caesura to
        shift its position was certainly considerably increased by the
        accentual character of English rhythm. On the untenableness of
        his assertion, that in Chaucer's five-accent verse the epic
        caesura is unknown, cf. p. 145 (footnote), _Metrik_, ii. 101-3
        note, and Schipper in Paul's _Grundriss_, ed. 2, II. ii, pp.





§ =160. The Beginnings of Modern English Poetry.= Puttenham, in his
_Arte of English Poesie_, i. 31, speaks of Surrey and Wyatt as having
originated the modern period of English poetry. This is true in so far
as their poems are the first to show clearly--especially in metrical
form--the influence of the spirit of the Renaissance, which had been
making itself felt in English Literature for some time past. The new
tendencies manifested themselves not only in the actual introduction of
new rhythms and verse-forms borrowed from Classical and Italian poetry,
but also in the endeavour to regulate and reform the native poetry
according to the metrical laws and peculiarities of foreign models,
especially of the ancient classics.

There were, indeed, several features of classical poetry which invited
imitation, and the introduction of which produced the chief differences
between Modern English and Middle English versification. These features

First, the quantitative character of the ancient rhythms as opposed to
the accentual character of English verse. Secondly, the strict
separation of rising and falling rhythms. In Middle English we have only
the rising rhythm, which, however, sometimes becomes a falling one if
the first thesis is wanting. Finally, the absence of rhyme in the poetry
of the ancients, whereas in late Middle English poetry--apart from some
North-English and Scottish productions written in the conservative,
rhymeless form of the alliterative line--rhyme is all but universal.

§ =161.= The heroic couplet, the most popular and most important metre
in later Middle English poetry, was, naturally, first of all influenced
by the new classical movement.

It was the Earl of Surrey who, by dispensing with the rhyme, first
transformed this metre into what is now known as Blank Verse. He adopted
the unrhymed decasyllabic line as the most suitable vehicle for his
translation of the second and fourth books of the _Aeneid_, written
about 1540. In so doing, he enriched modern literature with a new form
of verse which was destined to take a far more important place in
English poetry than he can have foreseen for it. In its original
function, as appropriate to the translation of ancient epic poetry, it
has been employed by many late writers, e.g. by Cowper in his version
of Homer; but this is only one, and the least considerable, of its many
applications. Shortly after Surrey's time blank verse was used for court
drama by Sackville and Norton in their tragedy of _Gorboduc_ (1561), and
for popular drama by Marlowe in _Tamburlaine the Great_ (1587).

From the latter part of the sixteenth century onwards it has continued
to be the prevailing metre for dramatic poetry, except for a short time,
when its supremacy was disputed by the heroic couplet used by Lord
Orrery, Davenant, Dryden, and others. Meanwhile blank verse had also
become the metre of original epic poetry through Milton's use of it in
his _Paradise Lost_; and in the eighteenth century it was applied to
descriptive and reflective poetry by Thomson and Young.

It is uncertain whether Surrey invented it himself on the basis of his
studies in classical rhymeless poetry, or whether he was influenced by
the example of the Italian poet Trissino (1478-1550), who, in his epic
_Italia liberata dai Goti_ and in his drama _Sofonisba_, introduced into
Italian poetry the rhymeless, eleven-syllabled verses known as _versi
sciolti_ (sc. _della rima_, i.e. freed from rhyme). There are at least
no conclusive grounds for accepting the latter view, as there are some
peculiarities in Surrey's blank verse which are not met with in
Trissino, e.g. the occurrence of incomplete lines, which may have been
introduced after the model of the unfinished lines found occasionally
amongst Vergil's Latin hexameters.

Blank verse being in its origin only heroic verse without rhyme,[154] we
may refer for its general rhythmical structure to what we have said on
this metre. The rhythmical licences of this and the other iambic metres
discussed in §§ 82-8 are common also to blank verse. But in addition to
these, blank verse has several other deviations from the normal rhymed
five-foot iambic verse, the emancipation from rhyme having had the
effect of producing greater variability of metrical structure. It is for
this reason it has been thought advisable to treat heroic verse and
blank verse in separate chapters.

At first, it is true, the two metres are very similar in character,
especially in Surrey; with the further and independent development of
blank verse, however, they diverge more and more.

§ =162.= In conformity with Surrey's practice in his heroic verse,
which, as we have seen, usually had masculine rhymes, his blank verse
has also as a rule masculine endings, and is thus distinguished not only
from Chaucer's heroic verse, which frequently had feminine endings, but
from the blank verse of later poets like Shakespeare and some of his

As to the principal kinds of the caesura after the second and third foot
there is no material difference between Surrey's blank verse and the
heroic verse of the same period (cf. §§ 154, 157).

The Epic caesura occurs occasionally after the second foot, e.g.:

    _Líke to the ádder | with vénomous hérbes féd._
                                                                 p. 131;

but apparently not after the third, although it does not seem to have
been avoided on principle, as we often find lyric caesuras in this
place, and even after the fourth foot:

    _His tále with ús | did púrchase crédit; || sóme
    Trápt by decéit; | some fórced bý his téars._
                                                                 p. 120.

The run-on line (or enjambement) is already pretty frequently used by
Surrey (35 times in the first 250 lines), and this is one of the chief
distinctions between blank verse and heroic verse. In most instances the
use of run-on lines is deliberately adopted with a view to artistic
effect. The same may be said of the frequent inversion of rhythm. On the
other hand, it seldom happens that the flow of the metre is interrupted
by level stress, missing thesis, or the use of a disyllabic thesis at
the beginning or in the interior of the verse.[155]

As to the peculiarities of the word-stress and the metrical treatment of
syllables in Surrey, the respective sections of the introductory remarks
should be consulted. Apart then from the metrical licences, of which it
admits in common with heroic verse, the most important peculiarities of
Surrey's blank verse are the masculine endings, which are almost
exclusively used, and the frequent use of run-on lines.

Cf. the opening lines of the fourth book of his _Aeneid_:

    _But nów the wóunded Quéen, | with héavy care,
    Throughóut the véins | she nóurishéth the pláie,
    Surprísëd wíth blind fláme; | and tó her mínd
    'Gan éke resórt | the prówess óf the mán,
    And hónour óf his ráce: | whíle in her bréast
    Imprínted stáck his wórds, | and píctures fórm.
    Né to her límbs | care gránteth quíet rést.
    The néxt mórrow, | with Phóebus' lámp the éarth
    Alíghted cléar; | and éke the dáwning dáy
    The shádows dárk | 'gan fróm the póle remóve:
    When áll unsóund, | her síster óf like mínd
    Thús spake she tó: | 'O! Síster Ánne, what dréams
    Be thése, | that mé torménted | thús affráy?
    What new guést is thís, | that tó our réalm is cóme?
    Whát one of chéer? | how stóut of héart in árms?
    Trúly I thínk | (ne váin is mý belíef)
    Of Góddish ráce | some óffspring shóuld he bé.'_

§ =163.= With regard to the further development of this metre in the
drama of the second half of the sixteenth and the first half of the
seventeenth centuries we must restrict ourselves to a brief summary of
its most important peculiarities, for details referring the reader to
_Metrik_, ii, pp. 256-375; for bibliography see ib., pp. 259-60.

The employment of blank verse in the court drama hardly brought about
any change in its structure. In _Gorboduc_, apart from a few instances
in which a line is divided in the dialogue between two speakers
(generally two and three feet) and the occasional (for the most part no
doubt accidental) use of rhyme, the blank verse is exceedingly similar
to that of Surrey, having masculine endings with hardly any exceptions.

This character was maintained by blank verse in all the other court
plays of this time, only occasionally rhyming couplets are used at the
end of a scene in Gascoigne's _Iocasta_, and prose passages now and then
occur in Lyly's _The Woman in the Moon_.

The next and greatest step in the further development of the metre was
its introduction into the popular drama by no less a poet than Marlowe
in his drama _Tamburlaine the Great_ (1587). Marlowe's mastery over this
metrical form was supreme. His skill is shown in his use of the
inversion of accent, particularly the rhetorical inversion, to give
variety to his rhythm, e.g.:

    _Áh, sacred Máhomet, | thóu that hast seen
    Míllions of Túrks | pérish by Támburláine._
                                                        Tam, ii, p. 213.

    _But stíll the pórts were shút: | víllain, I sáy._
                                                            ib., p. 206.

    _And hágs hówl for my déath | at Cháron's shóre._
                                                           Vol. ii. 255.

In his practice with regard to the caesura, the suppression of the
anacrusis, and the use of disyllabic theses in the interior of the
verse, he differs little from his predecessors. One distinctive feature
of his verse is that he usually gives their full syllabic value to the
Teutonic inflexional endings (_-ed_, _-est_), as well as to the Romanic
noun- and adjective-suffixes; as _-iage_, _-iance_, _-ion_, _-eous_,
_-ial_ &c. (cf. §§ 102-7).

By a frequent use of these endings as full syllables which is not always
in conformity with the spoken language of his time, his verse obtains a
certain dignity and pathos; cf. the following lines:

    _Yét in my thóughts | shall Chríst be hónouréd._   Tamb. ii, p. 148.

    _They sáy, | we áre a scáttered | nátión._      Jew of M. I, Sc. i.

    _These métaphýsics | óf magíciáns._      Faust. I, Sc. ii.

Allied with this is the fact that Marlowe still has a great predilection
for masculine endings, although feminine endings are also met with now
and then, especially in his later plays. Run-on lines do not often
occur, but many two- and three-foot lines as well as heroic couplets are
found at the end of longer speeches, scenes, and acts.

The blank verse of Greene, Peele, Kyd, and Lodge has a similar structure
to that of Marlowe, especially as regards the prevalence of masculine
endings. The verse of Greene and Peele, however, is rather monotonous,
because generally the caesura occurs after the second foot. On the other
hand, the metre of Kyd and Lodge stands in this respect much nearer to
that of Marlowe and in general shows greater variety.[156]

§ =164. The blank verse of Shakespeare=,[157] which is of great interest
in itself, and moreover has been carefully examined during the last
decades from different points of view, requires to be discussed somewhat
more fully.

It is of the first importance to notice that Shakespeare's rhythms have
different characteristic marks in each of the four periods of his career
which are generally accepted.[158] For the determination of the dates of
his plays the metrical peculiarities are often of great value in the
absence of other evidence, or as confirming conclusions based on
chronological indications of a different kind; but theories on the dates
of the plays should not be built solely upon these metrical tests, as
has been done, for instance, by Fleay. Such criticisms, generally
speaking, have only a subordinate value, as, amongst others, F.J.
Furnivall has shown in his treatise _The Succession of Shakespeare's
works and the use of metrical tests in settling it_ (London, Smith,
Elder & Co., 1877. 8º).

The differences in the treatment of the verse which are of greatest
importance as distinctive of the several periods of Shakespeare's work
are the following:

§ =165.= In the first place the numerical proportion of the rhymed and
rhymeless lines in a play deserves attention. Blank verse, it is true,
prevails in all Shakespeare's plays; but in his undoubtedly earlier
plays we find a very large proportion of rhymed verse, while in the
later plays the proportion becomes very small.

Some statistical examples, based on careful researches by English and
German scholars, may be quoted to prove this; for the rest we refer to
the special investigations themselves.

In _Love's Labour's Lost_, one of Shakespeare's earliest plays, we have
1028 rhymed lines and 579 unrhymed. In _The Tempest_, one of his last
plays, we find 1458 unrhymed and only two rhymed five-foot lines. In the
plays that lie between the dates of these two dramas the proportion of
rhymed and unrhymed verse lies between these two numbers. In _Romeo and
Juliet_, e.g. (which belongs to the end of Shakespeare's first period,
though Fleay thought it a very early play) we have 2111 unrhymed and 486
rhymed five-foot lines; in _Hamlet_ (belonging to the third period)
there are 2490 unrhymed and 81 rhymed lines.

In many cases, however, the use of rhyme in a play is connected with its
whole tone and character, or with that of certain scenes in it. The
frequency of rhymes in _Romeo and Juliet_ finds its explanation in the
lyrical character of this play. For the same reason _A Midsummer Night's
Dream_, although it is certainly later than _Love's Labour's Lost_ and
_Romeo and Juliet_, shows a larger proportion of rhymed lines (878
blank: 731 rhymes). This seems sufficient to show that we cannot rely
exclusively on the statistical proportion of rhymed and unrhymed verses
in the different plays in order to determine their chronological order.

§ =166.= The numerical proportion of feminine and masculine endings is
of similar value. In the early plays we find both masculine and feminine
endings; the masculine, however, prevail. The number of feminine endings
increases in the later plays. On this point Hertzberg has made accurate
statistical researches. According to him the proportion of feminine to
masculine endings is as follows:

_Love's Labour's Lost_ 4 per cent., _Romeo and Juliet_ 7 per cent.,
_Richard III_ 18 per cent., _Hamlet_ 25 per cent., _Henry VIII_ 45·6 per
cent.[159] This proportion, however, as has been shown by later
inquiries,[160] does not depend solely on the date of the composition,
but also on the contents and the tone of the diction, lines with
masculine endings prevailing in pathetic passages, and feminine endings
in unemotional dialogue, but also in passionate scenes, in disputations,
questions, &c.

§ =167.= The numerical proportion of what are called 'weak' and 'light'
endings to the total number of verses in the different plays is
similarly of importance. These are a separate subdivision of the
masculine endings and are not to be confused with the feminine. They are
formed by monosyllabic words, which are of subordinate importance in the
syntactical structure of a sentence and therefore stand generally in
thesis (sometimes even forming part of the feminine ending of a line),
but which under the influence of the rhythm are used to carry the arsis.
To the 'weak' endings belong the monosyllabic conjunctions and
prepositions if used in this way: _and_, _as_, _at_, _but_ (_except_),
_by_, _for_, _in_, _if_, _on_, _nor_, _than_, _that_, _to_, _with_; as
e.g. in the three middle lines of the following passage taken from
_Henry VIII_ (III. ii. 97-101):

        _What thóugh I knów her vértuous
    And wéll desérving? | Yét I knéw her fór
    A spléeny Lútheran, | ánd not whólsome tó
    Our cáuse, | that shé should lýe | i' th' bósom óf
    Our hárd-rul'd kíng._

The 'light' endings include a number of other monosyllabic words, viz.
articles, pronouns, auxiliary verbs, that are used by Shakespeare in a
similar way.

These are, according to Ingram, _am_, _are_, _art_, _be_, _been_, _but_
(=_only_), _can_, _could_, _did_(2), _do_(2), _does_(2), _dost_(2),
_ere_, _had_(2), _has_(2), _hast_(2), _have_(2), _he_, _how_(3), _I_,
_into_, _is_, _like_, _may_, _might_, _shall_, _shalt_, _she_, _should_,
_since_, _so_(4), _such_(4), _they_, _thou_, _though_, _through_,
_till_, _upon_, _was_, _we_, _were_, _what_(3), _when_(3), _where_(3),
_which_, _while_, _whilst_, _who_(3), _whom_(3), _why_(3), _will_,
_would_, _yet_ (=_tamen_), _you_.

According to Ingram, the words marked (2) are to be regarded as light
endings 'only when used as auxiliaries'; those marked (3), 'when not
directly interrogative'; those marked (4), 'when followed immediately by
_as_.' _Such_ belongs to this class, 'when followed by a substantive
with an indefinite article, as _Such a man_.'

There are hardly any weak or light endings in the first and second
periods of Shakespeare's work. In the third they occur now and then and
become more frequent in the last period. So we have e.g. in _Antony and
Cleopatra_ (1600) 3·53 per cent.; in _The Tempest_ (1610) 4·59 per
cent.; in _Winter's Tale_ (1611) 5·48 per cent.

In the application of this test we must chiefly keep in mind that these
two groups of words are only to be considered as 'weak' and 'light'
endings when they form the last arsis of the line, as is the case in the
lines quoted from _Henry VIII_; but they are to be looked upon as part
of a disyllabic or feminine ending if they form a supernumerary thesis
following upon the last arsis:

    _Upón this groúnd; | and móre it woúld contént me._
                                                       Wint. II. i. 159.

§ =168.= Intimately connected with the quality of the line-endings is
the proportion of unstopt or 'run-on' and 'end-stopt' lines, or the
frequent or rare use the poet makes of enjambement. Like the feminine,
weak, and light endings, this metrical peculiarity also occurs much more
rarely in Shakespeare's earlier than in his later plays. According to
Furnivall's statistics, e.g. in _Love's Labour's Lost_ one run-on line
occurs in 18·14 lines; in _The Tempest_, on the other hand, we have one
run-on line in 3·02 lines; in _Winter's Tale_ the proportion rises to
one in 2·12.

As in the later plays run-on lines are often the result of the use of
weak and light endings, we may perhaps assume with Hertzberg that at
times the poet deliberately intended to give a greater regularity to the
verse, if only by introducing the more customary masculine endings. From
this point of view, then, both the weak and light endings and the run-on
lines would have much less importance as metrical and chronological
tests than they otherwise might have had.

§ =169.= But there is another peculiarity of Shakespeare's rhythms
noticed by Hertzberg which is of greater value as a metrical test; viz.
the use of the full syllabic forms of the suffixes _-est_, and
especially of _-es_ or _-eth_ in the second and third pers. sing., as
well as that of _-ed_ of the preterite and of the past participle. These
tests are all the more trustworthy because they do not so much arise
from a conscious choice on the part of the poet as from the historical
development of the language. This is indicated by the fact that the
slurring of these endings prevails more and more in the later plays.

According to Hertzberg's statistics the proportion of fully sounded and
slurred _e_ is as follows:

                1 _H. VI._   _T. Andr._   1 _H. IV._   _H. VIII._

  3 Pers. Sing.    15·58%       6·4%          2·25%         0%
  Pret. and P.P.   20·9%       21·72%        15·41%       4·2%

It thus appears that in this respect also there is a decided progress
from a more archaic and rigorous to a more modern usage.

These are the five chief distinctive marks of Shakespeare's verse in the
different periods of his dramatic work. Besides these, Fleay has pointed
out some other characteristics distinctive of the first period, namely,
the more sparing use of Alexandrines, of shortened verses, and of prose,
and the more frequent use of doggerel verses, stanzas, sonnets, and
crossed rhymes.

§ =170.= There are, however, some other rhythmical characteristics that
have not yet been sufficiently noticed by English or German scholars,
probably because they cannot be so easily represented by means of

The caesura is of special importance. Although from the first
Shakespeare always allowed himself a great degree of variety in the
caesura, he prefers during his first and second period the masculine and
lyrical caesura after the second foot; in his third period, in _Macbeth_
especially, both the masculine and lyrical caesura occur as frequently
after the third foot, and side by side with these the epic caesura after
the second and third foot pretty often (§ 90); during the fourth period
a great many double caesuras occur corresponding to the numerous run-on

The old-fashioned disyllabic pronunciation of certain Romanic
terminations (as _-ion_, _-ier_, _-iage_, _-ial_, &c.), so often met
with in Marlowe, is not uncommon in Shakespeare, chiefly in his early
plays, but also in those of later date (cf. § 107).

As to inversion of rhythm (cf. § 88), it is a noteworthy feature that
during the first period it occurs chiefly in the first foot and
afterwards often in the third also.

Disyllabic theses may be found in each of the five feet, sometimes even
two at the same time:

    _Having Gód, her cónscience, | ánd these bárs agaínst me._
                                                     R. III, I. ii. 235.

    _Succéeding his fáther Bólingbróke, | did réign._
                                                     1 H. VI, II. v. 83.

    _But thén we'll trý | what these dástard Frénchmen dáre._
                                                   1 H. VI, I. iii. 111.

    _Thén is he móre behólding | to yóu than Í._
                                                    R. III, III. i. 107.

    _Pút in their hánds | thy brúising írons of wráth._
                                                    R. III, V. iii. 110.

    _My survéyor is fálse; | the ó'ergreat cárdinál._
                                                     H. VIII, I. i. 222.

Disyllabic or polysyllabic line-endings are likewise of frequent

    _I dáre avóuch it, sír, what, fífty fóllowers?_   Lear, II. iv. 240.

    _To yóur own cónscience, sír, befóre Políxenes._  Wint. III. ii. 47.

Slurring and other modifications of words to make them fit into the
rhythm are very numerous and of great variety in Shakespeare; we have
referred to them before, §§ 108-11; here only some examples may be
repeated, as _(a)bove_, _(be)cause_, _(ar)rested_, _th' other_, _th'
earth_, _whe(th)er_, _ha(v)ing_, _e(v)il_, _eas(i)ly_, _barb(a)rous_,
_inn(o)cent_, _acquit_ for _acquitted_, _deject_ for _dejected_, &c.

On the other hand, many lengthenings also occur, as _wrest(e)ler_ A. Y.
L. II. ii, 13; _pilg(e)rim_ All's Well, III. v. 43, &c. (Cf. §§ 87,

In some monosyllabic words, as _fear_, _dear_, _hear_, _wear_, _tear_,
_year_, it is not always necessary to assume with Abbott (§§ 480-6) a
disyllabic pronunciation, e.g. _déàr_, _yéàr_. On the contrary, in many
cases it is more probable that the emphasis laid on the monosyllable
takes the place of the missing thesis, e.g.:

    _The kíng would spéak with Córnwall: | the déar fáther._
                                                      Lear, II. iv. 102.

    _Déar my lórd, | íf you in yóur own próof._      Ado, IV. i. 46.

    Hor. _Whére my lórd? | Haml. In my mínd's éye, Horátio._
                                                        Ham. I. ii. 185.

The two last examples also show the absence of the first thesis, which
often occurs in Shakespeare; frequently, as in these cases, it is
compensated by an extra stress laid on the first accented syllable (cf.
§ 84); e.g.:

    _Stáy! | the kíng has thrówn | his wárder dówn._
                                                  Rich. II, I. iii. 118.

    _Upón your Gráce's part; | bláck and féarful._
                                                  All's Well, III. i. 4.

For the same reason a thesis is sometimes wanting in the interior of a

    _Of góodly thóusands. | Bút, for áll thís._      Macb. IV. iii. 44;

or for phonetic reasons (cf. § 86):

    _A thírd thínks, | withóut expénse at áll._     1 Hen. VI, I. i. 76.

With respect to the word-stress and the metrical value of syllables
there are in Shakespeare many archaic peculiarities. Some of those we
have already dealt with; for the rest the reader must consult the works
in which they are specially discussed.

§ =171.= Of great interest are the other metres that occur in
combination with blank verse in Shakespeare's plays.

Alexandrines are frequently met with, especially where one line is
divided between two speakers:

  Macb. _I'll cóme to yóu anón._ | Murd. _We áre resólved, my lórd._
                                                      Macb. III. i. 139.

  Macb. _Hów does your pátient, dóctor?_ | Doct. _Nót so síck, my lórd._
                                                         ib. V. iii. 37;

but also in many other cases:

  _Hów dares thy hársh rude tóngue | sound thís unpléasing néws?_
                                                     R. II, III. iv. 74.

  _And thése does shé applý | for wárnings, ánd porténts._
                                                       Caes. II. ii. 80.

Frequently, however, such apparent Alexandrines can easily be read as
regular five-foot lines, for which they were certainly intended by the
poet, by means of the ordinary metrical licences, as slurring, double
theses, epic caesuras, or feminine endings[162]; e.g.:

  _I had thóught, my lórd, | to have léarn'd his héalth of yóu._
                                                     R. II, II. iii. 24.

  _I prómise you, | Í am afráid | to héar you téll it._
                                                      R. III, I. iv. 65.

  _O'erbéars your ófficers; | the rábble cáll him lórd._
                                                       Haml. IV. v. 102.

Among the blank verse lines in Shakespeare's plays there are sometimes
interspersed examples of the native four-beat long line. This occurs,
apart from lyrical passages, most frequently in the early plays, e.g.
in _Love's Labour's Lost_ and in _The Comedy of Errors_, III. i. 11-84,
from which the following specimen is taken:

  Ant. E. _I thínk thou art an áss._ |

  Dro. E.                              _Marry, só it doth appéar
          By the wróngs I súffer | and the blóws I béar.
          I should kíck, being kíck'd; | and, béing at that páss,
          You would kéep from my héels | and bewáre of an áss._

  Ant. E. _You're sád, Signior Bálthasar: | pray Gód our chéer
          May ánswer my good wíll | and your good wélcome hére._

Occasionally these verses exhibit a somewhat more extended
structure, so that they might pass for Alexandrines; mostly,
however, a line of this type is connected by rhyme with an
unmistakable four-beat line; cf.

    _If thóu hadst been, Drómio, | to dáy in my pláce,
    Thou wouldst have changed thy fáce for a náme, | or thy náme
            for an áss._
                                               Com. of Err. III. i. 47.

For this reason the second line also is to be scanned somehow or
other in conformity with the general four-beat rhythm of the passage;
possibly we should assume an initial thesis of five syllables. In
lyrical passages four-beat lines are often combined also with four-foot
iambic verse of the freer type (cf. § 132); e.g. in the following
passage from _Midsummer Night's Dream_, II. i. 2-7:

    _Over híll, over dále, | thorough búsh, thorough bríer,
    Over párk, over pále, | thorough flóod, thorough fíre,
    I do wánder évery whére,
    Swífter thán the móon's sphére;
    Ánd I sérve the fáiry quéen,
    To déw her órbs upón the gréen_, &c.

The two first lines belong to the first, the following to the latter
species. Sometimes the rhythm of such rhymed four-foot verses is purely
trochaic, e.g. in the witches' song in Macbeth, IV, sc. i.

There are also unrhymed iambic lines of four feet, which usually have a
caesura in the middle; e.g.:

    _The mátch is máde, | and áll is dóne._      Shrew, IV. iv. 46.

    _Befóre the kíngs | and quéens of France._      Hen. VI, I. vi. 27.

Not unfrequently, however, such verses only apparently have four feet,
one missing foot or part of it being supplied by a pause (cf. _Metrik_,
ii, § 164):

    _He's tá'en_ ⏑–́ (_Shout_). || _And hark! | they shóut for jóy._
                                                       Caes. V. iii. 32.

    Mal. _As thóu didst léave it._ –́ || Serg. _Dóubtful it stóod._
                                                         Macb. I. ii. 7.

    _Thínk on lord Hástings._ –́ || _Despáir and díe!_
                                                 Rich. III, V. iii. 134.

Isolated two- and three-foot lines occur mostly at the beginning or at
the end of a speech, or in pathetic passages of monologues; this usually
causes a somewhat longer pause, such as is suitable to the state of
feeling of the speaker.

Short exclamations as _Why_, _Fie_, _Alack_, _Farewell_ are often to be
regarded as extra-metrical.

Prose also is often used for common speeches not requiring poetic

§ =172.= One passage from an early play of Shakespeare, and another,
chosen from one of his last plays, will sufficiently exhibit the
metrical differences between these periods of his work. (For other
specimens cf. _Metrik_, ii, §166.)

  Capulet. _But Móntagúe | is bóund as wéll as Í,
           In pénaltý alíke; | and 'tis not hárd, I thínk,
           For mén so óld as wé | to kéep the péace._

  Paris.   _Of hónouráble réckoning | áre you bóth;
           And píty 'tís | you líved at ódds so lóng.
           But nów, my lórd, | what sáy you tó my súit?_

  Capulet. _But sáying ó'er | what Í have sáid befóre:
           My child is yét | a stránger ín the wórld;
           She hás not séen | the chánge of fóurteen yéars:
           Let twó more súmmers | wíther ín their príde,
           Ére we may thínk her rípe | to bé a bríde._

  Paris.   _Yóunger than shé | are happy móthers máde._

  Capulet. _And tóo soon márr'd | are thóse so éarly máde.
           The éarth hath swállow'd | áll my hópes but shé,
           Shé is the hópeful lády | óf mý éarth:
           But wóo her, géntle Páris, | gét her héart,
           My wíll to hér consént | is bút a párt_; &c.

                                          Romeo and Juliet, I. ii. 1-19.

  Miranda.  _Íf by your árt, | my déarest fáther, you háve
            Pút the wild wáters |ín this róar, | alláy them.
            The ský, it séems, | would póur down stínking pítch,
            Bút that the séa, | móunting to the wélkin's chéek,
            Dáshes the fíre óut. | Ó, I have súffered
            With thóse thát I saw súffer: | a bráve véssel,
            Who hád, no dóubt, | some nóble créature ín her,
            Dash'd áll to píeces. | Ó, the crý did knóck
            Agáinst my véry héart. | Poor sóuls, they pérish'd.
            Had Í been ány gód of pówer, | I wóuld
            Have súnk the séa | withín the éarth, | or ére
            It shóuld the góod ship | só have swállow'd | ánd
            The fráughting sóuls withín her._ |

  Prospero.                                 _Bé collécted:
            No móre amázement: | téll your píteous héart
            There's nó harm dóne._ |

  Miranda.                           _O wóe the dáy!_

  Prospero.                                     _No hárm!
            Í have done nóthing | bút in cáre of thée,
            Of thée, my déar one, | thée, my dáughter, | whó
            Art ígnoránt of whát thou árt, | nought knówing
            Of whénce I ám, | nór that I ám more bétter
            Than Próspero, | máster óf a fúll poor céll,
            And thý no gréater fáther._ |

  Miranda.                                _Móre to knów
            Did néver méddle wíth my thóughts._ | &c.

                                                   Tempest, I. ii. 1-22.

§ =173.= The further development of blank verse can be dealt with here
only very briefly.

For the dramatic blank verse of Shakespeare's contemporaries and
immediate successors see _Metrik_, vol. ii, §§ 167-78, and the works
there enumerated. The reader may also be referred to various special
treatises[164] of later date, which supply detailed evidence in the main
confirming the correctness of the author's former observations.

In this place we mention only the characteristic peculiarities of the
most important poets of that group.

=Ben Jonson's blank verse= is not so melodious as that of Shakespeare.

There is often a conflict between the logical and the rhythmical stress,
as e.g.:

    _Be éver cáll'd | the fóuntayne óf selfe-lóve._
                                                   Cynthia's Rev. I. ii.

Theses of two and even more syllables likewise occur in many verses,

    _Sir Péter Túb was his fáther, | a saltpétre mán._
                                                   Tale of a Tub, I. 22;

frequently also feminine or even disyllabic unaccented endings are used:

    _The dífference 'twíxt | the cóvetous ánd the pródigal._
                                             Staple of News, I. iii. 39.

These licences often give to his verse an uneven and rugged rhythm.

There are only slight differences from Shakespeare's usage with regard
to the caesura, inversion of accent, &c. Run-on lines, as well as rhyme
and the use of prose, are common in his plays; some of his comedies are
almost entirely written in prose.

§ =174.= In =Fletcher=, on the contrary, run-on lines, rhymed verses,
and prose are exceedingly rare.

Feminine and gliding endings, however (sometimes of three, and even of
four supernumerary syllables), are often used; in some plays even more
often than masculine ones. (For specimens cf. § 91.)

Feminine endings, combined with disyllabic or polysyllabic first thesis,
are common; now and then we find epic caesuras or other theses in the
interior of the line:

    _They are too hígh a méat that wáy, | they rún to jelly._
                                                  Loyal Subj. I. i. 371.

    _A cóach and four hórses | cánnot dráw me fróm it._
                                                       ib. III. ii. 361.

    _Thís was hard fórtune; | but íf alíve and táken._
                                                    Hum. Lieut, I. i. 7.

    _You máy surpríse them éasily; | they wéar no pístols._
                                                 Loyal Subj. I. ii. 314.

It deserves particular notice that in such feminine endings or epic
caesuras, where the superfluous thesis consists of one monosyllabic
word, this very often has something of a subordinate accent:

    _And lét sóme létters | tó that énd be féign'd tòo._
                                                      Mad Lov. III. 268.

    _That spírits háve no séxes, | I belíeve nòt._
                                                                ib. 272.

    _You múst look wondrous sád tòo.-- | I néed not lóok sò._
                                                        ib. V. iii. 105.

The following passage from _The Maid's Tragedy_[165] shows the character
of Fletcher's rhythms:

  Mel.    _Fórce my swoll'n héart no fúrther; | Í would sáve thee.
          Your gréat maintáiners áre not hére, | they dáre not:
          'Wóuld they were áll, and árm'd! | I wóuld speak lóud;
          Here's óne should thúnder tó them! | will you téll me?
          Thou hást no hópe to 'scápe; | Hé that dares móst,
          And dámns awáy his sóul | to dó thee sérvice,
          Wíll sóoner fetch méat | fróm a húngry líon,
          Than cóme to réscue thée; | thou'st déath abóut thee.
          Who hás undóne thine hónour, | póison'd thy vírtue,
          Ánd, of a lóvely róse, | léft thee a cánker?_

  Evadne. _Lét me consíder._ |

  Mel.                         _Dó, whose chíld thou wért,
          Whose hónour thóu hast múrder'd, | whose gráve open'd
          And só pull'd ón the góds, | thát in their jústice
          They múst restóre him | flésh agáin, | and lífe,
          And ráise his drý bònes | tó revénge his scándal._

§ =175.= There are no plays extant written by =Beaumont= alone; plays,
however, from Fletcher's pen alone do exist, and we can thus gain a
clear insight into the distinctive features of his rhythm and style, and
are so enabled to determine with some prospect of certainty the share
which Beaumont had in the plays due to their joint-authorship. This has
been attempted with some success by Fleay, and especially by Boyle.[166]

The characteristics of Beaumont's style and versification may be summed
up as follows:

He often uses prose and verse, rhymed and unrhymed verses in the same
speech; feminine endings occur rarely, but there are many run-on lines;
occasionally we find 'light' and 'weak' endings; double theses at the
beginning and in the interior of the line are met with only very seldom.
His verse, therefore, is widely different from Fletcher's; cf. the
following passage from _The Maid's Tragedy_ (II. i, pp. 24-5):

  Evadne. _I thánk thee, Dúla; | 'wóuld, thou cóuld'st instíl
          Sóme of thy mírth | intó Aspátiá!
          Nóthing but sád thòughts | ín her bréast do dwéll:
          Methínks, a méan betwíxt you | wóuld do wéll._

  Dula.   _Shé is in lóve: | Háng me, if Í were só,
          But Í could rún my cóuntry. | Í love, tóo,
          To dó those thíngs | that péople ín love dó._

  Asp.    _It wére a tímeless smíle | should próve my chéek:
          It wére a fítter hóur | for mé to láugh,
          When át the áltar | thé relígious príest
          Were pácifýing | thé offénded pówers
          With sácrifíce, than nów. | Thís should have béen
          My níght; and áll your hánds | have béen emplóy'd
          In gíving mé | a spótless ófferíng
          To yóung Amíntor's béd, | as wé are nów
          For yóu. | Párdon, Evádne; 'wóuld, my wórth
          Were gréat as yóurs, | ór that the kíng, or hé,
          Or bóth thought só! | Perháps, he fóund me wórthless:
          But, tíll he díd so, | ín these éars of míne,
          These crédulous éars, | he póur'd the swéetest wórds
          That árt or lóve could fráme. | Íf he were fálse,
          Párdon it Héaven! | ánd if Í did wánt
          Vírtue, | you sáfely máy | forgíve that tóo;
          For Í have lóst | nóne that I hád from yóu._

§ =176.= Fewer peculiarities appear in the verse of =Massinger=, who
(according to Fleay and Boyle) wrote many plays in partnership with
Beaumont and Fletcher; for this reason his verse has been examined by
those scholars in connexion with that of Beaumont and Fletcher. Like
Fletcher, Massinger uses a great many feminine endings; but he has many
run-on lines as well as 'light' and 'weak' endings. In contradistinction
to Beaumont's practice, he seldom uses prose and rhyme, but he has a
great many double endings. His verse is very melodious, similar on the
whole to that of Shakespeare's middle period.

The following passage may serve as an example:

  Tib. _It ís the dúchess' bírthday, | ónce a yéar
       Solémnized wíth all pómp | and céremóny;
       In whích the dúke is nót his ówn, | but hérs:
       Nay, évery dáy, indéed, | he ís her créature,
       For néver mán so dóated;-- | bút to téll
       The ténth part óf his fóndness | to a stránger,
       Would árgue mé of fíction._ | Steph. _Shé's, indéed,
       A lády óf most éxquisite fórm._ | Tib. _She knóws it,
       And hów to príze it._ | Steph. _I néver héard her tainted
       In ány póint of hónour._ | Tib. _Ón my lífe,
       She's cónstant tó his béd, | and wéll desérves
       His lárgest fávours. | Bút, when béauty is
       Stámp'd on great wómen, | gréat in bírth and fórtune,
       And blówn by flátterers | gréater thán it ís,
       'Tis séldom únaccómpaníed | with príde;
       Nor ís she thát way frée: | presúming ón
       The dúke's afféction, | ánd her ówn desért,
       She béars hersélf | with súch a májestý,
       Lóoking with scórn on áll | as thíngs benéath her,
       That Sfórza's móther, | thát would lóse no párt
       Of whát was ónce her ówn, | nor hís fair síster,
       A lády tóo | acquáinted wíth her wórth,
       Will bróok it wéll; | and hówsoé'er their háte
       Is smóther'd fór a tíme, | 'tis móre than féar'd
       It wíll at léngth break óut._ | Steph. _Hé in whose pówer it ís,
       Turn áll to the bést._ | Tib. _Come, lét us tó the cóurt;
       We thére shall sée all bráverý and cóst,
       That árt can bóast of._ | Steph. _I'll béar you cómpaný._

                                    Massinger, Duke of Milan, I. i. end.

The versification of the other dramatists of this time cannot be
discussed in this place. It must suffice to say that the more defined
and artistic blank verse, introduced by Marlowe and Shakespeare, was
cultivated by Beaumont, Massinger, Chapman, Dekker, Ford, &c.; a less
artistic verse, on the other hand, so irregular as sometimes to
approximate to prose, is found in Ben Jonson and Fletcher, and to a less
degree in Middleton, Marston, and Shirley. (Cf. _Metrik_, ii. §§ 171-8.)

§ =177. The blank verse of Milton=, who was the first since Surrey to
use it for epic poetry, is of greater importance than that of the minor
dramatists, and is itself of particular interest. Milton's verse, it is
true, cannot be said to be always very melodious. On the contrary, it
sometimes can be brought into conformity with the regular scheme of the
five-foot verse only by level stress and by assigning full value to
syllables that in ordinary pronunciation are slurred or elided (see §

Generally, however, Milton's blank verse has a stately rhythmical
structure all its own, due to his masterly employment of the whole range
of metrical artifices. In the first place, he frequently employs
inversion of accent, both at the beginning of a line and after a
caesura; sometimes together with double thesis in the interior of the
line, as e.g.:

    _Báck to the gátes of Héaven; | the súlphurous háil._
                                                      Par. Lost, I. 171.

Quite peculiar, however, to Milton's blank verse is the extensive use he
makes of run-on lines, and in connexion with the great variety in his
treatment of the caesura.

Milton has more than 50 per cent. run-on lines; sometimes we have from
three to six lines in succession that are not stopt.

As to the caesura, we mostly have masculine and lyric caesura (more
seldom epic caesuras) after the second or third foot; besides, we have
frequent double caesuras (generally caused by run-on lines), about 12
per cent.[167]

Finally, as the third peculiarity of Milton's epic blank verse, the
almost exclusive use of masculine endings deserves mention. The number
of feminine endings in the various books of _Paradise Lost_ and of
_Paradise Regained_ is only from 1 to 5 per cent.; in _Samson
Agonistes_, on the other hand, we have about 16 per cent., nearly as
many as in the plays of Shakespeare's second period.[168]

The following example (_Paradise Lost_, V. 1-25) may illustrate Milton's
blank verse:

     _Now Mórn, | her rósy stéps | in the éastern clíme
     Adváncing, | sówed the éarth with órient péarl,
     When Ádam wáked, so cústomed; | fór his sléep
     Was áery líght, | from púre digéstion bréd,
     And témperate vápours blánd, | which the ónly sóund
     Of léaves and fúming rílls, | Auróra's fán,
     Líghtly dispérsed, | ánd the shrill mátin sóng
     Of bírds on évery bóugh. | So múch the móre
     His wónder wás | to fínd unwákened Éve,
     With trésses díscompósed, | and glówing chéek,
     As thróugh unquíet rést. | Hé, on his síde
     Léaning half ráised, | with lóoks of córdial lóve
     Hung óver hér enámoured, | ánd behéld
     Béauty | which, whéther wáking | ór asléep,
     Shot fórth pecúliar gráces; | thén, with vóice
     Míld as when Zéphyrús | on Flóra bréathes,
     Her hánd soft tóuching, | whíspered thús:-- | 'Awáke,
     My fáirest, mý espóused, | my látest fóund,
     Heaven's lást best gíft, | my éver-néw delíght!
     Awáke! | the mórning shínes, | ánd the fresh fíeld
     Cálls us; | we lóse the príme | to márk how spríng
     Our ténded plánts, | how blóws the cítron gróve,
     What dróps the mýrrh, | and whát the bálmy réed,
     How Náture páints her cólours, | hów the bée
     Síts on the blóom | extrácting líquid swéet._'

§ =178. The dramatic blank verse of the Restoration= is strongly
influenced by the heroic verse of the same period, and is on this
account very different from the blank verse of Shakespeare and his

For this period the blank verse of Dryden is most interesting; he uses
it with great skill, but also with great restriction of its former

Even the number of the inversions of accent decreases considerably and
is only about 12 per cent. We find scarcely any examples of double
thesis, slurring of syllables, missing theses in the beginning or in the
interior of the line, &c.

The caesura, which is the chief means by which variety is imparted to
the metre, is generally masculine or lyric, and as a rule occurs after
the second or third foot; occasionally we have double caesuras. Epic
caesuras are rare, if they occur at all. Feminine endings are frequent,
their proportion being about 25 to 28 per cent. Light and weak endings
are rarely to be found amongst the masculine endings, nor are run-on
lines (about 20 per cent.) frequently used by Dryden.

Most of the characteristic features of his blank verse will be found
exemplified in the following extract:

  Emperor.  _Márry'd! | I'll nót belíeve it; || 'tís impósture;
            Impróbable | they shóu'd presúme t'attémpt,
            Impóssible | they shóu'd efféct their wísh._

  Benducar. _Have pátience tíll I cléar it._ |

  Emperor.                                     _Í have nóne:
            Go bíd our móving Pláins of Sánd | lie stíll,
            And stír not, | whén the stórmy Sóuth blows hígh:
            From tóp to bóttom | thóu hast tóss'd my Sóul,
            And nów 'tis ín the mádness | of the Whírl.
            Requír'st a súdden stóp? | unsáy thy lýe,
            That máy in týme do sómewhat._ |

  Benducar.                                  _Í have dóne.
            For, sínce it pléases yóu | it shóu'd be fórg'd
            'Tis fít it shóu'd: | Fár be it fróm your Sláve,
            To ráise distúrbance | ín your Sácred Bréast._

  Emperor. _Sebástian ís my Sláve | as wéll as thóu;
           Nor dúrst offénd my Lóve, | but thát Presúmption ..._

  Benducar. _Most súre he óught not._ |

  Emperor.                        _Thén all méans were wánting;
            No Príest, no Céremónies | óf their Séct:
            Or, gránt we thése defécts | cou'd bé supplý'd,
            Hów cou'd our Próphet dó | an áct so báse,
            Só to resúme his Gífts, | and cúrse my Cónquests,
            By máking mé unháppy! | Nó, the Sláve
            That tóld thee só absúrd a stóry, | lý'd._

                                                 Dryden, Sebastian, III.

The blank verse of Lee, Otway, N. Rowe, and Addison[169] is
of similar structure.

§ =179.= Blank verse was treated even more strictly by =Thomson= in _The
Seasons_. Thomson followed Dryden with regard to his treatment of the
caesura and the inversion of accent, but made no use at all of feminine
endings. Cf. the following passage from _Summer_:

    _From bríghtening fíelds of éther | fáir disclós'd,
    Chíld of the sún, | refúlgent Súmmer cómes,
    In pride of yóuth, | and félt through náture's dépth:
    He cómes atténded | bý the súltry hóurs,
    And éver-fánning bréezes, | ón his wáy;
    Whíle, from his árdent lóok, | the túrning Spríng
    Avérts her blúshful fáce; | and éarth, and skíes
    All smíling, | to his hót domínion léaves.
       Hénce let me háste | intó the míd-wood sháde,
    Where scárce a sún-beam | wánders through the glóom;
    And ón the dárk-green gráss, | besíde the brínk
    Of háunted stréam, | that bý the róots of óak
    Rólls o'er the rócky chánnel,| líe at lárge,
    And síng the glóries | óf the círcling yéar._

The blank verse of Young (_Night Thoughts_), Cowper (_The Task_), and
other less important poets of the eighteenth century is of a similar
uniform structure; cf. _Metrik_, ii, §193.

§ =180.= In the =blank verse of the nineteenth century= we find both
tendencies, the strict and the free treatment of this verse-form;
according to their predominant employment in epic and dramatic poetry
respectively, we may call them the epic and the dramatic form of the
verse. They may be chiefly distinguished by the peculiarities to be
observed in the blank verse of Milton and Thomson on the one hand, and
of Dryden on the other; i.e. by the admission or exclusion of feminine

The strict form of the epic blank verse, with masculine endings, is
preferred in the narrative or reflective poems of Coleridge, Wordsworth,
Southey, Shelley, Keats, W.S. Landor, Longfellow, D. G. Rossetti, Mrs.
Browning, Robert Browning, Matthew Arnold, Tennyson, Swinburne, and
Edwin Arnold.[170]

The free form is represented, mainly, in the dramatic verse of the same
and other poets, being used by Coleridge (in his translation of _The
Piccolomini_), Wordsworth, Southey, Lamb, Byron, Shelley, W.S. Landor,
Tennyson, Matthew Arnold, and others.[171]


  [153] For the accentuation of the word cf. _inter alia_ rhymes such
        as _mérie: Cáunterbúry_, Prol. 801-2, and Schipper, l.c., pp.

  [154] This definition is also given by Milton in his introductory
        note on 'The Verse' prefixed in 1668 to _Paradise Lost_.

  [155] Cf. _Metrik_, ii. §§ 132-5.

  [156] Cf. _Metrik_, ii. §§ 136-46.

  [157] Cf. on this subject the essays and treatises by T. Mommsen,
        Abbott, Furnivall, Ingram, Hertzberg, Fleay, A.J. Ellis (_On
        Early English Pronunciation_, iii), &c. (quoted _Metrik_, ii,
        p. 259); besides G. König, _Der Vers in Shakspere's Dramen_,
        Strassburg, Trübner, 1888, 8º (_Quellen und Forschungen_,
        61); _Der Couplet-Reim in Shakspere's Dramen_ (Dissertation),
        von J. Heuser, Marburg, 1893, 8; H. Krumm, _Die Verwendung des
        Reims in dem Blankverse des englischen Dramas zur Zeit
        Shaksperes_, Kiel, 1889; H. Conrad, _Metrische Untersuchungen
        zur Feststellung der Abfassungszeit von Shakspere's Dramen_
        (_Shakespeare-Jahrbuch_, xxx. 318-353); _William Shakespeare,
        Prosody and Text_, by B. A. P. van Dam and C. Stoffel, Leyden,
        1900, 8º; _Chapters on English Printing Prosody, and
        Pronunciation_ (1550-1700), by B.A.P. van Dam and C. Stoffel,
        Heidelberg, 1902 (_Anglistische Forschungen_, ix).

  [158] I. 1587-1592; II. 1593-1600; III. 1600-1606; IV. 1606-1613;
        according to Dowden.

  [159] Cf. Furnivall, p. xxviii.

  [160] Cf. Mayor, _Chapters on English Metre_, pp. 174-7.

  [161] Cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 154.

  [162] Cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 161.

  [163] Cf. N. Delius, _Die Prosa in Shakespeares Dramen_ (Jahrbuch d.
        deutschen Shakespeare-Gesellschaft, v. 227-73).

  [164] Cf. the Halle dissertations by _Hannemann_ (on Ford, Oxford,
        1889); _Penner_ (on Peele, Braunschweig, 1890); _Knaut_ (on
        Greene, 1890); _Schulz_ (on Middleton, 1892); _Elste_ (on
        Chapman, 1892); _Kupka_ (on Th. Dekker, 1893); _Meiners_ (on
        Webster, 1893); _Clages_ (on Thomson and Young, 1892); and the
        criticism of some of them by Boyle, _Engl. Studien_, xix.

  [165] IV. i, p. 66, cf. _Engl. Studien_, v, p. 76.

  [166] _Engl. Studien_, iv-vii.

  [167] On the many combinations of the three kinds of caesura in the
        different places of the verse, cf. _Metrik_, ii, pp. 28-31.

  [168] Cf. _Metrik_, ii, §§ 179-185. |

  [169] See _Englische Metrik_, ii, §§ 188-90.

  [170] Cf. _Metrik_, ii, §§ 195-201.

  [171] Cf. _Metrik_, ii, §§ 202-6.



§ =181.= Trochaic metres, which, generally speaking, are less common in
English poetry than iambics, were not used at all till the Modern
English Period. The old metrical writers (Gascoigne, James VI, W. Webbe)
only know rising metres.

Puttenham (1589) is the first metrician who quotes four-foot trochaic
lines; similar verses also occur during the same period in Shakespeare's
_Love's Labour's Lost_, _A Midsummer Night's Dream_, and other plays.

Whether they were introduced directly on foreign models, or originated
indirectly from the influence of the study of the ancients by means of a
regular omission of the first thesis of the iambic metres, we do not
know. It is likewise uncertain who was the first to use strict trochaic
verses deliberately in English, or in what chronological order the
various trochaic metres formed in analogy with the iambic ones entered
into English poetry.

The longest trochaic lines, to which we first turn our attention, seem
to be of comparatively late date.

The =eight-foot trochaic line=, more exactly definable as the
acatalectic trochaic tetrameter (cf. § 77), is the longest trochaic
metre we find in English poetry. As a specimen of this metre the first
stanza of a short poem by Thackeray written in this form has been quoted
already on page 127. As a rule, however, this acatalectic feminine line
is mingled with catalectic verses with masculine endings, as e.g. in the
following burlesque by Thackeray, _Damages Two Hundred Pounds_:

  _Só, God bléss the Spécial Júry! | príde and jóy of Énglish gróund,
  Ánd the háppy lánd of Éngland, | whére true jústice dóes abóund!
  Brítish júrymén and húsbands, | lét us háil this vérdict próper:
  Íf a Brítish wífe offénds you, | Brítons, yóu've a ríght to whóp her._

While the catalectic iambic tetrameter is a line of seven feet (the last
arsis being omitted), the catalectic trochaic tetrameter loses only the
last thesis, but keeps the preceding arsis; and on this account it
remains a metre of eight feet.

Rhyming couplets of this kind of verse, when broken up into short lines,
give rise to stanzas with the formulas _a ~ b c ~ b₄, d ~ e ~ f ~ e ~₄_,
or, if inserted rhymes are used, we have the form _a ~ b a ~ b₄_
(alternating masculine and feminine endings), or _a ~ b ~ a ~ b ~₄_ (if
there are feminine endings only). In both these cases the eight-foot
rhythm is distinctly preserved to the ear. But this is no longer the
case in another trochaic metre of eight feet, where the theses of both
the fourth and the eighth foot are wanting, as may be noticed in
Swinburne, _A Midsummer Holiday_, p. 132:

    _Scárce two húndred yéars are góne, | ánd the wórld is pást awáy
    Ás a nóise of bráwling wínd, | ás a flásh of bréaking fóam,
    Thát behéld the sínger bórn | whó raised úp the déad of Róme;
    Ánd a míghtier nów than hé | bíds him tóo rise úp to-dáy;_

still less when such lines are broken up by inserted rhyme in stanzas of
the form _a b a b₄_. In cases, too, where the eight-foot trochaic
verse is broken up by leonine rhyme, the rhythm has a decided four-foot
cadence on account of the rapid recurrence of the rhyme.

§ =182.= The =seven-foot trochaic line= is theoretically either a
brachycatalectic tetrameter with a feminine or a hypercatalectic
trimeter with a masculine ending. An example of the first kind we had on
p. 128. A more correct specimen is the following line from the same

    _Hásten, Lórd, who árt my Hélper; | lét thine áid be spéedy._

The verses quoted on p. 128 are incorrect in so far as the caesura
occurs at an unusual place, viz. in the middle of the fourth foot,
instead of after it, as in the example just quoted.

They show, however, the origin of a pretty frequently occurring
anisorhythmical stanza, which is derived from this metre by means of the
use of inserted rhyme; lines 1 and 3 having a trochaic, lines 2 and 4,
on the other hand, an iambic rhythm; cf. e.g. the following stanza from
a poem by Suckling (_Poets_, iii. 741):

    _Sáy, but díd you lóve so lóng?
      In trúth I néeds must bláme you:
    Pássion did your júdgement wróng,
      Or wánt of réason sháme you._

When there are masculine rhymes throughout, the stanza is felt
distinctly as consisting of alternate lines of four and three feet (_a₄
b₃ a₄ b₃_).

The seven-foot rhythm, however, remains, if the three-foot half-lines
only have masculine endings, and the four-foot half-lines remain
feminine; as is the case in Swinburne's poem _Clear the Way_ (_Mids.
Hol._, p. 143):

    _Cléar the wáy, my lórds and láckeys, | yóu have hád your dáy.
    Hére you háve your ánswer, Éngland's | yéa against your náy;
    Lóng enóugh your hóuse has héld you: | up, and cléar the wáy!_

This, of course, is likewise the case, if the verses are broken up into
stanzas by inserted rhyme (_a₄ b₃ a₄ b₃_).

More frequently than this correct seven-foot verse, with either a
feminine or masculine ending, we find the incorrect type, consisting of
a catalectic and a brachycatalectic dimeter, according to the model of
the well-known Low Latin verse:

    _Mihi est propositum | in taberna mori_,

which is often confounded with the former (cf. § 135). The following
first stanza of a poem by Suckling (_Poets_, iii. 471) is written in
exact imitation of this metre:

    _Óut upón it, Í have lóved | thrée whole dáys tógether;
    Ánd am líke to lóve three móre, | íf it próve fair wéather._

Although only the long lines rhyme, the stanza is commonly printed in
short lines (_a₄ b₃ ~ c₄ b₃ ~_). Still more frequently we find
short-lined stanzas of the kind (_a₄ b₃ ~ a₄ b₃ ~_) as well as the other
sub-species with masculine rhymes only: _a₄ b₃ a₄ b₃_.

§ =183.= The =six-foot trochaic line= occurs chiefly in Modern English,
and appears both in acatalectic (feminine) and catalectic (masculine)
form; e.g. in Swinburne _The Last Oracle_ (_Poems and Ballads_, ii. 1):

    _Dáy by dáy thy shádow | shínes in héaven behólden,
    Éven the sún, the shíning | shádow óf thy fáce:
    Kíng, the wáys of héaven | befóre thy féet grow gólden;
    Gód, the sóul of éarth | is kíndled wíth thy gráce._

Strictly the caesura ought to occur after the third foot, as it does in
the first line; generally, however, it is within the third foot, and so
this metre as well as the stanza formed by insertion of rhyme acquires
an anisorhythmical character, as e.g. in the following quatrain by

    _Áll that's bríght must fáde,--
      The bríghtest stíll the fléetest;
    Áll that's swéet was máde
      But to be lóst when swéetest._

When masculine rhymes are used throughout, the six-foot rhythm is
preserved in anisorhythmical stanzas of this kind just as well as when
lines like the first of those in the example quoted above, _Day by day_,
&c., are broken up by inserted rhymes (_a ~ b ~ a ~ b₃ ~_); or again
when they have masculine endings in the second half-lines (_a ~ b a ~
b₃_). If the first half is masculine, however, and the second feminine
(or if both have masculine endings on account of a pause caused by the
missing thesis), the verses have a three-foot character, e.g. in Moore:

    _Whíle I tóuch the stríng,
      Wréathe my bróws with láurel,
    Fór the tále I síng
      Hás for ónce a móral._

§ =184.= The =five-foot trochaic line= also occurs both in acatalectic
(feminine) and catalectic (masculine) form, and each of them is found in
stanzas rhyming alternately, as e.g. in Mrs. Hemans's _O ye voices_
(vii. 57):

    _Ó ye vóices róund | my ówn hearth sínging!
    Ás the wínds of Máy | to mémory swéet,
    Míght I yét retúrn, | a wórn heart brínging,
    Wóuld those vérnal tónes | the wánderer gréet?_

Such verses, of course, can be used also in stanzas with either
masculine or feminine endings only.

As in the five-foot iambic verse, the caesura generally occurs either
after the second or third foot (in which case it is feminine), or
usually within the second or third foot (masculine caesura).

In a few cases this metre is also used without rhyme; e.g. in Robert
Browning's _One Word More_ (v. 313-21); feminine endings are used here
throughout; run-on lines occasionally occur, and the caesura shows still
greater variety in consequence. A specimen is given in _Metrik_, ii, §

§ =185.= The =four-foot trochaic line= (discussed above in its
relationship to the eight- and seven-foot verse) is the most frequent of
all trochaic metres. It likewise occurs either with alternate feminine
and masculine rhymes or with rhymes of one kind only. We find it both in
stanzas and in continuous verse. The latter form, with feminine rhymes
only, we have in Shakespeare's _Tempest_, IV. i. 106-9:

    _Hónour, ríches, márriage-bléssing,
    Lóng contínuance, ánd incréasing,
    Hóurly jóys be stíll upón you!
    Júno síngs her bléssings ón you_, &c.

With masculine endings only it is found in _Love's Labour's Lost_, IV.
iii. 101:

    _Ón a dáy--aláck the dáy!--
    Lóve, whose mónth is éver Máy,
    Spíed a blóssom pássing fáir
    Pláying ín the wánton áir._

As in the five-foot verse, here also the caesura if used at all may fall
at different places; mostly its place is after or within the second

Generally speaking this metre is used in continuous verse in such a way
that masculine and feminine couplets are intermixed without regular
order;[172] when it is used in stanzas the forms previously mentioned in
§ 181 are usually adopted.

This metre is used also, in an unrhymed form and with feminine endings
throughout, in Longfellow's _Song of Hiawatha_, in which there are
noticeably more run-on lines than in rhymed four-foot trochaics.

§ =186.= The =three-foot trochaic line=, both with feminine and with
masculine endings, has been discussed in previous sections (§§ 182-3) so
far as it is derived from seven- and six-foot verse. It may also be
derived from the six-foot metre through the breaking up of the line by
means of leonine rhyme, as in the following rhyming couplets:

    _Áge, I dó abhór thee,
    Yóuth, I dó adóre thee;
    Yóuth ís fúll of spórt,
    Áge's bréath is shórt._
                                             Passionate Pilgrim, No. 12.

§ =187. Two-foot trochaic lines= generally occur among longer lines of
anisometrical stanzas; but we also find them now and then without longer
lines in stanzas and poems. Feminine verses of this kind, which may be
regarded as four-foot lines broken up by leonine rhyme, we have in
Dodsley (_Poets_, xi. 112):

    _Lóve comméncing,
    Jóys dispénsing;
    Béauty smíling,
    Wít beguíling_;

and masculine ones in a short poem, possibly by Pope, _To Quinbus
Flestrin, the Man-Mountain_ (p. 481):

    _Ín a máze,
    Lóst, I gáze,
    Cán our éyes
    Réach thy síze?
    Máy my láys
    Swéll with práise_, &c.

§ =188. One-foot trochaic lines= seem only to occur among longer
verses in regular stanzas, as e.g. in a stanza of Addison's opera
_Rosamund_ (I. ii. 38):


We even find sometimes a line consisting of a single (of course
accented) syllable in Swinburne, as e.g. in his poem in trochaic verse,
_A Dead Friend_ (_A Century of Roundels_, pp. 12-19):

    _Góne, O géntle héart and trúe,
      Friénd of hópes forgóne,
    Hópes and hópeful dáys with yóu,

It is common to all these trochaic metres that their structure,
especially that of the longer ones, is (except for the varying caesura)
very regular, and that they have only very few rhythmical licences,
chiefly slight slurring.


  [172] For examples see _Metrik_, ii, § 218.



§ =189.= The =iambic-anapaestic rhythm= has been touched on before in
connexion with the four-stressed verse (cf. § 72) which was developed
from the alliterative long line, and which at the end of the Middle
English and in the beginning of the Modern English period, under the
growing influence of the even-beat metres, had assumed more or less
regular iambic-anapaestic character.

When during the same period a definitive separation of the rising and
falling rhythms took place, the even-measured rhythm of this
four-stressed modern metre became more conspicuous and was made up
frequently, although not always, of a regular series of
iambic-anapaestic measures. It was thus differentiated still more
distinctly from the uneven-beat Old and Middle English long line, the
character of which mainly rested on the four well-marked beats only. It
deserves notice further that it was not until the Modern English period
that the rest of the iambic-anapaestic and trochaic-dactylic metres (the
eight-, seven-, six-, five-, four-, three-, and two-foot verses) were
imitated from the then common corresponding iambic rhythms.

In the sixteenth century Puttenham quotes four-foot dactylics, and in
his time the dactylic hexameter had already been imitated in English.
But most of the other trisyllabic rising and falling metres, except the
Septenary, occur first in English poetry at the end of the eighteenth
and during the course of the nineteenth century.

It must also be noted that in many cases, especially in the eight-,
four-, and two-foot verses of this kind (i.e. in those metres that are
connected with the old four-stressed verse), the rising and falling
rhythms are not strictly separated, but frequently intermingle and even
supplement one another.

  I. Iambic-anapaestic Metres.

§ =190. Eight-foot iambic-anapaestic verses= rhyming in long lines are
very rare, but appear in the following four-lined stanza of four-foot
verses by Burns, _The Chevalier's Lament_ (p. 343):

    _The smáll birds rejóice in the gr+ée+n l+ea+ves retúrning,
      The múrmuring stréamlet winds cléar thro' the vále;
    The háwthorn trees blów in the déws of the mórning,
      And wíld scatter'd cówslips bedéck the gr+ee+n d+á+le._

In this metre each of the two periods begins with an iambic measure and
then passes into anapaests, the feminine ending of the first (or third)
line and the iambic beginning of the second (or fourth) forming together
an anapaest.

In a poem by Swinburne (_Poems_, ii. 144) four-foot anapaestic and
dactylic lines alternate so as to form anapaestic periods:

    _For a dáy and a níght Love sáng to us, pláyed with us,
      Fólded us róund from the dárk and the líght_, &c.

For other less correct specimens of such combinations of verse cf.
_Metrik_, ii, §225.

§ =191. The seven-foot iambic-anapaestic verse= would seem to be of
rare occurrence except in the most recent period; in long lines and
masculine rhymes it has been used by Swinburne, as e.g. in _The Death of
Richard Wagner_;[173] we quote the middle stanza:

    _As a vísion of héaven from the hóllows of ócean, | that nóne
        but a gód might sée,
    Rose óut of the sílence of thíngs unknówn | of a présence, a
        fórm, a míght,
    And we héard as a próphet that h+éa+rs G+o+d's méssage | agáinst
        him, and máy not flée._

The occurrence of an iambus or a spondee at the end and sometimes in the
middle of the verse is remarkable, as well as the arbitrary treatment of
the caesura, which does not, as in the iambic Septenary verse, always
come after the fourth foot (as in the second line), but sometimes in
other places; in the first and third lines, for instance, there is a
feminine caesura in the fifth foot.

More often this Septenary metre occurs in short lines (and therefore
with fixed masculine caesura). In this form it appears as early as the
seventeenth century in a poem by the Earl of Dorset, _To Chloris_:

    _Ah! Chlóris, 'tis tíme to disárm your bright éyes,
      And lay bý those térrible glánces;
    We líve in an áge that's more cívil and wíse,
      Than to fóllow the rúles of románces._
                                                        Poets, vii. 513.

Another specimen of the same rhythm, very artistically handled (cf.
_Metrik_, i, § 226) is Charles Wolfe's well-known poem _The Burial of
Sir John Moore_. The same metre also occurs with masculine rhymes.

§ =192.= The =six-foot iambic-anapaestic verse= sometimes occurs in
Modern English poets, as Tennyson, _The Grandmother_, _Maud_, &c.,
Robert Browning, _Abt Vogler_, Mrs. Browning, _Confessions_, Swinburne,
_Hymn to Proserpine_, &c.

We quote the following verses from Tennyson's _Maud_ to illustrate this
metre, which, however, in consequence of the fluctuating proportion of
iambic and anapaestic measures occurring in it is handled very
differently by different poets (cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 227):

  _Did he flíng himself dówn? who knóws? | for a vást speculátion
       had fáil'd,
  And éver he mútter'd and mádden'd, | and éver wánn'd with despáir,
  And óut he wálk'd when the wínd | like a bróken wórldling wáil'd,
  And the flýing góld of the rúin'd wóodlands | dróve thro' the áir._

The caesura is sometimes masculine after the third foot (as in lines 1
and 3), sometimes feminine in the fourth (line 2) or the fifth (line 4);
so that its position is quite indeterminate. The rhymes are mostly
masculine, but feminine rhymes are also met with, as e.g. in Mrs.
Browning's _Confessions_. Swinburne's verses are printed in long lines,
it is true, but they are broken into short lines by inserted masculine
and feminine rhymes.

§ =193.= The =five-foot iambic-anapaestic verse= likewise does not occur
till recent times, and is chiefly used by the poets just mentioned.
Rhymed in couplets it occurs in Mrs. Browning's _The Daughters of
Pandarus_, Version II (vol. iv, p. 200):

  _So the stórms bore the dáughters of Pándarus | óut into thráll--
   The góds slew their párents; | the órphans were léft in the háll.
   And there cáme, to féed their young líves, Aphrodíte divíne,
   With the íncense, the swéet-tasting hóney, the swéet-smelling wíne._

The rhythm is here almost entirely anapaestic; the caesura occurs in the
most diverse places and may be either masculine or feminine. The ending
of the line is masculine throughout, as well as in Robert Browning's
_Saul_ (iii. 146-96), but with many run-on lines.

In Swinburne's _A Word from the Psalmist_ (_A Mids. Holiday_, p. 176) we
have another treatment of this metre. As a rule the line begins with an
anapaest, and continues in pure iambic rhythm:

    _But a lóuder | thán the Chúrch's écho | thúnders
       In the éars of mén | who máy not chóose but héar;
     And the héart in hím | that héars it léaps and wónders,
       With triúmphant hópe | astónished, ór with féar._

In other examples it has an iambic or spondaic rhythm at the beginning
and end, with an anapaestic part in the middle, as in _The Seaboard_
(ib., p. 3) by the same poet:

    _The séa is at ébb, | and the sóund of her útmost wórd,
     Is sóft as the l+éa+st w+a+ve's lápse | in a stíll sm+a+ll r+éa+ch.
     From báy into báy, | on quést of a góal deférred,
     From héadland éver to héadland | and bréach to bréach,
     Where éarth gives éar | to the méssage that áll days préach._

In _A Century of Roundels_, p. 1, &c., Swinburne uses this metre, which
also occurs in Tennyson's _Maud_, with feminine and masculine endings

§ =194.= The =four-foot iambic-anapaestic verse= is essentially
identical with the four-stressed verse treated of above (§ 72), except
that it has assumed a still more regular, even-beat rhythm in modern
times; generally it begins with an iambus and anapaests follow, as in
the stanza quoted from Burns (§ 190). Occasionally this metre has an
almost entirely anapaestic structure; as e.g. in Moore, _In the Morning
of Life_:

    _In the mórning of lífe, | when its cáres are unknówn,
       And its pléasures in áll | their new lústre begín,
     When we líve in a bríght-beaming | wórld of our ówn,
       And the líght that surróunds us | is áll from withín._

In other examples the rhythm is chiefly iambic, intermingled with
occasional anapaests; as e.g. in Moore's _You Remember Ellen_:

    _You remémber Éllen, | our hámlet's príde
       How méekly she bléssed | her húmble lót,
     When the stránger Wílliam, | had máde her his bríde,
       And lóve was the líght | of her lówly cót._

Verses like these, which in their structure recall the earlier
four-stressed verses, frequently occur (see §§ 72, 132) mixed with
four-foot verses of a somewhat freer build in the narrative poems of
Coleridge, Scott, and Byron.

§ =195.= The =three-foot iambic-anapaestic verse= took its origin by
analogy to the corresponding four-foot line, or perhaps to the two-foot
line derived from it by inserted rhymes; it occurs as early as Tusser,
_Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry_ (cf. Guest, ii, p. 251):

    _What lóokest thou hérein to háve?
     Fíne vérses thy fáncy to pléase?
     Of mány my bétters that cráve;
     Look nóthing but rúdeness in thése._

We have the same metre (two anapaests following the first iambic
measure) in Rowe, Shenstone, Moore, and others, sometimes with alternate
masculine and feminine rhymes.

§ =196.= The =two-foot iambic-anapaestic verse= sprang from the
breaking-up of the corresponding four-foot (or four-stressed) line by
inserted or leonine rhyme, as we find it even in the Middle English
bob-wheel stanzas; in Modern English we have it in Tusser for the first

    _Ill húsbandry brággeth
     To gó with the bést,
     Good húsbandry bággeth
     Up góld in his chést.
     Ill húsbandry lóseth
     For lácke of good fénce,
     Good húsbandry clóseth
     And gaíneth the pénce._

This metre is used by Gay, Goldsmith, Scott, Moore, Longfellow, Robert
Browning, and others; it is also found with an anapaest following the
first iambic measure, and either with masculine and feminine rhymes
alternately, as in the example quoted above, or (as is most usual) with
these rhymes in indiscriminate succession.

§ =197.= The =one-foot iambic-anapaestic verse= occasionally occurs in
the Middle English bob-wheel stanzas. In Modern English we find it only
as an element in anisometrical stanzas, as e.g. in the following
half-stanza of Shelley's _Autumn_ (iii. 65):

    _The ch+í+ll r+ai+n is fálling, the n+í+pt w+o+rm is cráwling,
     The rívers are swelling, the thúnder is knélling
                For the yéar;
     The blithe swállows are flówn, and the lízards each góne
                To his dwélling._

In Shakespeare's _Midsummer Night's Dream_, III. ii. 448-63
(apart from the four-foot trochaic end-lines of the half-stanzas),
we also have such verses apparently; the iambic-anapaestic
character being clearly shown by a couplet like the following:

    _When thou wákest,
     Thou tákest._[174]

  II. Trochaic-dactylic Metres.

§ =198.= These are much rarer than the iambic-anapaestic metres.
Specimens of all of them are quoted, but some are only theoretical
examples invented by, and repeated from, English or American metrists.

Theoretically the acatalectic dactylic verse in its rhymed form ought
always to have trisyllabic or at least feminine caesura and ending. As a
fact, however, these metres have just as frequently or perhaps more
frequently masculine caesuras and rhymes.

The =eight-foot trochaic-dactylic verse=, alternating occasionally with
iambic-anapaestic lines, occurs in Longfellow's _The Golden Legend_,


    _Ónward and ónward the híghway rúns || to the dístant cíty, |
         impátiently béaring
     Tídings of húman jóy and disáster, || of lóve and of háte, |
         of dóing and dáring!_

  Prince Henry.

    _This lífe of óurs | is a wíld aeólian hárp | of mány a jóyous
     But únder them áll there rúns | a lóud perpétual wáil, | as of
         sóuls in páin._


    _Fáith alóne can intérpret lífe, || and the héart that áches and
         bléeds with the stígma
     Of pain, | alóne bears the likeness of Chríst, || and cán
         comprehénd its dárk enígma._

There are, as appears from this specimen, a great many licences in these
verses; the caesura, mostly in the fourth foot, is masculine in lines 1,
5, 6, feminine in 2; so that the second half of the line has an
iambic-anapaestic rhythm. Besides this most of the lines have secondary
caesuras in different places of the verse; iambic-anapaestic verses
(like 3, 4, 6) are decidedly in the minority. The rhymes are both
feminine and masculine, but there is no regular alternation between
them, as might be supposed from the above short specimen.

§ =199.= The form of the =seven-foot trochaic-dactylic verse= may be
illustrated by the following theoretical specimen, quoted from _The
Grammar of English Grammars_ (p. 880), by Goold Brown:

  _Óut of the kíngdom of Chríst shall be gáthered, | by ángels o'er
       Sátan victórious,
   Áll that offéndeth, that líeth, that fáileth | to hónour his náme
       ever glórious._

Verses of this form with masculine endings printed in short lines occur
in a song by Burns (p. 217):

  _Whére are the jóys I have mét in the mórning, | that dánc'd to the
        lárk's early sáng?
   Whére is the péace that awáited my wánd'ring | at évening the wíld
        woods amáng?_

§ =200.= The =six-foot trochaic-dactylic verse= may be illustrated by a
theoretical specimen from Goold Brown (p. 880), which is strictly
dactylic, with inserted rhymes:

  _Tíme, thou art éver in mótion, | on whéels of the dáys, years
         and áges;
   Réstless as wáves of the  ócean, | when Eúrus or Bóreas ráges._

Generally this metre is combined with iambic-anapaestic verses, as e.g.
in Mrs. Browning's _Confessions_ (iii. 60) mentioned above, § 192, which
is, for the greatest part, written in this form:

  _Fáce to fáce in my chámber, | my sílent chámber, I sáw her:
   Gód and shé and I ónly, | there Í sate dówn to dráw her
   Sóul through the cléfts of conféssion,-- | spéak, I am hólding
         thee fást
   As the ángel of résurréction | shall dó it át the lást!_

§ =201.= The =five-foot trochaic-dactylic verse= occurs now and then in
Swinburne's _A Century of Roundels_, as e.g. on p. 5:

    _Súrely the thóught | in a mán's heart hópes or féars
     Nów that forgétfulness | néeds must hére have strícken
     Ánguish, | and swéetened the séaled-up spríngs | of téars_, &c.

The verses are trochaic with two dactyls at the beginning. The caesura
is variable; masculine in line 1; trisyllabic after the second arsis in
line 2; a double caesura occurs in line 3, viz. a feminine one in the
first foot, a masculine one in the fourth. The rhymes are both masculine
and feminine.

§ =202.= The =four-foot trochaic-dactylic verse= is mentioned first by
Puttenham (p. 140), and occurs pretty often; seldom unrhymed as in
Southey, _The Soldier's Wife_;[176] mostly rhymed, as e.g. in
Thackeray, _The Willow Tree_ (p. 261):

    _Lóng by the wíllow-trees | váinly they sóught her,
     Wíld rang the móther's screams | ó'er the grey wáter:
     Whére is my lóvely one? | whére is my dáughter?_

For other specimens with occasional masculine rhymes see _Metrik_, ii,
§ 238; amongst them is one from Swinburne's _A Century of Roundels_, of
principally trochaic rhythm.

§ =203.= The =three-foot trochaic-dactylic verse= with feminine rhymes
occurs in R. Browning, _The Glove_ (iv. 171):

    _Héigho, yawned óne day King Fráncis,
     Dístance all válue enhánces!
     Whén a man's búsy, why, léisure
     Stríkes him as wónderful pléasure._

Masculine rhymes occur in a song by Moore:

    _Whére shall we búry our Sháme?
        Whére, in what désolate pláce,
     Híde the last wréck of a náme,
        Bróken and stáin'd by disgráce?_

We have a strict dactylic rhythm, extending to the end of the line, in a
short poem, _To the Katydid_, quoted by Goold Brown.[177]

§ =204. Two-foot dactylic= or =trochaic-dactylic verses= (derived from
the corresponding four-foot verses by means of inserted or leonine
rhyme) are fairly common; generally, it is true, they have intermittent
rhyme (_a b c b_), so that they are in reality four-foot rhyming
couplets, merely printed in a two-foot arrangement, as in Tennyson, _The
Charge of the Light Brigade_ (p. 260). There are, however, also some
poems consisting of real short lines of this metre, i.e. of two-foot
lines with alternately tumbling and feminine or tumbling and masculine
rhymes; as, e.g., in Burns's _Jamie, come try me_ (p. 258), and in
Hood, _The Bridge of Sighs_ (p. 1):

    Burns.                            Hood.

    _If thou should ásk my love,      _Óne more unfórtunate,
       Cóuld I dený thee?                Wéary of bréath,
     Íf thou would wín my love,        Rashly impórtunate,
       Jámie, come trý me._              Góne to her déath!_

Masculine rhymes throughout occur in Thackeray, _The Mahogany Tree_ (p.
51), and in an imitation of the old four-stressed alliterative long line
in Longfellow, _The Saga of King Olaf I_ (p. 546):

    Thackeray.                       Longfellow.

    _Chrístmas is hére:             _Í am the Gód Thor,
     Wínds whistle shríll,           Í am the Wár God,
     Ícy and chíll,                  Í am the Thúnderer!
     Líttle care wé:                 Hére in my Nórthland,
     Líttle we féar                  My fástness and fórtress,
     Wéather withóut,                Réign I for éver!
     Shéltered abóut                 Hére amid ícebergs
     The Mahógany Trée._             Rúle I the nátions._

§ =205. One-foot dactylic verses= are not likely to occur
except in anisometrical stanzas. We are unable to quote any
proper example of them, but the following two four-lined
half-stanzas from Scott's _Pibroch of Donald Dhu_ (p. 488), in
which some of the two-foot lines admit of being resolved into
verses of one foot, may serve to illustrate this metre:

     _Cóme away,                   _Fáster come,
      Cóme away,                    Fáster come,
    Hárk to the summons!          Fáster and fáster,
      Cóme in your                  Chíef, vassal,
      Wár-array,                    Páge and groom,
    Géntles and cómmons._         Ténant and Máster._


  [173] _A Century of Roundels_, p. 30.

  [174] Cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 232.

  [175] _Prince Henry and Elsie_, pp. 249-51.

  [176] Cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 238.

  [177] Cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 239.



§ =206.= Non-strophic anisometrical combinations of rhymed verse consist
of lines of different metres, rhyming in pairs, and recurring in a
definite order of succession. One of these combinations, known as the
=Poulter's Measure= (Alexandrine + Septenary), already occurs in the
Middle English Period (cf. § 146) and has remained in use down to the
present day. It was at one time extremely popular, and has in the Modern
English Period been imitated in other metres.

The most common variety of this metre is that in which the verses have
an iambic-anapaestic rhythm; they are usually printed in short lines, as
e.g. in a poem by Charles Kingsley:

    _When Í was a gréenhorn and yóung,
       And wánted to bé and to dó,
     I púzzled my bráins about chóosing my líne,
       Till I fóund out the wáy that things gó._

Before his time Burns had composed a poem in the same metre, _Here's a
Health to them that's awa_ (p. 245); and at the end of the seventeenth
century Philips (_Poets_, vi. 560) wrote a _Bacchanalian Song_ in
similar verses.

In the same metre are the _Nonsense Rhymes_ by Edward Lear,[178] as well
as many other quatrains of a similar kind, the humour of which is often
somewhat coarse.

An unusual sub-species of this metre, consisting of trochaic verses,
occurs only very rarely in Leigh Hunt, e.g. in _Wealth and Womanhood_
(p. 277):

    _Háve you séen an héiress ín her jéwels móunted,
     Tíll her wéalth and shé seem'd óne, ánd she míght be cóunted?
     Háve you séen a bósom wíth one róse betwíxt it?
     And díd you márk the gráteful blúsh, whén the brídegroom fíx'd it?_

§ =207.= Other anisometrical combinations consist of a five-foot line
followed by one consisting of four, three, or two feet. This form we
find pretty often; Ben Jonson, e.g., uses it (five + four feet) in his
translation of Horace, _Odes_ v. 11 (_Poets_, iv. 596):

    _Háppy is hé, that fróm all búsiness cléar,
       Ás the old ráce of mánkind wére,
     Wíth his own óxen tílls his síre's left lánds,
       And ís not ín the úsurer's bánds;
     Nor sóldier-líke, stárted with róugh alárms,
       Nor dréads the séa's enráged hárms_, &c.

He used the reverse order in _Odes_ iv. 1. In Wordsworth's poem _The
Gipsies_ (iv. 68) we have the couplets: _a a₅ b b₄ c c₅ d d₄_, &c., but
not divided into stanzas.

Five- and three-foot lines _a₅ a₃ b₅ b₃ c₅ c₃ d₅ d₃_, &c., occur in Ben
Jonson, _The Forest, XI. Epode_ (_Poets_, vi, pp. 555-6); and with
reverse order (_a₃ a₅ b₃ b₅ c₃ c₅_, &c.) in his _Epigrams_ (_Poets_, iv.

The combination of five- and two-foot lines seems to occur in modern
poets only; e.g. in W. S. Landor, _Miscellanies_, clxxv (ii. 649):

    _Néver may stórm thy péaceful bósom véx,
       Thou lóvely Éxe!
     O'er whóse pure stréam that músic yésterníght
       Pour'd frésh delíght,
     And léft a vísion for the éye of Mórn
       To láugh to scórn_, &c.

With crossed rhymes (feminine and masculine rhymes, alternately) this
combination occurs in Mrs. Browning, _A Drama of Exile_ (i. 12), where
the scheme is _a ~₅ b₂ a ~₅ b₂ c ~₅ d₂ c ~₅ d₂_, and in R. Browning, _A
Grammarian's Funeral_ (iv. 270), the formula being _a₅ b ~₂ a₅ b ~₂ c₅ d
~₂ c₅ d ~₂_, &c.

§ =208.= Combinations of four- and two-foot lines (masculine and
feminine endings) occur in Ben Jonson, _Epigrams_, cxx (_Poets_, iv.
545); iambic and anapaestic verses similarly combined in R. Browning,
_Prospice_, vi. 152.

In the same poet we have three- and two-foot iambic-anapaestic lines
with the formula _a ~₃ b₂ c ~₃ b₂ d ~₃ e₂ f ~₃ e₂_; in _The Englishman
in Italy_ (iv. 186):

    _Fortú, Fortú, my belóved one,
       Sit hére by my side,
     On my knées put up bóth little féet!
       I was súre, if I tried_, &c.

In Mrs. Browning we find this metre, which might be taken also as
five-foot iambic-anapaestic couplets, broken up by internal rhyme
(according to the formula _a ~₃ b₂ a ~₃ b₂ c ~₃ d₂ c ~₃ d₂_, &c.) in _A
Drama of Exile_ (i. 3). For other specimens see _Metrik_, ii, §§ 244-8.

A number of other anisometrical combinations of verses will be mentioned
in Book II, in the chapter on the non-strophic odes.


  [178] _Book of Nonsense_, London, Routledge, 1843.



§ =209. The English hexameter.= Of all imitations of classical metres
in English the best known and most popular is the hexameter. In the
history of its development we have to distinguish two epochs--that of
the first and somewhat grotesque attempts to introduce it into English
poetry in the second half of the sixteenth century, and that of its
revival in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

The hexameter was introduced into English poetry by Gabriel Harvey
(1545-1630), who, in his _Encomium Lauri_, attempted to imitate the
quantitative classic verse in the accentual English language, paying
attention as much as possible to the quantity of the English words.

Sir Philip Sidney followed with some poetical portions of his _Arcadia_
written in this metre; Stanyhurst (1545-1618) translated the first four
books of Virgil in quantitative hexameters; in 1591 Abraham Fraunce
translated Virgil's _Alexis_, and William Webbe, the metrist, turned
into English the _Georgics_ and two eclogues of the same poet, also in
quantitative hexameters; but all these efforts had little success on
account of the unfitness of English for quantitative treatment. Robert
Greene also employed this metre in some of his minor poems, but followed
the accentual system; on this account he was more successful, but he
found no imitators, and during the latter part of the seventeenth
century the metre fell altogether into disuse.

In one isolated case about the middle of the eighteenth century it was
revived by an anonymous translator of Virgil's first and fourth
eclogues. But English hexameters did not begin to come into favour again
before the close of the eighteenth century, when the influence of the
study of German poetry began to make itself felt. Parts of Klopstock's
_Messiah_ were translated by William Taylor (1765-1836) in the metre of
the original. He also turned several passages of Ossian into hexameters
(published in June, 1796, in the _Monthly Magazine_), and maintained
that the hexameter, modified after the German fashion by the
substitution of the accentual for the quantitative principle and the use
of trochees instead of spondees, could be used with as good effect in
English as in German. About the same time, Coleridge used the hexameter
in some of his minor poems, _Hymn to the Earth_, _Mahomet_, &c., and
Southey chose this form for his longer poem, _A Vision of Judgement_.

But it was not till the middle of the nineteenth century that the
English hexameter came into somewhat more extensive use. It was at first
chiefly employed in translations from the German. Goethe's _Hermann und
Dorothea_ has been translated five times at least (for the first time by
Cochrane, Oxford, 1850). The metre has also been employed in
translations of classical poetry, especially Homer and Virgil, and in
original poems, none of which, however, have attained general popularity
except those by Longfellow, especially his _Evangeline_ and _The
Courtship of Miles Standish_.

§ =210.= The hexameter is a six-foot catalectic verse theoretically
consisting of five successive dactyls and a trochee. But the greatest
rhythmical variety is given to this verse by the rule which allows a
spondee to be used instead of any of the dactyls; in the fifth foot,
however, this rarely occurs. In the sixth foot, moreover, the spondee is
admissible instead of the trochee. The structure of the verse may thus
be expressed by the following formula:

              –́ ⏑͞⏑ –́ ⏑͞⏑ –́ ⏑͞⏑ –́ ⏑͞⏑ –́ ⏑ ⏑ –́ ⏑̄.

The main difficulty in imitating this metre in English is caused by
the large number of monosyllabic words in the English language, and
especially by its lack of words with a spondaic measurement.

Some recent attempts to imitate the hexameter in English according
to the principles of quantity have been altogether unsuccessful, as
e.g. Cayley's (_Transactions of the Philological Society_, 1862-3,
Part i, pp. 67-85). Matthew Arnold's method too proved impracticable
(_On Translating Homer_, London, 1862); he attempted and recommended
the regulation of the rhythm of the verse by the accent and at the
same time sought not to neglect the quantity altogether. But the only
successful method of adapting the hexameter to English use is that
adopted by William Taylor, who followed the example of the Germans
in observing only the accentual system and substituting the accentual
trochee for the spondee. Sir John Herschel in his translation of Homer
and Longfellow in his original poems have done the same.

Even with these modifications a certain harshness now and then is
inevitable in hexameters both in German and particularly in English,
where many lines occur consisting nearly throughout of monosyllables
only, as e.g. the following lines from Longfellow's _Evangeline_:

    _Whíte as the snów were his lócks, and his chéeks as brówn
         as the óak-leaves.
     Ánd the great séal of the láw  was sét like a sún on a

Other passages, however, prove the English hexameter to be as capable
of harmony as the German if treated in this way; cf. e.g. the
introductory verses of the same poem:[179]

    _Thís is the fórest priméval. The múrmuring pínes and the
     Béarded with móss, and in gárments gréen, indistínct in the
     Stánd like Drúids of éld, with vóices sád and prophétic,
     Stánd like  hárpers hóar, with béards that rést on their
     Lóud from its rócky cáverns, the déep-voiced néighbouring
     Spéaks, and in áccents discónsolate ánswers the wáil of the

§ =211.= Besides these repeated attempts to naturalize the hexameter in
English, many other kinds of classical verses and stanzas have been
imitated in English literature from the middle of the sixteenth and
afterwards during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Among these
the =Elegiac= verse of the ancients (hexameter alternating with
pentameter) was attempted by Sidney in his _Arcadia_. Of more modern
experiments in accordance with the accentual principle, Coleridge's
translation of Schiller's well-known distich may be quoted:

    _Ín the hexámeter ríses the fóuntains sílvery cólumn,
     Ín the pentámeter áye fálling in mélody báck._

Swinburne, among others, has written his _Hesperia_ (_Poems and
Ballads_, i, 1868, p. 200) in rhymed verses of this kind:

  _Óut of the gólden remóte wild wést, where the séa without shóre is,
   Fúll of the súnset, and sád, if at áll, with the fúllness of jóy,
   As a wínd sets ín with the áutumn that blóws from the région of
   Blóws from a pérfume of sóngs and of mémories belóved fróm a bóy._

The third line is remarkable for its anacrusis, which occasionally
occurs also in other English hexameters.

Sidney in his _Arcadia_, p. 229 (333, xxxvii), also tried the =minor
Asclepiad=, which has the following scheme:

    _Ó sweet wóods, the delíght | óf solitáriness!
     Ó how múch I do líke | yóur solitárinesse!
     Whére man's mínde hath a fréed | cónsiderátion,
     Óf goodnésse to recéive | lóvely diréction_, &c.

As an example of Spenser's =six-foot iambic line= Guest (ii. 270)
quotes the verses:

    _Nów doe I níghtly wáste, | wánting my kíndely réste,
     Nów doe I dáily stárve, | wánting my lívely fóode,
     Nów doe I álwayes dýe, | wánting my tímely mírth._

In his _Arcadia_, p. 228 (232, xxxvi), Sidney used the =Phaleuciac=
verse of eleven syllables in stanzas of six lines marked by the
recurrence of a refrain. The rhythm is the same as in the
=Hendecasyllabics= of modern poets, in the following lines of
Swinburne (_Poems_, i. 233):

    _Ín the mónth of the lóng declíne of róses
     Í  behólding the súmmer déad befóre me,
     Sét my fáce to the séa and jóurneyed sílent_, &c.

The same metre was inaccurately imitated by Coleridge (p. 252) who put a
dactyl in the first foot:

    _Héar, my belóvëd, an old Milésian stóry!
     Hígh and embósom'd in cóngregáted laúrels,
     Glímmer'd a témple upón a bréezy héadland_, &c.

Finally, the =rhymed Choriambics= may be mentioned, used
also by Swinburne (_Poems_, ii. 141-3):

  _Lóve, what áiled thee to léave lífe that was máde lóvely, we thóught,
         with lòve?
   Whát sweet vísions of sléep lúred thee awáy, dówn from the líght
   Whát strànge fáces of dréams, vóices that cálled, hánds that were
         ráised to wàve,
   Lúred or léd thee, alás, óut of the sún, dówn to the súnless gràve?_

§ =212.= Among the =classical stanzas=, which may appropriately be
discussed in this connexion, the =Sapphic metre= deserves the first
place, as it has been imitated pretty often; its scheme is as follows:

            –́ ⏑ – – –́ | ⏑ ⏑ – ⏑ – –
            –́ ⏑ – – –́ | ⏑ ⏑ – ⏑ – –
            –́ ⏑ – – –́ | ⏑ ⏑ – ⏑ – –
                          –́ ⏑ ⏑ – –

It is certainly not an easy task to write in this form of stanza, as
it is rather difficult in English to imitate feet of three or even two
long syllables (Molossus and Spondee). Yet it has been used by several
poets, as by Sidney and his contemporary, the metrist William Webbe; in
the eighteenth century by Dr. Watts, Cowper, and Southey (cf. _Metrik_,
ii, § 253); and in later times by Swinburne, from whose _Poems and
Ballads_ a specimen may be quoted:

  _Áll the nī́ght slēep cā́me not upṓn my ḗyelids,
   Shēd not dḗw, nōr shṓok nor unclōsed a fḗather,
   Yḗt with lī́ps shūt clṓse and with ḗyes of ī́ron
                      Stṓod and behḗld me._

Of other kinds of classical verses and stanzas the =Alcaic metre= has
occasionally been imitated, e.g. by Tennyson. The scheme of the Latin
original is as follows:

          ⏑̄ –́ ⏑ – – | –́ ⏑ ⏑ – ⏑ –̆
          ⏑̄ –́ ⏑ – – | –́ ⏑ ⏑ – ⏑ –̆
             –̆ –́ ⏑ – - –́ ⏑ - ⏑̄
                –́ ⏑ ⏑ – ⏑ ⏑ – ⏑ – ⏑̄

Tennyson's poem is an _Ode to Milton_ (p. 281):

    _O mī́ghty mṓuth'd īnvḗntŏr ŏf hā́rmŏnĭes,
     O skī́lled tŏ sī́ng ōf Tī́me ŏr Etḗrnĭty,
        Gōdgī́ftĕd ṓrgān-vṓice ŏf Énglānd,
        Mī́ltŏn, ă nā́me tŏ rĕsṓúnd fōr ā́gĕs._

There are besides in Sidney's _Arcadia_, pp. 227 (232, xxxv) and 533,
=Anacreontic stanzas= of varying length, consisting of 3-11 verses and
constructed in this way:

    _My Múse, what áiles this árdour?
     To bláse my ónely sécrets?
     Alás, it ís no glóry
     To síng mine ówne decáid state._

§ =213.= In connexion with these imitations of classical verses and
stanzas without rhyme some other forms should be mentioned which took
their rise from an attempt to get rid of end-rhyme. Orm was the first
to make the experiment in his rhymeless Septenary, but he found no
followers in the Middle English period; Surrey, several centuries
later, on the other hand, did achieve success with his blank verse.
In the beginning of the seventeenth century Thomas Campion, in his
_Observations on the Arte of English Poesy_ (London, 1602), tried
to introduce certain kinds of rhymeless verses and stanzas, mostly
trochaic; e.g. trochaic verses of three measures (with masculine
endings) and of five measures (with feminine endings); distichs
consisting of one five-foot iambic and one six-foot trochaic verse
(both masculine); then a free imitation of the Sapphic metre and
other kinds of rhymeless stanzas, quoted and discussed in _Metrik_,
ii, § 254. But these early and isolated attempts need not engage our
attention in this place, as they had probably no influence on similar
experiments of later poets.

In Milton, e.g., we find a stanza corresponding to the formula _a
b₅ c d₃_, in his imitation of the fifth Ode of Horace, Book I, used
also by Collins, _Ode to Evening_ (_Poets_, ix. 526):

    _If áught of oáten stóp or pástoral sóng
     May hópe, chast Éve, to soóthe thy módest éar
       Like thý own sólemn spríngs
       Thy spríngs and dýing gáles._

Southey uses the same stanza (ii. 145); to him we owe several other
rhymeless stanzas of the form _a b₄ c d 3_ (ii. 212), _a₃ b c₄ d₃_
(ii. 210) (both of anapaestic verses), _a b c₄ d₃_ (ii. 148), _a₃ b
c₅ d₃_ (ii. 159), _a₄ b c₃ d₅_ (ii. 182), _a b₄ c₅ d₃_ (ii. 187),
_a₄ b₃ c₅ d₃_ (ii. 189); all consisting of iambic verses.

The same poet also uses a stanza of five iambic lines of the form
_a₅ b₃ c₄ d e₃_ (iii. 255), and another of the form _a₅ b₃ c₅ d₄ e₃_
in his ode _The Battle of Algiers_ (iii. 253):

    _One dáy of dréadful occupátion móre,
       Ere Éngland's gállant shíps
     Sháll, of their béauty, pómp, and pówer disróbed,
       Like séa-birds ón the súnny máin,
       Rock ídly ín the pórt._

A stanza of similar construction (formula _a b c₅ d e₃_ is used
by Mrs. Browning in _The Measure_ (iii. 114).

Various isometrical and anisometrical stanzas of this kind occur in
Lord Lytton's _Lost Tales of Miletus_; one of these consists of three
of Coleridge's Hendecasyllabics, followed by one masculine verse of
similar form, and has the formula _a ~ b ~ c ~ d₅_; it is used, e.
g., in _Cydippe_:

    _Fáirest and hárdiest óf the yóuths in Céos
     Flóurish'd Acóntius frée from lóve's sweet tróuble,
     Púre as when fírst a chíld, in hér child-chórus,
       Chánting the góddess óf the silver bów._

In another stanza used in _The Wife of Miletus_ an ordinary masculine
blank verse alternates with a Hendecasyllabic; a third of the form _a b
c d₄_ consists of trochaic verses.

Other stanzas of ordinary five- and three-foot verses used by him in
the _Lost Tales_ have the formulas _a b₅ c₃ d₅_, _a b c₅ d₃_, _a ~ b
~₅ c₃ d₅_.

In another stanza (_Corinna_), constructed after the formula
_a b₄ c d₃_, a dactylic rhythm prevails:

    _Gláucon of Lésbos, the són of Euphórion,
     Búrned for Corinna, the blúe-eyed Milésian.
       Nor móther nor fáther hád she;
       Béauty and wéalth had the órphan._

Stanzas of a similar kind consisting of trochaic verses are used by
Longfellow; one of the form _a₃ b c₄ d ~₂_ in _To an old Danish Song
Book_, and another which corresponds to the formula _a b₅ c₂ d₅_ in
_The Golden Mile-Stone_.

Iambic-anapaestic verses of two stresses and feminine ending are found
in Longfellow's poem _The Men of Nidaros_ (p. 579); the arrangement into
stanzas of six lines being marked only by the syntactical order, in the
same way as in Southey's poem _The Soldier's Wife_ (ii. 140), in which,
too, four-foot dactylic verses are combined in stanzas of three lines.
Two-foot dactylic and dactylic-trochaic verses of a similar structure to
those mentioned in Book I, § 73, are joined to rhymeless stanzas of five
lines (the first four have feminine endings, the last a masculine one)
by Matthew Arnold in his poem _Consolation_ (p. 50). Stanzas of five
iambic verses of three and five measures, corresponding to the formula
_a₃ b₅ c₃ d₅ e₃_ occur in his poem _Growing Old_ (p. 527). In Charles
Lamb's well-known poem, _The Old Familiar Faces_, written in stanzas of
three lines, consisting of five-foot verses with feminine endings, the
division into stanzas is marked by a refrain at the end of each stanza.
For examples of these different kinds of verses the reader is referred
to the author's _Metrik_, ii, §§ 255-8.

In conclusion it may be mentioned that many of the irregular, so-called
Pindaric Odes (cf. Book II, chap. viii) are likewise written in
rhymeless anisometrical stanzas.


  [179] Specimens of earlier hexameter verse with detailed
        bibliographical information may be found in our _Metrik_, ii,
        §§ 249-50; and especially in C. Elze's thorough treatise on
        the subject, _Der englische Hexameter_. Programm des
        Gymnasiums zu Danzig, 1867. (Cf. F. E. Schelling, _Mod. Lang.
        Notes_, 1890, vii. 423-7.)





§ =214.= The strophe in ancient poetry, and the stanza in mediaeval and
modern analogues and derivatives of that poetic form, are combinations
of single lines into a unity of which the lines are the parts. The word
_strophe_[180] in its literal sense means a turning, and originally
denoted the return of the song to the melody with which it began. The
melody, which is a series of musical sounds arranged in accordance with
the laws of rhythm and modulation, has in poetry its counterpart in a
parallel series of significant sounds or words arranged according to the
laws of rhythm; and the melodic termination of the musical series has
its analogue in the logical completion of the thought. But within the
stanza itself again there are well-marked resting places, divisions
closely connected with the periods or sentences of which the stanza is
made up. The periods are built up of rhythmical sequences which are
combinations of single feet, dominated by a rhythmical main accent. In
shorter lines the end of the rhythmical sequence as a rule coincides
with the end of the verse; but if the line is of some length it
generally contains two or even more rhythmical sequences.[181] The
essential constituents of the stanza are the lines; and the structure of
the stanzas connected together to make up a poem is in classical as well
as in mediaeval and modern poetry subject to the rule that the lines of
each stanza of the poem must resemble those of the other stanzas in
number, length (i.e. the number of feet or measures), rhythmical
structure, and arrangement. (This rule, however, is not without
exceptions in modern poetry.) In the versification of the ancients it
was sufficient for the construction of a strophic poem that its verses
should be combined in a certain number of groups which resembled each
other in these respects. In modern poetry, also, such an arrangement of
the verses may be sufficient for the construction of stanzas; but this
is only exceptionally the case, and, as a rule, only in imitation of the
classic metrical forms (cf. §§ 212-13). The stanza, as it is found in
the mediaeval and modern poetry of the nations of western Europe,
exhibits an additional structural element of the greatest importance,
viz. the connexion of the single lines of the stanza by end-rhyme; and
with regard to this a rule analogous to the previously mentioned law
regarding the equality in number and nature of verses forming a stanza
holds good, viz. that the arrangement of the rhymes which link the
verses together to form stanzas, must be the same in all the stanzas of
a poem.

§ =215.= Of the three chief kinds of rhyme, in its widest sense
(mentioned § 10), i.e. alliteration, assonance, and end-rhyme, only the
last need be taken into consideration here. There are, indeed, some
poems in Old English in which end-rhyme is used consciously and
intentionally (see §§ 40-1), but it was never used in that period for
the construction of stanzas. This took place first in Middle English
under the influence and after the model of the Low Latin and the Romanic

The influence of the Low Latin lyrical and hymnodic poetry on the Old
English stanzas is easily explicable from the position of the Latin
language as the international tongue of the church and of learning
during the Middle Ages. The influence of the lyrical forms of Provence
and of Northern France on Middle English poetry was rendered possible by
various circumstances. In the first place, during the crusades the
nations of Western Europe frequently came into close contact with each
other. A more important factor, however, was the Norman Conquest, in
consequence of which the Norman-French language during a considerable
time predominated in the British Isles and acted as a channel of
communication of literature with the continent. One historical event
deserves in this connexion special mention--the marriage in the year
1152 of Henry, Duke of Normandy (who came to the throne of England in
1154), and Eleonore of Poitou, widow of Louis VII of France; in her
train Bernard de Ventadorn, the troubadour, came to England, whither
many other poets and minstrels soon followed him, both in the reign of
Henry and of his successor Richard Coeur de Lion, who himself composed
songs in the Provençal and in the French language. The effect of the
spread of songs like these in Provençal and French in England was to
give a stimulus and add new forms to the native lyrical poetry which was
gradually reviving. At first indeed the somewhat complicated strophic
forms of the Provençal and Northern French lyrics did not greatly appeal
to English tastes, and were little adapted to the less flexible
character of the English tongue. Hence many of the more elaborate
rhyme-systems of Provençal and Northern French lyrical versification
were not imitated at all in English; others were reproduced only in a
modified and often very original form; and only the simpler forms, which
occurred mostly in Low Latin poetry as well, were imitated somewhat
early and with little or no modification.

§ =216.= The end-rhyme, which is so important a factor in the
formation of stanzas, has many varieties, which may be classified
in three ways:

A. According to the =number= of the rhyming syllables.

B. According to the =quality= of these syllables.

C. According to the =position of the rhyme= in relation to
the line and the stanza.

Intimately connected with this last point is the use of rhyme
as an element in the structure of the stanza.

A. With regard to the number of the syllables, rhymes are divided into
three classes, viz.:

1. The =monosyllabic= or =single rhyme= (also called =masculine=), e.g.
_hand: land_, _face: grace_.

2. The =disyllabic= or =double rhyme= (also called =feminine=), as
_ever: never_, _brother: mother_, _treasure: measure_, _suppression:
transgression_; or _owe me: know me_ Shakesp. Ven. and Ad. 523-5;
_bereft me: left me_ ib. 439-41. The terms _masculine_ and _feminine_
originated with the Provençal poets and metrists, who were the first
among the people of Western Europe to theorize on the structure of the
verses which they employed, and introduced these terms in reference to
the forms of the Provençal adjective, which were monosyllabic or
accented on the last syllable in the masculine, and disyllabic or
accented on the last syllable but one in the feminine: _bos-bona_,

3. The =trisyllabic, triple=, or =tumbling rhyme=, called _gleitender_
(i.e. gliding) _Reim_ in German. Of this variety of rhyme, which is
less common than the two others, examples are _gymnastical:
ecclesiastical_ Byron, Beppo, 3; _quality: liberality_ ib. 30; _láugh of
them: hálf of them_ ib. 98. Rhymes like this last, which are made up of
more words than two, might, like those given above under the
disyllables, such as _owe me: know me_, also form a separate sub-species
as =compound rhymes=, as they resemble the broken rhymes (cf. § 217, B.
3) and have, like these, mostly a burlesque effect.

§ =217.= B. According to the second principle of classification, by the
quality of the rhyming syllables, the species of rhyme are as follows:

1. The =rich rhyme= (in French _rime riche_), i.e. two words completely
alike in sound but unlike in meaning rhyming with each other. Of this
three special cases are possible:

_a._ Two simple words rhyming with each other, as _londe_ (inf.)_:
londe_ (noun) K. Horn, 753-4; _armes_ (arms)_: armes_ (weapons) Chaucer,
Compleynt of Mars, ll. 76-7; _steepe_ (adj.)_: steepe_ (inf.) Spenser,
F. Q. I. i. 39; _sent_ (perf.)_: sent_ (_=scent_, noun) ib. 43; _can_
(noun); _can_ (verb) ib. I. iv. 22, &c. In the earlier Modern English
poetry we find many rhymes of this class between words that are alike or
similar in sound, but of different spelling, as _night: knight_, _foul:
fowl_, _gilt: guilt_, _hart: heart_, &c. (cf. Ellis, 'Shakespere's Puns'
in _Early Engl. Pron._ iii. 920, iv. 1018).

_b._ A simple and a compound word rhyming together, as _leue: bileue_ K.
Horn, 741-2; _like: sellike_ Sir Tristr. 1222-4; _ymake: make_ Wright's
Spec. of Lyr. Poetry, p. 27, ll. 16-18; _apart: part_ Spenser, F. Q. I.
ii. 21, _hold: behold_ ib. I. iii. 40; here also identity of sound and
difference of spelling is possible, as _renew: knew_ ib. I. iii. 25.

_c._ Two compound words rhyming together, as _recorde: accorde_ Chaucer,
C. T. Prol. 828-9; _affirmed: confirmed_ Wyatt, p. 98; _expeld:
compeld_ Spenser, F. Q. I. i. 5.

2. The =identical rhyme=. This is, properly speaking, no rhyme at all,
but only a repetition of the same word intended as a substitute for
rhyme; and therefore was and is avoided by careful and skilful poets;
_sette: sette_ K. Horn, 757-8; _other: other_ Wyatt, p. 45; _down:
down_ ib. p. 194; _sight: sight_ Spenser, F. Q. I. i. 45, &c.

3. The =broken rhyme= has two sub-species:

_a._ In the first of these one part of the rhyme is composed of two or
three words (unlike the rhymes spoken of under A. 3, consisting of two
words each), e.g. _time: bi me_ K. Horn, 533-4; _scolis: fole is_,
Chaucer, Troil. i. 634-5; _tyrant: high rent_ Moore, Fudge Fam., Letter
iv; _wide as: Midas_ ib.; _well a day: melody_ ib. x; _Verona: known a_
Byron, Beppo, 17; _sad knee: Ariadne_ ib. 28; _endure a: seccatura_ ib.
31; _estrangement: change meant_ ib. 53; _quote is: notice_ ib. 48;
_exhibit 'em: libitum_ ib. 70; _Julia: truly a: newly a_ Byron, Don
Juan, ii. 208.

_b._ In the second sub-species the rhyme to a common word is formed by
the first part only of a longer word, the remainder standing at the
beginning of the following line. This sort of rhyme seems to be unknown
in Middle English literature; modern poets, however, use it not
unfrequently in burlesque, as well as the previously mentioned
sub-species, e.g. _kind: blind-_(_ness_) Pope, Satire iii. 67;
_forget-_(_ful_)_: debt_ ib. iv. 13; _beg: egge-_(_shells_) ib. iv.
104; _nice hence-_(_forward_)_: licence_ Byron, Don Juan, i. 120;
Thackeray, Ballads, p. 133:

    _Winter and summer, night and morn,
       I languish at this table dark;
     My office window has a corn-
       er looks into St. James's Park._

4. The =double rhyme=. This is always trisyllabic like that mentioned
under A. 3; but there is a difference between them, in that the two
closing syllables of the gliding rhyme stand outside the regular rhythm
of the verse; while the first and the third syllable of the double rhyme
bear the second last and last arsis of the verse.

    _For dóuteth nóthinge, mýn inténción
     Nis nót to yów of reprehénción._
                                               Chaucer, Troil. i. 683-4.

This sort of rhyme does on the whole not very often occur in Modern
English poetry, and even in Middle English literature we ought to regard
it as accidental. The same is the case with another (more frequent)
species, namely,

5. The =extended rhyme=, in which an unaccented syllable preceding the
rhyme proper, or an unaccented word in thesis, forms part of the rhyme,
e.g. _biforne: iborne_ Chaucer, Troil. ii. 296-8; _in joye: in Troye_
ib. i. 118-19; _to quyken: to stiken_ ib. 295-7; _the Past: me last_
Byron, Ch. Harold, ii. 96; _the limb: the brim_ ib. iii. 8, &c.

6. The =unaccented rhyme=, an imperfect kind of rhyme, because only the
unaccented syllables of disyllabic or polysyllabic words, mostly of
Germanic origin and accentuation, rhyme together, and not their accented
syllables as the ordinary rule would demand, e.g. _láweles, lóreless,
námeless_; _wrécful_, _wróngful_, _sínful_ Song of the Magna Charta, ll.
30-2, 66-8; many rhymes of this kind occur in the alliterative-rhyming
long line combined into stanzas.[182] In Modern English we find this
kind of rhyme pretty often in Wyatt[183]; e.g.:

    _Consider well thy ground and thy beginning;
     And gives the moon her horns, and her eclipsing._
                                                                  p. 56.

    _With horrible fear, as one that greatly dreadeth
     A wrongful death, and justice alway seeketh._
                                                                 p. 149.

Such rhymes in dactylic feet, as in the following verses by Moore
(_Beauty and Song_ ll. 1-4),

    _Dówn in yon súmmer vale,
       Whére the rill flóws,
     Thús said the Níghtingale
       Tó his loved Róse_,

are not harsh, because in this case the unaccented syllable which
bears the rhyme is separated from the accented syllable by a thesis.
A variety of the unaccented rhyme is called the =accented-unaccented=;
examples have been quoted before in the chapter treating of the
alliterative-rhyming long line (§§ 61, 62). In the same place some other
verses of the above-quoted song of Moore are given, showing the
admissibility of rhymes between gliding or trisyllabic and masculine
rhyming-syllables or -words (_mélodý: thée_, _Róse bè: thée_). In these
cases the subordinate accent of the third syllable in _mélody_ or the
word _bè_ in the equally long _Róse bè_ is strong enough to make a rhyme
with _thee_ possible, although this last word has a strong syntactical
and rhythmical accent. As a rule such accented-unaccented rhymes, in
which masculine endings rhyme with feminine endings, are very harsh, as
is often the case in Wyatt's poems (cf. Alscher, pp. 123-6), e.g.

    _So chánced mé that évery pássión
     Wherebý if thát I láugh at ány séason._      p. 7.

§ =218.= C. According to the third principle of classification, by the
position of the rhyming syllable, the varieties of rhyme are as follows:

1. The =sectional rhyme=, so called because it consists of two rhyming
words within one section or hemistich.[184] This kind of rhyme occurs
now and then even in Old English poetry, but it is usually unintentional
(cf. §§ 40-2), e.g. _sǣla and mǣla_; _þæt is sōð metod_ Beow.
1611; in Middle English literature it is frequent, as in Barbour's
Bruce: _and till Ingland agayne is gayne_ i. 144, iii. 185; _That eftyr
him dar na man ga_ iii. 166. In Modern English poetry this kind of rhyme
is more frequent, and often intentionally used for artistic effect:

    _Then up with your cup, | till you stagger in speech,
     And match me this catch, | though you swagger and screech,
     Ah, drink till you wink, | my merry men, each._
                                     Walter Scott, Song from Kenilworth.

2. Very closely related to this is the =inverse rhyme= (as
Guest called it), which occurs when the last accented syllable of
the first hemistich of a verse rhymes with the first accented
syllable of the second hemistich:

    _These steps both reach | and teach thee shall
     To come by thrift | to shift withall._      Tusser.

This kind of rhyme is generally met with in the popular national long
line of four stresses. Guest gives a much wider range to it. But when it
occurs in other kinds of verse, as in the iambic verse of four or five
feet, it is not to be looked upon as an intentional rhyme, but only as a
consonance caused by rhetorical repetition (the examples are quoted by

    _And art thou gone and gone for ever?_                        Burns.

    _I followed fast, but faster did he fly._
                                               Shak. Mids. III. ii. 416.

3. The =Leonine[185] rhyme= or =middle rhyme=, which recurs throughout
the Old English _Rhyming Poem_, and is occasionally used in other Old
English poems. This rhyme connects the two hemistichs of an alliterative
line with each other by end-rhyme and, at the same time, causes the
gradual breaking up of it into two short lines; we find it in certain
parts of the _Anglo-Saxon Chronicle_, in Layamon, in the _Proverbs of
Alfred_, and other poems, e.g.: _his sedes to_ sowen, _his medes to_
mowen Prov. 93-4; _þus we uerden_ þere, _and for þi beoþ nu_ here Lay.
1879-80. See §§ 49, 57-58, 78 for examples from Middle and Modern
English literature of this kind of rhyme (called by the French _rimes
plates_) as well as of the following kind, when used in even-beat

4. The =interlaced rhyme= (_rime entrelacée_), by means of which two
long-lined rhyming couplets are connected a second time in corresponding
places (before the caesura) by another rhyme, so that they seem to be
broken up into four short verses of alternate or cross-rhyme (_a b a
b_), e.g. in the latter part of Robert Mannyng's _Rhyming Chronicle_
(from p. 69 of Hearne's edition), or in the second version of _Saynt
Katerine_ (cf. the quotations, §§ 77, 78, 150). When, however, long
verses without interlaced rhyme are broken up only by the arrangement of
the writer or printer into short lines, we have

5. The =intermittent rhyme=, whose formula is _a b c b_ (cf. p. 196).
Both sorts of rhyme may also be used, of course, in other kinds of
verse, shorter or longer; as a rule, however, the intermittent rhyme is
employed for shorter, the alternate or cross-rhyme for longer verses,
as, for example, those of five feet.

6. The =enclosing rhyme=, corresponding to the formula _a b b a_, e.g.
in _spray, still, fill, May_, as in the quartets of the sonnet formed
after the Italian model (cf. below, Book II, chap. ix). This sort of
rhyme does not often occur in Middle English poetry; but we find it
later, e.g. in the tail or veer of a variety of stanza used by Dunbar
and Kennedy in their _Flyting Poem_.

7. The =tail-rhyme= (in French called _rime couée_, in German
_Schweifreim_), the formula of which is _a a b c c b_. (For a specimen
see § 79.)

This arrangement of rhymes originated from two long lines of the same
structure, formed into a couplet by end-rhyme, each of the lines being
divided into three sections (whence the name _versus tripertiti
caudati_). This couplet, the formula of which was _- a - a - b || - c
- c - b_, is, in the form in which it actually appears broken up into a
stanza of six short lines, viz. two longer couplets _a a_, _c c_, and a
pair of shorter lines rhyming together as _b b_, the order of rhymes
being _a a b c c b_. (For remarks on the origin of this stanza see §

§ =219.= As to the quality of the rhyme, purity or exactness, of course,
is and always has been a chief requirement. It is, however, well known
that the need for this exactness is frequently disregarded not only in
Old and Middle English poetry (cf. e.g. the Old English assonances meant
for rhymes, § 40, or the often very defective rhymes of Layamon, § 45)
but even in Modern English poetry. Many instructive examples of
defective rhymes from Spenser, Sidney, Shakespeare, and Dryden are given
by A.J. Ellis, _On Early Engl. Pronunciation_, iii. 858-74, 953-66, iv.

From these collections of instances we see how a class of imperfect
rhymes came into existence in consequence of the change in the
pronunciation of certain vowels, from which it resulted that many pairs
of words that originally rhymed together, more or less perfectly, ceased
to be rhymes at all to the ear, although, as the spelling remained
unaltered, they retained in their written form a delusive appearance of
correspondence. These 'eye-rhymes', as they are called, play an
important part in English poetry, being frequently admitted by later
poets, who continue to rhyme together words such as _eye: majesty_ Pope,
Temple of Fame, 202-3; _crowns: owns_ ib. 242-3; _own'd: found_ id. Wife
of Bath, 32-3, notwithstanding the fact that the vowel of the two words,
which at first formed perfect rhymes, had long before been diphthongized
or otherwise changed while the other word still kept its original


  [180] The word stanza is explained by Skeat, _Conc. Etym. Dict._, as

        'STANZA. Ital. stanza, O. Ital. _stantia_, "a lodging, chamber,
        dwelling, also _stance_ or staffe of verses;" Florio. So
        called from the stop or _pause_ at the end of it.--Low Lat.
        _stantia_, an abode.--Lat. _stant-_, stem of pres. pt. of

  [181] Cf. §§ 8, 223-7.

  [182] Cf. §§ 60-2 and the author's 'Metrische Randglossen, II.',
        _Engl. Stud._, x, pp. 196-200.

  [183] Cf. _Sir Thomas Wyatt_, von R. Alscher, Wien, 1886 pp. 119-23.

  [184] By the German metrists it is called _Binnenreim_, or

  [185] So called from a poet Leo of the Middle Ages (c. 1150) who
        wrote in hexameters rhyming in the middle and at the end.
        Similar verses, however, had been used occasionally in classic
        Latin poetry, as e.g. _Quot caelum stellas, tot habet tua Roma
        puellas_, Ovid, Ars Amat. i. 59.



§ =220.= On the model of the Provençal and Northern French lyrics, where
the rhyme was indispensable in the construction of stanzas, rhyme found
a similar employment in Middle English poetry. Certain simple kinds of
stanzas, however, were in their formation just as much influenced by the
Low Latin hymn forms, in which at that time rhyme had long been in

But the rules prescribed for the formation of stanzas by the Provençal
poets in theory and practice were observed neither by the Northern
French, nor by the Middle English poets with equal rigour, although
later on, it is true, in the court-poetry greater strictness prevailed
than in popular lyrical poetry.

One of the chief general laws relating to the use of rhyme in the
formation of stanzas has already been mentioned in § 214 (at the end). A
few other points of special importance require to be noticed here.

Both in Middle English and in Romanic poetry we find stanzas with a
single rhyme only and stanzas with varied rhymes. But the use of the
same rhymes throughout all the stanzas of one poem (in German called
_Durchreimung_), so frequent in Romanic literature, occurs in Middle
English poetry only in some later poems imitated directly from Romanic
models. As a rule, both where the rhyme in the same stanza is single and
where it is varied, all the stanzas have different rhymes, and only the
rhyme-system, the arrangement of rhymes, is the same throughout the
poem. It is, however, very rarely and only in Modern English literary
poetry that the several stanzas are strictly uniform with regard to the
use of masculine and feminine rhyme; as a rule the two kinds are
employed. Sometimes, it is true, in the anisometrical 'lays', as they
are called, as well as in the later popular ballads (e.g. in _Chevy
Chace_ and _The Battle of Otterbourne_), we find single stanzas
deviating from the rest in rhyme-arrangement as well as in number of
lines, the stanzas consisting of Septenary lines with cross-rhymes and
intermittent rhymes (_a b a b_, and _a b c b_) being combined now and
then with tail-rhyme. This is found to a still greater extent in lyrical
poetry of the seventeenth century (e.g. Cowley, G. Herbert, &c.) as well
as in odic stanzas of the same or a somewhat later period.

§ =221.= It does not often happen in Middle English poetry that a line
is not connected by rhyme with a corresponding line in the same stanza
to which it belongs, but only with one in the next stanza. In Modern
English poetry this peculiarity, corresponding to what are called
_Körner_ in German metres, may not unfrequently be observed in certain
poetic forms of Italian origin, as the terza rima or the sestain. Of
equally rare occurrence in English strophic poetry are lines without any
rhyme (analogous to the _Waisen_--literally 'orphans'--of Middle High
German poetry), which were strictly prohibited in Provençal poetry. In
Middle English literature they hardly ever occur, but are somewhat more
frequent in Modern English poetry, where they generally come at the end
of the stanza. On the other hand the mode of connecting successive
stanzas, technically called _Concatenatio_ (rhyme-linking), so
frequently used by the Provençal and Northern French poets, is very
common in Middle English verse. Three different varieties of this device
are to be distinguished, viz.:

1. The repetition of the rhyme-word (or of a word standing close by it)
of the last line of a stanza, at the beginning of the first line of the
following stanza.

2. The repetition of the whole last line of a stanza, including the
rhyme-word, as the initial line of the following stanza (not very
common); and

3. The repetition of the last rhyme of a stanza as the first rhyme of
the following one; so that the last rhyme-word of one stanza and the
first rhyme-word of the next not only rhyme with the corresponding
rhyme-words of their own stanzas, but also with one another. Such
'concatenations' frequently connect the first and the last part (i.e.
the _frons_ and the _cauda_) of a stanza with each other. They even
connect the single lines of the same stanza and sometimes of a whole
poem, with each other, as e.g. in the 'Rhyme-beginning Fragment' in
Furnivall's _Early English Poems and Lives of Saints_, p. 21 (cf.
_Metrik_, i, p. 317).

§ =222.= Another and more usual means of connecting the single stanzas
of a poem with each other is the =refrain= (called by the Provençal
poets _refrim_, i.e. 'echo'; by German metrists sometimes called
_Kehrreim_, i.e. recurrent rhyme). The refrain is of popular origin,
arising from the part taken by the people in popular songs or
ecclesiastical hymns by repeating certain exclamations, words, or
sentences at the end of single lines or stanzas. The refrain generally
occurs at the end of a stanza, rarely in the interior of a stanza or in
both places, as in a late ballad quoted by Ritson, _Ancient Songs and
Ballads_, ii. 75.

In Old English poetry the refrain is used in one poem only, viz. in
_Deor's Complaint_, as the repetition of a whole line. In Middle and
Modern English poetry the refrain is much more extensively employed. Its
simplest form, consisting of the repetition of certain exclamations or
single words after each stanza, occurs pretty often in Middle English.
Frequent use is also made of the other form, in which one line is
partially or entirely repeated. Sometimes, indeed, two or even more
lines are repeated, or a whole stanza is added as refrain to each of the
main stanzas, and is then placed at the beginning of the poem (cf.
Wright's _Spec. of Lyr. Poetry_, p. 51).

In English the refrain is also called _burthen_, and consists (according
to Guest) of the entire or at least partial repetition of the same
words. Distinct from the burthen or refrain is the _wheel_, which is
only the repetition of the same rhythm as an addition to a stanza. In
Middle English poetry especially a favourite form was that in which a
stanza consisting mostly of alliterative-rhyming verses or half-verses
(cf. §§ 60, 61, 66) is followed by an addition (the _cauda_), differing
very much from the rhythmical structure of the main part (the _frons_)
of the stanza, and connected with it by means of a very short verse
consisting of only one arsis and the syllable or syllables forming the
thesis. This short verse is called by Guest _bob-verse_, and the
_cauda_, connected with the chief stanza by means of such a verse, he
calls _bob-wheel_, so that the whole stanza, which is of a very
remarkable form, might be called the _bob-wheel stanza_. The similar
form of stanza, also very common, where the chief part of the stanza is
connected with the 'cauda', not by a 'bob-verse' but by an ordinary long
line, might be called the _wheel-stanza_. These remarks now bring us to
other considerations of importance with regard to the formation of the
stanza, which will be treated of in the next section.

§ =223. The structure and arrangement of the different parts of the
stanza= in Middle English poetry were also modelled on Low Latin and
especially on Romanic forms.

The theory of the structure of stanzas in Provençal and Italian is
given along with much interesting matter in Dante's treatise _De vulgari
eloquentia_[186], where the original Romanic technical terms are found.
Several terms used in this book have also been taken from German

In the history of Middle English poetry two groups of stanzas must be
distinguished: _divisible_ and _indivisible_ stanzas (the _one-rhymed_
stanzas being included in the latter class). The divisible stanzas
consist either of two equal parts (_bipartite equal-membered stanzas_)
or of two unequal parts (_bipartite unequal-membered stanzas_) or
thirdly of two equal parts and an unequal one (_tripartite stanzas_).
Now and then (especially in Modern English poetry) they consist of three
equal parts. These three types are common to Middle and Modern English
poetry. A fourth class is met with in Modern English poetry only, viz.
stanzas generally consisting of _three_, sometimes of _four_ or more
_unequal parts_.

All the kinds of verse that have been previously described in this work
can be used in these different classes of stanzas, both separately and
conjointly. In each group, accordingly, _isometrical_ and
_anisometrical_ stanzas must be distinguished. Very rarely, and only in
Modern English, we find that even the rhythm of the separate verses of a
stanza is not uniform; iambic and trochaic, anapaestic and dactylic, or
iambic and anapaestic verses interchanging with each other, so that a
further distinction between _isorhythmical_ and _anisorhythmical_
stanzas is possible.

§ =224.= The =bipartite equal-membered= stanzas, in their simplest form,
consist of two equal periods, each composed of a prior and a succeeding
member. They are to be regarded as the primary forms of all strophic

The two periods may be composed either of two rhyming couplets or of
four verses rhyming alternately with each other. Specimens of both
classes have been quoted above (§ 78). Such equal-membered stanzas can
be extended, of course, in each part uniformly without changing the
isometrical character of the stanza.

§ =225.= The =bipartite unequal-membered= stanzas belong to a more
advanced stage in the formation of the stanza. They are, however, found
already in Provençal poetry, and consist of the 'forehead' (_frons_) and
the 'tail' or veer (_cauda_). The _frons_ and the _cauda_ differ
sometimes only in the number of verses, and consequently, in the order
of the rhymes, and sometimes also in the nature of the verse. The two
parts may either have quite different rhymes or be connected together by
one or several common rhymes. As a simple specimen of this sort of
stanza the first stanza of Dunbar's _None may assure in this warld_ may
be quoted here:

     frons: {_Quhome to sall I complene my wo,
            { And kyth my kairis on or mo?_

            {  _I knaw nocht, amang riche nor pure,
     cauda: { Quha is my freynd, quha is my fo;
            {   For in this warld may non assure._

In literary poetry, however, the tripartite stanzas are commoner than
the bipartite unequal-membered stanzas just noticed; they are as much in
favour as the bipartite, equal-membered stanzas are in popular poetry.
In Provençal and Northern French poetry the principle of a triple
partition in the structure of stanzas was developed very early. Stanzas
on these models were very soon imported into Middle English poetry.

§ =226.= The =tripartite= stanzas generally (apart from Modern English
forms) consist of two equal parts and one unequal part, which admit of
being arranged in different ways. They have accordingly different names.
If the two equal parts precede they are called _pedes_, both together
the _opening_ (in German _Aufgesang_ ='upsong'); the unequal part that
concludes the stanza is called the _conclusion_ or the _veer_, _tail_,
or _cauda_ (in German _Abgesang_ ='downsong'). If the unequal part
precedes it is called _frons_ (='forehead'); the two equal parts that
form the end of the stanza are called _versus_ ('turns,' in German
_Wenden_). The former arrangement, however, is by far the more frequent.

There are various ways of separating the first from the last part of the
stanza: (a) by a pause, which, as a rule, in Romanic as well as in
Middle English poetry occurs between the two chief parts; (b) by a
difference in their structure (whether in rhyme-arrangement only, or
both in regard to the kinds and the number of verses). But even then the
two chief parts are generally separated by a pause. We thus obtain three
kinds of tripartite stanzas:

1. Stanzas in which the first and the last part differ in
_versification_; the lines of the last part may either be longer or
shorter than those of the 'pedes'. Difference in rhythmical structure as
well as in length of line is in Middle English poetry confined to the
_bob-wheel_ stanzas, and is not otherwise common except in Modern
English poetry.

2. Stanzas in which the parts differ in _number of verses_. The number
may be either greater or smaller in the last part than in the two
'pedes', which, of course, involves at the same time a difference in the
order of the rhymes. Change of length, however, and change of
versification in the last part in comparison with the half of the first
part are generally combined.

3. Stanzas in which the parts agree in versification but _differ in the
arrangement of the rhymes_; the number of verses in the _cauda_ being
either the same as that of one of the _pedes_, or (as commonly the case)
different from it.

In all these cases the first and the last part of the stanza may have
quite different rhymes, or they may, in stanzas of more artistic
construction, have one or several rhymes in common.

If the _frons_ precedes the _versus_, the same distinctions, of course,
are possible between the two chief parts.

§ =227.= The following specimens illustrate first of all the two chief
kinds of arrangement; i.e. the _pedes_ preceding the _cauda_, and the
_frons_ preceding the _versus_:

              {_With longyng y am lad_,
      I. pes: {_On molde y waxe mad_,
              {  _A maide marreþ me_;

              {_Y grede, y grone, vnglad_,
     II. pes: {_For selden y am sad_
              {   _Þat semly for te se_.

              {  _Leuedy, þou rewe me!_
       cauda: {_To rouþe þou hauest me rad_,
              {_Be bote of þat y bad_,
              {  _My lyf is long on þe_.

                                   Wright's Spec. of Lyr. Poetry, p. 29.

              {_Jesu, for þi muchele miht_,
       frons: {    _Þou ȝef vs of þi grace,
              {Þat we mowe dai and nyht
              {Þenken o þi face._

              {_In myn herte hit doþ me god_,
   I. versus: {_When y þenke on iesu blod_,
              {  _Þat ran doun bi ys syde_,

              {_From is herte doun to is fot_;
  II. versus: {_For ous he spradde is herte blod_,
              {   _His woundes were so wyde_.

                                                              ib. p. 83.

Theoretically, the second stanza might also be regarded as a stanza
consisting of two _pedes_ and two _versus_, or, in other words, as a
four-part stanza of two equal parts in each half. Stanzas of this kind
occur pretty often in Middle and Modern English poetry. They mostly,
however, convey the effect of a tripartite stanza on account of the
greater extent of the one pair of equal parts of the stanza.

The tripartition effected only by a difference in the arrangement of
rhymes either in the _pedes_ and the _cauda_, or in the _frons_ and the
_versus_, will be illustrated by the following specimens:

      I. pes: {_Take, oh take those lips away_,
              {  _That so sweetly were forsworne_;

     II. pes: {_And those eyes, the breake of day_,
              {  _Lights that doe mislead the morne_.

       cauda: {_But my kisses bring againe_,
              {_Seales of love, but seal'd in vaine_.

                                                  Shak., Meas. IV. i. 4.

       frons: {_As by the shore, at break of day_,
              {_A vanquish'd Chief expiring lay_,

   I. versus: {  _Upon the sands, with broken sword_,
              {_He traced his farewell to the Free_;

  II. versus: {  _And, there, the last unfinish'd word_
              {_He dying wrote was 'Liberty'_.

                                                            Moore, Song.

A very rare variety of tripartition that, as far as we know, does not
occur till Modern English times, is that by which the _cauda_ is placed
between the two _pedes_. This arrangement, of course, may occur in each
of the three kinds of tripartition. A specimen of the last kind (viz.
that in which the _cauda_ is distinguished from the _pedes_ by a
different arrangement of rhymes) may suffice to explain it:

   I. pes: {_Nine years old! The first of any_
           {_Seem the happiest years that come_:

    cauda: {_Yet when I was nine, I said_
           {_No such word! I thought instead_

  II. pes: {_That the Greeks had used as many_
           {_In besieging Ilium_.

                                                 Mrs. Browning, ii. 215.

Lastly, it is to be remarked that the inequality of Modern English
stanzas, which may be composed of two or three or several parts, admits,
of course, of many varieties. Generally, however, their structure is
somewhat analogous to that of the regular tripartite stanzas (cf. below,
Book II, chap. vi).

In Romanic poetry the tripartite structure sometimes was carried on also
through the whole song, it being composed either of three or six stanzas
(that is to say, of three equal groups of stanzas), or, what is more
usual, of seven or five stanzas (i.e. of two equal parts and an unequal
part). In Middle English literary poetry, too, this practice is fairly
common;[187] in Modern English poetry, on the other hand, it occurs only
in the most recent times, being chiefly adopted in imitations of Romanic
forms of stanza, especially the _ballade_.

§ =228. The envoi.= Closely connected with the last-mentioned point,
viz. the partition of the whole poem, is the structural element in
German called _Geleit_, in Provençal poetry _tornada_ (i.e. 'turning',
'apostrophe', or 'address'), in Northern French poetry _envoi_, a term
which was retained sometimes by Middle English poets as the title for
this kind of stanza (occasionally even for a whole poem). The tornada
used chiefly in the ballade is a sort of epilogue to the poem proper. It
was a rule in Provençal poetry (observed often in Old French also) that
it must agree in form with the concluding part of the preceding stanza.
It was also necessary that with regard to its tenor it should have some
sort of connexion with the poem; although, as a rule, its purpose was to
give expression to personal feelings. The tornada is either a sort of
farewell which the poet addresses to the poem itself, or it contains the
order to a messenger to deliver the poem to the poet's mistress or to
one of his patrons; sometimes these persons are directly praised or
complimented. In Middle English poetry the envoi mostly serves the same
purposes. But there are some variations from the Provençal custom both
as to contents and especially as to form.

§ =229.= We may distinguish _three kinds_ of so-called envois in Middle
English poetry: (1) Real envois. (2) Concluding stanzas resembling
envois as to their form. (3) Concluding stanzas resembling envois as to
their contents.

The most important are the _real envois_. Of these, two subordinate
species can be distinguished: (_a_) when the form of the envoi differs
from the form of the stanza, as in Wright's _Spec. of Lyr. Poetry_, p.
92, and even more markedly in Chaucer's _Compleynt to his Purse_, a poem
of stanzas of seven lines, the envoi of which addressed to the king
consists of five verses only; (_b_) when the form of the envoi is the
same as that of the other stanzas of the poem, as e.g. in Wright's
_Spec. of Lyr. Poetry_, p. 111 (a greeting to a mistress), in Dunbar's
_Goldin Targe_ (address to the poem itself).

When the poem is of some length the envoi may consist of several
stanzas; thus in Chaucer's _Clerkes Tale_ (stanzas of seven lines) the
envoi has six stanzas of six lines each.

_Concluding stanzas resembling envois in their form_ are generally
shorter than the chief stanzas, but of similar structure. Generally
speaking they are not very common. Specimens may be found in Wright's
_Spec. of Lyr. Poetry_, pp. 38, 47, &c.

_Concluding stanzas resembling envois in their contents._ An example
occurs in Wright's _Spec. of Lyr. Poetry_, p. 31, where the concluding
stanza contains an address to another poet. Religious poems end with
addresses to God, Christ, the Virgin, invitations to prayer, &c.; for
examples see Wright's _Spec. of Lyr. Poetry_, p. 111, and _Hymns to the
Virgin_ (ed. Furnivall, E. E. T. S. 24), p. 39, &c. All these may
possibly fall under this category.

Even in Modern English poetry the envoi has not quite gone out of use.
Short envois occur in Spenser, _Epithalamium_; S. Daniel, _To the Angel
Spirit of Sir Philip Sidney_ (Poets, iv. 228); W. Scott, _Marmion_
(Envoy, consisting of four-foot verses rhyming in couplets), _Harold_,
_Lord of the Isles_, _Lady of the Lake_ (Spenserian stanzas); Southey,
_Lay of the Laureate_ (x. 139-74), &c.; Swinburne, _Poems and Ballads_,
i, pp. 1, 5, 141, &c.

Concluding stanzas resembling envois occur pretty often in poets of the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, as Carew, Donne, Cowley, Waller,
Dodsley, &c. (cf. _Metrik_, ii, p. 794 note).


  [186] See _The Oxford Dante_, pp. 379-400, or _Opere minori di Dante
        Alighieri_, ed. Pietro Fraticelli, vol. ii, p. 146, Florence,
        1858, and Böhmer's essay, _Über Dante's Schrift de vulgari
        eloquentia_, Halle, 1868.

  [187] See B. ten Brink, _The Language and Metre of Chaucer_,
        translated by M. Bentinck Smith. London, Macmillan & Co.,
        1901, 8º, § 350.





  I. _Isometrical stanzas._

§ =230. Two-line stanzas.= The simplest bipartite equal-membered stanza
is that of two isometrical verses only. In the Northern English
translation of the Psalms (_Surtees Society_, vols. xvi and xix) we
find, for the most part, two-line stanzas of four-foot verses rhyming in
couplets, occasionally alternating with stanzas of four, six, eight, or
more lines.

In Middle English poetry, however, this form was generally used for
longer poems that were not arranged in stanzas. Although it would be
possible to divide some of these (e.g. the _Moral Ode_), either
throughout or in certain parts, into bipartite stanzas, there is no
reason to suppose that any strophic arrangement was intended.

In Modern English, on the other hand, such an arrangement is often
intentional, as in R. Browning, _The Boy and the Angel_ (iv. 158), a
poem of four-foot trochaic verses:

    _Morning, evening, noon and night
     'Praise God!' sang Theocrite._

    _Then to his poor trade he turned,
     Whereby the daily meal was earned._

Similar stanzas in other metres occur in Longfellow, Tennyson,
Thackeray, Rossetti, &c.; among them we find e.g. eight-foot trochaic
and iambic-anapaestic verses (cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 3).

§ =231.= More frequently we find =four-line stanzas=, consisting of
couplets. In Middle English lyric poetry such stanzas of two short
couplets are occasionally met with as early as in the _Surtees Psalms_,
but they occur more frequently in Modern English, e.g. in M. Arnold,
_Urania_ (p. 217), and in Carew, e.g. _The Inquiry_ (Poets, iii):

    _Amongst the myrtles as I walk'd,
     Love and my sighs thus intertalk'd:
     'Tell me,' said I, in deep distress,
     'Where I may find my shepherdess.'_

Regular alternation of masculine and feminine rhymes is very rarely
found in this simple stanza (or indeed in any Middle English stanzas);
it is, properly speaking, only a series of rhyming couplets with a stop
after every fourth line.

This stanza is very popular, as are also various analogous four-line
stanzas in other metres. One of these is the quatrain of four-foot
trochaic verses, as used by M. Arnold in _The Last Word_, and by Milton,
e.g. in _Psalm CXXXVI_, where the two last lines form the refrain, so
that the strophic arrangement is more distinctly marked. Stanzas of
four-foot iambic-anapaestic lines we find e.g. in Moore, '_Tis the last
Rose of Summer_, and similar stanzas of five-foot iambic verses in
Cowper, pp. 359, 410; M. Arnold, _Self-Dependence_ (last stanza).

Less common are the quatrains of four-foot dactylic lines, of three-foot
iambic-anapaestic lines, of six-foot iambic and trochaic lines, of
seven-foot iambic lines, and of eight-foot trochaic lines. But specimens
of each of these varieties are occasionally met with (cf. _Metrik_, ii,
§ 261).

§ =232.= The double stanza, i.e. that of eight lines of the same
structure (_a a b b c c d d_), occurs in different kinds of verse. With
lines of four measures it is found, e.g. in Suckling's poem, _The
Expostulation_ (Poets, iii. 749):

    _Tell me, ye juster deities,
     That pity lover's miseries,
     Why should my own unworthiness
     Light me to seek my happiness?
     It is as natural, as just,
     Him for to love whom needs I must:
     All men confess that love's a fire,
     Then who denies it to aspire?_

This stanza comes to a better conclusion when it winds up with a
refrain, as in Percy's _Reliques_, II. ii. 13. One very popular form of
it consists of four-foot trochaic lines, e.g. in Burns, p. 197, M.
Arnold, _A Memory Picture_, p. 23 (the two last lines of each stanza
forming a refrain), or of four-foot iambic-anapaestic lines (Burns, _My
heart's in the Highlands_). Somewhat rarely it is made up of five-foot
iambic or septenaric lines (cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 262).[188]

§ =233.= We have next to consider the stanzas of four isometrical lines
with intermittent rhyme (_a b c b_). As a rule they consist of three- or
four-foot verses, which are really Alexandrines or acatalectic
tetrameters rhyming in long couplets, and only in their written or
printed arrangement broken up into short lines; as, e.g., in the
following half-stanza from the older version of the _Legend of St.
Katherine_, really written in eight-lined stanzas (ed. Horstmann,
_Altenglische Legenden, Neue Folge_, Heilbronn, 1881, p. 242):

    _He that made heven and erthe
       and sonne and mone for to schine,
     Bring ous into his riche
       and scheld ous fram helle pine!_

Examples of such stanzas of four-foot trochaic and three-foot iambic
verses that occur chiefly in Percy's _Reliques_ (cf. _Metrik_, ii, §
264), but also in M. Arnold, _Calais Sands_ (p. 219), _The Church of
Brou, I., The Castle_ (p. 13, feminine and masculine verse-endings
alternating), _New Rome_, p. 229, _Parting_, p. 191 (iambic-anapaestic
three-beat and two-beat verses), _Iseult of Ireland_, p. 150 (iambic
verses of five measures); cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 264.

§ =234.= Stanzas of eight lines result from this stanza by doubling, i.
e. by adding a second couplet of the same structure and rhyme to the
original long-line couplet. Such a form with the scheme _a b c b d b e
b_ meet in the complete stanza of the older _Legend of St. Katherine_
just referred to:

    _He that made heven and erthe
      and sonne and mone for to schine,
    Bring ous into his riche
      and scheld ous fram helle pine!
    Herken, and y you wile telle
      the liif of an holy virgine,
    That treuli trowed in Jhesu Crist:
      hir name was hoten Katerine_,

This sort of doubling, however, occurs in Modern English poetry more
rarely than that which is produced by adding a second long-lined
couplet, but with a new rhyme, so that when the stanza is arranged in
short lines we have the scheme _a b c b d e f e_.

A stanza like this of trochaic lines we find in _Hymns Ancient and
Modern_, No. 419:

    _King of Saints, to whom the number
       Of Thy starry host is known,
     Many a name, by man forgotten,
       Lives for ever round Thy Throne;
     Lights, which earth-born mists have darkened,
       There are shining full and clear,
     Princes in the court of heaven,
       Nameless, unremembered here._

Still more frequent are stanzas of this kind consisting of four-foot and
three-foot iambic lines, or of two-foot iambic-anapaestic and
trochaic-dactylic lines (cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 265).

§ =235.= More popular than the stanza just noticed is that developed
from the long-lined couplets by inserted rhyme. A very instructive
example of this development is given in the later version of the _Legend
of St. Katherine_ (ed. by Horstmann) which is a paraphrase of the older.

The first half-stanza is as follows:

    _He that made bothe sunne and mone
       In heuene and erthe for to schyne,
     Bringe vs to heuene, with him to wone,
       And schylde vs from helle pyne!_

Stanzas like this, which are frequent in Low Latin, Provençal, and Old
French poetry, are very common in Middle and Modern English poetry.
Examples may be found in Ritson's _Ancient Songs_, i, p. 40, Surrey, pp.
37, 56, &c., Burns, p.97, &c., M. Arnold, _Saint Brandan_, p. 165, &c.
Masculine and feminine rhymes do not alternate very often (cf. Percy's
_Reliques_, I. iii. 13). More frequently we find stanzas with refrain
verses, e.g. Wyatt, p. 70.

Stanzas of this kind consisting of four- or three-foot iambic, trochaic,
iambic-anapaestic, trochaic-dactylic lines, of three-foot iambic lines,
or of two-foot dactylic or other lines are also very common, e.g. in M.
Arnold's _A Modern Sappho_ (with alternating masculine and feminine
verse-endings), _Pis Aller_ (p. 230), _Requiescat_ (p. 21).

Another stanza of great importance is what is called the elegiac stanza,
which consists of four five-foot verses with crossed rhymes. In Middle
English literature it was only used as a part of the _Rhyme-Royal_ and
of the eight-lined stanza. In Modern English, however, it has been used
from the beginning more frequently; it occurs already in Wyatt (p. 58):

    _Heaven and earth and all that hear me plain
       Do well perceive what care doth make me cry
     Save you alone, to whom I cry in vain;
       Mercy, Madam, alas! I die, I die!_

Other examples are found in M. Arnold's poems _Palladium_ (p. 251),
_Revolutions_ (p. 254), _Self Deception_ (p. 225, with alternate
masculine and feminine rhymes). This stanza is very popular throughout
the Modern English period (cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 267).

Stanzas of this kind, however, consisting of trochaic verses, of
six-foot (as in Tennyson's _Maud_), seven- and eight-foot metres are not
very frequently met with (cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 269).

§ =236.= The four-lined, cross-rhyming stanza gives rise by doubling to
the eight-lined (_a b a b a b a b_), which occurs very often in Middle
English, as in Wright's _Spec. of Lyr. Poetry_, p. 99, or in the
_Luve-Rone_ by Thomas de Hales, ed. Morris (_Old Eng. Misc._, p. 93),
where both masculine and feminine rhymes are used:

    _A Mayde cristes me bit yorne,
       þat ich hire wurche a luue ron:
     For hwan heo myhle best ileorne
       to taken on oþer soþ lefmon,
     Þat treowest were of alle berne
       and beste wyte cuþe a freo wymmon;
     Ich hire nule nowiht werne,
       ich hire wule teche as ic con._

Stanzas of this kind are met with also in Modern English, as in Burns
(p. 262); stanzas of four-stressed lines are found in Wright's _Spec. of
Lyr. Poetry_, p. 110, and others of three-foot verses in _Polit. Poems_,
i. 270.

There is still another mode of doubling, by which the four originally
long-lined verses are broken up by the use of two different inserted
rhymes; the scheme is then: _a b a b c b c b_. This is the stanza to
which the second version of the _Legend of St. Katherine_ has been
adapted in paraphrasing it from the first (cf. §§ 77, 78, 235):

    _He that made bothe sunne and mone
       In heuene and erthe for to schyne,
     Bringe vs to heuene, with him to wone,
       And schylde vs from helle pyne!
     Lystnys, and I schal you telle
       The lyff off an holy virgyne,
     That trewely Jhesu louede wel:
       Here name was callyd Kateryne._

This stanza occurs, e.g., in Burns (p. 201). Less common is the form of
stanza _a b a b a c a c_ (e.g. in Wyatt, p. 48) resulting from the
breaking up two rhyming couplets of long lines by inserted rhyme (not
from four long lines with one rhyme).

The common mode of doubling is by adding to a four-lined stanza a second
of exactly the same structure, but with new rhymes. Some few examples
occur in Middle English in the _Surtees Psalter_, Ps. xliv, ll. 11, 12.
Very frequently, however, we find it in Modern English constructed of
the most varying metres, as, e.g., of five-foot iambic verses in
Milton, _Psalm VIII_ (vol. iii, p. 29):

    _O Jehovah our Lord, how wondrous great
       And glorious is thy name through all the earth,
     So as above the heavens thy praise to set!
       Out of the tender mouths of latest birth,
     Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings thou
       Hast founded strength, because of all thy foes,
     To stint the enemy, and slack the avenger's brow,
       That bends his rage thy providence to oppose._

More popular are stanzas of this kind consisting of three- or four-foot
iambic, trochaic, and iambic-anapaestic verses, sometimes with alternate
masculine and feminine rhymes. (For specimens see _Metrik_, ii, § 271.)

§ =237.= Only very few examples occur of the sixteen-lined doubling of
this stanza, according to the scheme _a b a b c d c d e f e f g h g
h₂_; it occurs, e.g., in Moore, _When Night brings the Hour_. Another
form of eight lines (_a b c d . a b c d₃_) is met with in Rossetti,
_The Shadows _(ii. 249); it seems to be constructed on the analogy of a
six-lined stanza (_a b c . a b c_), which is used pretty often. This
stanza, which is closely allied to the tail-rhyme stanza described in §
238, consists most commonly of four-foot iambic verses; it occurs, e.g.,
in Campbell, _Ode to the Memory of Burns_ (p. 19):

    _Soul of the Poet! whereso'er
     Reclaim'd from earth, thy genius plume
       Her wings of immortality:
     Suspend thy harp in happier sphere,
     And with thine influence illume
       The gladness of our jubilee._

Specimens of forms of stanzas like this, consisting of other kinds of
verse, e.g. of three-foot trochaic-dactylic verse, as in M. Arnold's
_The Lord's Messenger_ (p. 231), are given in _Metrik_, ii, § 272.

§ =238.= From the four- and eight-lined bipartite equal-membered
isometrical stanzas, dealt with in the preceding paragraphs, it will be
convenient to proceed to the six-lined stanzas of similar structure. To
these belongs a certain form of the tail-rhyme stanza, the nature and
origin of which will be discussed when we treat of the chief form, which
consists of unequal verses. The isometrical six-lined stanzas to be
discussed here show the same structure as the common tail-rhyme stanza,
viz. _a a b c c b_. An example is afforded in a song, Ritson, i. 10:

    _Sith Gabriel gan grete
     Ure ledi Mari swete,
       That godde wold in hir lighte,
     A thousand yer hit isse,
     Thre hundred ful iwisse,
       Ant over yeris eighte._

In Modern English this stanza occurs very often, e.g. in Drayton, _To
the New Year_ (Poets, iii. 579); as a rule, however, it consists of
four-foot iambic verses; e.g. in Suckling in a song (_Poets_, iii.

    _When, dearest, I but think of thee,
     Methinks all things that lovely be
       Are present, and my soul delighted:
     For beauties that from worth arise,
     Are like the grace of deities,
       Still present with us though unsighted._

In this poem all the tail-verses are feminine throughout; in other cases
there are masculine and feminine verses, more often we find masculine or
feminine exclusively; but usually they interchange without any rule.
Examples of these varieties, and also of similar stanzas consisting of
three-foot trochaic verses, of two- and three-foot iambic-anapaestic,
and of five-foot iambic lines are given in _Metrik_, ii, § 273.

Stanzas of this form consisting of two-stressed verses occurring in
Middle English poems have been quoted in § 65.

§ =239.= A variety that belongs to Modern English only is that in which
the tail-verses are placed at the head of the half-stanzas, according to
the formula _a b b a c c_. It occurs in Ben Jonson's _Hymn to God_
(Poets, iv. 561), consisting of two-foot iambic verses; another example,
with four-foot trochaic verses, occurs in Mrs. Browning, _A Portrait_
(iii. 57); cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 274.

A twelve-lined stanza, resulting from the doubling of the six-line
stanza, is found only in Middle English poetry, its arrangement of
rhymes being _a a b c c b d d b e e b_; or with a more elaborate
rhyme-order, _a a b a a b c c b c c b_, as in Wright's _Spec. of Lyr.
Poetry_, p. 41.

Still another modification of the simple six-lined stanza consists in
the addition of a third rhyme-verse to the two rhyming couplets of each
half-stanza; so that an eight-lined stanza results with the scheme _a a
a b c c c b_. Two specimens of this kind of stanza, consisting of
two-stressed lines and occurring in Early English dramatic poetry, have
been quoted above, § 70.

The same stanza of two-foot verses occurs in the _Coventry Mysteries_,
p. 342. In Modern English, too, we find it sometimes, consisting of
three-foot iambic verses, as in Longfellow, _King Olaf's Death Drink_
(p. 577). Stanzas of five-, four-, and two-foot iambic verses and other
metres are likewise in use. (For examples see _Metrik_, ii, § 275.)

Some rarely occurring extended forms of this stanza are exemplified in
Metrik, ii, § 277, their schemes being _a ~ a ~ b ~ c d ~ d ~ b ~ c₄_,
_a ~ b ~ c ~ d e ~ f ~ g ~ d₃_, _a b b c a d d c₄_, _a a a a b c c c c

Sixteen-lined stanzas of this kind of two-stressed verses (rhyming _a a
a b c c c b d d d b e e e b_) that were frequently used in Middle
English Romances have been quoted and discussed above, § 65.

  II. _Anisometrical Stanzas._

§ =240.= In connexion with the last section, the chief species of the
=tail-rhyme stanza= may be discussed here first of all. This stanza, as
a rule, consists of four four-foot and two three-foot verses, rhyming
according to the scheme _a a₄ b₃ c c₄ b₃_; cf. the following
specimen (Wright's _Spec. of Lyr. Poetry_, p. 101):

    _Lustneþ alle a lutel þrowe,
     Ȝe þat wolleþ ou selue yknowe,
       Unwys þah y be:
     Ichulle telle ou ase y con,
     Hou holy wryt spekeþ of mon;
       Herkneþ nou to me._

The last line of each half-stanza, the tail-verse proper, was originally
simply a refrain. The tripartite character of the half-stanza and the
popular origin of the stanza was shown long ago by Wolf, _Über die Lais,
Sequenzen und Leiche_, p. 27 (cf. _Engl. Metrik_, i, pp. 353-7).
According to him this stanza was developed first of all from choruses
sung in turn by the people and from the ecclesiastical responses which
also had a popular origin, and lastly from the sequences and 'proses' of
the middle ages.

A sequence-verse such as:

    _Egidio psallat coetus | iste laetus | Alleluia_,

in its tripartition corresponds to the first half of the above-quoted
Middle English tail-rhyme stanza:

    _Lustneþ alle a lutel þrowe | ȝe þat wolleþ ou selue yknowe |
        Unwys þah y be._

When two long lines like this, connected with each other by the rhyme of
the last section, the two first sections of each line being also
combined by leonine rhyme, are broken up into six short verses, we have
the tail-rhyme stanza in the form above described. This form was
frequently used in Low Latin poetry, and thence passed into Romanic and
Teutonic literature.

A form even more extensively used in Middle and Modern English poetry is
that in which the tail-verse has feminine instead of masculine endings.
A Modern English specimen from Drayton's poem _To Sir Henry Goodere_
(_Poets_, iii. 576) may be quoted; it begins:

    _These lyric pieces, short and few,
     Most worthy Sir, I send to you,
        To read them be not weary:
     They may become John Hewes his lyre,
     Which oft at Powlsworth by the fire
       Hath made us gravely merry._

This, the chief form of the tail-rhyme stanza, has been in use
throughout the whole Modern English period. There has, however, never
been any fixed rule as to the employment of feminine or masculine
rhymes. Sometimes feminine tail-rhymes with masculine couplets are used
(as in the example above), sometimes masculine rhymes only, while in
other instances masculine and feminine rhymes are employed

Iambic-anapaestic verses of four or three measures were also sometimes
used in this form of stanza, as in Moore, _Hero and Leander_.

There are a great many varieties of this main form; the stanza may
consist, for instance, of four- and two-foot iambic or trochaic lines,
or of iambic lines of three and two, five and three, five and two
measures, according to the schemes _a a b c c₄ b₂_, _a a₃ b₂ c c₃ b₂_,
_a a₅ b₃ c c₅ b₃_, _a a₅ b₂ c c₅ b₂_, and _a₃ b b₅ a₃ c c₅_ (the
tail-verses in front). For examples see _Metrik_, ii, § 279.

§ =241.= The next step in the development of this stanza was its
enlargement to twelve lines (_a a₄ b₃ c c₄ b₃ d d₄ b₃ e e₄ b₃_) by
doubling. This form occurs in Wright's _Spec. of Lyr. Poetry_,
p. 43:

    _Lenten is come wiþ loue to toune,
     Wiþ blosmen and wiþ briddes roune,
       Þat all þis blisse bryngeþ:
     Dayes eȝes in þis dales,
     Notes suete of nyhtegales,
       Vch foule song singeþ.
     Þe þrestlecoc him þreteþ oo;
     Away is huere wynter woo,
       When woderoue springeþ.
     Þis foules singeþ ferli fele,
     Ant wlyteþ on huere wynter wele,
       Þat al þe wode ryngeþ._

We are not in a position to quote a Modern English specimen of this
stanza, but it was very popular in Middle English poetry, both in
lyrics and in legends or romances, and in later dramatic poetry.[189]

§ =242.= As to the =further development of the tail-rhyme stanza,= the
enlarged forms must first be mentioned. They are produced by adding a
third line to the principal lines of each half-stanza; the result being
an eight-lined stanza of the formula _a a a₄ b₃ c c c₄ b₃_. Stanzas
of this form occur in Early Middle English lyrics, e.g. in Wright's
_Spec. of Lyr. Poetry_, p. 51 (with a refrain-stanza) and _Polit.
Songs_, p. 187 (four-stressed main verses and two-stressed tail-verses,
the latter having occasionally the appearance of being in three-beat

A later example is found in Dunbar's poem _Off the Fenȝeit Freir of
Tungland_; in the Miracle Plays the form was also in favour. Isometrical
stanzas of this kind have been mentioned above (§§ 238, 239).

In Modern English poetry this stanza is extensively used. We find it in
Drayton, _Nymphidia_ (Poets, iii. 177), with feminine tail-verses:

    _Old Chaucer doth of Topas tell,
     Mad Rablais of Pantagruel,
     A later third of Dowsabel,
       With such poor trifles playing:
     Others the like have laboured at,
     Some of this thing and some of that,
     And many of they know not what,
       But that they must be saying_.

Other examples of this stanza, as of similar ones, consisting of four-
and three-foot trochaic and iambic-anapaestic verses, are given in
_Metrik_, ii, § 280.

There are some subdivisions of this stanza consisting of verses of three
and two measures, of four and two measures, four and one measure, five
and two, and five and one measure, according to the formulae _a a a₃ b₂
c c c₃ b₂_, _a a a₄ b₂ c c c₄ b₂_, _a a a₄ b₁ c c c₄ b₁_, _a a a₅ b₂ c
c c₅ b₂_, _a a a₅ b₁ c c c₅ b₁_. For specimens see _Metrik_, ii, § 281.

The ten-lined tail-rhyme stanza occurs very rarely; we have an example
in Longfellow's _The Goblet of Life_ (p. 114), its formula being _a a a
a₄ b₃ c c c c₄ b₃_.

§ =243.= We find, however, pretty often--though only in Modern
English--certain variant forms of the enlarged eight- and ten-lined
tail-rhyme stanzas, the chief verses of which are of unequal length in
each half-stanza; as in Congreve's poem, _On Miss Temple_ (Poets, vii.
568). In this poem the first verse of each half-stanza is shortened by
one foot, in accordance with the formula _a₃ a a₄ b₃ c₃ c c₄ b₃_:

    _Leave, leave the drawing-room,
     Where flowers of beauty us'd to bloom;
     The nymph that's fated to o'ercome,
       Now triumphs at the wells.
     Her shape, and air, and eyes,
     Her face, the gay, the grave, the wise,
     The beau, in spite of box and dice,
       Acknowledge, all excels._

Stanzas of cognate form are quoted in _Metrik_, ii, §§ 283-5,
constructed according to the schemes: _a a₂ a₄ b₃ c c₂ c₄ b₃_, _a₃ b b₄
c ~₂ a₃ d d₄ c ~₂_ (with a varying first rhyme in the chief verses), _a
a b b₄ c₂ d d e e₄ c₂_ (ten lines, with a new rhyming couplet in the
half-stanza), _a a b b c₃ C₂ a a b b c₃ C₂_ (an analogous twelve-lined
stanza, extended by refrain in each half-stanza), _a b a b₅ c₃ d e d e₅
c₃_ (crossed rhymes in the principal verses).

Two uncommon variations that do not, strictly speaking, belong to the
isocolic stanzas, correspond to the formulas _a b b₅ c₂ c d d₅ a₂_, _a b
a₄ c ~₂ b a b₄ c ~₂_.

§ =244.= Another step in the development of the tail-rhyme stanza
consisted in making the principal verses of the half-stanza shorter than
the tail-verse. Models for this form existed in Low Latin, Provençal,
and Old French poetry (cf. _Metrik_, i, § 366). In Middle English,
however, there are not many stanzas of this form. We have an example in
Dunbar's poem _Of the Ladyis Solistaris at Court_ (_a a₂ b₃ c c₂ b₃ d d₂
e₃ f f₂ e₃_):

      _Thir Ladyis fair,
       That makis repair,
     And in the Court ar kend,
       Thre dayis thair
       Thay will do mair,
     Ane mater for till end,
       Than thair gud men
       Will do in ten,
     For any craft thay can;
       So weill thay ken
       Quhat tyme and quhen
     Thair menes thay sowld mak than._

The same rhythmical structure is found in the old ballad, _The Notbrowne
Maid_, in Percy's _Reliques_, vol. ii. In this collection the poem is
printed in twelve-lined stanzas of four- and three-foot verses. Skeat,
however, in his _Specimens of English Literature_, printed it in stanzas
of six long lines.

In either arrangement the relationship of the metre to the Septenary
verse comes clearly out.

In Modern English this stanza is also very popular. It occurs in Scott
(p. 460, _a a₂ b₃ c c₂ b₃_), Burns (doubled, p. 61, _a a₂ b₃ c c₂ b₃ d
d₂ e₃ f f₂ e₃_, p. 211, _a a₂ b₃ c c₂ b₃ d d₂ b₃ e e₂ b₃_).

Often there are also two- and three-foot iambic-anapaestic
verses combined in stanzas of this kind, as in Cowper (p. 427),
Burns (p. 244), &c.

Subordinate varieties of this stanza consisting of other verses are
quoted, with specimens, in _Metrik_, ii, §§ 286-8, after the formulas:
_a a₄ b₅ c c₄ b₅, a a₄ b₆ c c₄ b₆_, _a a₃ b₅ c c₃ b₅, a a₃ b c c b₄_,
_a a₂ b₄ c c₂ b₄, a ~ a ~ b ~ b ~ c d ~ d ~ e ~ e ~₂ c₃_.

§ =245.= A small group of tail-rhyme stanzas consists of those
in which the second chief verses are shorter than the first.

Such a variety occurs in a tail-rhyme stanza of four-foot trochaic
verses, the second verse of each half-stanza being shortened by two
measures. It was used by Donne in his translation of Psalm 137 (_Poets_,
iv, 43):

    _By Euphrates' flow'ry side
     We did 'bide,
       From dear Juda far absented,
     Tearing the air with our cries,
     And our eyes
       With their streams his stream augmented._

The same stanza we find in Longfellow, _Tales of a Wayside Inn_, v (p.
552). Similar stanzas are quoted in _Metrik_, ii, § 289, their schemes
being _a₃ a₂ b₃ c₃ c₂ b₃, a₃ a₂ b₅ c₃ c₂ b₅, a₄ b₃ b₂ a₄ c₃ c₂_ (the
tail-rhyme verse put in front).

§ =246.= There are also some stanzas (_a b₄ c₃ a b₄ c₃_) which may be
looked upon as modelled on the tail-rhyme stanza; such a stanza we find
in Mrs. Browning's poem, _A Sabbath morning at Sea_ (iii. 74); its
formula being _a b₄ c₃ a b₄ c₃_:

    _The ship went on with solemn face:
     To meet the darkness on the deep,
       The solemn ship went onward:
     I bowed down weary in the place,
     For parting tears and present sleep
       Had weighed mine eyelids downward._

Other stanzas of this kind show the scheme: _a₄ b₅ c₃ a₄ b₅ c₃_, _a b₂
c₄ a b₂ c₄_, _a₂ b₃ c₁ a₂ b₃ c₁_, _a ~ b a ~ b₄ c ~6 d~ e d ~ e₄ c ~6_;
cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 290.

A stanza belonging to this group, and consisting of ten lines rhyming
according to the formula _a b a b₃ c₆ d e d e₃ c₆_, occurs in M.
Arnold's _Empedocles on Etna_, p. 446 (printed in stanzas of five

§ =247.= Another metre, which was equally popular with the tail-rhyme
stanza with its many varieties, is the stanza formed of two Septenary
verses (catalectic tetrameters). In the Middle English period we find it
used with feminine rhymes only; afterwards, however, there are both
feminine and masculine rhymes, and in modern times the feminine ending
is quite exceptional. This metre, broken up into four lines, is one of
the oldest and most popular of equal-membered stanzas. One of its
forms[190] has in hymn-books the designation of _Common Metre_.

Middle and Modern English specimens of this simple form
have been given above (§§ 77, 78, 136, 138-40); in some of
them the verses rhyme and are printed as long lines; in others
the verses rhyme in long lines but are printed as short ones
(_a b c b_), and in others, again, the verses both rhyme and are
printed as short lines (_a b a b_).

On the analogy of this stanza, especially of the short-lined rhyming
form, and of the doubled form with intermittent rhyme (which is,
properly speaking, a stanza rhyming in long lines), there have been
developed many new strophic forms. One of the most popular of these is
the stanza consisting alternately of four- and three-foot
iambic-anapaestic verses. In this form is written, e.g. the celebrated
poem of Charles Wolfe, _The Burial of Sir John Moore_ (cf. § 191):

    _Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note,
     As his corpse to the rampart we hurried;
     Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot
     O'er the grave where our hero we buried._

In other poems there are masculine rhymes only, as in Cowper (p. 429).

Stanzas of this structure, composed of trochaic verses or of trochaic
mixed with iambic or of dactylic mixed with iambic-anapaestic verses,
are not frequent. (For examples see _Metrik_, ii, § 292.)

§ =248.= Some other analogical developments from this type, however,
occur pretty often; a stanza of alternate four- and two-foot verses (_a₄
b ~₂ a₄ b ~₂_) is used, for example, by Ben Jonson (_Poets_, iv. 545):

    _Weep with me all you that read
       This little story;
     And know, for whom a tear you shed,
       Death's self is sorry._

Another of five- and four-foot verses (_a₅ b₄ a₅ b₄_) occurs in Cowley,
_The long Life_ (Poets, v. 264):

    _Love from Time's wings hath stol'n the feathers sure,
       He has, and put them to his own,
     For hours, of late, as long as days endure,
       And very minutes hours are grown._

Other less common analogous forms are given in _Metrik_, ii, § 298, the
formulas being _a₅ b₃ a₅ b₃_, _a₃ b₅ a₃ b₅_, _a₅ b₂ a₅ b₂_, _a₂ b₅ a₂

There are also stanzas of anisometrical verses rhyming in couplets, but
they occur very rarely. An example is Donne's _The Paradox_ (Poets, iv.
397), after the scheme _a₅ a₅ b₅ b₃_:

    _No lover saith I love, nor any other
       Can judge a perfect lover:
     He thinks that else none can or will agree
       That any loves but he._

§ =249.= Pretty often we find--not indeed in middle English, but in
Modern English poetry--eight-lined (doubled) forms of the different
four-lined stanzas. Only doubled forms, however, of the formula _a₄ b₃
a₄ b₃ c₄ d₃ c₄ d₃_ are employed with any frequency; they have either
only masculine rhymes or rhymes which vary between masculine and
feminine. An example of the latter kind we have in Drayton's _To his coy
Love_ (Poets, iii. 585):

    _I pray thee, love, love me no more,
       Call home the heart you gave me,
     I but in vain that saint adore,
       That can, but will not save me:
     These poor half kisses kill me quite;
       Was ever man thus served?
     Amidst an ocean of delight,
       For pleasure to be starved._

Eight-lined stanzas with the following schemes are not common:--_a₄ b₃
c₄ b₃ a₄ b₃ c₄ b₃_, _a₄ b₃ a₄ b₃ c₄ b₃ c₄ b₃_, _a₄ b₃ a₄ b₃ a₄ b₃ a₄ b₃_, _a
~₃ b₄ a ~₃ b₄ c ~₃ d₄ c ~₃ d₄_, _a₄ b₃ c₄ b₃ d₄ e₃ f₄ e₃._ Only in the last
stanza and in the usual form _a b a b c d c d_ we find trochaic and
iambic-anapaestic verses. An example of the latter sort which is pretty
often met with we have in Cunningham's _The Sycamore Shade_ (Poets, x.

    _T'other day as I sat in the sycamore shade,
       Young Damon came whistling along,
     I trembled--I blush'd--a poor innocent maid!
       And my heart caper'd up to my tongue:
     Silly heart, I cry'd, fie!    What a flutter is here!
       Young Damon designs you no ill,
     The shepherd's so civil, you've nothing to fear,
       Then prythee, fond urchin, lie still._

For specimens of the other subordinate varieties and of the rare
twelve-lined stanza (_a₄ b₃ c₄ b₃ d₄ b₃ e₄ f₃ d₄ f₃ g₄ f₃_ and _a₄ b ~₃
a₄ b ~₃ a₄ b ~₃ c₄ d ~₃ c₄ d ~₃ c₄ d ~₃_) see _Metrik_, ii, §§ 295, 296.

§ =250.= There are also doubled forms of the before-mentioned analogical
development of the Septenary, the schemes of which are as follows:

_a₄ b ~₂ a₄ b ~₂ a₄ b ~₂ a₄ b ~₂_, _a₃ b ~₂ a₃ b ~₂ c₃ d ~₂ c₃ d ~₂_,
_a ~₂ b₃ a ~₂ b₃ c ~₂ d₃ c ~₂ d₃_, _a ~₄ b₅ a ~₄ b₅ c ~₄ d₅ c ~₄ d₅_,
and _a₅ a₄ b₅ b₄ c₅ c₄ d₅ d₄_.

We must here refer to some eight-lined stanzas which have this common
feature that the two half-stanzas are exactly alike, but the
half-stanzas themselves consist of unequal members. These, however, will
be treated in the next chapter.

In this connexion may be also mentioned the doubled _Poulter's Measure_,
which occurs somewhat frequently, as in _Hymns Ancient and Modern_, No.

    _Thou art gone up on high,
       To mansions in the skies;
     And round Thy Throne unceasingly
       The songs of praise arise.
     But we are lingering here,
       With sin and care oppressed;
     Lord, send Thy promised Comforter,
       And lead us to Thy rest._

The same form of stanza was used in Hood's well-known _Song of the
Shirt_ (p. 183).

Other stanzas of similar structure are given with specimens in _Metrik_,
ii, §§ 300, 301; their formulas are _a₄ a₄ b₂ b₅ c₄ c₄ d₂ d₅_, _a b a₄
b₃ c d c₄ d₃_ (Moore, _Dreaming for ever_), _a₃ b b₃ a₃ c₃ d d₄ c₃_, _a
b a₃ b₂ c d c₃ d₂_, _a₃ b₂ c₄ a₂ d₃ b₂ c₄ d₂_; in the same place we have
mentioned some ten-lined stanzas of the forms _a a₄ b b₂ a₄ c c₄ d d₂
c₄_ (Moore, The Young May Moon) and _a₃ a₂ b₅ b₂ c₄ d₃ d₂ e₅ e₂ c₄_,



§ =251.= These different kinds of stanzas may be conveniently treated
together, since they are closely allied with each other, in that both of
them--the indivisible stanzas usually, and the bipartite
unequal-membered stanzas frequently--exhibit a one-rhymed principal

  I. _One-rhymed and indivisible stanzas._

The =one-rhymed stanzas=, taken as a whole, cannot without qualification
be ranged under any of the other kinds of stanza. The four-lined and
eight-lined stanzas of this form, it is true, do for the most part seem
to belong so far as their syntactical structure is concerned to the
bipartite, equal-membered class (_a a, a a; a a a a, a a a a_). But
those of six lines may belong either to the bipartite (_a a a, a a a_)
or to the tripartite class (_a a, a a, a a_). It is even more difficult
to draw a sharp line of distinction when the strophes have an odd number
of lines.

In no case is there such a definite demarcation between the chief parts
in these one-rhymed stanzas as exists in stanzas with varied rhymes,
whether based upon crossed rhymes or on rhyming couplets.

=Three-lined stanzas= of the same structure as the four-lined stanzas to
be described in the next section were not used before the Modern period.
They occur pretty often, and are constructed of widely different kinds
of verse; in Drayton's _The Heart_ (Poets, iii. 580) three-foot lines
are used:

    _If thus we needs must go,
     What shall our one heart do,
     This one made of our two?_

Stanzas of this kind, consisting of three-foot trochaic and dactylic
verses, as well as stanzas of four-foot iambic, iambic-anapaestic,
trochaic, and dactylic verses, are also met with in the Modern period.
Even more popular, however, are those of five-foot iambic verses, as e.
g. in Dryden, pp. 393, 400, &c. Stanzas of longer verses, on the other
hand, e.g. six-foot dactylic, seven-foot trochaic, iambic, or
iambic-anapaestic and eight-foot trochaic verses, occur only
occasionally in the more recent poets, e.g. Tennyson, Swinburne, R.
Browning, D.G. Rossetti, &c. (cf. _Metrik_, ii, §§ 303-4).

Some other Modern English anisometrical stanzas may also be mentioned,
as one in Cowley with the formula _a₅ a₄ a₅_ in _Love's Visibility_
(Poets, v. 273):

    _With much of pain, and all the art I knew
     Have I endeavour'd hitherto
     To hide my love, and yet all will not do._

For other forms see _Metrik_, ii, § 305.

§ =252. Four-lined, one-rhymed stanzas= of four-foot verses (used in Low
Latin, Provençal and Old French poetry, cf. _Metrik_, i, p. 369) are
early met with in Middle English poems, as in Wright's _Spec. of Lyr.
Poetry_, pp. 57 and 68.

The first begins with these verses, which happen to show a prevailing
trochaic rhythm.

    _Suete iesu, king of blysse,
     Myn huerte loue, min huerte lisse,
     Þou art suete myd ywisse,
     Wo is him þat þe shall misse._

    _Suete iesu, myn huerte lyht,
     Þou art day withoute nyht;
     Þou ȝeue me streinþe ant eke myht,
     Forte louien þe aryht_.

This simple form of stanza is also found in Modern English poetry;
apparently, however, only in one of the earliest poets, viz. Wyatt (p.

It occurs also in Middle English, consisting of four-stressed,
rhyming-alliterative long-lines, as e.g. in Wright's _Spec. of Lyr.
Poetry_, p. 237; and of simple four-stressed long lines in Wyatt (p.
147), and Burns (pp. 253, 265, &c.).

In Middle English poetry Septenary verses are often used in this way on
the Low Latin model (cf. _Metrik_, i, pp. 90, 91, 370), as well as
Septenary-Alexandrine verses, e.g. Wright's _Spec. of Lyr. Poetry_, p.

    _Blessed be þou, leuedy, ful of heouene blisse,
     Suete flur of parays, moder of mildenesse,
     Preyȝe iesu, þy sone, þat he me rede and wysse
     So my wey forte gon, þat he me neuer misse._

In Modern English stanzas of this kind, consisting of Septenary verses,
are of rare occurrence. We have an example in Leigh Hunt's _The jovial
Priest's Confession_ (p. 338), a translation of the well-known poem
ascribed to Walter Map, _Mihi est propositum in taberna mori_ (cf. §§
135, 182).

Shorter verses, e.g. iambic lines of three measures, are also very
rarely used for such stanzas; e.g. in Donne and Denham (_Poets_, iv. 48
and v. 611).

§ =253.= A small group of other stanzas connected with the above may be
called =indivisible stanzas=. They consist of a one-rhymed main part
mostly of three, more rarely of two or four lines, followed by a shorter
refrain-verse, a _cauda_, as it were, but in itself too unimportant to
lend a bipartite character to the stanza. Otherwise, stanzas like these
might be looked upon as bipartite unequal-membered stanzas, with which,
indeed, they stand in close relationship. Three-lined stanzas of this
kind occur in Modern English only; as e.g. a stanza consisting of an
heroic couplet and a two-foot refrain verse of different rhythm: _a a₄
B₂_ in Moore's Song:

    _Oh! where are they, who heard in former hours,
     The voice of song in these neglected bowers?
         They are gone--all gone!_

Other stanzas show the formulas _a a₅ b₃_ and _a a₄ b₃_. Their structure
evidently is analogous to that of a four-lined Middle English stanza _a
a a₄ B₃_, the model of which we find in Low Latin and Provençal poetry
(cf. _Metrik_, i. 373) and in Furnivall's _Political, Religious, and
Love Poems_, p. 4:

    _Sithe god hathe chose þe to be his knyȝt,
     And posseside þe in þi right,
     Thou hime honour with al thi myght,
         Edwardus Dei gracia_.

Similar stanzas occur also in Modern English poets: _a a a₄ B₂_ in
Wyatt, p. 99, _a a a₅ B₃_ in G. Herbert, p. 18, &c. We find others with
the formula _a a a₄ b₂ a a a₄ b₂_ in Dunbar's _Inconstancy of Love_, and
with the formula _a a a₄ b₃ c c c₄ b₃ d d d₄ b₃_, in Dorset (_Poets_,
vi. 512); there are also stanzas of five lines, e.g. _a a a a₄ B₂_
(Wyatt, p. 80).

An older poem in Ritson's _Anc. Songs_, i. 140 (_Welcom Yol_), has the
same metre and form of stanza, but with a refrain verse of two measures
and a two-lined refrain prefixed to the first stanza: _A B₄  a a a₄ B₂
c c c₄ B₂_. A similar extended stanza is found in Wyatt (p. 108) _A₃
b b b₃ A₃ B₂_; _A₃ c c c₃ A₃ B₂_. There are also in modern poetry
similar isometrical stanzas, as in Swinburne (_Poems_, ii. 108) on the
scheme _a a a b₅_, _c c c b₅_, _d d d b₅_, _e e e f₅_, _g g g f₅_, _h h
h f₅_; in Campbell (p. 73) _a a a b₄_, _c c c b₄_, _d d d b₄_; and in M.
Arnold, _The Second Best_ (p. 49), with feminine endings in the main
part of the stanza, _a ~ a ~ a ~ b₄_, _c ~ c ~ c ~ b₄_, _d ~ d ~ d ~
b₄_, &c.

  II. _Bipartite unequal-membered isometrical stanzas._

§ =254.= These are of greater number and variety. The shortest of them,
however, viz. =stanzas of four lines=, are found only in Modern English;
first of all, stanzas arranged according to the formula _a a b a_; in
this case _b_ can be used as refrain also, as in Sidney, _Astrophel and
Stella_, Song I (Grosart, i. 75):

    _Doubt you to whom my Muse these notes entendeth,
     Which now my breast, surcharg'd to musick lendeth!
       To you, to you, all song of praise is due,
     Only in you my song begins and endeth._

Similar stanzas of four-foot iambic and of two-foot iambic-anapaestic
lines occur in Tennyson, _The Daisy_ (p. 270), and in Longfellow, _King
Olaf and Earl Sigwald_ (p. 573).

Stanzas with the scheme _a b b a_ also belong to this group, the two
halves not being exactly equal, but only similar to each other on
account of the unequal arrangement of rhymes.

Such a stanza of four-foot iambic verses occurs in an elegy of Ben
Jonson's (_Poets_, iv. 571):

    _Though beauty be the mark of praise,
       And yours of whom I sing be such,
       As not the world can praise too much,
     Yet is't your virtue now I raise_.

and notably in Tennyson's _In Memoriam_. Both this stanza and the
similar stanza of trochaic verses are found pretty often (cf. _Metrik_,
ii, § 311).

§ =255.= More frequently =five-lined stanzas= occur. One on the scheme
_a b b a a₄_, similar to that just mentioned, is used in Sidney, _Psalm
XXVIII_; others, composed in various metres, have a one-rhymed _frons_
or _cauda_, e.g. _a a a b b₃_ in Wyatt, p. 128, _a a b b b₄_ in Moore
(_Still when Daylight_) and other poets. Of greater importance are some
stanzas on the formula _a a b a b_; they may be looked upon as
isometrical tail-rhyme-stanzas, shortened by one chief verse; as _a a b
a B₄_, often occurring in Dunbar, e.g. in _The Devil's Inquest_, and
in Wyatt, p. 29:

    _My lute awake, perform the last
     Labour, that thou and I shall waste,
       And end that I have now begun;
     And when this song is sung and past,
       My lute! be still, for I have done._

Another form of this stanza, consisting of five-foot lines with refrain,
occurs in Swinburne, _In an Orchard_ (_Poems_, i. 116), and a variety
consisting of three-foot verses is found in Drayton's _Ode to Himself_
(Poets, iii, p. 587). More frequently this stanza is found with the two
parts in inverted order (_a b a a b₄_), as in Moore:

    _Take back the sigh, thy lips of art
       In passion's moment breath'd to me:
     Yet, no--it must not, will not part,
     'Tis now the life-breath of my heart,
       And has become too pure for thee._

There are also five-foot iambic and three-foot iambic-anapaestic and
other lines connected in this way, as in G. Herbert (p. 82); in
Longfellow, _Enceladus_ (p. 595); on the scheme _a b c c b₃_ in
Wordsworth, i. 248; and in R. Browning according to the formula _a b c c
b₄_ (vi. 77). The allied form of stanza, _a a b b a_, probably
originating by inversion of the two last verses of the former stanza (_a
a b a b_), occurs in Middle English in the poem _Of the Cuckoo and the

    _The god of love,--a! benedicite,
     How mighty and how greet a lord is he!
     For he can make of lowe hertes hye,
       And of hye lowe, and lyke for to dye,
     And harde hertes he can maken free._

The same stanza, both of four- and five-foot lines, is frequently
employed by Dunbar; e.g. _On his Heid-Ake, The Visitation of St.
Francis_, &c. We find it also in modern poets, composed of the same, or
of other verses; Moore, e.g., has used it with five-foot
iambic-anapaestic lines, in _At the mid hour of Night_.

A stanza on the model _a b a b b_ is a favourite in Modern English; it
is formed from the four-lined stanza (_abab_) by repeating the last
rhyme. It consists of the most different kinds of verse; an example is
Carew's _To my inconstant Mistress_ (Poets, iii. 678):

    _When thou, poor excommunicate
       From all the joys of love, shall see
     The full reward, and glorious fate,
       Which my strong faith shall purchase me,
       Then curse thine own inconstancy._

For other specimens in lines of five, three, and four feet see _Metrik_,
ii. 307.

Much less common is the form _a b b a b_, which occurs e.g. in
Coleridge's _Recollections of Love_ (_a b b a b₄_).

Five-lined stanzas of crossed rhymes are not very rare; an example of
the form _a b a b a₄_ is found in R. Browning's _The Patriot_ (iv. 149):

    _It was roses, roses, all the way,
       With myrtle mixed in my path like mad:
     The house-roofs seemed to heave and sway,
       The church-spires flamed, such flags they had,
     A year ago on this very day._

For specimens of other forms see _Metrik_, ii, § 318.

§ =256.= The simplest kind of isometrical stanzas of this group is that
in which the four-lined one-rhymed stanza is extended by the addition of
a couplet with a new rhyme, so that it forms a =six-lined stanza=. A
Latin stanza of this kind consisting of Septenary verses is given in
Wright's _Pol. Poems_, i. 253, and a Middle English imitation of it, ib.
p. 268, in the poem _On the Minorite Friars_. The same stanza composed
of four-stressed verses is used by Minot in his poem _Of the batayl of
Banocburn_ (ib. i. 61):

    _Skottes out of Berwik and of Abirdene,
     At the Bannok burn war ȝe to kene;
     Thare slogh ȝe many sakles, als it was sene;
     And now has king Edward wroken it, I wene.
       It es wrokin, I wene, wele wurth the while;
       War ȝit with the Skottes, for thai er ful of gile._

Here the _frons_ is connected with the _cauda_, which recurs in each
stanza as a kind of refrain, by means of _concatenatio_. Two other poems
of Minot's (v, ix) are written in similar stanzas of six and eight
lines. In the ten-lined stanza of the poem in Wright's _Spec. of Lyr.
Poetry_, p. 25, which is of similar structure, we find the doubling of
the _frons_.

A six-lined stanza of this kind, which has the formula _a a a b B B_ (_B
B_ being refrain-verses), is used by Dunbar in his _Gray-Horse_ poem and
in _Luve Erdly and Divine_. The latter begins:

    _Now culit is Dame Venus brand;
     Trew Luvis fyre is ay kindilland,
     And I begyn to undirstand,
     In feynit luve quhat foly bene;
       Now cumis Aige quhair Yowth hes bene,
       And true Luve rysis fro the splene._

The same kind of stanza occurs in Wyatt, p. 137. Other forms are: _a a b
a b b₅_, in Wyatt, p. 71; _a b c c b a₄_ in John Scott, _Conclusion_
(Poets, ix. 773); _a b c b c a₄_ in Tennyson, _A Character_ (p. 12):

    _With a half-glance upon the sky
     At night he said, 'The wanderings
     Of this most intricate Universe
     Teach me the nothingness of things.'
     Yet could not all creation pierce
     Beyond the bottom of his eye._

Longer isometrical stanzas are unfrequent, and need hardly be mentioned
here (cf. _Metrik_, ii, p. 556).

  III. _Bipartite unequal-membered anisometrical stanzas._

§ =257. Two-lined and four-lined stanzas.= The shortest stanzas of this
kind consist of two anisometrical lines, rhyming in couplets, e.g. four-
and five-foot, five- and three-foot lines, &c.

These have been mentioned before (§ 207); but as a rule they are used,
like the heroic couplet, in continuous systems only, without strophic

The _Poulter's Measure_ (§§ 146, 206) must be mentioned in this place.
This metre, also, is in narrative poetry employed without strophic
arrangement; but in lyrical poetry it is sometimes written in stanzas.
In this case it is mostly printed as a stanza of four lines, even when
rhyming in long lines, i.e. with intermittent rhyme (_a b₃ c₄ b₃_);
e.g. in Tennyson, _Marriage Morning_ (p. 285):

    _Light, so low upon earth,
       You send a flash to the sun,
     Here is the golden close of love,
       All my wooing is done._

The division into stanzas is still more distinctly recognizable when
there are crossed rhymes (_a b₃ a₄ b₃_), as e.g. in a song in Percy's
_Reliques_, I. ii. 2, _The Aged Lover renounceth Love_ (quoted by the
grave-digger in Shakespeare's _Hamlet_):

    _I lothe that I did love,
       In youth that I thought swete,
     As time requires: for my behove
       Me thinkes they are not mete._

This stanza occurs very frequently (cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 321), but is
rarely formed of trochaic verses.

Another rare variety on the scheme _a ~ b₃ c₄ b₃_ is found in Mrs.
Hemans, _The Stream is free_ (vii. 42), and in M. Arnold's _The Neckan_
(p. 167).

Similar to the common _Poulter's Measure_ stanza is another stanza of
iambic-anapaestic verses on the formula _a a₃ b₄ a₃_ (in _b_
middle-rhyme is used, so that the scheme may also be given as _a a₃ b b₂
a₃_.)We find it in Burns, the _a_-rhymes being masculine (p. 245) and
feminine (p. 218).

Four-lined stanzas of two rhyming couplets of unequal length are fairly
common; as e.g. on the model _a a₅ b b₄_ in Dryden, _Hymn for St.
John's Eve_:

    _O sylvan prophet!  whose eternal fame
     Echoes from Judah's hills and Jordan's stream,
       The music of our numbers raise,
       And tune our voices to thy praise._

Other schemes that occur are _a a₄ b b₅_, _a a b₄ b₅_, _a a b₄ b₂_, _a
a₄ b₃ b₂_, _a₄ a₂ b b₄_, _a₅ a₃ b b₅_; there are even forms with lines
of unequal length in each part, as e.g.: _a₄ a₅ b₇ b₅_, _a₇ a₄ b₂ b₆_,
_a₅ a₃ b₅ b₄_, _a₅ a₄ b₄ b₆_. For examples see _Metrik_, ii (§§ 322-4).

Enclosing rhymes are also found; and in this case the lines of the same
length usually rhyme together, as in the formula _a₃ b b₅ a₃_ in Mrs.
Hemans, _The Song of Night_ (vi. 94):

        _I come to thee, O Earth!
     With all my gifts!--for every flower sweet dew
     In bell, and urn, and chalice, to renew
       The glory of its birth._

Sometimes verses are used partly of unequal length: _a₃ b₅ b₃ a₄_ in M.
Arnold, _A Nameless Epitaph_ (p. 232), or _a₅ b₂ b₄ a₅_, _a b b₄ a₃_,
&c. (cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 325).

§ =258.= Stanzas of this kind frequently occur with crossed rhymes. Most
commonly two longer verses are placed between two shorter ones, or vice
versa; thus we have the formula _a₃ b a₅ b₃_ in Southey's _The Ebb-Tide_
(ii. 193):

         _Slowly thy flowing tide
    Came in, old Avon! scarcely did mine eyes,
    As watchfully I roam'd thy green-wood side,
      Perceive its gentle rise._

Other forms are _a₂ b a₃ b₂_, _a₄ b a₅ b₄_, _a₅ b a₄ b₅_ (cf. _Metrik_,
ii, § 326).

Three isometrical verses and one shorter or longer end-verse can also be
so connected, as e.g. on the scheme _a b a₄ b₂_ in Pope, _Ode on
Solitude_ (p. 45):

    _Happy the man whose wish and care
     A few paternal acres bound,
     Content to breathe his native air,
         In his own ground_;

or in Cowper on the model _a b a₄ b₅_ in _Divine Love endures no Rival_
(p. 418):

        _Love is the Lord whom I obey,
         Whose will transported I perform;
         The centre of my rest, my stay,
     Love's all in all to me, myself a worm._

Similar stanzas both with this and other arrangements of rhymes (as e.
g. _a b a₅ b₃_, _a b a₄ b₂_, _a b a₃ b₅_) are very popular. A specimen
of the first of these formulas is found in M. Arnold's _Progress_ (p.
252), and one of the second in his _A Southern Night_ (p. 294). For
other examples see _Metrik_, ii, §§ 326-7.

More rarely a short verse begins the stanza (e.g. _a₃ b a b₅_ in
Mrs. Hemans, _The Wish_, vi. 249), or is placed in the middle on the
scheme _a₅ b₂ a b₅_ (as in G. Herbert, _Church Lock and Key_,
p. 61). For specimens see _Metrik_, ii, §§ 328, 329.

Stanzas of one isometrical and another anisometrical half are not
frequently met with; a specimen of the form _a b₄ a₅ b₂_ is
found in G. Herbert's _Employment_ (p. 51).

More common are stanzas of two anisometrical halves; in this case either
the two middle or the isolated verses are generally isometrical; e.g. on
the scheme _a₅ b a₄ b₃_ in G. Herbert, _The Temper_ (p. 49):

    _How should I praise thee, Lord! how should my rymes
        Gladly engrave thy love in steel,
        If what my soul doth feel sometimes,
            My soul might ever feel!_

or on _a₄ b₃ a₄ b₅_ in Milton, _Psalm V_ (vol. iii, p. 24):

        _Jehovah, to my words give ear,
            My meditation weigh;
        The voice of my complaining hear,
    My king and God, for unto thee I pray._

Stanzas like these are very much in vogue, and may be composed of the
most varied forms of verse (cf. _Metrik_, ii; § 330).

§ =259.= Among the =five-lined stanzas= the first place must be given to
those in which the arrangement of rhymes is parallel, as these are found
in Middle English as well as in Modern English poetry. A stanza of form
_a a a₄ b₃ b₆_ occurs in Wright's _Spec. of Lyr. Poetry_, p. 60:

        _Wynter wakeneþ al my care,
         nou þis leues waxeþ bare;
         ofte y sike ant mourne sare,
              when hit cómeþ in my þóht,
    óf this wórldes ióie, hóu hit geþ ál to nóht._

A similar structure (_a a a₄ b₃ b₅_) is shown in a stanza of a poem
quoted by Ritson, _Ancient Songs_, i. 129; the poem belongs to the
fifteenth century.

Still more numerous are these stanzas in Modern English; e.g. the form
_a a a₃ b b₅_ occurs in Herbert, _Sinne_ (p. 58), _a a a₃ b₄ b₃_ in
Shelley (iii. 244), _a a a b₄ b₅_ in Suckling (_Poets_, iii. 734); a
still more irregular structure (_a₄ a₅ b b₄ b₅_) in Cowley, _All for
love_ (Poets, v. 263):

        _'Tis well, 'tis well with them, say I.
    Whose short liv'd passions with themselves can die;
        For none can be unhappy who,
        'Midst all his ills, a time does know_
    (_Though ne'er so long_) _when he shall not be so_.

Here again we meet with the stanzas mentioned above, which are partially
characterized by enclosing rhymes, e.g. corresponding to the formula _a
b b a_, as in M. Arnold, _On the Rhine_ (p. 223), or on the scheme _a a
b b₄ a₅_, as in Byron, _Oh! snatch'd away_, &c. (p. 123):

    _Oh! snatch'd away in beauty's bloom,
    On thee shall press no ponderous tomb;
        But on thy turf shall roses rear
        Their leaves, the earliest of the year;
    And the wild cypress wave in tender gloom._

For other stanzas on the formulas _a a₅ b b₄ A₃_, _a₅ b b₄ a₅ a₄_, _a₃ b
b₂ a a₃_, &c., see _Metrik_ (ii, §§ 332, 333).

In others the chief part of the stanza shows crossed rhyme, as e.g. on
the scheme _a b a b₄ b₃_ in Poe, _To Helen_ (p. 205):

    _Helen, thy beauty is to me
        Like those Nicean barks of yore
    That gently, o'er a perfumed sea,
        The weary way-worn wanderer bore
        To his own native shore._

Other stanzas take the forms _a₅ b₄ a₅ b₄ b₅_, _a₅ b₂ a₄ b₃ b₅_, _a₄ b₃
a₄ b₃ b₂_, &c. More uncommon are such forms as _a₃ b b₅ a₄ b₅, a b₅ b₃ a
b₅_, &c. (For specimens see _Metrik_, ii, § 334.)

Stanzas with crossed rhymes throughout, on the other hand, are very
frequent, as e.g. type _a b a b₄ a₃_ in R. Browning's _By the Fireside_
(iii. 170):

    _How well I know what I mean to do
     When the long dark autumn evenings come;
     And where, my soul, is thy pleasant hue?
     With the music of all thy voices, dumb
         In life's November too!_

There are many other forms, sometimes very complicated, as e.g. _a b a
b₄ a₃_, _a b₄ a₂ b a₆_, _a₃ b a₄ b₃ a₅_, &c. (For examples see _Metrik_,
ii, § 335.)

§ =260.= The tail-rhyme stanzas shortened by one verse occupy an
important position among the five-lined stanzas.

These curtailed forms occur as early as the Middle English period, e.g.
in an envoi on the model _a a₄ b₂ a₄ b₂_, forming the conclusion of a
poem in six-lined stanzas (_a a a₄ b₂ a₄ b₂_), printed in Wright's
_Spec. of Lyr. Poetry_, p. 38.

    _Ich wolde ich were a þrestelcok,
     A bountyng oþer a lauerok.
         Swete bryd!
     Bituene hire curtel ant hire smok
         Y wolde ben hyd._

In Modern English the common form of stanza is much employed, consisting
of four- and three-foot verses, _a a₄ b₃ a₄ b₃_; there are many
varieties of this scheme, as _a a b a₄ b₃_, _a₅ a b₄ a₅ b₃_, _a a₂ b a₄
b₃_, &c. (cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 336).

A similar form, with shortening in the first half-stanza, also occurs in
Middle English poetry, though only as an envoi of another form of
stanza, viz, in the _Towneley Mysteries_ (pp. 34-323):

    _Vnwunne haueþ myn wonges wet,
       Þat makeþ me rouþes rede;
     Ne sem i nout þer y am set,
     Þer me calleþ me fule flet
       And waynoun! wayteglede._

This stanza is also frequently used in Modern English, e.g. by Thomas
Moore, _Nay, do not weep_.

A similar stanza on the model _a₄ b₂ a a₄ b₂_ is used by Moore in _Echo_
(ii. 211):

    _How sweet the answer Echo makes
       To music at night,
     When, roused by lute or horn, she wakes,
     And far away, o'er lawns and lakes,
       Goes answering light._

We find specimens of this stanza consisting of other metres and of
different structure (isometrical in the first half-stanza), e.g. on
the schemes _a₅ b₃ a a₅ b₃_, _a b a a₄ b₃_, &c. (For specimens see
_Metrik_, ii, § 337.)

Stanzas of this kind are also formed with three rhymes, e.g. _a b₃ c c₂
b₄_, _a b₃ c c₂ b₃_, _a ~ b₄ c ~ c ~₂ b₄_, &c. (For specimens cf.
_Metrik_, ii, § 338.)

Another class of shortened tail-rhyme stanzas, which is deficient not in
one of the rhyming couplets, but in one of the tail-verses, comes in
here. Omission of the first tail-verse, producing a stanza on the scheme
_a a b b c_, occurs in Wordsworth, _The Blind Highland Boy_ (ii. 368):

    _Now we are tired of boisterous joy,
     Have romped enough, my little Boy!
     Jane hangs her head upon my breast,
     And you shall bring your stool and rest;
         This corner is your own._

Another stanza, which is used in Carew's _Love's Courtship_ (Poets, iii.
707), is formed on the scheme _a a₄ b₂ c c₄_, where the tail-verse of
the second half-stanza is wanting. As to the other varieties, arising
from the use of other metres, cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 338.

Sometimes stanzas of three rhymes occur, rhyming crosswise throughout,
and of various forms, e.g. _a b a c₄ b₃_ in Longfellow, _The Saga of
King Olaf_ (p. 565); _a b₄ c₃ a₄ c₂_ in Coleridge; _a b a b₅ C₃_ in
Mrs. Hemans (iv. 119); _a b a b₄ C₃_ in Moore, _Weep, Children of

    _Weep, weep for him, the Man of God--
       In yonder vale he sunk to rest;
     But none of earth can point the sod
     That flowers above his sacred breast.
       Weep, children of Israel, weep!_

For other varieties see _Metrik_, ii, § 339.

§ =261.= Unequal-membered anisometrical =stanzas of six lines= are only
rarely met with in Middle English, as e.g. _a a₄ b b b a₂_ in Dunbar's
poem, _Aganis Treason_.

They occur, on the other hand, very frequently in Modern English,
especially with parallel rhymes on the scheme _a a a a₄ B C₂_ in _The
Old and Young Courtier_ (Percy's _Rel._ II. iii. 8):

    _An old song made by an aged-old pate,
     Of an old worshipful gentleman, who had a greate estate,
     That kept a brave old house at a bountiful rate,
     And an old porter to relieve the poor at his gate;
         Like an old courtier of the queen's,
         And the queen's old courtier._

For specimens of other stanzas, the rhymes of which are arranged in a
similar way (according to _a₅ a a b b₄ b₅_, or with partly enclosing
rhymes, as _a₅ b b b b₃ a₅_, _a a b b b₄ a₂_, _a a₄ b b b a₂_, &c.), see
_Metrik_, ii, § 340.

Forms based upon the tail-rhyme stanza are very popular; of great
importance is the entwined form on a Provençal model (cf. Bartsch,
_Provenzalisches Lesebuch_, p. 46) which was imitated in Middle English
poetry. It corresponds to the scheme _a a a₄ b₃ a₄ b₃_ and gives the
impression, according to Wolf in his book, _Über die Lais_, &c., p. 230,
note 67, that the second part of a common tail-rhyme stanza is inserted
into the first, though it is also possible that it may have been formed
from the extended tail-rhyme stanza _a a a₄ b₃ a a a₄ b₃_ by shortening
the second part by two chief verses. The first stanza of a poem in
Wright's _Spec. of Lyr. Poetry_, p. 94, may serve as a specimen:

    _Ase y me rod þis ender day,
     By grene wode to seche play,
     Mid herte y þohte al on a may,
       Suetest of alle þinge;
     Lyþe, and ich ou telle may
       Al of þat suete þinge._

This stanza occurs frequently in the _Towneley Mysteries_, pp. 120-34,
254-69, &c. In Modern English, however, we find it very seldom; as an
example (iambic-anapaestic verses of four and three measures) we may
refer to Campbell's _Stanzas on the battle of Navarino_ (p. 176).

More frequent in Modern English, on the other hand, is a variety of this
stanza with two-foot tail-verses on the scheme _a a a₄ b₂ a₄ b₂_; it is
especially common in Ramsay and Fergusson, and occurs in several poems
of Burns, e.g. in his _Scotch Drink_ (p. 6):

    _Let other Poets raise a fracas
     'Bout vines, an'  wines, an' drunken Bacchus,
     An' crabbit names an' stories wrack us,
             An' grate our lug,
     I sing the juice Scotch bear can mak us,
           In glass or jug._

The same form of stanza is used by Wordsworth and by M. Arnold in his
poem _Kaiser Dead_ (p. 495).

The same stanza sometimes occurs with the order of the parts inverted
like _a₄ b₃ a a a₄ b₃_, e.g. in Longfellow's _Voices of the Night_ (p.

Other unequal-membered varieties of the anisometrical tail-rhyme stanza
correspond to _a a₃ b₅ a a₅ b₆_ (cf. the chapter on the Spenserian
stanza and its imitations), _a a b c c₄ b₃_ (M. Arnold, _Horatian Echo_,
p. 47), _a a b c c₃ b₅_, _a₅ a₃ b₅ c c b₅_, _a₄ a₂ b₄ c₂ c₅ b₄_, _a₄ b₃
a c c₄ b₃_ (entwined _frons_), _a a₄ b₃ c₃ b₄ c₅_ (entwined _cauda_).

For examples see _Metrik_, ii, § 343.

Here again we must mention stanzas which in their structure are
influenced by the tail-rhyme stanza and are formed on the scheme _a b c
a b c_; of these we have several examples in G. Herbert, on the scheme
_a b c₅ a b₄ c₅_, e.g. in _Magdalena_ (p. 183):

    _When blessed Marie wip'd her Saviour's feet,
     (Whose precepts she had trampled on before)
       And wore them for a jewell on her head,
     Shewing his steps should be the street,
     Wherein she thenceforth evermore
       With pensive humblenesse would live and tread._

Other stanzas of his correspond to _a₅ b₄ c₃ c₄ b₃ a₅_, _a₃ b₅ c₄ c₄ b₅
a₃_, &c. In Moore we have a similar stanza: _a b₄ c₂ b a₄ c₂_ which is
unequal-membered on account of the arrangement of rhyme (cf. _Metrik_,
ii, § 344). An unusual form of stanza, which may also be classed under
this head, occurs in M. Arnold's _Human Life_ (p. 40), its formula being
_a₃ b₄ c a c b₅_.

§ =262. A stanza of seven lines= is used in Dunbar's poem _The
Merchants of Edinborough_, formed on the scheme _a a a b₄ B₂ a₄ B₄_; it
is very interesting on account of the duplication of the refrain-verses
(_B₂_, _B₄_). Apart from the first short refrain-verse the arrangement
of rhymes is the same as it is in the entwined tail-rhyme stanza:

    _Quhy will ȝe, merchantis of renoun,
     Lat Edinburgh, ȝour nobill toun,
     For laik of reformatioun
     The commone proffeitt tyne and fame?
       Think ȝe noht schame,
     That onie other regioun
       Sall with dishonour hurt ȝour name!_

The Modern English stanzas also mostly bear a greater or less
resemblance to the tail-rhyme stanza. This relationship is evident in a
stanza like _a a₄ b₃ c c c₄ b₃_, used in Wordsworth, _To the Daisy_
(iii. 42):

    _Sweet flower! belike one day to have
     A place upon thy Poets grave,
         I welcome thee once more:
     But He, who was on land, at sea,
     My Brother, too, in loving thee,
     Although he loved more silently,
         Sleeps by his native shore._

A peculiar form of stanza occurring in M. Arnold's _In Utrumque Paratus_
(p. 45) with the formula _a₅ b₃ a c b c₅ b₃_ likewise belongs to this

In other instances the longer part comes first on the model _a a a₄ b₃ c
c₄ b₃_, e.g. in Mrs. Hemans, _The Sun_ (iv. 251).

Other stanzas correspond to _a a₃ b₂ c c c₃ B₂_ and _a a a b c c₂ b₃_.

In other cases the equal-membered tail-rhyme stanza becomes
unequal-membered by adding to the second tail-verse another verse
rhyming with it, the formula being then _a a₄ B₂ a a₄ b B₂_ (e.g. in
Longfellow, _Victor Galbraith_, p. 503) or _a a₂ b₄ c c₂ b₄ B₃_ (in
Moore, _Little man_), or _a a₃ b₂ c ~ c ~ b b₃_ (id., _The Pilgrim_).

Less closely allied to the tail-rhyme stanza are the forms which are
similar to it only in one half-strophe, e.g. those on the model _a₄ b₂
a b c c₄ b₂_ (Shelley, _To Night_, iii. 62), _a b₃ c c₂ a a₄ b₃_ (id.
_Lines_, iii. 86), _a b b₄ r₂ a R₄ r₂_ (Tennyson, _A Dirge_, p. 16). For
other examples see _Metrik_, ii, § 347.

§ =263.= There are also some eight-, nine-, and ten-lined stanzas
similar to the tail-rhyme stanza. An =eight-lined stanza= of the form
_a₄ b a₅ c₂, b₄ d d₅ c₂_ occurs in Herbert, _The Glance_ (p. 18), and
one of the form _a ~ a ~₄ B c ~ d c ~ d₄ B₃_ in Moore's _Thee, thee,
only thee_:

    _The dawning of morn, the daylight's sinking,
     The night's long hours still find me thinking
         Of thee, thee, only thee.
     When friends are met, and goblets crown'd,
       And smiles are near, that once enchanted,
     Unreach'd by all that sunshine round,
       My soul, like some dark spot, is haunted
         By thee, thee, only thee._

A stanza used by Wordsworth in _Stray Pleasures_ (iv. 12) corresponds to
_a a₂ b₃ c c d d₂ b₃_.

Two stanzas used by M. Arnold correspond to the formulas _a a₂ b₂ c₅ d₄
c₃ d₄ b₂_ (_a a_ printed as one line) in _A Question_ (p. 44), and _a a₃
b₅ c c₃ d b d₃_ in _The World and the Quietist_ (p. 46).

A =stanza of nine lines= is found in Tennyson's _Lady of Shalott_ (p.
28); it is on the scheme _a a a a b c c c₄ b_; one of ten lines in his
_Greeting to the Duchess of Edinburgh_ (p. 261) on the model _a b b a₅
C₂ d e e d₅ C₃_ (cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 349).

Other stanzas of this kind are related to the Septenary or the
_Poulter's Measure_, e.g. those on the schemes _a₄ b₃ a b c d c₄ d₃_,
_a b a₄ b₃ c d₃ c₄ d₃_, and _a b₂ a₄ b₂ c₃ d₂ c₄ d₂_, examples of which,
from Moore, are given in _Metrik_, ii, § 348.

=Stanzas of eleven= and =twelve lines= are rare. For examples see
_Metrik_, ii, § 350.

§ =264. The bob-wheel stanzas.= This important class of bipartite
unequal-membered anisometrical stanzas was very much in vogue in the
Middle English period. They consist (see § 222) of a _frons_ (longer
verses of four stresses, or Septenary and Alexandrine verses) and a
_cauda_, which is formed of shorter verses and is joined to the _frons_
by one or several 'bob-verses', belonging generally to the first part or
'upsong' (in German _Aufgesang_).

Sometimes it is doubtful whether these stanzas belong to the bipartite
or to the tripartite class, on account of the variety of rhymes in the
_frons_. But as they mostly consist of two quite unequal parts, they
certainly stand in a closer relationship to the bipartite stanzas.

A simple stanza of this kind on the scheme _A A₇ C₁ B₇_ occurs in
William of Shoreham (printed in short lines on the model _A₄ B₃ C₄ B₃ d₁
E₄ D₃_):

    _Nou here we mote in this sermon of ordre maky saȝe,
     Then was bytokned suithe wel wylom by the ealde lawe
                                      To aginne,
     Tho me made Godes hous and ministres therinne._

A six-lined stanza of Alexandrines and Septenaries on the scheme _A A B
B₆ c₁ C₆_ is found in the poem _On the evil Times of Edward II_
(Wright's _Polit. Songs_, p. 323). Another variety originated by the
breaking up of the longer verses into short ones by inserted rhyme, as
in the closing stanzas of a poem by Minot (ed. Hall, p. 17) according to
the formula _A B A B A B A B₃ c₁ A C₃_; cf. the last stanza:

    _King Edward, frely fode,
        In Fraunce he will noght blin
     To make his famen wode
        That er wonand tharein.
     God, that rest on rode,
        For sake of Adams syn,
     Strenkith him maine and mode,
        His reght in France to win,
                      And have.
     God grante him graces gode,
        And fro all sins us save._

A similar form of stanza (_A B A B A B A B₃ c₁ B C₃_) is used in the
Romance of _Sir Tristrem_; that of the Scottish poem _Christ's Kirk on
the Green_, however, is formed on the model _A₄ B₃ A₄ B₄ A₄ B₃ b₁ B₄_.

§ =265.= Still more common than stanzas of this kind composed of
even-beat verses, are those of four-stressed rhyming verses with or
without alliteration.

Under this head comes a poem in Wright's _Polit. Songs_, p. 69 (cf. §
60), on the scheme _A A A A₄ B₃ c₁ C₃ B₄_, or rather _A A A A₄ b₂ c₁ c₂
B₄_, the bob-verse being thus inserted in the _cauda_. The common form
comes out more clearly in another poem, ibid., p. 212 (st. 1, quoted pp.
100-1), corresponding to _A A A A₄ b₁ c c₂ b₂_, where _A A A A₄_ are
verses of four stresses, _b a_ one-stressed bob-verse or the half-verse
of a long line, _c c₂ b₂_ half-verses of two stresses.

_The Tournament of Tottenham_ (Ritson's _Anc. Songs_, i. 85-9) is
written in a similar form of stanza with the formula _A A A A₄ b c c c
b₂_; the cauda consisting of five verses with two stresses only.

This form of stanza is further developed by connecting the halves of the
long lines with each other by the insertion of rhymes in the same way as
in the stanzas of isometrical verses. An example may be seen in Wright's
_Polit. Songs_, p. 153, the scheme being _A A A A₄ b b₁ b₂_ or _A A A A₄
b₁ b₂ b₄_ (or, with the longer lines broken up, _A B A B A B A B₂ c c₁
c₂_, or _A B A B A B A B₂ c₁ c₂ C₄_, &c.).

Similar stanzas, especially those on the model _A A A A₄ b₁ c c c₂ b₂_
(_A B A B A B A B₂ c₁ d d d₂ c₂_) were much used in the mystery plays,
as e.g. in the _Towneley Mysteries_ (pp. 20-34), even when in the
dialogue the single lines are divided between different speakers (cf.
_Metrik_, i, pp. 390-1).

The four-stressed long lines sometimes alternate with Alexandrine and
Septenary verses. In these plays stanzas of an eight-lined _frons_
consisting of long verses, rhyming crosswise and corresponding to _A B A
B A B A B₄ c₁ d d d₂ c₂_ are also common:

    _Peasse at my bydyng, ye wyghtys in wold!
     Looke none be so hardy to speke a word bot I,
     Or by Mahwne most myghty, maker on mold,
     With this brande that I bere ye shalle bytterly aby;
     Say, wote ye not that I am Pylate, perles to behold?
     Most doughty in dedes of dukys of the Jury,
     In bradyng of batels I am the most bold,
     Therefor my name to you wille I descry,
                                No mys.
            I am fulle of sotelty,
            Falshod, gylt, and trechery;
            Therefor am I namyd by clergy
                  As mali actoris._

Other stanzas, the first _cauda_-verse of which has four beats (on the
scheme _A B A B A B A B C₄ d d d c₂_), were also very much in vogue.
Stanzas of this kind occur in the poems _Golagros and Gawane_, _The Buke
of the Howlat_, _Rauf Coilȝear_, and _The Awntyrs of Arthure at the
Terne Wathelyne_ (S. T. S. vol. 28; cf. § 61). An interesting variety of
the common form (with a five-lined _cauda_) we have in the poem _Of
sayne John the Euangelist_ (E. E. T. S., 26, p. 87). The stanza consists
of an eight-lined _frons_ of crossed rhymes and a _cauda_ formed by a
six-lined tail-rhyme stanza[192] of two-beat verses, on the scheme _A B
A B A B A B₄ c c d c c d₂_.

As to the rhythmical structure of the half-verses used in the _cauda_ of
the stanza cf. the explanations given in § 64.

§ =266.= The bob-wheel stanzas[193] were preserved in the North in
Scottish poetry (e.g. Alex. Montgomerie) up to the Modern English
period.[194] It is not unlikely that they found their way from this
source into Modern English poetry, where they are also met with, though
they have not attained any marked popularity.

It must, however, be kept in mind that the Modern English bob-wheel
stanzas are not a direct imitation of the Middle English. Sometimes they
were influenced probably by the odes, as there is a marked likeness
between these two forms, e.g. in two stanzas of Donne (_Poets_, iv. 24
and 39) on the schemes _A B A B C C₄ d d₁ D₄_ and _A₂ A₅ B₄ C C₅ B₄ d₁ D
E E₅_; or in a stanza of Ben Jonson in an ode to Wm. Sidney (_Poets_,
iv. 558) on the model _A₅ B₄ c c₁ B₃ a d d e₂ E₅_, and in another in
_The Dream_ (iv. 566), _A A₄ B₃ C C₄ A₅ A₄ B₃ b₁ D D₃ E E₄ B₅_.

In this and other cases they consist of even-measured, seldom of
four-stressed verses, as e.g. in Suckling, who seems to have been very
fond of these forms of stanza; cf. the following stanza on the model _A
A₄ B₃ c c₁ b₂_ (_Poets_, iii. 736):

    _That none beguiled be by time's quick flowing,
     Lovers have in their hearts a clock still going;
       For though time be nimble, his motions
              Are quicker
              And thicker
        Where love hath its notions._

Other bob-wheel stanzas in Suckling show the schemes _A A₄ a₂ b b₃_ (ib.
iii. 740), _A A A₄ B B₅ c₂ c₁ C D₄ d₂_ (ib. iii. 729), _A A B B₄ c₁ c d₂
D₅_ (ib. 739).

More similar to the older forms is a stanza of a song in Dryden formed
after _A A B B C₄ d d e e₂ e₃_ (p. 339).

In Modern poetry such stanzas are used especially by Burns, Scott, and
sometimes by Moore. So we have in Burns a fine simple stanza on the
model _A₄ B₃ A₄ B₃ c₁ B₃_, similar to the Shoreham stanza (cf. § 264):

    _It was a' for our rightfu' king
       We left fair Scotland's strand,
     It was a' for our rightfu' king
       We e'er saw Irish land,
                      My dear;
       We e'er saw Irish land._

Similar stanzas occur in Moore on the formula _A₄ B₃ A₄ B₃ a₁ B₃_ in
_Then fare thee well_, on _A₄ B ~₃ A₄ B ~₃ c₁ B ~₃_ in _Dear Fanny_.
Other stanzas by the same poet have a somewhat longer _cauda_, as _A₄ B
~₃ A₄ B ~₃ c ~ c ~ d ~ d ~1 A₄ C ~₃_ or _A B ~ A B ~ C ~ C ~₄ d d₂ E F ~
E F ~₄_.

A stanza used by Sir Walter Scott in _To the Sub-Prior_ (p. 461) is
formed on the model _A A B B₄ c₁ c₂ C₄_, the _frons_ consisting of
four-stressed verses:

    _Good evening, Sir Priest, and so late as you ride,
     With your mule so fair, and your mantle so wide;
     But ride you through valley, or ride you o'er hill,
     There is one that has warrant to wait on you still.
                  Back, back,
                  The volume black!
     I have a warrant to carry it back._

Most of these stanzas admit of being looked upon as tripartite on
account of the bipartite structure of the _frons_.

Other stanzas may be viewed as consisting of three unequal parts (if not
regarded as bipartite); such, for instance, is the stanza on the scheme
(_a_) ~ _A_ ~ (_b_) _~ B ~₄ c₁_ (_d_) _D₄ b ~1 e e e c c₂ C₄_ occurring
in Shelley's _Autumn, A Dirge_ (iii. 65), where the symbols (_a_)and
(_b_) denote middle rhymes.

Stanzas of this kind are met with also in modern poetry, as e.g. in
Thackeray, Mrs. Browning, and Rossetti (cf. _Metrik_, ii, §§ 353, 354).



  I. _Isometrical stanzas._

§ =267.= In the anisometrical stanzas (which might, as being the older
species, have been treated of first) the distinction between the first
and the last part of the stanza (_frons_ and _cauda_) is marked as a
rule by a difference of metre in them; in isometrical stanzas, on the
other hand, the distinction between the two parts depends solely on the
arrangement of the rhyme. For this reason certain =six-lined stanzas=
consisting of two equal parts and a third of the same structure (the
formula being _a a b b c c₄_ or the like), which now and then occur in
the _Surtees Psalter_ (e.g. Ps. xliv, st. 5), cannot strictly be called

Stanzas like these are, however, not unfrequent in Modern English
poetry, as e.g. in a song of Carew's (_Poets_, iii. 292):

    _Cease, thou afflicted soul, to mourn,
     Whose love and faith are paid with scorn;
     For I am starv'd that feel the blisses
     Of dear embraces, smiles and kisses,
     From my soul's idol, yet complain
     Of equal love more than disdain._

For an account of many other stanzas of the same or similar structure
(consisting of trochaic four-foot lines, iambic-anapaestic lines of four
stresses, or lines of five, six, and seven measures), see _Metrik_, ii,
§§ 355, 356.

It is only rarely that we find stanzas formed on the scheme _a a a a b
b_ (e.g. in the _Surtees Psalter_, xlix. 21; in Ben Jonson, _Poets_,
iv. 574); or on the formula _a a b b a b₄_, as in Swinburne, _Poems_, i.

One form, analogous to the stanza first mentioned in this section and
used pretty often in Modern English, has crossed rhymes _a b a b a b_.
It occurs with four-foot verses in Byron, _She walks in Beauty_:

    _She walks in beauty, like the night
       Of cloudless climes and starry skies:
     And all that's best of dark and bright
       Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
     Thus mellow'd to that tender light
       Which Heaven to gaudy day denies._

The same stanza of trochaic or iambic-anapaestic metres of three or five
measures is also frequently met with (cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 358).

The tripartite character of a strophe appears somewhat more distinctly
in stanzas formed on the scheme _a b a b b b_, or _a b a b b x_ (cf.
_Metrik_, ii, §359).

The only stanzas, however, that are in the strictest sense to be
regarded as tripartite are those in which the first and the last part
are clearly distinguished by the arrangement of rhymes, as e.g. in the
type _a b a b c c_. This stanza is very popular in Modern English
poetry; in the Middle English period, however, we find it very rarely
used, as e.g. in the _Coventry Mysteries_, p. 315.

In Modern English it occurs e.g. in Surrey, _A Prayse of his Love_ (p.

    _Give place, ye lovers, here before
       That spend your boasts and brags in vain;
     My Lady's beauty passeth more
       The best of yours, I dare well sayen,
     Than doth the sun the candle light,
       Or brightest day the darkest night._

This form of stanza is used with lines of the same metres by many other
poets, e.g. by M. Arnold, pp. 195, 197, 256, 318. Similar stanzas of
four-foot trochaic (cf. p. 285), or of four-stressed verses, and
especially of five-foot verses, are very popular. They are found e.g. in
Shakespeare's _Venus and Adonis_, M. Arnold's _Mycerinus_ (first part,
p. 8), &c. (cf. _Metrik_, ii, §§ 360, 361).

Similar stanzas, however, in which the _frons_ precedes the _versus_,
according to the formula _a a b c b c_ (cf. p. 285), do not occur
frequently; a rare form, also, is that in which the _cauda_ is placed
between the two _pedes_ (cf. p. 285 and _Metrik_, ii, §362).

§ =268.= Still more popular than the six-lined stanzas, both in the
Middle and in the Modern English periods, are those =of seven lines=,
which are modelled on Old French lyric poetry, the prevailing type
being that of an Old French ballade-stanza, viz. _a b a b b c c_. But it
is not before the middle of the fifteenth century that we meet with an
example of this stanza consisting of four-foot verses, viz. in Lydgate's
Minor Poems (_Percy Society_, 1840), p. 129; a specimen of four-stressed
verses occurs in the _Chester Plays_, pp. 1-7 and pp. 156-8. We may,
however, take it for granted that this form of stanza was known long
before that time, since four-foot verses were used much earlier than
those of five feet, and a six-lined stanza of five-foot verses occurs
(for the first time, so far as we know) as early as in Chaucer's
_Compleynte of the Dethe of Pite_, and subsequently in many other of his
poems (e.g. _Troylus and Cryseyde_, _The Assembly of Fowles_, _The
Clerkes Tale_) and in numerous other poems of his successors, e.g. in
_The Kingis Quair_ by King James I of Scotland. It has been sometimes
maintained that this stanza was called _rhyme royal_ stanza because that
royal poet wrote his well-known poem in it; this, however, is not so.
Guest long ago pointed out (ii. 359) that this name is to be derived
from the French term _chant-royal_, applied to certain poems of similar
stanzas which were composed in praise of God or the Virgin, and used to
be recited in the poetical contests at Rouen on the occasion of the
election of a 'king'. Chaucer's verses to Adam Scrivener are of this
form and may be quoted as a specimen here (after Skeat's text, p. 118):

    _Adam scriveyn, if euer it thee bifalle
       Boece or Troylus to writen newe,
     Under thy lokkes thou most haue the scalle,
       But after my making thou write trewe.
       So oft a day I mot thy werk renewe
     Hit to corrects and eek to rubbe and scrape,
     And al is through thy negligence and rape._

In Modern English this beautiful stanza was very popular up to the end
of the sixteenth century; Shakespeare, e.g., wrote his _Lucrece_ in it;
afterwards, however, it unfortunately fell almost entirely out of use
(cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 364).

The same form of stanza, composed of two-, three-, or four-foot verses
also occurs almost exclusively in the Early Modern English period (cf.
ib., § 363).

Some varieties of this stanza, mostly formed of three-, four-, and
five-foot verses, correspond to the schemes _a b a b c c b₄_ (e.g. in
Akenside, Book I, Ode iii), _a b a b c b c₅_ (Spenser, _Daphnaïda_, p.
542), _a b a b c b c₂_ (R. Browning, vi. 41). Other stanzas of seven
lines are _a b a b c c a₄_, _a a b b c c a₄_, _a a b b a c c₄_, _a b a b
C d C₃_, _a a b b c c c₄_, _a b a b c c c₄_, _a b a b c c c₅_, _a b a c
c d d₅_ (for specimens see _Metrik_, ii, §§ 365, 366).

§ =269. Eight-lined isometrical stanzas= are also frequently used in the
Middle and Modern English period, though not so often as those of six
and seven lines.

The scheme _a b a b b a b a_, formed from the simple equal-membered
stanza of eight lines _a b a b a b a b_, it would seem, by inversion of
the last two couplets, is rare in Middle English. We find it in the
_Digby Plays_, consisting of four-foot verses. In Modern English, too,
it is not very common; we have an example in Wyatt, e.g. pp. 118, 135,
and another in the same poet, formed of five-foot verses (_a b a b b a b
a₅_), p. 135.

Much more in favour in the Middle as well as in the Modern English
period is the typical form of the eight-lined stanza, corresponding to
the scheme _a b a b b c b c_. It is formed from the preceding stanza by
the introduction of a new rhyme in the sixth and eighth verses, and it
had its model likewise in a popular ballade-stanza of Old French lyrical

In Middle English poetry this stanza is very common, consisting either
of four-stressed verses (e.g. in _The Lyfe of Joseph of Arimathia_, E.
E. T. S., vol. 44, and _On the death of the Duke of Suffolk_, Wright's
_Polit. Poems_, ii. 232) or of four-foot or five-foot verses. As an
example of the form consisting of four-foot verses we may quote a stanza
from Wright's _Polit. Songs_, p. 246:

    _Alle þat beoþ of huerte trewe,
       A stounde herkneþ to my song
     Of duel, þat deþ haþ diht us newe
       Þat makeþ me syke ant sorewe among!
       Of a knyht, þat wes so strong
     Of wham god haþ don ys wille;
       Me þuncheþ þat deþ haþ don vs wrong,
     Þat he so sone shal ligge stille._

Many other examples occur in later poetry, e.g. in Minot, Lydgate,
Dunbar, Lyndesay, in Wyatt, p. 119, Burns, p. 59, Walter Scott, p. 160,

Similar stanzas of two-stressed and three-foot verses are only of rare
occurrence; we find them e.g. in Percy's _Rel._ II. ii. 3; Wyatt, p.

The same stanza, consisting of five-foot verses, was used by Chaucer in
his _A B C_, the first stanza of which may be quoted here:

    _Almyghty and al merciable Quene,
       To whom that al this world fleeth for socour
     To have relees of sinne, sorwe, and teene!
       Glorious Virgyne, of alle floures flour,
       To thee I flee, confounded in errour!
     Help, and releve, thou mighty debonaire,
       Have mercy of my perilous langour!
     Venquysshed m' hath my cruel adversaire._

Chaucer uses the same stanza in some other minor poems, and also in _The
Monkes Tale_; besides this we find it often in Lydgate, Dunbar, Kennedy;
more rarely in Modern English poetry; e.g. in Spenser's _Shepheard's
Cal., Ecl. XI_, S. Daniel's _Cleopatra_, &c.

Now and then some other eight-lined stanzas occur, e.g. one with the
formula _a b a b b c c b_ in Chaucer's _Complaynt of Venus_, and in the
_Flyting_ by Dunbar and Kennedy. The scheme _a a b b c d c d_ is used in
a love-song (_Rel. Ant._ i. 70-4). In the Modern English period we have
stanzas on the schemes _a ~ b a ~ b c c d ~ d ~₄_ (in Sidney, _Psalm
XLIII_), _a b a b c c c b₄_ (Scott, _Helvellyn_, p. 472), _a ~ b a ~ b c
~ c ~ d ~ d ~₂_ (Moore); cf. _Metrik_, ii, §§ 369-71.

There are also eight-lined stanzas formed by combination with tail-rhyme
stanzas, as _a a b a a b c c₄_, _a a b c c d d b₄_, but they are not
frequent; a stanza corresponding to the formula _a a b a a b c c₄_ we
have in Spenser, _Epigram III_ (p. 586); and the variety _a a b c c d d
b₄_ (the _cauda_ being enclosed by the _pedes_) occurs in Moore.

The same peculiarity we find in stanzas formed on the scheme _A A b c b
c A A₄_ (Moore), or _a a b c b c d d₄_ (Wordsworth, ii. 267); cf.
_Metrik_, ii, §§ 372, 373.

§ =270.= Stanzas of a still larger compass are of rare occurrence in
Middle English poetry. =A nine-lined stanza= corresponding to the
formula _a a b a a b b c c₅_ we have in Chaucer's _Complaynt of Mars_;
it seems to be formed from the _rhyme royal_ stanza, by adding one verse
to each _pes_; but it might also be looked upon as a combination with
the tail-rhyme stanza. Another stanza of this kind, with the formula _a
a b a a b b a b₅_, is used in Chaucer's _Complaynt of Faire Anelyda_ and
in Dunbar's _Goldin Targe_.

A similar stanza, corresponding to the formula _a a b c c b d b d₄_,
occurs in Modern English poetry in John Scott, _Ode XII_. Other stanzas
used in the Modern English period are formed with parallel rhymes, as e.
g. on the scheme _a a a b b b c c c₄_ (Walter Scott, _Lady of the Lake_,
p. 187); forms with crossed rhymes throughout or partly are also used,
as e.g. by Wyatt, p. 121, according to the formula _a b a b c c c d

    _My love is like unto th' eternal fire,
       And I as those which therein do remain;
     Whose grievous pains is but their great desire
       To see the sight which they may not attain:
     So in hell's heat myself I feel to be,
     That am restrain'd by great extremity,
     The sight of her which is so dear to me.
     O! puissant Love! and power of great avail!
     By whom hell may be felt ere death assail!_

As to other schemes (_a b a b b c d c d₅_, _a b a b b c b c c₅_, _a b a
b c d c d R₄_, _a b a b c d c d d₄_, &c.) cf. _Metrik_, ii, §§ 374-6.

§ =271.= A Middle English =stanza of ten lines=, similar to those of
nine lines, is used by Chaucer in the _Envoy_ to his _Complaynt of Mars
and Venus_ (_a a b a a b b a a b₅_); another on the model _a b a b b c c
b b b₄_is found in a poem _Long Life_ (E. E. T. S., 49, p. 156, quoted
in _Metrik_, i. p. 421).

Some of the Modern English stanzas again are formed by combination with
different varieties of the tail-rhyme stanza, as e.g. one according to
the formula _a a b ~ c c b ~ d d e e₄_ in Prior, _The Parallel_ (Poets,
vii. 507):

      _Prometheus, forming Mr. Day,
       Carv'd something like a man in clay.
     The mortal's work might well miscarry;
       He, that does heaven and earth control,
       Alone has power to form a soul,
     His hand is evident in Harry.
       Since one is but a moving clod,
       T'other the lively form of God;
       'Squire  Wallis, you will scarce be able
       To prove all poetry but fable._

A stanza of trochaic verses corresponding to a similar scheme, viz. _a a
b c c b d d d b₄_, is used by Tennyson in _The Window_ (p. 284).

Sometimes the scheme is _a b a b c c d e e d₄_ (where there are two
_pedes_ forming a _frons_, and a tail-rhyme stanza equivalent to two
_versus_), as in Akenside, Book I, Ode II (_Poets_, ix. 773).

Some stanzas, on the other hand, have a parallel arrangement of rhymes,
_a a b b c c d d e E_ (_e E_ being the _cauda_) as in Walter Scott,
_Soldier, Wake_ (p. 465); or more frequently crossed rhymes, _a b a b c
d c d e e₅_, _a b a b c d c d e e₄_, the first eight verses forming the
upsong (_pedes_); or with a four-lined upsong _a a b b c d c d e e₄_, _a
a b b c d d e d e₃_, _a b a b b c c d c D₅_. The last-mentioned form has
been used several times by Swinburne, e.g. _Poems_, ii, pp. 126, 215,
219, &c., in his ballads. For specimens see _Metrik_, ii, §§ 379-81.

§ =272. Stanzas of eleven lines= are very scarce in Middle English
poetry, if used there at all, and even in Modern English very few
examples occur. A stanza of Swinburne's may be mentioned here, imitated
from an Old French ballade- (or rather _chant-royal_) stanza,
corresponding to the formula _a b a b c c d d e d E₅_ and used in a
_Ballad against the Enemies of France_ (Poems, ii. 212). Cf. _Metrik_,
ii, §382.

=Twelve-lined stanzas= are much more frequently used, even in Middle
English poetry; one of four-foot verses according to the scheme _a b a b
a b a b b c b C_ (the stanzas being connected into groups by
_concatenatio_) occurs in the fine fourteenth-century poem, _The Pearl_.
Another of four-stressed verses corresponding to the formula _a b a b a
b a b c d c d_ we have in Wright's _Polit. Songs_, p. 149; one of
four-foot verses together with other forms of stanzas (_a b a b a b a b
a b a b_, _a b a b c d c d e f e f_) we have in the poem on the
_Childhood of Christ_ (ed. Horstmann, Heilbronn, 1878).

But it is chiefly in Modern English poetry that stanzas of twelve lines
are very common, especially stanzas consisting of three equal parts,
with crossed rhymes. In some of these there is no difference at all in
the structure of the three parts, as e.g. in a stanza by Prior
(_Poets_, vii. 402) on the model _a b a b c d c d e f e f₄_; while in
others the refrain (consisting of the four last verses) forms the
_cauda_, as e.g. in Moore's _Song on the Birthday of Mrs. ----_:

    _Of all my happiest hours of joy,
       And even I have had my measure,
     When hearts were full, and ev'ry eye
       Hath kindled with the light of pleasure,
     An hour like this I ne'er was given,
       So full of friendship's purest blisses;
     Young Love himself looks down from heaven,
       To smile on such a day as this is.
     Then come, my friends, this hour improve,
       Let's feel as if we ne'er could sever;
     And may the birth of her we love
       Be thus with joy remember'd ever!_

Now and then certain modifications of this form of stanza are met with,
especially stanzas the four-lined refrain of which forms not only the
end, but also the beginning, of the stanza (but as a rule only in the
first stanza, the others having the refrain only at the end); e.g. _A B
A B c d c d A B A B₃_ (st. 1), _d e d e f g f g A B A B₃_. (st. 2), _h i
h i k l k l A B A B₃_ (st. 3), in Moore, _Drink to her_.

In other poems Moore uses this type of stanza with lines of four
stresses, as in _Drink of this cup_, and with lines of two stresses, as
in _When the Balaika_. For some rarely occurring stanzas of this kind
see _Metrik_, ii, §§ 385, 386.

A =stanza of thirteen lines= corresponding to the formula _a b a b b c b
c d e e e d₄_ occurs in the Middle English poem _The Eleven Pains of
Hell_ (E. E. T. S., 49, p. 210). Another one on the scheme _a ~ a ~ B c
~ c ~ B d ~ d ~ d ~ b e ~ e ~ B₃_ we have in Moore, _Go where glory
waits thee_.

As to stanzas of fifteen and eighteen lines see _Metrik_, ii, § 387.

  II.  _Anisometrical stanzas._

§ =273.= As mentioned before (§ 267) the anisometrical stanzas of the
tripartite class, being older, might have been dealt with before the
isometrical stanzas. This chronological order of treatment, however,
would have been somewhat inconvenient in practice, as it would have
involved the necessity of discussing many of the more complicated
stanzas before the shorter and simpler ones, most of which do not occur
in Middle English, but in Modern poetry only. Moreover, the absence of
certain simple and short forms of stanza constructed in accordance with
the principles which were generally adopted in the Middle English period
is a purely accidental circumstance, which is liable at any moment to be
altered by the discovery of new texts.

In the following paragraphs, therefore, the stanzas belonging to this
chapter are discussed according to their arrangement of rhymes and to
the length of the lines of which they are composed.

We begin with certain =stanzas of six lines=, the first part (the
_frons_ or 'upsong') of which is isometrical, the arrangement of rhymes
being parallel.

A pretty stanza with the scheme _a a b b₃ c c₄_ presents itself in the
song _The Fairy Queen_ (Percy's _Rel_. III. ii. 26):

      _Come, follow, follow me,
       You, fairy elves that be:
       Which circle on the greene,
       Come, follow Mab, your queene,
     Hand in hand let's dance around,
     For this place is fairye ground._

For similar stanzas conforming to the schemes _a a b b₄ c c₅_, _a a b b
c₄ c₅_, _a a b b c ~ c ~₅_, _a a b b₆ c ~ c ~₅_, _a a b b c₄ c₃_ (in
Moore, _The Wandering Bard_), &c., see _Metrik_, ii, § 389.

Another group is represented by stanzas of six rhyming couplets of
unequal length, as _a₅ a₄ b₅ b₄ c₅ c₄_ (Sidney, _Psalm XXXIX_), _a₆ a₃
b₆ b₃ c₆ c₃_ (id. _Psalm II_); or _a₅ a₂ b₅ b₂ c c₅_, _a₄ a₅ b₄ b₅ c
c₄_, frequently used by Herbert and Cowley, or _a₅ a₄ b b₃ c₅ c₄_, _a a
b₄ b₃ c c₄_ (in Moore, _St. Senanus and the Lady_), the two _pedes_
enclosing the _cauda_ (cf. _Metrik_, ii, §§ 390-2).

Similar stanzas with crossed rhymes occur pretty often, especially
stanzas of three Septenary verses broken up by inserted rhyme, according
to the formula _a₄ b ~₃ a₄ b ~₃ a₄ b ~₃_, as in Moore, _The Gazelle_:

    _Dost thou not hear the silver bell,
       Thro' yonder lime-trees ringing?
     'Tis my lady's light gazelle,
        To me her love-thoughts bringing,--
     All the while that silver bell
       Around his dark neck ringing_.

For other specimens see _Metrik_, ii, § 393.

§ =274.= More popular are stanzas of a more distinctly tripartite
character, formed on the scheme _a b a b c c_ (which occurs also in the
isometrical group). These stanzas are used in many various forms, as e.
g. one in Cowper, _Olney Hymns_ (p. 25), like _a b a b₃ c c₄_:

    _By whom was David taught
       To aim the deadly blow,
     When he Goliath fought,
       And laid the Gittite low?
     Nor sword nor spear the stripling took,
     But chose a pebble from the brook._

Numerous other examples are quoted in _Metrik_, ii, § 394, together with
similar stanzas formed according to the schemes _a b ~ a b ~₃ c c₄_, _a
b a b₃ C C₄_, _a ~ b a ~ b₃ c c₅_, _a b a b₄ c c₅_, _a ~ b a ~ b₄ c c₆_,

The reverse order with regard to the length of the verses in the _pedes_
and the _cauda_ is also not uncommon, as e.g. in stanzas on the schemes
_a b a b c₅ c₄_, _a b a b c₅ c₃_, _a b a b₅ c₄ c₅_, &c.

Stanzas of this kind are met with chiefly in the earlier Modern English
poets, e.g. in Cowley and Herbert. Shorter lines also are used, e.g.
in stanzas corresponding to the formulas _a b a b₄ c c₃_, _a b a b₄ c
c₂_; stanzas like these also occur later, e.g. in Moore. In Cowley, now
and then, a stanza is found with a preceding _frons_ (on the scheme _a
a₅ b c b c₄_). In Moore we find yet another variety (in _Poor broken
flower_), the _cauda_ of which is enclosed by the _pedes_ (according to
the formula _a ~ b₅ c c₃ a ~ b₅_).

Another group of stanzas is to be mentioned here, the verses of which
are of different length in the first part, admitting of many various
combinations. Especially stanzas of Septenary rhythm in the first part
are very popular, as e.g. in Cowper's fine poem _The Castaway_ (p.
400), on the scheme _a₄ b₃ a₄ b₃ c c₄_:

    _Obscurest night involved the sky,
        The Atlantic billows roared,
     When such a destined wretch as I,
        Washed headlong from on board,
     Of friends, of hope, of all bereft,
        His floating home for ever left._

There are many varieties of this form of stanza, as e.g. _a₄ b₃ a₄ b₃ c
c₅_, _a₄ b₃ a₄ b₃ c₄ c₅_, _a₃ b₂ a₃ b₂ c₄ c₅_, _a₄ b₂ a₄ b₂ c c₄_, _a₅
b₄ a₅ b₄ c c₅_; _a₃ b₄ a₃ b₄ c c₄_, _a₂ b₄ a₂ b₄ c c₅_. All these
different schemes were chiefly used by the earlier Modern English poets,
as Browne, Carew, Cowley, Waller, and Herbert. (See _Metrik_, ii, §

There are some other stanzas of allied structure which may be regarded
as extensions of the Poulter's Measure by the addition of a second
Alexandrine or Septenary verse, their formulas being _a b c b₃ d₄ d₃_ or
_a b₃ c₄ b₃ d₄ d₃_. For examples see _Metrik_, ii, § 398.

§ =275. Stanzas of seven lines= are very common, and have many diverse
forms. In the first place may be mentioned those which have parallel
arrangement of rhymes, and in which the _frons_ is isometrical. Some of
these forms, used chiefly by the earlier poets, as Cowley, Sheffield,
and others, have the scheme _a a b b c₄ c₂ c₅_ or _a a b b c₄ c a₅_.
Another variety, with alternate four-and two-foot iambic-anapaestic
lines according to the formula _a a b b₄ r r₂ R₄_, occurs in Moore,
_The Legend of Puck the Fairy_:

    _Would'st know what tricks, by the pale moonlight,
     Are play'd by me, the merry little Sprite,
     Who wing through air from the camp to the court,
     From king to clown, and of all make sport;
                 Singing, I am the Sprite
                 Of the merry midnight,
     Who laugh at weak mortals, and love the moonlight._

Stanzas with an anisometrical first part, e.g. on the model _a₄ a₅ b₄
b₅ c c₄ c₅_in Donne, _Love's Exchange_ (Poets, iv. 30), are of rare

Numerous stanzas of this kind have in part crossed rhymes; we find, e.
g., stanzas with the same order of rhymes as in the _rhyme royal, _on
the model _a b a b b c₃ c₅_ as in S. Daniel, _A Description of Beauty_:

        _O Beauty (beams, nay, flame
          Of that great lamp of light),
        That shines a while with fame,
          But presently makes night!
          Like winter's shortliv'd bright,
    Or summer's sudden gleams;
    How much more dear, so much less lasting beams._

Similar stanzas have the schemes _a b a b b₃ c c₅_, _a b a b c b₄ c₂_,
_a b a b c c₄ R₂_, _a b a b c c₄ C₅_, _a b a b c c₄ b₃_, _a b a b₄ c c₂
a₄_, &c. For examples see _Metrik_, ii, §§ 401-3.

In many stanzas the first and the last part (_frons_ and _cauda_) are
anisometrical. Thus Donne, Cowley, and Congreve furnish many examples of
the formulas _a₅ b₄ a₅ b₄ c c₄ b₅_, _a ~₄ b₆ a ~₄ b₅ c c₃ c₄_, _a₄ b₅ a₄
b₅ c c₂ b₄_, and later poets make frequent use of similar stanzas
composed of shorter lines after the model of the following by Congreve,
_Poets_, vii. 546 (_a₄ b ~₃ a₄ b ~3 c c₄ b ~₃_):

    _Tell me no more I am deceived,
       That Cloe's false and common;
     I always knew (at least believ'd)
       She was a very woman;
     As such I lik'd, as such caress'd,
     She still was constant when possess'd,
       She could do more for no man._

For examples of other similar stanzas (_a₄ b₃ a₄ b₃ c c b₃_, _a₄ b₃ a₄
b₃ C C₃ C₅_, _a₃ b₄ a₃ b₄ c c c₄_, _a₄ b ~₂ a₄ b ~₂ c c a₄_, &c.) see
_Metrik_, ii, §§ 404-6.

 § =276. Eight-lined stanzas= of various kinds are also very popular.
They rarely occur, however, with an isometrical _frons_, composed of
rhyming couplets (_a a b b c c d₅ d₃_, _a ~ a ~ b ~ b ~₄ C ~ C ~₂ d ~ d
~₄_, _a a b b c c d₄ d₅_; cf. _Metrik_, ii, §§ 408, 410); or with
enclosing rhymes in the _cauda_ (_a a b b c d d₄ c₅_, _a a b b₄ c d₄ d₂
c₄_, ib. § 409); or of an anisometrical structure with parallel rhymes
in both parts (ib. § 411).

The usual forms show crossed rhymes; either throughout the whole stanza
(in which case the first part is isometrical), or in the first part
only. The first form is represented by the following elegant stanza (_a
b a b₅ c₄ d ~₃ c₄ d ~₃_) in the second of Drayton's _Eclogues_ (Poets,
iii. 590):

    _Upon a bank with roses set about,
       Where turtles oft sit joining bill to bill,
     And gentle springs steal softly murm'ring out,
       Washing the foot of pleasure's sacred hill;
         There little Love sore wounded lies,
           His bow and arrows broken,
         Bedew'd with tears from Venus' eyes;
           Oh! grievous to be spoken._

Other schemes that occur are: _a b a b c₅ d₃ c₅ d₃_, _a b a b c d c₄
d₃_, _a b a b c c d₄ d₃_, _a b a b₄ c c₂ d d₄_, _a b a₄ b₃ c c d d₄_, _a
~ b a ~ b₃ c₄ d₃ d₄ d₃_, _a b ~ a b ~₃ c₄ d ~₃ c₄ d ~₃_, _a ~ b c ~ b d
~ e₃ f₄ e₃_, _a ~ b a ~ b₃ c d c₄ d₃_, _a ~ b a ~ b c ~ d c ~4 d₅_ (M.
Arnold, p. 2), &c.; for numerous examples see _Metrik_, ii, §§ 412, 414,

Sometimes stanzas occur, the isometrical part of which forms the
_cauda_, as on the scheme _a₄ b₃ a₄ b₃ c c d d₄_ in Moore, _Sovereign

    _The dance was o'er, yet still in dreams,
        That fairy scene went on;
     Like clouds still flushed with daylight gleams,
        Though day itself is gone.
     And gracefully to music's sound,
     The same bright nymphs went gliding round;
     While thou, the Queen of all, wert there--
     The fairest still, where all were fair._

For examples of other forms (_a b a₄ b₂ c d C D₄, a ~₃ b₄ a ~₃ b₄ c b c
b₄, a₄ b₃ c₄ b₃ d e d e₃_, &c.) see _Metrik_, ii, §§ 413, 416.

§ =277.= Very frequently stanzas occur which are of an entirely
anisometrical structure in both parts. To this group belong the first
tripartite anisometrical stanzas of the Middle English period, contained
in Wright's _Spec. of Lyr. Poetry_, p. 111 (two songs). Their stanzaic
form (_a₄ b₃ a₄ b₃ b b₅ c₇ c₅_) is also of great importance, on account
of the fact that the first five-foot verses as yet known in English
poetry occur in the _cauda_ of these stanzas. The first strophe may
serve as an example:

        _Lutel wot hit anymon,
          Hou loue hym haueþ ybounde,
        Þat for us oþe rode ron,
          Ant bohte vs wiþ is wounde,
          Þe loue of hym vs haueþ ymaked sounde,
          Ant yeast þe grimly gost to grounde.
    Euer ant oo, nyht ant day, hi haueþ vs in is þohte,
    He nul nout leose þat he so deore bohte._

This stanza is also interesting on account of its regular use of
masculine rhymes in the first and in the third line, and of feminine
rhymes in the others. The structure of the five-measured verses employed
in this stanza has been referred to before (§ 153).

Very often both main parts, the _upsong_ and the _downsong_, have
crossed rhymes in Modern English, e.g. in a form of stanza with the
scheme _a₅ b₃ a₅ b₃ c d₅ c₃ d₂_ in Southey, _To a Spider_ (ii. 180):

    _Spider! thou need'st not run in fear about
         To shun my curious eyes;
     I wont humanely crush thy bowels out,
         Lest thou should'st eat the flies;
     Nor will I roast thee with a damn'd delight
       Thy strange instinctive fortitude to see,
         For there is One who might
           One day roast me._

A structure analogous to that of the two last-quoted specimens is
exhibited in many stanzas occurring in earlier Modern English poetry, as
in Cowley, Herbert, Browne, Carew (_a₅ b₄ a₅ b₄ c₄ c₅ d₄ d₅_, _a₅ b₂ a₅
b₂ c₄ c₃ d₅ d₂_, _a₃ b₂ a₃ b₂ c c₄ d d₅_, _a₄ b₂ a₄ b₂ c₃ c₂ d d₃_);
other forms, corresponding only in the upsong or downsong to the Middle
English stanza quoted above, are _a ~₄ b₂ a ~₃ b₂ c ~₄ d₃ c ~₄ d₃_, _a₄
b ~₃ a₄ b ~₃ b ~₂ b ~₃ c₄ b ~₃_, _a₄ b₃ a₄ b₃ c d₃ c₄ d₃_, &c., used by
Burns, Moore, and Mrs. Hemans. For examples see _Metrik_, ii, §§ 417,

§ =278.= The next group consists of stanzas, one main part of which
consists of a half or of a whole tail-rhyme stanza. The first of these
two forms is used e.g. by Burns in the song _She's Fair and Fause_ (p.
204), where the stanza consists of four- and three-foot verses on the
model _a₄ b₃ a₄ b₃ c c c₄ d₃_:

    _She's fair and fause that causes my smart,
       I lo'ed her meikle and lang:
     She's broken her vow, she's broken my heart,
       And I may e'en gae hang.
         A coof cam in wi' rowth o' gear,
         And I hae tint my dearest dear,
         But woman is but warld's gear,
           Sae let the bonie lass gang._

Other stanzas of this class correspond to the formulas _a₄ b₃ a₄ b₃ a a
a₄ b₃_, _a ~₄ b₂ a ~₄ b₃ c ~ c ~ c ~₄ b₂_, _a₃ b₂ a₃ b₂ c c c₃ b₂_. For
examples see _Metrik_, ii, § 419.

There is another form of stanza the first part of which according to the
Middle English usage consists of a complete tail-rhyme stanza (cf. the
ten-lined stanzas of this group), while the _cauda_ is formed by a
rhyming couplet, so that its structure corresponds to the scheme _a a₄
b₃ a a₄ b₃ c c₄_; it occurs in Spenser, _Epigrams_, ii (p. 586):

    _As Diane hunted on a day,
     She chaunst to come where Cupid lay,
       His quiver by his head:
     One of his shafts she stole away,
     And one of hers did close convay
       Into the other's stead:
     With that Love wounded my Love's hart
     But Diane beasts with Cupid's dart._

Similar stanzas of other metres are very frequently met with, as e.g.
stanzas corresponding to the formulas _a a₄ b₃ c c₄ b₃ d d₅_, _a a₃ b₂ c
c₃ b₂ d d₆_, _a a₂ b₃ c c₂ b₃ b b₇_, and _a ~ a ~₄ b₅ c ~ c ~₄ b₅ d d₅_.
The reverse order (i.e. _frons_ + two _versus_) we have in _a a₃ b b₂
c₃ b b₂ c₃_ and _a a₅ b b₃ c₅ d d₃ e₅_. For examples see _Metrik_, ii, §

A stanza corresponding to the formula _a b₄ c₃ a b₄ c₃ a₄ D₃_ occurs in
M. Arnold's _The Church of Brou_ (p. 17).

§ =279.= Among =stanzas of nine lines=, those with parallel rhymes must
again be mentioned first; as e.g. a strophe on the scheme _a a b b c c
d d₄ d₅_, in Akenside, Book I, Ode X, _To the Muse_ (Poets, ix. 780).
Other stanzas occurring also in more recent poetry (Wordsworth, W.
Scott) are on the schemes _a a b b₄ c c₂ c d d₄_, _a a b b c₄ d₃ c c₄
d₃_, _a₄ b₃ a a₄ b₃ c c d D₄_. For examples see _Metrik_, ii, § 421.

Similar stanzas, also with an isometrical first part, but with crossed
rhymes, are not very often met with. The schemes are _a b a b₄ c c₂ c d
d₄_, _a b a b c c d d₄ d₅_, _a b a b b c b b₄ c₃_, _a b a b c d c d₄
e₂_, _a₄ b₃ a a₄ b₃ c ~ d c ~ d₄_, &c. Specimens of them are also found
in modern poets, as in Moore, Burns, Walter Scott, &c. For examples see
_Metrik_, ii, § 422.

More frequently stanzas occur with an anisometrical first and last part
and crossed rhymes in each of them; the schemes are _a₄ b₅ a₄ b₅ c₄ d₃
c₅ d d₄_, _a₅ b₂ a₅ b₂ c c₅ d d₂ c₄_, _a₄ b₂ a₄ b₂ c₄ d d₂ c c₄_. The
most popular, however, are those stanzas in which one or other of the
two main parts consists of Septenary verses; they are of frequent
occurrence in Burns and other modern poets; a stanza on the scheme _a₄
b₃ a₄ b₃ c₄ d ~₃ c₄ d ~₃ r₂_, e.g., is found in Burns, _The Holy Fair_
(p. 14):

    _Upon a simmer Sunday morn,
        When Nature's face is fair,
     I walked forth to view the corn,
        An' snuff' the caller air.
     The risin' sun, owre Galston muirs,
        Wi' glorious light was glintin;
     The hares were hirplin down the furrs,
        The lav'rocks they were chantin
           Fu' sweet that day._

For similar examples see _Metrik_, ii, § 424.

Other stanzas are formed by combination with a complete or a shortened
tail-rhyme stanza; so that we have schemes like _a a₄ b₃ c c₄ b₃ d d
d₄_, _a ~ a ~ b c ~ c ~ b₄ d ~ d ~₂ b₄_, _a a₂ b₄ c c₂ b₄ d d₂ b₄_. They
occur in Carew (_Poets_, iii. 709), Dryden (p. 368), and Thackeray (p.
237). The formula _a₄ b₃ a₄ b₃ c d c c₄ d₃_ we find in Campbell (p. 82),
_a₄ b₃ a₄ b₃ c c₄ b₃ d d₄_ in Byron's _Ode to Napoleon_ p. 273):

    _'Tis done--but yesterday a King!
       And arm'd with Kings to strive--
     And now thou art a nameless thing;
       So abject--yet alive!
     Is this the man of thousand thrones,
     Who strew'd our earth with hostile bones,
       And can he thus survive?
     Since he, miscall'd the Morning Star,
     Nor man nor fiend hath fallen so far._

For other specimens see _Metrik_, ii, §§ 424, 425.

§ =280.= Among the =stanzas of ten lines=, those with an isometrical
first part and parallel rhymes may first be mentioned; they correspond
to the schemes _a a b b c d d e e₄ c₅_, _a a b b c d c d₄ f₃ f₄_, _a a b
b c₄ d₃ c c c₄ d₃_, _a a b b₄ c d c d₂ e e₄_, and are found in Akenside,
Wordsworth, and Moore. Next come stanzas with an anisometrical first
part according to the formulas _a₅ a₄ b₅ b₄ c c₅ d d e₄ e₅_, _a₄ a₅ b₄
b₅ c d c₄ d₃ e e₅_, _a ~ a ~₃ b b₄ c ~ c ~₃ d d₄ e ~ e ~₃_, occurring in
Cowley and Campbell (cf. _Metrik_, ii, §§ 427, 428).

In other stanzas, crossed rhymes are used in the isometrical first part;
they correspond to the formulas _a b a b₅ c₄ d₃ c₄ d₃ e₆ e₇_, _a b a b c
c d e d₅ E₂_, _a b a b c d e₅ c₃ d e₅_, _a b a b c₃ c₂ d₃ d₂ e₃ e₄_, and
are found in Browne, G. Herbert, and Ben Jonson (ib. § 429).

In modern poetry simpler stanzas of this kind are used; one e.g. on the
scheme _a ~ b ~ a ~ b ~₃ c c₄ d ~ e ~ d ~ e ~₃_ (the _cauda_ being thus
enclosed by the two _pedes_) in Moore's song _Bring the bright Garlands

    _Bring the bright garlands hither,
       Ere yet a leaf is dying;
     If so soon they must wither,
       Ours be their last sweet sighing.
     Hark, that low dismal chime!
       'Tis the dreary voice of Time.
     Oh, bring beauty, bring roses,
       Bring all that yet is ours;
     Let life's day, as it closes,
       Shine to the last through flowers._

Similar stanzas corresponding to the formulas _a ~ b a ~ b₂ c c₄ d ~ e d
~ e₂_, _a ~ b ~ a ~ b c ~ d c ~ d₂ e e₄_, _a b a b c d c d₄ e₃ e₄_ and
_a ~ b a ~ b₄ c ~₄ d₃ c ~₄ d₃ c ~₄ d₃_, are used by the same poet in
_With Moonlight Beaming_, _The Young Indian Maid_, _Guess, guess_, and
_from this Hour_.

Many stanzas of this group with an isometrical first part are formed by
combination with a tail-rhyme stanza, which then generally forms the
_cauda_, as in one of Cunningham's stanzas, viz. in _Newcastle Beer_
(Poets, x. 729), the stanza consisting of four- and two-stressed verses
on the scheme _a b a b₄ c c₂ d₄ e e₂ d₄_:

    _When fame brought the news of Great-Britain's success,
         And told at Olympus each Gallic defeat;
     Glad Mars sent by Mercury orders express,
         To summon the deities all to a treat:
             Blithe Comus was plac'd
             To guide the gay feast,
     And freely declar'd there was choice of good cheer;
               Yet vow'd to his thinking,
               For exquisite drinking,
     Their nectar was nothing to Newcastle beer._

For examples of many similar forms, e.g. _a b a b c c d e e₄ d₃_, _a₅ b
b₄ a₅ c c d e e d₃_, _a b a b₄ c c₂ d₄ e ~ e ~₂ d₄_, _a b a b₄ c c₂ d₃ e
e₂ d₃_, _a b a b₃ c ~ c ~1 d₃ e ~ e ~1 d₂_, see _Metrik_, ii, § 431.

§ =281.= Stanzas of this kind with an anisometrical first part occur in
the Middle English period: e.g. in Wright's _Spec. of Lyr. Poetry_, p.
83, on the scheme _a₄ b ~₃ a₄ b ~₃ c c₄ d ~₃ e e₄ d ~₃_:

    _Jesu, for þi muchele miht
       Þou ȝef vs of þi grace,
     Þat we mowe dai and nyht
       Þenken o þi face.
     In myn herte hit doþ me god,
       When y þenke on iesu blod,
     Þat ran doun bi ys syde,
       From is herte doun to is fot,
     For ous he spradde is herte blod,
       His woundes were so wyde._

The shorter, Septenary part of the stanza represents the _frons_, the
tail-rhyme stanza, the _versus_. Of a similar form (_a₄ b₃ a₄ b₃ a a₄ b₃
a b₃ a₂_) is the stanza of the poem _An Orison of our Lady_ (E. E. T.
S., vol. xlix, p. 158). In Modern English also allied forms occur; one
especially with the scheme _a₄ b₃ a₄ b₃ c c d e e₄ d₃_ in Gray, _Ode on
the Spring_ (Poets, x. 215); other forms are _a₄ b₃ a₄ b₃ c c₂ d₃ e e₂
d₄_, _a₄ b₃ a₄ b₃ c c d e e₄ d₅_, _a b₃ a₄ b₃ d d₄ e₃ f f₄ e₃_. (For
examples see _Metrik_, ii, § 432.)

The reverse combination, viz. tail-rhyme stanza and Septenary (on the
scheme _a a₄ b₃ c c₄ b₃ d₄ b₃ d₄ b₃_), also occurs in Middle English
times[195]), e.g. in Wright's _Spec. of Lyr. Poetry_, p. 87:

    _Nou skrinkeþ rose and lylie flour,
     þat whilen ber þat suete sauour,
         in somer, þat suete tyde;
     ne is no quene so stark ne stour,
     ne no leuedy so bryht in bour,
         þat ded ne shal by glyde.
     Whose wol fleyshlust forgon,
         and heuene blis abyde,
     on iesu be is þoht anon,
         þat þerled was ys syde._

Similar stanzas occur also in Modern English; e.g. one on the formula
_a a₂ b₃ c c₂ b₃ d₄ e₃ d₄ e₃_ in Burns (p. 255), another on the scheme
_a a₂ b₃ c c₂ b₃ d e₃ d₄ e₃_ (=_Poulter's Measure_ in the _cauda_), ib.
p. 189.

Other ten-line stanzas consisting chiefly of Septenary verses or of
_Poulter's Measure_ correspond to the formulas _a₄ b₃ a₄ b₃ c₄ d₃ c₄ d₃
e e₄_, _a b₃ a₄ b₃ c d₃ c₄ d₃ e e₄_, _a b a₄ b₃ c d c₄ d₃ e e₃_. For
examples, partly taken from Moore, see _Metrik_, ii, § 435.

Stanzas of this kind consisting of five-foot verses are rarely met with,
e.g. _a₅ b₃ a₅ b₃ c₅ d₃ c₅ d₃ e e₄_, _a b₄ a₅ b₄ c c d d e e₅_, _a₅ b₃
a₅ b₃ c c₄ d₂ d₅ e₂ e₅_; as in Spenser and Browne (cf. _Metrik_, ii, §

§ =282.= Stanzas of eleven lines= are also rare. There is one with an
isometrical first part (on the scheme _a b a b₅ c c₂ c₃ d₂ d₅ x₂ d₆_)
in Ben Jonson, _Cynthia's Revels_ (Poets, iv. 610); another in
Campbell's _Gertrude of Wyoming_ (st. xxxv-xxxix), corresponding to the
scheme _a b a b₄ c₃ d d d₄ c₃ e e₄_.

Other stanzas of an almost entirely anisometrical structure consist of a
combination with a tail-rhyme stanza, as e.g. a Middle English stanza
on the scheme _a a₄ b₃ a a₄ b₃ a₄ b₃ a a₄ b₃_, with a regular tail-rhyme
stanza representing the _pedes_, and a shortened tail- rhyme stanza
representing the _cauda_; it occurs in the _Towneley Mysteries_, pp.
221-3. A similar one we have in Phineas Fletcher (_Poets_, iv. 460) on
the formula

    _a ~₂ a ~₃ b₂ e ~₂ e ~₃ b₂ d ~₄ e ~ e ~₂ d d₅_,

and another one in Leigh Hunt, _Coronation Soliloquy_ (p. 225) which
corresponds to the formula _a a₂ b ~₃ c c₂ b ~₃ d d₂ e ~₃ f₄ e ~₃_.

In other stanzas parts only of tail-rhyme stanzas occur, as in a strophe
of the form _a₄ b ~₃ c₄ b ~₃ d e d d₄ e₃ r R₄_, used by Wordsworth in
_The Seven Sisters_ (iii. 15):

    _Seven Daughters had Lord Archibald,
        All children of one mother:
     You could not say in one short day
        What love they bore each other.
     A garland of seven lilies wrought!
     Seven Sisters that together dwell;
     But he, bold Knight as ever fought,
     Their Father, took of them no thought,
     He loved the wars so well.
     Sing mournfully, oh! mournfully,
     The solitude of Binnorie!_

Other stanzas of this kind are formed on the schemes _a₄ b₂ a₄ b₂ c c₂
d₃ e₄ d₂ e₄ d₂_ (Moore, _Love's Young Dream_), _a b b a c c d e e d₅ e₃_
(Swinburne, _Ave atque Vale_, Poems, ii. 71). Cf. _Metrik_, ii, §§ 436,

§ =283. Stanzas of twelve lines= are very numerous. One of the Middle
English period we have in Wright's _Spec. of Lyr. Poetry_, p. 27; it is
formed on the scheme _a₄ b₃ a₄ b₃ b b b c₃ D D D₄ C₃_ and is similar to
those ten-lined stanzas mentioned above, which consist of two Septenary
verses and a tail-rhyme stanza; the second part of which, being the
refrain, thus becomes the _cauda_ of the stanza. In the Modern English
period some simple stanzas with an isometrical first part and parallel
rhymes may be mentioned in the first place. These are constructed on the
schemes _a a b b c c d d₄ e₄ f₂ e₄ f₂_, _a a b b c c d d e e f₄ f₃_ and
occur in Mrs. Hemans (iv. 171; vii. 155); stanzas of this kind with
crossed rhymes are likewise met with, e.g. _a ~ b a ~ b₄ c c₃ d₅ e e f
f₃ d₅_ in Burns, p. 188.

Pretty often we find stanzas for singing, the _cauda_ of which is
enclosed by the _pedes_; in the first stanza the two _pedes_ together
form the refrain, in the others, however, only the last one, e.g. in
stanzas on the schemes _A ~ B A ~ B₄ c₄ d₃ c₄ d₃ A ~ B A ~ B₄_, _e ~ f e
~ f₄ g₄ h₃ g₄ h₃ A ~ B A ~ B₄_ in _Hymns Ancient and Mod._, No. 138,
consisting of trochaic verses:

    _Christ is risen! Christ is risen!
       He hath burst His bonds in twain;
     Christ is risen! Christ is risen!
       Alleluia! swell the strain!
         For our gain He suffered loss
           By Divine decree;
         He hath died upon the Cross,
           But our God is He._

    _Christ is risen! Christ is risen!
       He hath burst His bonds in twain;
     Christ is risen! Christ is risen!
       Alleluia! swell the strain._

    _See the chains of death are broken;
       Earth below and heaven above_, &c. &c.

Similar stanzas frequently occur in Moore, e.g. stanzas on the models
_A ~ B A ~ B₄ c c d₃ d₂ E ~ B E ~ B₄_, and _f ~ g f ~ g₄ h h i₃ i₂ E ~
B E ~ B₄_ (in _Love's light summer-cloud_), _A B ~ A B ~₃ c d ~₃ c₄ d ~₃
A B ~ A B ~₃_, _e f ~ e f ~₃ g h ~₃ g₄ h ~₃ A B ~ A B ~₃_ (in _All
that's bright must fade_). For other examples see _Metrik_, ii, § 441.

Similar stanzas of Septenary metres, also common in Moore, have the
formulas _a₄ b₃ a₄ b₃ c₄ d₃ c₄ d₃ E₄ F₃ E₄ F₃_ (in _When Time_), _A₄
B₃ A₄ B₃ c₄ d₃ c₄ d₃ A₄ B₃ A₄ B₃_ (st. i), _d₄ e₃ d₄ e₃ f₄ g₃ f₄ g₃ A₄
B₃ A₄ B₃_ (st. ii); only in st. i the _cauda_ is in the middle; in the
others it closes the stanza (_Nets and Cages_).

Other stanzas have the reverse order of verses, as e.g. stanzas on the
schemes _a ~₃ b₄ a ~₃ b₄ c ~₃ d₄ c ~₃ d₄ E ~₃ F₄ E ~₃ F₄_ (_To Ladies'
Eyes_), _A ~₃ B₄ A ~₃ B₄ c d c d₄ A ~₃ B₄ A ~₃ B₄_ (_Oh! Doubt me not_).
This sort of stanza also occurs in Moore with other metres, e.g.
according to the formulas _A₄ B₂ A₄ B₂ c₃ d₂ c₃ d₂ A₄ B₂ A₄ B₂_, _e₄ b₂
e₄ b₂ f₃ g₂ f₃ g₃ e₄ b₂ e₄ b₂_ (_Not from thee_) and there are still
other varieties in Moore and in some of the more recent poets. Cf.
_Metrik_, ii, §§ 443-5.

§ =284.= Among the =stanzas of thirteen lines=, one belonging to the
Middle English period has been mentioned above (p. 342, note), which is
formed by combination with a tail-rhyme stanza.

In the few Modern English stanzas of this length we generally find also
a part of a tail-rhyme stanza, as e.g. in the _cauda_ of a stanza
constructed on the formula _a b ~ a b ~ c d ~ c d ~₄ E F ~₄ g g₂ F ~₄_
(Moore, _Lesbia hath_, &c.); or in a stanza like _a ~ b a ~ b₄ c c₂ b₄ d
d₂ e f e f₄_, deficient in one four-stressed tail-verse as in Moore,
_The Prince's Day_:

    _Tho' dark are our sorrows to-day we'll forget them,
       And smile through our tears, like a sunbeam in showers;
     There never were hearts, if our rulers would let them,
       More form'd to be grateful and blest than ours.
                 But just when the chain
                 Has ceas'd to pain_,
       _And hope has enwreath'd it round with flowers,
                 There comes a new link
                 Our spirits to sink--
     Oh! the joy that we taste, like the light of the poles,
       Is a flash amid darkness, too brilliant to stay;
     But, though 'twere the last little spark in our souls,
       We must light it up now, on our Prince's Day._

For other forms of stanzas belonging to this group see _Metrik_, ii, §

§ =285.= More numerous are =stanzas of fourteen lines=. Judging by the
examples which have come to our knowledge, they are also, as a rule,
formed by combination with a tail-rhyme stanza; as e.g. in a stanza by
Browne (_Poets_, iv. 276) on the scheme _a b a b c a c a₅ a a₂ b₃ c c₂
b₃_; another stanza, frequently used by Burns, corresponds to the

             _a a₄ b₃ c c₄ b₃ d₄ e₃ d₄ e₃ f ~₂ g₃ h ~₂ g₃_

and occurs, e.g., in his _Epistle to Davie_ (p. 57):

    _While winds frae aff Ben-Lomond blaw,
     And bar the doors wi' driving snaw,
       And hing us owre the ingle,
     I set me down, to pass the time,
     And spin a verse or twa o' rhyme,
       In hamely, westlin jingle.
     While frosty winds blaw in the drift,
       Ben to the chimla lug,
     I grudge a wee the Great-folk's gift,
       That live sae bien an' snug:
         I tent less, and want less
           Their roomy fire-side;
         But hanker and canker,
           To see their cursèd pride._

A similar stanza is found in Moore, _The Sale of Loves_, _a₄ b ~₃ a₄ b
~₃ c₄ d ~₃ c₄ d ~₃ E E₂ F ~₃ G G₂ F ~₃_. In other stanzas used by this
poet, the tail-rhyme stanza forms the _cauda_ enclosed by two _pedes_
(see § 283); e.g. in _Nay, tell me not, dear_, on the scheme _a b a b₄
c c₂ d₄ e e₂ d₄ F G F G₄_. Another stanza of the form _A B ~ A B ~₃ c
c₂ d₃ e e₂ d₃ A B ~ A B ~₃_, _f g ~ f g ~₃ h h₂ i₃ k k₂ i₃ A B ~ A B
~₃_, is used in _Oft, in the stilly night_.

As to other forms cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 448. Stanzas, the enclosing
_pedes_ of which are formed by two tail-rhyme stanzas, are discussed
ib. § 449 (schemes: _a a₂ b ~₃ C C₂ b ~₃ d ~ d ~₃ e e₂ f ~₃ C C₂ f ~₃_,
_g g₂ h ~₃ i i₂ h ~₃ k ~ k ~₃ l l₂ m ~₃ C C₂ m ~₃_).

§ =286.= Some stanzas of still greater extent (not very common) are also
formed by combination with tail-rhyme stanzas. There are a few =stanzas
of fifteen lines=, e.g. one on the model _a a₂ b₃ c c₂ b₃ d d₂ e₃ f f₂
e₃ g G₃ G₄_ in Moore, _Song and Trio_; one on

     _a ~ a ~ b ~ b ~₂ c₁ d ~ d ~ e ~ e ~₂ c₁ f ~ f ~ g ~ g ~₂ c₁_

in Shelley, _The Fugitives_ (iii. 55); and one on

     _a ~ a ~ a ~ b c ~ c ~ c ~ b d ~ d ~ d ~ e f ~ f ~₂ e₄_

in Swinburne, _Four Songs in Four Seasons_ (Poems, ii. 163-76).

Two =stanzas of sixteen lines= occur in Moore on the schemes _a a₂ b ~₃
c c₂ b ~₃ d e d e₃ f f₂ g ~₃ h h₂ g ~₃_ (_The Indian Boat_), and _a a₂ b
~₃ c c₂ b ~₃ d d₂ e ~₃ f f₂ e ~₃ G ~₄ H H₂ G ~₃_ (_Oh, the Shamrock_).

A =stanza of seventeen lines=

     (_a a₄ b₃ a a₄ b₃ c c₄ b₃ c c₄ b₃ d₄ e₃ d d₄ e₃_)

is found in a Middle English poem in Wright's _Spec. of Lyr.
Poetry_, p. 47; it consists of two six-lined, common tail-rhyme
stanzas (the _pedes_), and a shortened one (forming the _cauda_).

A =stanza of eighteen lines= on the formula

     _a a₄ b₃ c c₄ b₃ d d₄ b₃ e e₄ b₃ f f g g g f₂_

occurs in Wright's _Pol. Songs_, p. 155 (cf. _Metrik_, i, p. 411); the
scheme might also be given as _a a₄ b₂_, &c., if the tail-rhyme verses
be looked upon as two-stressed lines. A simpler stanza according to the
scheme _a a₂ b₃ c c₂ b₃ d d₂ b₃ e e₂ b₃ f f₂ g₃ h h₂ g₃_ is used in _The
Nut-Brown Mayd_ (Percy's _Rel._ II. i. 6). Cf. § 244, also _Metrik_, i,
p. 367, and ii, p. 715.

Similar stanzas are used by Shelley (in _Arethusa_, i. 374) and by Moore
(in _Wreath the Bowl_). Cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 453.

Lastly, a =stanza of twenty lines= with the scheme _a b ~ a c d b ~ d c
e e₃ f₄ g g₃ f₄ h h₃ i₄ k ~ k ~₃ i₄_, occurs in _The King of France's
Daughter_ (Percy's _Rel._ III. ii. 17); cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 454.





§ =287. Introductory remark.= At the very beginning of the Modern
English period the poetry of England was strongly influenced by that of
Italy. Among the strophic forms used by the Italian poets, two
especially have had an important share in the development of English
metre: the sonnet and the canzone. Apart from those direct imitations
which we shall have to notice later, the sonnet form tended to make more
popular the use of enclosing rhymes, which had until then been only
sparingly employed in English poetry; while the canzone with its varied
combinations of anisometrical verses, mostly of eleven and seven
syllables, gave rise to a variety of similar loosely constructed
stanzas, as a rule, of three- and five-foot verses.

At the same time, however, these Modern English stanzas of a somewhat
loose structure were also affected by the stricter rules for the
formation of stanzas which had come down from the Middle English period.
Hence their structure frequently reminds us of the older forms, two
adjoining parts being often closely related, either by order of rhymes,
or by the structure of the verse, or by both together, though the old
law of the equality of the two _pedes_ or of the two _versus_ is not
quite strictly observed.

This explains the fact that some stanzas (especially the shorter ones)
have a structure similar to that of the old tripartite stanzas; while
others (chiefly the longer ones) not unfrequently consist of four or
even more parts.

In the first group the chief interest centres round those which have
enclosing rhymes in their first or last part. Although the transposition
of the order of rhymes thus effected in the _pedes_ or in the _versus_
was common both in Northern French and Provençal poets,[196] the
teachers of the Middle English poets, we find scarcely a single example
of it in Middle English, and it seems to have become popular in Modern
English only through the influence of the Italian sonnet.

In accordance with the analogy of the isometrical stanzas or parts of
stanzas this arrangement of rhymes is found also in the anisometrical
ones; so that we have first parts (_pedes_) both on the scheme _a b b a₄_,
_a b b a₅_ or _a₄ b b₃ a₄_, _a₅ b₄ b₄ a₅_. From the arrangement of rhymes
this order was transferred to the lines themselves; thus a stanza with
enclosing rhymes consisting of two longer lines with a couplet of short
lines between them, as in the last example, is transformed into a
similar stanza with crossed rhymes according to the formula _a₅ b₄ a₄
b₅_, the shorter lines being, as before, placed between the longer ones
(or vice versa _a₄ b₅ a₅ b₄_). It is evident that here too in spite of
the regular arrangement of rhymes the two _pedes_ are not alike, but
only similar to each other.

§ =288. Six-lined stanzas= of this kind, with an isometrical first part
or isometrical throughout, occur pretty often; one e.g. on the scheme
_a b b a c c₄_ is met with in John Scott, _Ode_ XIX (_Poets_, xi. 757):

    _Pastoral, and elegy, and ode!
       Who hopes, by these, applause to gain,
       Believe me, friend, may hope in vain--
     These classic things are not the mode;
       Our taste polite, so much refin'd,
       Demands a strain of different kind._

For similar stanzas according to the formulas _a b b a a b₄_, _a b b a c
c₅_, _a b b a c₃ c₅_ (Milton, _Psalm_ IV), _a b b a₅ c₄ c₅_, and _a b b
a c₅ c₃_, see _Metrik_, ii, § 456.

Other stanzas have anisometrical first and last parts; as e.g. one on
the model _a₅ b b₄ a₅ c₄ c₃_ which was used by Cowley, _Upon the
shortness of Man's Life_ (Poets, v. 227):

    _Mark that swift arrow, how it cuts the air,
       How it outruns thy following eye!
       Use all persuasions now, and try
     If thou canst call it back, or stay it there.
     That way it went, but thou shalt find
       No track is left behind._

Similar stanzas are found in later poets, as e.g. Mrs. Hemans, D. G.
Rossetti, Mrs. Browning, corresponding to _a₅ b b₄ a₅ c₄ c₅_, _a₃ b b₅
a₃ c c₅_, _a₅ b b₃ a₄ c₅ c₃_, _a₃ b₄ b₅ a₄ b₅ a₃_, _a b₃ b₄ a₃ c c₄_,
&c. (For specimen see _Metrik_, ii, § 458.)

Even more frequently we have stanzas of three quite heterogeneous parts;
the lines rhyming crosswise, parallel, or crosswise and parallel. They
occur both in the earlier poets (Cowley, Herbert, &c.) and in those of
recent times (Southey, Wordsworth, Shelley, the Brownings, Swinburne,
&c.). A song by Suckling (_Poets_, iii. 730) on the scheme _a₃ a b b₂ c
c₄_ may serve as an example:

    _If when Don Cupid's dart
     Doth wound a heart,
         We hide our grief
         And shun relief;
     The smart increaseth on that score;
     For wounds unsearcht but rankle more._

For an account of other stanzas of a similar structure (e.g. _a a₅ b b₄
c c₃_, _a a₄ b b c₃ c₅_, _a₅ a₃ b b c₄ c₅_, _a₂ a b b c₄ c₁_, &c.) see
_Metrik_, ii, §459.

Very often we find stanzas of combined crossed and parallel rhymes; one
e.g. on the model _a b a₅ b₆ c c₅_ in Shelley, _A Summer-Evening
Churchyard_ (i. 160):

    _The wind has swept from the wide atmosphere
       Each vapour that obscured the sunset's ray;
     And pallid Evening twines its beaming hair
       In duskier braids around the languid eyes of day:
     Silence and Twilight, unbeloved of men,
     Creep hand in hand from yon obscurest glen._

Many stanzas of a similar kind correspond to the schemes _a a₄ b c₂ b₄
c₃_, _a₄ b₃ a b c c₄_, _a₃ b₅ a b₄ c₅ c₄_, _a b a₅ b c c₄_, _a₅ a b c c
b₄ c₅_, _a₄ b ~₂ a a₄ b ~a₄_, _a₅ b₃ a b c₅ c₃_, and _a b c c a₄ b₃_;
for specimens see _Metrik_, ii, §§ 460-3.

Stanzas consisting of shorter lines are not so often met with; we have
an example (on the model _a b a₂ b c₄ c₃_) consisting of
iambic-anapaestic verses in R. Browning, _On the Cliff_ (vi. 48):

    _I leaned on the turf,
       I looked at a rock
     Left dry by the surf;
       For the turf, to call it grass were to mock;
     Dead to the roots, so deep was done
     The work of the summer sun._

For stanzas on the schemes _a₄ b₁ a₄ b₂ C D₂_, _a b a₄ c₃ c b₂_ see
ibid. § 464.

§ =289.= Among =seven-line= stanzas, both in earlier (Ph. Fletcher, S.
Daniel, &c.) and more recent poets (Mrs. Browning, Swinburne, R.
Browning, D.G. Rossetti), those which are entirely isometrical occur
often. One on the model _a b b a b b a₅_ is met with in S. Daniel's
_Epistle to the Angel Spirit of the most excellent Sir Philip Sidney_
(Poets, iii. 228):

    _To thee, pure spir't, to thee alone addrest
       Is this joint work, by double int'rest thine:
       Thine by thine own, and what is done of mine
     Inspir'd by thee, thy secret pow'r imprest:
       My muse with thine itself dar'd to combine,
       As mortal stuff with that which is divine:
     Let thy fair beams give lustre to the rest._

Specimens of stanzas on the schemes _a b b a c c c₄_, _a b b a b b a₄_,
_a b b a a c c₃_, _a b b a a c c₅_, _a b b a c c a₅_, and _a b c c d d
d₄_, are given in _Metrik_, ii, §456.

Anisometrical stanzas on the model _a b b a_ in the first part occur
only in single examples, one corresponding to the scheme _a b b a₄ b₂ c
c₄_ found in Milton, _Arcades_, Song I; and another of the form _a₃ b b₅
a₃ c c a₅_ in Mrs. Hemans, _The Festal Hour_ (ii. 247); cf. _Metrik_,
ii, § 466.

Sometimes quite anisometrical stanzas with parallel rhymes occur,
especially in the earlier poets, as e.g. in Wyatt, Suckling, Cowley; a
stanza of Cowley's poem, _The Thief_ (Poets, v. 263), has the formula
_a₅ a b b c c₄ c₅_:

    _What do I seek, alas! or why do I
     Attempt in vain from thee to fly?
       For, making thee my deity,
       I give thee then ubiquity,
     My pains resemble hell in this,
     The Divine Presence there, too, is,
     But to torment men, not to give them bliss._

Other forms of a similar structure are _a a₃ b b₂ a a₃ B₄_, _a₄ a b b₃ c
c₄ x₃_, _a₄ a b₅ b c c₄ c₅_, _a₅ a a b b₄ c c₃_; for examples see
_Metrik_, ii, §467.

Stanzas which have crossed rhymes either in part or throughout are still
commoner. Thus a stanza on the model of the _rhyme royal_ stanza (_a₃ b
a b₅ b₃ c c₅_) which occurs in Mrs. Hemans, _Elysium_ (iii. 236):

    _Fair wert thou in the dreams
       Of elder time, thou land of glorious flowers
     And summer winds and low-toned silvery streams,
       Dim with the shadows of thy laurel bowers,
       Where, as they pass'd, bright hours
     Left no faint sense of parting, such as clings
     To earthly love, and joy in loveliest things!_

Other similar stanzas correspond to _a₄ b a₅ b₄ c₃ c₄ c₅_, _a₃ b a₄ b₂ c
c c₅_, _a₅ b a₄ b₅ c₄ c c₅_, _a₅ b c c b a₄ a₅_, _a b a₄ b₃ b₅ a₄ b₃_,
and _a b a₃ b₄ c₃ c₂ c₄_; for examples taken from older poets (Donne,
Carew, Cowley) and from later literature (Longfellow, D. G. Rossetti)
cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 468.

Several other stanza-forms remind us by their structure and arrangement
of rhymes of certain shortened forms of the tail-rhyme stanza, e.g. one
in _A Parting Song_ by Mrs. Hemans (vi. 189), on the scheme _A₄ B₃ c c d
d₄ B₂_:

    _When will ye think of me, my friends?
       When will ye think of me?
     When the last red light, the farewell of day,
     From the rock and the river is passing away--
     When the air with a deep'ning hush is fraught
     And the heart grows burden'd with tender thought--
       Then let it be._

Similar stanzas corresponding to the formulas _a b₄ a a₃ b a₄ a₃_, _a₄
b₃ a a₄ b₃ c c₄_, _a a b a₅ b a a₂_ are quoted in _Metrik_, ii, § 469.

§ =290.= Most of the =eight-lined stanzas=, which on the whole are rare,
are similar to the tail-rhyme stanza, the scheme of which is carried out
in both parts, to which a third part is then added as the _cauda_ (last

Stanzas of this kind, used especially by Cowley, correspond to _a a₅ b₃
c c₄ b₃ d d₄_, _a₅ a₄ b₄ c₅ c₅ b₄ d₄ d₅_, _a₅ a b c c b₄ d d₅_, and _a
a₅ b₄ c c b₅ d₄ d₅_ (cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 470).

The half-stanzas (_pedes_) are separated by the _cauda_ in a stanza on
the scheme _a a₄ b₅ c c d d₄ b₃_, which occurs in Wordsworth, _The
Pilgrim's Dream_ (vi. 153):

    _A Pilgrim, when the summer day
     Had closed upon his weary way,
         A lodging begged beneath a castle's roof;
     But him the haughty  Warder spurned;
     And from the gate the Pilgrim turned,
     To seek such covert as the field
     Or heath-besprinkled copse might yield,
         Or lofty wood, shower-proof._

In other stanzas on the models _a₄ b₂ a b c c c₄ b₂_, _a ~ b a ~₄ b₃ c ~
c ~ c ~₄ b₂_, _a₄ b₂ a₄ c c₂ d d₄ b₂_, and _a₄ B ~₂ a a₄ C ~₂ D₃ D₄_,
only a half-stanza of the tail-rhyme form can be recognized (cf.
_Metrik_, ii, §475).

Sometimes an unequal part is inserted between two parts of a somewhat
similar structure, as in a stanza with the formula _a a b c b c d₄ d₅_
in Byron, _Translation from Horace_ (p. 89):

    _The man of firm and noble soul
     No factious clamours can control;
     No threat'ning tyrant's darkling brow
         Can swerve him from his just intent;
     Gales the warring waves which plough,
         By Auster on the billows spent,
     To curb the Adriatic main,
     Would awe his fix'd, determined mind in vain._

Other stanzas correspond to the schemes _a a₅ . b b c c₃ . d ~ d ~₄_,
_a₅ a₃ a₄ . b b₄ . c c₄ c₅_, _a b₅ b₃ . a₄ a . c c c₅_, _a₃ a . b c b c
. d d₅_, _a a₄ . b₄ c ~ c ~₂ . d d₂ b₄_, and _a₅ a₂ . b b₅ . c c c₅ c₂_.
All these forms are met with in earlier poets, as e.g. Donne, Drayton,
and Cowley; for specimen see _Metrik_, ii, § 471.

§ =291.= A quadripartite structure is sometimes observable in stanzas
with four rhymes, especially with a parallel or crossed order, or both
combined, as e.g. in a poem by Donne, _The Damp_ (Poets, iv. 37), the
scheme being _a₅ a₄ b b₅ c c₄ d d₅_:

    _When I am dead, and doctors know not why,
     And my friends' curiosity
       Will have me cut up, to survey each part,
       And they shall find your picture in mine heart;
     You think a sudden Damp of love
     Will through all their senses move,
       And work on them as me, and so prefer
       Your murder to the name of massacre._

For stanzas of different structure on similar models cf. _Metrik_, ii, §
472 (_a₅ a b₃ b c₅ d₃ c₂ d₄_, _a₅ a b₂ b c₅ c₂ d₄ d₅_, _a₅ a₃ b b₅ c c₄
d d₅_, _a b a₄ b₅ c c₄ d d₅_, _a a₅ b b c d c₄ d₅_, and _a₄ b₅ a₄ b₃ c
d₄ c₂ d₄_).

There are other stanzas of this kind which occur in earlier poets, as e.
g. Donne, Cowley, and Dryden, or in some of those of later date, as
Southey, R. Browning, and Rossetti, one half-stanza having enclosing
rhymes and the whole stanza partaking of a tripartite structure. We
find, e.g. the form _A b b a c d c₄ d₃_ in D. G. Rossetti, _A Little
While_ (i. 245):

    _A little while a little love
       The hour yet bears for thee and me
       Who have not drawn the veil to see,
     If still our heaven be lit above.
     Thou merely, at the day's last sigh,
       Hast felt thy soul prolong the tone;
     And I have heard the night-wind cry
       And deemed its speech mine own._

Other similar stanzas correspond to the formulas _a a b₅ b₄ c₅ d d₄ c₅_,
_a₅ b b₄ a₅ c c₄ d d₅_, _a₄ b b₂ a c₄ d d₂ c₃_, and _a₅ b₃ a b₅ c₃ d d₅
c₃_; for examples see _Metrik_, ii, § 474. Stanzas on the model _a ~ b c
a ~ c₄ B₂ d₄ D₂_, or on _a b c ~₂ d d a b c ~₄_, are found only in single
examples (cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 476).

§ =292.= The most important of the Modern English eight-lined stanzas,
however, is an isometrical one on a foreign model, viz. a stanza of
hendecasyllabic or rather five-foot verses corresponding to the Italian
_ottava rima_, on the scheme _a b a b a b c c_. This stanza, which has
always been very popular in Italian poetry, was introduced into English
by Wyatt and Surrey; in Surrey we have only an isolated specimen, in _To
his Mistress_ (p. 32):

    _If he that erst the form so lively drew
       Of Venus' face, triumph'd in painter's art;
     Thy Father then what glory did ensue,
       By whose pencil a Goddess made thou art,
     Touched with flame that figure made some rue,
       And with her love surprised many a heart.
     There lackt yet that should cure their hot desire:
     Thou canst inflame and quench the kindled fire._

The stanza was often used by Wyatt, Sidney, and Spenser for reflective
poems, and by Drayton and Daniel for epic poems of some length. In
modern literature it has been used by Frere, Byron (_Beppo, Don Juan_),
Shelley, Keats, Wordsworth, Longfellow, and others (cf. _Metrik_, ii, §

§ =293. Stanzas of nine lines= either show a combination of parallel
with crossed or enclosing rhymes, as in the forms _a a b c b c d d d₄_,
_a₅ b a₄ b₅ b₅ c₄ c₅ d d₅_ (Rhyme-Royal + rhyming couplet), _a b₅ b a₄
c₃ c c d d₅_, _a₄ a b b₅ c₄ c₅ d₄ d d₅_, _a₄ b a₃ c₄ b₃ d b c₄ D₁_ &c.
(for specimens see _Metrik_, ii, §§ 477 and 479), or, in some of the
later poets, they consist of parts of modified tail-rhyme stanzas
combined with other forms, as in the following stanza (_a ~₃ b₄ a ~ b₃ c
c₂ d₃ a ~ d₃_) of a song by Moore:

    _Love thee, dearest? love thee?
       Yes, by yonder star I swear,
     Which thro' tears above thee
       Shines so sadly fair;
     Though often dim,
     With tears, like him,
       Like him my truth will shine,
     And--love thee, dearest? love thee?
       Yes, till death I'm thine._

Other stanzas of Moore and others have the formulas _a a b a b c c c₄
d₃_ (Burns, p. 216), _a b ~ a a₄ b ~₃ c d d₄ c₃_, _a a b₄ c₂ b₄ c₂ d d₄
c₂_, _a₄ b₃ a a₄ c ~₃ c ~ d ~ d ~₂ b₃_ &c. (cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 478).

§ =294.= The =ten-line stanzas= are also based mostly on a combination
of earlier strophic systems. Thus in Campbell's well-known poem, _Ye
Mariners of England_ (p. 71), the _Poulter's Measure_ rhythm is
observable, the scheme being _a ~ b₃ c₄ d₃ . e₄ f₃ . e₂ F₃ G₄ F₃_:

    _Ye Mariners of England!
       That guard our native seas;
     Whose flag has braved, a thousand years,
       The battle and the breeze!
     Your glorious standard launch again
       To match another foe!
       And sweep through the deep,
       While the stormy winds do blow;
     While the battle rages loud and long,
       And the stormy winds do blow._

Similar stanzas occurring in the works of earlier poets, as Sidney and
Spenser, correspond to the schemes _a₆ b a b b₅ c c₄ d₂ b₅ d₂_, _a₅ a₂ b
~ c b ~ c D ~ D ~ E E₃_, &c. But generally speaking most of the earlier
poets, as e.g. Donne, Cowley, and Suckling, prefer a simpler order of
rhymes, the schemes being _a a₃ b b . c₅ c c₄ . d d d₅_, _a₄ a b b₅ c c₄
d d e e₅_, _a₅ a a₂ b b c d d₃ e e₅_, &c.; the more modern poets (Moore,
Wordsworth, Swinburne), on the other hand, are fond of somewhat more
complicated forms, as _a₄ b ~ b ~₂ a a₄ c ~ c ~₂ d a d₄_, _a b a₄ b₃ c
c₅ d e₃ d₄ e₃_, _a b b₄ a₃ c d d e d₄ d₃_, &c. (For specimens cf.
_Metrik_, ii, §§ 480, 481.) A fine form of stanza corresponding to the
formula _a b c b c₅ a₃ d e e d₅_ is used by M. Arnold in his poem _The
Scholar Gipsy_, and another on the scheme _a a₃ b c c b₅ d₃ e d e₅_ in
_Westminster Abbey_, p. 479.

=§ 295. Stanzas of eleven lines= do not frequently occur in earlier
poetry, and for the most part simple forms are employed, e.g. _a b₄ a b
c d₅ c d₄ e e₅ e₄_, _a₅ a b₄ b₅ c₄ d₃ c₄ d₃ e e₄ e₅_, _a a b b₄ c₃ d₅ d₃
c e e e₅_, &c.; the more recent poets, however, as Moore, Wordsworth,
and R. Browning, have usually preferred a more intricate arrangement, as
_a ~ b c ~ d d a ~ b c ~₂ e e e₄_, _a b c₄ b₃ d e f f₄ e₃ g g₄_, _a₄ b₃
a b c₄ d₃ c₄ d₃ e₂ e₃ e₄_. The last scheme occurs in a song by Moore:

    _How happy once, tho' wing'd with sighs,
       My moments flew along,
     While looking on those smiling eyes,
       And list'ning to thy magic song!
     But vanish'd now, like summer dreams,
       Those moments smile no more;
     For me that eye no longer beams,
       That song for me is o'er.
     Mine the cold brow,
     That speaks thy alter'd vow,
     While others feel thy sunshine now._

§ =296. Stanzas of twelve lines= are more frequent, possibly on account
of the symmetrical arrangement of the stanza in equal parts, twelve
being divisible by three. They are constructed on different models, e.g.
_a a₅ b₃ b a₅ c₃ d₅ d c₄ c₅ e e₅_, _a a₄ b ~ b ~ c₃ c₂ d₃ d₂ e f₃ f₁
e₃_, _a₄ b₂ b₁ a₃ c ~₄ d ~₄ c ~₂ e ~ e ~ f ~ f ~₃_ (_bob-verse_
stanzas), _a b₄ c ~ c ~₂ a₄ b₃ d d e₄ f₂ f₄ e₅_, &c., occurring in
earlier poets, such as Donne, Browne, Dryden, &c. Similar stanzas,
partly of a simpler structure (_a b b a₅ a₆ c c₄ b₅ d d e₄ e₅_, _a ~ b
a ~ b₃ c c₄ d d₃ e ~ f₃ e ~ f₂_, and _a a₄ b₂ c c₄ b₁ b₄ a₂ D E ~ F E₄
~_), are found in modern poetry; the last scheme, resembling the
tail-rhyme stanza, occurring in Tennyson (p. 12):

    _A spirit haunts the year's last hours
     Dwelling amid these yellowing bowers:
         To himself he talks;
     For at eventide, listening earnestly,
     At his work you may hear him sob and sigh
         In the walks;
         Earthward he boweth the heavy stalks
       Of the mouldering flowers:
         Heavily hangs the broad sunflower
           Over its grave i' the earth so chilly;
        Heavily hangs the hollyhock,
           Heavily hangs the tiger-lily._

Many other examples are quoted in _Metrik_, ii, §§ 484-6. For several
stanzas of a still greater extent, but of rare occurrence, which need
not be mentioned in this handbook, see ibid., §§ 487-90.



§ =297.= One of the most important Modern English stanzas is the
Spenserian, so called after its inventor. This stanza, like the forms
discussed in the last chapter, but in a still greater degree, is based
on an older type. For it is not, as is sometimes said, derived from the
Italian _ottava rima_ (cf. § 292), but, as was pointed out by Guest (ii.
389), from a Middle English eight-lined popular stanza of five-foot
verses with rhymes on the formula _a b a b b c b c_, which was modelled
in its turn on a well-known Old French ballade-stanza (cf. § 269). To
this stanza Spenser added a ninth verse of six feet rhyming with the
eighth line, an addition which was evidently meant to give a very
distinct and impressive conclusion to the stanza.

As a specimen the first stanza of the first book of the _Faerie Queene_,
where it was used for the first time, may be quoted here:

      _A gentle Knight was pricking on the plaine,
        Ycladd in mightie armes and silver shielde,
      Wherein old dints of deepe woundes did remaine,
        The cruell markes of many a bloody fielde;
        Yet armes till that time did he never wield.
      His angry steede did chide his foming bitt,
        As much disdayning to the curbe to yield:
      Full jolly knight he seemd, and faire did sitt,
    As one for knightly giusts and fierce encounters fitt._

This euphonious stanza became very popular and has been used by many of
the chief Modern English poets, as e.g. by Thomson, _The Castle of
Indolence_; Shenstone, _The School-Mistress_; Burns, _The Cotter's
Saturday Night_; Byron, _Childe Harold's Pilgrimage_; Shelley, _The
Revolt of Islam_.

The great influence it had on the development of the different forms of
stanza, especially in the earlier Modern English period, is proved by
the numerous imitations and analogous formations which arose from it.

§ =298.= All the imitations have this in common that they consist of a
series of two to ten five-foot lines followed by a concluding line of
six (or rarely seven) feet.

John Donne, Phineas Fletcher, and Giles Fletcher were, it seems, the
inventors of those varieties of stanza, the shortest of which consist of
three or four lines on the schemes _a a₅ a₆_, _a b a₅ b₆_, and were used
by Rochester, _Upon Nothing_ (Poets, iv. 413), and Cowper (p. 406). A
stanza of five lines, however, on the model _a b a b₅ b₆_ occurs in
Phineas Fletcher's _Eclogue II_.

The favourite six-lined stanza with the formula _a b a b c c₅_ (cf. §
267, p. 327) was often transformed into a quasi-Spenserian stanza _a b a
b c₅ c₆_ by adding one foot to the last line, as e.g. by Dodsley in _On
the Death of Mr. Pope_ (Poets, xi. 103), Southey, _The Chapel Bell_ (ii.
143), and others; cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 493.

It was changed into a stanza of seven lines on the scheme _a b a b c c₅
c₆_ by Donne, _The Good Morrow_ (Poets, iv. 24) by the addition of a
seventh line rhyming with the two preceding lines.

Much more artistic taste is shown by the transformation of the
seven-lined _rhyme royal_ stanza _a b a b b c c₅_ (cf. § 268) into a
quasi-Spenserian stanza _a b a b b c₅ c₆_ in Milton's _On the Death of a
Fair Infant_.

By the addition of a new line rhyming with the last couplet this form
was developed into the eight-lined stanza _a b a b b c c₅ c₆_ employed
in Giles Fletcher's _Christ's Victory and Triumph_.

Omitting some rarer forms (cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 495) we may mention that
Phineas Fletcher transformed the _ottava rima a b a b a b c c₅_ into a
quasi-Spenserian stanza of the form _a b a b a b c₅ c₆_, and that he
also extended the same stanza to one of nine lines (_a b a b a b c c₅
c₆_) by adding one verse more. Other nine-line quasi-Spenserian stanzas
occurring occasionally in modern poets, e.g. Mrs. Hemans, Shelley, and
Wordsworth, correspond to _a b a a b b c c₅ c₆_, _a b a b c d c d₅ d₆_,
_a b a b c c b d₅ d₆_, _a a b b c c d d₅ d₆_. (For specimens see
_Metrik_, ii, § 496.)

A stanza of ten lines on the scheme _a b a b c d c d e₅ e₆_ was invented
by Prior for his _Ode to the Queen_ (Poets, vii. 440); but it is not, as
he thought, an improved, but only a simplified form of the old
Spenserian scheme:

    _When great Augustus govern'd ancient Rome,
       And sent his conquering bands to foreign wars;
     Abroad when dreaded, and belov'd at home,
       He saw his fame increasing with his years;
     Horace, great bard! (so fate ordain'd) arose,
       And, bold as were his countrymen in fight,
     Snatch'd their fair actions from degrading prose,
       And set their battles in eternal light:
     High as their trumpets' tune his lyre he strung,
     And with his prince's arms he moraliz'd his song._

This stanza has been used by some subsequent poets, e.g. by Chatterton,
who himself invented a similar imitation of the old Spenserian form,
viz. _a b a b b a b a c₅ c₆_. Other stanzas of ten lines are _a b a b b
c d c d₅ d₆_, _a b b a c d d c e₅ e₆_, _a b a b c c d e e₅ d₆_. (For
specimens see _Metrik_, ii, § 497.)

A stanza of eleven lines on the scheme _a b a b c d c d c d₅ d₆_ occurs
in Wordsworth in the _Cuckoo-clock_ (viii. 161).

§ =299.= Amongst the stanzaic formations analogous to the Spenserian
stanza, which for the most part were invented by the poets just
mentioned, two different groups are to be distinguished; firstly,
stanzas the body of which consists of four-foot (seldom three-foot)
verses, a six-foot final verse being added to them either immediately or
preceded by a five-foot verse; secondly, stanzas of anisometrical
structure in the principal part, the end-verse being of six or sometimes
of seven feet.

The stanzas of the first group consist of four to ten lines, and have
the following formulas: four-lined stanzas, _a b c₄ b₆_ (Wordsworth);
five lines, _a b a b₃ b₆_ (Shelley); six lines, _a b a a b₃ b₆_ (Ben
Jonson), _a b a b₄ c₅ c₆_ (Wordsworth, Coleridge), _a a₃ b₅ c c₃ b₆_
(R. Browning); seven lines, _a ~ b b a ~ c c₄ c₇_ (Mrs. Browning); eight
lines, _a b a b c c d₄ d₆_ (Gray, Wordsworth), _a a b b c c d₄ d₆_ (John
Scott), _a a b b c c₄ d₅ d₆_ (Coleridge); nine lines, _a b a b c d c₄ d₅
c₆_ and _a b a b c c d d₄ d₆_ (Akenside), _a b a b b c b c₄ c₆_
(Shelley, _Stanzas written in Dejection_, i. 370); ten lines, _a b a b c
d c d₄ e₅ e₆_ (Whitehead).

As an example we quote a stanza of nine lines from Shelley's poem
mentioned above:

      _I see the Deep's untrampled floor
        With green and purple seaweeds strown;
      I see the waves upon the shore,
        Like light dissolved in star-showers, thrown:
      I sit upon the sands alone,
      The lightning of the noon-tide ocean
        Is flashing round me, and a tone
      Arises from its measured motion,
    How sweet! did any heart now share in my emotion._

For other examples see _Metrik_, ii, §§ 499-503.

§ =300.= Greater variety is found in the second group; they have an
extent of four up to sixteen lines and mostly occur in poets of the
sixteenth to eighteenth centuries (Donne, Ben Jonson, Cowley, Rowe,
Akenside, &c.), rarely in the nineteenth century. Stanzas of four lines
are, _a₅ a b₄ b₆_ (Poets, v. 236), _a a₄ b₅ b₆_ (ib. xi. 1207); of five
lines, _a₅ a b₃ b₄ a₆_ (ib. v. 281), _a b a₅ b₄ b₆_ (ib. ix. 312), &c.;
of six lines, _a₄ b₅ a₄ b c₅ c₆_ (ib. xi. 130), _a₄ b₃ a₄ b₃ c₅ c₆_ (ib.
x. 722), _a a₄ b₃ c c₄ b₆_ (ib. xi. 1070; tail-rhyme stanza), _a b₅ a₄ b
c₅ c₆_ (Tennyson, _The Third of February_); of seven lines, _a₃ b₅ b₃ a₄
c c₃ c₆_ (Poets, v. 413), _a b a b₅ b₃ c₅ c₆_ (Mrs. Hemans, _Easter
Day_, vii. 165, with rhymes in the _rhyme royal_ order; of eight lines,
_a a₃ b₅ c c₃ b₅ d₄ d₆_ (Milton, _Hymn on the Nativity_, ii. 400;
tail-rhyme + _d₄ d₆_), _a₅ b₂ a b₅ c₃ d₅ c₃ d₇_ (Poets, iv. 36), _a₅ a₄
b b₅ c d c₄ d₆_ (ib. v. 432), _a b₄ b c a₅ d d₄ c₆_ (ib. ix. 794), _a b
a b c₅ c₃ d₅ d₆_, and _a b₅ a₄ b₃ c₅ d₄ d₃ c₆_ (Wordsworth, _Artegal and
Elidure_, vi. 47, and _'Tis said that some have died for love_, ii. 184,
beginning with the second stanza).

The following stanza from the last-mentioned poem may serve as a

      _Oh move, thou Cottage, from behind that oak!
         Or let the aged tree uprooted lie,
       That in some other way yon smoke
         May mount into the sky:
       The clouds pass on; they from the heavens depart.
       I look--the sky is empty space;
       I know not what I trace;
     But when I cease to look, my hand is on my heart._

Stanzas of nine lines, especially occurring in Donne, have the formulas
_a b b₅ a₃ c c c₄ d₅ d₆_ (Poets, iv. 29), _a a b b c₅ c d₄ d₅ d7_ (ib.
36), _a₂ b b a₅ c c₂ d d₅ d₇_ (ib. 31), _a a b b b₅ c d d₄ c₆_ (ib. vii.
142), &c.; of ten lines, _a a₄ b b c c₅ d₄ d d₅ d₆_ (ib. iv. 28), _a a
b c c₄ b₂ d e d₅ e₆_ (ib. ix. 788), _a b a b₅ c c d d₄ e₅ e₆_ (Shelley,
_Phantasm of Jupiter in Prometheus Unbound_); of twelve lines, _a b a b₅
c c d d e e₅ f₅ f₆_ (Poets, xi. 588); of thirteen lines, _a b ~₄ a₅ b ~₃
c₄ c₅ d d₂ e₅ e₂ f₅ e₂ f₆_ (Ben Jonson, _Ode to James, Earl of Desmond_,
ib. iv. 572); of fifteen lines, _a b a b c₅ d d₄ d₆ c e c e d f₅ f₆_
(Shelley, _Ode to Liberty_, i. 360-9); of sixteen lines, _a b a b a b a
b₅ c c₃ b₅ d d₃ b₅ e₄ e₆_ (Swinburne, _New-Year Ode to Victor Hugo_
(_Midsummer Holiday_, pp. 39-63).

This last stanza has an exceedingly fine structure, consisting of an
isometrical first part and an anisometrical tail-rhyme stanza + an
anisometrical rhyming couplet, forming the last part:

    _Twice twelve times have the springs of years refilled
       Their fountains from the river-head of time,
     Since by the green sea's marge, ere autumn chilled
       Waters and woods with sense of changing clime,
     A great light rose upon my soul, and thrilled
       My spirit of sense with sense of spheres in chime,
     Sound as of song wherewith a God would build
       Towers that no force of conquering war might climb.
           Wind shook the glimmering sea
           Even as my soul in me
       Was stirred with breath of mastery more sublime,
           Uplift and borne along
           More thunderous tides of song,
       Where wave rang back to wave more rapturous rhyme
         And world on world flashed lordlier light
     Than ever lit the wandering ways of ships by night._

The three stanzas last quoted, as well as some of the shorter ones
occurring in Akenside, Rowe, &c., were also used for odes, and in this
way the affinity of formations like these with the odic stanzas to be
discussed in the next chapter becomes apparent.



§ =301.= The Spenserian stanza stands in unmistakable connexion with
Spenser's highly artistic and elaborate =Epithalamium stanza= (Globe Ed.
587-91) inasmuch as the last line, _That all the woods may answer and
their echo ring_, repeated in each stanza as a burden together with the
word _sing_ which ends the preceding verse, has six measures, the rest
of the stanza consisting of three- and five-foot lines.

Like the Spenserian stanza, the Epithalamium stanza has given rise to
numerous imitations.

It cannot be said that one fixed form of stanza is employed throughout
the whole extent of Spenser's Epithalamium. It rather consists of two
main forms of stanza, viz. one of eighteen lines (st. i, ii, iv, v, vi,
x, xvi, xxi, xxiii), and one of nineteen lines (st. iii, vii, viii, ix,
xi, xii, xiii, xiv, xvii, xviii, xix, xx, xxii), whereas one stanza, the
fifteenth, has only seventeen lines. In the arrangement of rhymes there
are also sporadic varieties: cf. e.g. iv and ix.

The arrangement of verse, however, is always similar in both groups. The
main part of the stanza consists of five-foot verses, the succession of
which is interrupted three times by three-foot ones, the final verse of
the stanza having six measures. In the stanza of eighteen lines the
usual arrangement is _a b a b c₅ c₃ d c d e₅ e₃ f g g f₅ g₃ r₅ R₆_. In
those of nineteen lines it is _a b a b c₅ c₃ d c d e₅ e₃ f g g f h₅ h₃
r₅ R₆_. The scheme of the stanza of seventeen lines is _a b a b c₅ c₃
d c d e f f g h₅ h₃ r₅ R₆_.

The two following stanzas (ii, iii) may be quoted as specimens of the
two chief forms:

     _Early, before the worlds light-giving lampe
      His golden beame upon the hils doth spred,
      Having disperst the nights unchearefull dampe,
      Doe ye awake; and, with fresh lustyhed,
      Go to the bowre of my beloved love,
      My truest turtle dove;
      Bid her awake; for Hymen is awake,
      And long since ready forth his maske to move,
      With his bright Tead that flames with many a flake,
      And many a bachelor to waite on him,
      In theyr fresh garments trim.
      Bid her awake therefore, and soone her dight,
      For lo! the wished day is come at last,
      That shall, for all the paynes and sorrowes past,
      Pay to her usury of long delight:
      And, whylest she doth her dight,
      Doe ye to her of joy and solace sing,
    That all the woods may answer, and your eccho ring._

     _Bring with you all the Nymphes that you can heare
      Both of the rivers and the forrests greene,
      And of the sea that neighbours to her neare;
      Al with gay girlands goodly wel beseene.
      And let them also with them bring in hand
      Another gay girland,
      For my fayre love, of lillyes and of roses,
      Bound truelove wize, with a blue silke riband.
      And let them make great store of bridal poses,
      And let them eeke bring store of other flowers
      To deck the bridale bowers.
      And let the ground whereas her foot shall tread,
      For feare the stones her tender foot should wrong,
      Be strewed with fragrant flowers all along,
      And diapred lyke the discoloured mead.
      Which done, doe at her chamber dore awayt,
      For she will waken strayt;
      The whiles doe ye this song unto her sing,
    The woods shall to you answer, and your Eccho ring._

These stanzas evidently consist of three or four unequal parts, the two
first parts (ll. 1-6, 7-11) being connected by rhyme. There is a certain
similarity between them, the chief difference being that the second
_pes_, as we may call it, is shortened by one verse. With the third
part, a new system of verses rhyming together commences, forming a kind
of last part (_downsong_ or _cauda_); and as the final couplet of the
stanza is generally closely connected in sense with this, the assumption
of a tripartite division of the stanza is preferable to that of a
quadripartite division.

§ =302.= Stanzas of this kind have also been used by later poets in
similar poems. But all these imitations of the Epithalamium stanza are
shorter than their model. As to their structure, some of them might also
be ranked among the irregular Spenserian stanzas, as they agree with
those in having a longer final verse of six or seven measures. But as a
rule, they have--not to speak of the similarity of theme--the
combination of three- and five-foot verses in the principal part, on the
model, it seems, of Spenser's Epithalamium stanza.

Stanzas of this kind (eight lines up to fourteen) occur in Donne and Ben
Jonson; the schemes being--

    of eight lines: _a b a b₅ c₃ c₂ d₃ d₆_ (Poets, iv. 588);

    of eleven lines: _a₅ a b₄ b₅ c₃ c d d e e₅ E₇_ (ib. iv. 19);

    of twelve lines: _a₄ a b c c b d e₅ e₃ d f₅ F₆_ (ib. 16);

    of fourteen lines: _a₅ a b₄ b₅ c₃ d d c₅ e₄ e f f g₅ G₆_ (ib. 15).

For specimens see _Metrik_, ii, § 512.

Stanzas similar in subject and structure, but without the longer
end-verse, may be treated here, as well as some odic stanzas similar in
structure (9-18 lines) and in theme, occurring in earlier poets, as e.g.
Sidney, Spenser, John Donne, Samuel Daniel, Ben Jonson, Drummond, and
Milton. In Modern English poetry there are only some few examples of
such stanzas to be met with in translations of Italian canzones; e.g.
in Leigh Hunt. The schemes are as follows. Stanzas of nine lines, _a b a
b₅ b c₃ c₅ d₃ D₅_ (Sidney, _Arcadia_, p. 388); of ten lines, _a a₃ b₅ b₃
c₅ c d d₃ e e₅_ (Ben Jonson, _Ode to himself_, Poets, iv. 607); of
eleven lines, _a a₄ b₃ b₄ c₃ c₅ D₃ D₂ E₃ E₂ d₅_ (ib. 611); of twelve
lines, _a₂ b₅ b₂ a c c₅ d d₃ e₅ f₃ f₅ e₂_ (ib. 572), _a₃ a b₅ b₃ c c₅ d₃
d e₅ e₃ f f₅_ (Drummond, ib. 664); of thirteen lines, _a b₃ a₅ c b₃ c₅
c d e e₃ d₅ f₃ f₅_ (Sidney, _Arcadia_, p. 394), _a b₃ c₅ a b₃ c₅ c d e
e₃ d₅ f₃ f₅_ (S. Daniel, _The Pastoral_, Poets, iv. 225), agreeing in
form with the eleventh of Petrarch's canzones, _Chiare, fresche e dolci
acque_, translated by Leigh Hunt (p. 394) on the scheme, _a a₃ b₅ c c₃
b₅ b d d₃ e₄ e₅ f₄ f₅_; of fourteen lines, _a b c b a c c₅ d d₃ c e₅ f₃
f₂ e₃_ (Milton, _Upon the Circumcision_, ii. 408); of eighteen lines,
_a b b a₅ a₃ c d c d₅ d₃ e e f e₅ f f₃ G G₅_ (Spenser, _Prothalamium_,
p. 605). For examples of these stanzas, partly formed on the model of
the Italian canzones, see _Metrik_, ii, §§ 512-15.

§ =303.= The English odic stanzas have been influenced too, although
only in a general way, by the anisometrical structure of the Greek odes.
This, however, was only to a slight extent the case in the so-called
=Pindaric Odes=, as the metres usually employed in them were essentially
the same, and retained in their composition the same anisometrical
character exhibited by the odic stanzas considered in the preceding

There are, however, two groups of Pindaric Odes, viz. Regular and
Irregular, and it is chiefly the latter group to which the preceding
remark refers.

The irregular odes were possibly modelled on certain non-strophical
poems or hymns, consisting of anisometrical verses throughout, with an
entirely irregular system of rhymes. We have an example of them already
in the poems of Donne, the inventor or imitator of some odic stanzas
mentioned in the previous paragraph; it is in his poem _The Dissolution_
(Poets, iv. 38) consisting of twenty-two rhyming verses of two to seven
measures on the model

 _a₃ b₄ c₅ d ~₃ b₄ a c₅ d ~₃ e₄ e₅ f₃ f₅ e₅ g₄ g₅ h₃ h₄ i i₅ k₃ l₂ l
       k₅ k₇_.

A similar form is found in Milton's poems _On Time_ (ii. 411) and _At a
Solemn Music_ (ii. 412). Other examples taken from later poets are
quoted in _Metrik_, ii, § 523. M. Arnold's poems _The Voice_ (second
half) (p. 36) and _Stagirius_ (p. 38) likewise fall under this head.

To the combined influence of the earlier somewhat lengthy unstrophical
odes on the one hand, and of the shorter, strophical ones also composed
of anisometrical verses on the other, we have possibly to trace the
particular odic form which was used by Cowley when he translated, or
rather paraphrased, the Odes of Pindar. Owing to Cowley's popularity,
this form came much into fashion afterwards through his numerous
imitators, and it is much in vogue even at the present day.

The characteristic features of Cowley's free renderings and imitations
of Pindar's odes are, in the first place, that he dealt very freely with
the matter of his Greek original, giving only the general sense with
arbitrary omissions and additions; and, in the second place, he paid no
attention to the characteristic strophic structure of the original,
which is a system of stanzas recurring in the same order till the end of
the poem, and consisting of two stanzas of identical form, the strophe
and antistrophe, followed by a third, the epode, entirely differing from
the two others in structure. In this respect Cowley did not even attempt
to imitate the original poems, the metres of which were very
imperfectly understood till long after his time.

Hence there is a very great difference between the originals and the
English translations of Cowley, a difference which is clear even to the
eye from the inequality of the number of stanzas and the number of
verses in them.

§ =304.= The first Nemean ode, e.g. consists of four equal parts, each
one being formed of a strophe and antistrophe of seven lines, and of a
four-lined epode; twelve stanzas in all. Cowley's translation, on the
other hand, has only nine stanzas, each of an entirely different
structure, their schemes being as follows:

     I. _a a₅ b b₄ c₃ c d₆ d₄ e e₃ e f₄ f₅ g₄ g₅_,                 15 l.
    II. _a a₄ b₃ b₄ b₅ c₄ c₃ c₅ d₄ d₅ e e₄ f₃ f₃ e₅_,              15 l.
   III. _a₅ b₃ b₄ a a₅ c₃ c₄ d e e₃ d f ~₄ f ~₆ g₄ g₅ g₇_,         16 l.
    IV. _a₅ a b b₄ b c c c₅ d₃ d₅ e e₄ e₆_,                        13 l.
     V. _a a b b c₅ c₄ c₅ d₄ e d₅ e f f₄ g₅ g₆_,                   15 l.
    VI. _a a₅ b₄ b₅ c₆ d₅ d₄ c e f₅ f₄ f₅ g₄ g e h₅ h₇_,           17 l.
   VII. _a₅ a₃ b₅ b₄ b₅ c₃ c₆ d₄ e₃ e₆ d₅ f f g₄ g₇_,              15 l.
  VIII. _a₂ a b₅ b₃ c₄ c₆ d₅ d e₄ e₃ f f₄ g₆ g h₄ h₆_,             16 l.
    IX. _a₄ a₅ b₄ b c₆ c d₄ d₅ d e₃ e₆_,                           11 l.

Cowley's own original stanzas and those of his numerous imitators are of
a similar irregular and arbitrary structure; cf. Cowley's ode _Brutus_
(Poets, v. 303), which has the following stanzaic forms:

    I. _a₄ a b₅ b₄ c c₅ c₄ c₅ d₆ d d₅ d₄ d₅ d₆_,                   14 l.
   II. _a b a a b₅ b₄ c c d d₅ d₃ d e₄ e₅ f₃ g₃ g₄ f₆_,            17 l.
  III. _a₃ a₅ b₄ b₆ c₅ c d₄ d d e e₅ f f₄ g ~₅ g ~₆_,              15 l.
   IV. _a a a₅ b₃ b₄ a₅ a a₄ b₅ c₄ c d₅ d₄ e₆ e₅ f₄ f₆_,           17 l.
    V. _a b₅ b₄ a₆ c₂ c₅ c₄ a c₅ c₆ d d e₄ e₅ f₃ f g g₅ h
                 h₄ i i₅ i₄_,                                      23 l.

Waller's ode _Upon modern Critics_ (Poets, v. 650) has the
following stanzaic forms:

   I. _a b b₄ a c₅ c d₄ d₅ d₄ e f₅ f f₄ e₅ f₄ g g h₅ i₃ i h₄
                 k₅ k₆_,                                           23 l.
  II. _a a₄ b₃ b c c d₄ d₅ e f f g₄ g₅ e₃ h i₄ i₅ h k k₄ l l₅_,    23 l.
 III. _a a b b c₄ c₅ d d e e f f₄ e₃ f e g₄ h₅ h g i₄ i₆_,         21 l.
  IV. _a b b a₄ c c₅ d₃ d₄ e₅ d₄ d f₅ f₄ g g₅ h₄ h₅ i i₅_,         19 l.
   V. _a a b b c₄ d₅ c₃ d e₅ e₆ f₅ f₄ g₅ g h h₄ i₃ i₆_,            18 l.
  VI. _a₄ b₃ a b a c c d₄ d₆ e e₄ f f g₅ g₄ g h₅ h i₄ i₆_,         20 l.

All the stanzas are of unequal length and consist of the most various
verses (of three, four, mostly five, even six and seven measures) and
arrangements of rhymes. Parallel rhymes are very common; but sometimes
we have crossed, enclosing, and other kinds of rhyme, as e.g. the
system of the Italian _terzina_. A characteristic feature is that at
the end of the stanza very often three parallel rhymes occur, and that,
as a rule, the stanza winds up with a somewhat longer line of six or
seven measures, as in the Spenserian and the Epithalamium stanza; but
sometimes we also find a short final verse.

To these Irregular Pindaric Odes, besides, belong Dryden's celebrated
odes _Threnodia Augustalis_ and _Alexander's Feast_, the latter having a
more lyrical form, with a short choral strophe after each main stanza;
and Pope's _Ode on St. Cecilia's Day_. A long list of references to
similar poems from Cowley to Tennyson is given in _Metrik_, ii, §§
516-22; amongst these different forms the rhymeless odic stanzas
occurring in Dr. Sayers (_Dramatic Sketches_), Southey (e.g. _Thalaba_)
and Shelley (_Queen Mab_) are noticeable.

§ =305.= To these Irregular Pindaric Odes strong opposition was raised
by the dramatist Congreve, who in a special _Discourse on the Pindaric
Ode_ (Poets, vii. 509) proved that Pindar's odes were by no means
formed on the model of such an arbitrary strophic structure as that of
the so-called Pindaric Odes which had hitherto been popular in English
poetry. To refute this false view he explained and emphasized their
actual structure (see § 303), which he imitated himself in his Pindaric
Ode addressed to the Queen, written soon after May 20, 1706, and
composed in anisometrical rhyming verses. He was mistaken, however, in
thinking that he was the first to make this attempt in English. Nearly
a hundred years before him, Ben Jonson had imitated Pindar's odic form
on exactly the same principles; in his _Ode Pindaric_ to the memory
of Sir Lucius Carey and Sir H. Morison (_Poets_, iv. 585) we have the
strophe (_turn_), antistrophe (_counter-turn_), and the epode (_stand_),
recurring four times (cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 525). Ben Jonson, however,
found no followers; so that his attempt had remained unknown even to
Congreve. The regular Pindaric Odes by this poet, on the other hand,
called forth a great many imitations of a similar kind and structure.
For this reason the first three stanzas of Congreve's _Pindaric Ode_
(Poets, vii. 570) may be quoted here as an example, the scheme of the
strophe and antistrophe being _a a₅ b₃ c c₄ b₅ b₆_, that of the
epode _a b a b₄ c₅ d₄ c₃ d₄ e₄ e f g₃ g₄ f₅_:


    _Daughter of memory, immortal muse,
     Calliope;  what poet wilt thou choose,
         Of Anna's name to sing?
       To whom wilt thou thy fire impart,
       Thy lyre, thy voice, and tuneful art;
     Whom raise sublime on thy aethereal wing,
     And consecrate with dews of thy Castalian spring?_


    _Without thy aid, the most aspiring mind
     Must flag beneath, to narrow flights confin'd,
       Striving to rise in vain:
     Nor e'er can hope with equal lays
       To celebrate bright virtue's praise.
     Thy aid obtain'd, ev'n I, the humblest swain,
     May climb Pierian heights, and quit the lowly plain._


        _High in the starry orb is hung,
          And next Alcides' guardian arm,
      That harp to which thy Orpheus sung
          Who woods, and rocks, and winds could charm;
    That harp which on Cyllene's shady hill,
      When first the vocal shell was found,
        With more than mortal skill
        Inventor Hermes taught to sound:
        Hermes on bright Latona's son,
          By sweet persuasion won,
          The wondrous work bestow'd;
            Latona's son, to thine
          Indulgent, gave the gift divine;
      A god the gift, a god th' invention show'd._

The most celebrated among the later Pindaric Odes formed on similar
principles are Gray's odes _The Progress of Poesy_ (Poets, x. 218) and
_The Bard_ (ib. 220). References to other odes are given in _Metrik_,
ii, § 527.

In dramatic poetry M. Arnold attempted to imitate the structure of
the different parts of the Chorus of Greek tragedy in his fragment
_Antigone_ (p. 211), and more strictly in his tragedy _Merope_ (p.
350). It would lead us too far, however, to give a detailed description
of the strophic forms occurring there.

With regard to other lyrical pieces in masques and operas (also of an
unequal-membered strophic structure) and with regard to cantata-stanzas
and other stanzas differing among themselves, in other poems which
cannot be further discussed here, we must refer the reader to §§ 528-31
of our larger work.



§ =306. Origin of the English Sonnet.= In early Provençal and French
poetry certain lyric poems are found which were called _Son_, sometimes
_Sonet_, although they had neither a fixed extent, nor a regulated
form. But the Sonnet[197] in its exact structure was introduced into
French, Spanish, and English poetry from Italian, and as a rule on
the model, or at least under the influence, of Petrarch's sonnets. In
English literature, however, the sonnet in part had a more independent
development than it had in other countries, and followed its Italian
model at first only in the number and nature of the verses used in it.
Generally speaking, the Italian and the English sonnet can be defined
as a short poem, complete in itself, consisting of fourteen five-foot
(or eleven-syllabled) iambic lines, in which a single theme, a thought
or series of thoughts, is treated and brought to a conclusion. In the
rhyme-arrangement and the structure of the poem, however, the English
sonnet, as a rule, deviates greatly from its Italian model, and the
examples in which its strict form is followed are comparatively rare.

§ =307.= The Italian Sonnet consists of two parts distinguished from
each other by difference of rhymes, each of the parts having its own
continuous system of rhymes. The first part is formed of two quatrains
(_basi_), i.e. stanzas of four lines; the second of two terzetti
(_volte_), stanzas of three lines. The two quatrains have only two, the
terzetti two or three rhymes.

The usual rhyme-arrangement in the quatrains is _a b b a   a b b a_,
more rarely _a b b a   b a a b_ (_rima chiusa_). There are, however,
also sonnets with alternate rhymes, _a b a b   a b a b or a b a b
b a b a_ (_rima alternata_); but the combination of the two kinds of
rhyme, _a b a b  b a a b_ or _a b b a  a b a b_ (_rima mista_), was
unusual. In the second part, consisting of six lines, the order of
rhymes is not so definitely fixed. When only two rhymes are used, which
the old metrists, as Quadrio (1695-1756), the Italian critic and
historian of literature, regarded as the only legitimate method, the
usual sequence is _cdc   dcd_ (crossed rhymes, _rima alternata_). This
form occurs 112 times in those of Petrarch's[198] sonnets which have
only two rhymes in the last part, their number being 124; in the
remaining twelve sonnets the rhyme-system is either _c d d   c d c_ or
_c d d   d c c_. In the second part of Petrarch's sonnets three rhymes
are commoner than two. In most cases we have the formula _c d e   c d
e_, which occurs in 123 sonnets, while the scheme _c d e   d c e_ is
met with only in 78 sonnets. The three chief forms, then, of Petrarch's
sonnet may be given with Tomlinson[199] as built on the following models:

  _a b b a   a b b a   c d e   c d e_, _a b b a   a b b a   c d c
              d c d_, _a b b a   a b b a   c d e   d c e._

In the seventy-second and seventy-fourth sonnet we have the unusual
schemes _c d e   e d c_ and _c d e   d e c_. The worst form, according
to the Italian critics, was that which ended in a rhyming couplet.
This kind of ending, as we shall see later on, is one of the chief
characteristics of the specifically English form of the sonnet.

The original and oldest form of the sonnet, however, as recent inquiries
seem to show, was that with crossed rhymes both in the quatrains and
in the terzetti, on the scheme _a b a b   a b a b   c d c   d c d_.
But this variety had no direct influence on the true English form, in
which a system of crossed rhymes took a different arrangement.

An essential point, then, in the Italian sonnet is the bipartition,
the division of it into two chief parts; and this rule is so strictly
observed that a carrying on of the sense, or the admission of
_enjambement_ between the two main parts, connecting the eighth and
ninth verse of the poem by a run-on line, would be looked upon as a
gross offence against the true structure and meaning of this poetic
form. Nor would a run-on line be allowed between the first and the
second stanza; indeed some poets, who follow the strict form of the
sonnet, do not even admit _enjambement_ between the first and the second
terzetto, although for the second main part of the poem this has never
become a fixed rule.

The logical import of the structure of the sonnet, as understood by the
earlier theorists, especially Quadrio, is this: The first quatrain
makes a statement; the second proves it; the first terzetto has to
confirm it, and the second draws the conclusion of the whole.

§ =308.= The structure of this originally Italian poetic form may be
illustrated by the following sonnet, equally correct in form and
poetical in substance, in which Theodore Watts-Dunton sets forth the
essence of this form of poetry itself:

                  THE SONNET'S VOICE.

              A metrical lesson by the sea-shore.

    _Yon silvery billows breaking on the beach
       Fall back in foam beneath the star-shine clear,
       The while my rhymes are murmuring in your ear
       A restless lore like that the billows teach;
     For on these sonnet-waves my soul would reach
       From its own depths, and rest within you, dear,
       As, through the billowy voices yearning here,
       Great nature strives to find a human speech._

    _A sonnet is a wave of melody:
       From heaving waters of the impassioned soul
       A billow of tidal music one and whole
     Flows in the 'octave'; then, returning free,
       Its ebbing surges in the 'sestet' roll
       Back to the deeps of Life's tumultuous sea._

Although the run-on line between the terzetti is perhaps open to a
slight objection, the rhyme-arrangement is absolutely correct, the
inadmissible rhyming couplet at the end of the poem being of course
avoided. Other sonnets on the sonnet written in English, German, or
French, are quoted in _Metrik_, ii, § 534.

§ =309.= The first English sonnet-writers, Wyatt and Surrey, departed
considerably from this strict Italian form, although they both
translated sonnets written by Petrarch into English. Their chief
deviation from this model is that, while retaining the two quatrains,
they break up the second chief part of the sonnet, viz. the terzetti,
into a third quatrain (with separate rhymes) and a rhyming couplet.
Surrey went still further in the alteration of the original sonnet by
changing the arrangement and the number of rhymes in the quatrains also,
whereas Wyatt, as a rule, in this respect only exceptionally deviated
from the structure of the Italian sonnet. The greater part of Wyatt's
sonnets (as well as Donne's, cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 541) have therefore
the scheme _a b b a   a b b a   c d d c   e e_, whereas other forms,
as e.g. _a b b a   a b b a   c d   c d   e e_ occur only
occasionally (cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 535).

This order of rhymes, on the other hand, was frequently used by Sir
Philip Sidney, who on the whole followed the Italian model, and
sometimes employed even more accurate Italian forms, avoiding the final
rhyming couplet (cf. ib. § 538). He also invented certain extended and
curtailed sonnets which are discussed in _Metrik_, ii, §§ 539, 540.

§ =310.= Of greater importance is Surrey's transformation of the Italian
sonnet, according to the formula _abab cdcd efefgg_. This variety of the
sonnet--which, we may note in passing, Surrey also extended into a
special poetic form consisting of several such quatrains together with a
final rhyming couplet (cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 537)--was very much in favour
in the sixteenth and at the beginning of the seventeenth century. Samuel
Daniel, and above all Shakespeare, wrote their sonnets mainly[200] in
this form, sometimes combining a series of them in a closely connected
cycle. As a specimen of this most important form we quote the eighteenth
of Shakespeare's sonnets:

    _Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
       Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
       Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
       And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
     Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
       And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
       And every fair from fair sometime declines,
       By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
     But thy eternal summer shall not fade
       Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;
       Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
       When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st:
         So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
         So long lives this, and this gives life to thee._

Commonly the concluding couplet contains an independent thought which
gives a conclusion to the poem. In certain cases, however, the thought
of the previous stanza is carried on in the closing couplet by means of
a run-on line, as is the case in Nos. 71, 72, 108, 154, &c. Sometimes,
of course, a run-on line connects different portions of the sonnet
also, as e.g. Nos. 114, 129, 154, &c. The rhymes, as a rule, are
masculine, but not exclusively so.

§ =311.= Meanwhile, another interesting form had been introduced,
perhaps by the Scottish poet, Alex. Montgomerie,[201] which was
subsequently chiefly used by Spenser. When about seventeen Spenser had
translated the sonnets of the French poet, Du Bellay, in blank verse,
and thereby created the rhymeless form of the sonnet, which, however,
although not unknown in French poetry, was not further cultivated. About
twenty years later he re-wrote the same sonnets in the form introduced
by Surrey. Some years after he wrote a series of sonnets, called
_Amoretti_, in that peculiar and very fine form which, although perhaps
invented by Montgomerie, now bears Spenser's name. The three quatrains
in this form of the sonnet are connected by _concatenatio_, the final
verse of each quatrain rhyming with the first line of the next, while
the closing couplet stands separate. The scheme of this form, then,
_a b a b   b c b c   c d c d   e e_; it found, however, but few
imitators (cf. _Metrik_, ii, §§ 542, 543, 559, note 1).

The various forms of Drummond of Hawthornden's sonnets had also no
influence on the further development of this kind of poetry and
therefore need not be discussed here. It may suffice to say that he
partly imitated the strict Italian form, partly modified it; and that he
also used earlier English transformations and invented some new forms
(cf. _Metrik_, ii, §§ 547, 548).

§ =312.= A new and important period in the history of sonnet writing,
although it was only of short duration, began with Milton. Not a single
one of his eighteen English and five Italian sonnets is composed on the
model of those by Surrey and Shakespeare or in any other genuine English
form. He invariably used the Italian rhyme-arrangement _a b b a a b
b a_ in the quatrains, combined with the strict Italian order in the
terzetti: _c d c d c d_, _c d d c d c_, _c d e c d e_, _c d c e e d_, _c
d e d c e_; only in one English and in three Italian sonnets we find the
less correct Italian form with the final rhyming couplet on the schemes
_c d d c e e_, _c d c d e e_.

One chief rule, however, of the Italian sonnet, viz. the logical
separation of the two main parts by a break in the sense, is observed
by Milton only in about half the number of his sonnets; and the
above-mentioned relationship of the single parts of the sonnet to each
other according to the strict Italian rule (cf. pp. 372-3 and _Metrik_,
ii, § 533, pp. 839-40) is hardly ever met with in Milton. He therefore
imitated the Italian sonnet only in its form, and paid no regard to the
relationship of its single parts or to the distribution of the contents
through the quatrains and terzets. In this respect he kept to the
monostrophic structure of the specifically English form of the sonnet,
consisting, as a rule, of one continuous train of thought.

Milton also introduced into English poetry the playful variety of the
so-called tail-sonnet on the Italian model (_Sonetti codati_), a sonnet,
extended by six anisometrical verses, with the scheme _a b b a   a b b
a   c d e d e c₅   c₃ f f₅ f₃ g g₅_ (cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 549),
which, however, did not attract many imitators (Milton, ii. 481-2).

After Milton sonnet-writing was discontinued for about a century. The
poets of the Restoration period and of the first half of the eighteenth
century (Cowley, Waller, Dryden, Pope, Gay, Akenside, Young, Thomson,
Goldsmith, Johnson, and others) did not write a single sonnet, and seem
to have despised this form of poetry (cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 550).

§ =313.= When sonnet-writing was revived in the second half of the
eighteenth century by T. Edwards, who composed some fifty sonnets,
by Gray, by Benjamin Stillingfleet, T. Warton, and others of less
importance, as well as by Charlotte Smith, Helen M. Williams, Anna
Seward, the male poets preferred the strict Italian form, while the
poetesses, with the exception of Miss Seward, adopted that of Surrey and
Shakespeare (cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 551).

Not long afterwards another very popular and prolific sonnet-writer,
William Lisle Bowles, followed in some of his sonnets the strict Italian
model (cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 552), but also wrote sonnets (towards the end
of the eighteenth century) on a scheme that had previously been used by
Drummond, viz. _a b b a   c d d c   e f f e g g_, this formula
representing a transition form from the Italian to Surrey's sonnet, with
enclosing rhymes in the quatrains instead of crossed rhymes (cf. _Metrik_,
ii, § 546, p. 860).

Bowles's example induced S. T. Coleridge to write his sonnets, which in
part combined in the quatrains enclosing and crossed rhyme (_a b b a []
c d c d   e f e f g g_ or _a b a b   c d d c   e f f e f e_; cf.
_Metrik_, ii, § 553).

Similar, even more arbitrary forms and rhyme-arrangements, the terzetti
being sometimes placed at the beginning (e.g. No. 13, _a a b c c b d e
d e f e f e_) of the poem, occur in Southey's sonnets, which, fine as
they sometimes are in thought, have in their form hardly any resemblance
to the original Italian model except that they contain fourteen lines.
They had, however, like those of Drummond, no further influence, and
therefore need not be discussed here (cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 554).

§ =314.= A powerful impulse was given to sonnet-writing by Wordsworth,
who wrote about 500 sonnets, and who, not least on account of his
copiousness, has been called the English Petrarch. He, indeed, followed
his Italian model more closely than his predecessors with regard to the
form and the relationship of the different parts to each other.

The usual scheme of his quatrains is _a b b a, a b b a_, but there is
also a form with a third rhyme _a b b a, a c c a_, which frequently
occurs. The rhyme-arrangement of the terzetti is exceedingly various,
and there are also a great many sub-species with regard to the structure
of the first part. Very often the first quatrain has enclosing rhymes
and the second crossed rhymes, or vice versa; these being either formed
by two or three rhymes. As the main types of the Wordsworth sonnet the
following, which, however, admit of many variations in the terzetti, may
be mentioned: _a b b a   b a b a   c d e   c e d_ (ii. 303), _a b b a
[] a b a b   c d e   e d c_ (viii. 57), _a b a b   b a a b   c d c
[] d c d_ (vi. 113), _a b a b   a b b a   c d d   c d c_ (viii. 29),
_a b b a a c a c d e e d e d_ (vii. 82), _a b b a c a c a   d e d e e
d_ (viii. 109) or _a b b a   c a c a   d e d e f f_ (viii. 77), &c.,
_a b a b   b c c b   d e f e f d_ (vii. 29). There are of this type
also forms in which the terzetti have the structure _d d f e e f_ (vii.
334), or _d e f d e f_ (viii. 68), &c., and _a b a b   a c a c   d e d
e d e_ (viii. 28). Cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 555.

Very often Wordsworth's sonnets differ from those of the Italian poets
and agree with the Miltonic type in that the two chief parts are not
separated from each other by a pause[202]; and even if there is no
run-on line the train of thought is continuous. For this reason his
sonnets give us rather the impression of a picture or of a description
than of a reflective poem following the Italian requirements, according
to which the sonnet should consist of: assertion (quatrain i), proof
(quatrain ii), confirmation (terzet i), conclusion (terzet ii) (cf. p.
373). The following sonnet by Wordsworth, strictly on the Italian model
in its rhyme-arrangement, may serve as an example:

    _With Ships the sea was sprinkled far and nigh,
       Like stars in heaven, and joyously it showed;
       Some lying fast at anchor in the road,
       Some veering up and down, one knew not why.
     A goodly  Vessel did I then espy
       Come like a giant from a haven broad;
       And lustily along the bay she strode,
       Her tackling rich, and of apparel high.
     This Ship was nought to me, nor I to her,
       Yet I pursued her with a Lover's look;
       This ship to all the rest did I prefer:
     When will she turn, and whither? She will brook
       No tarrying; where She comes the winds must stir:
       On went She, and due north her journey took._

Sonnets, however, like the following, entitled _A Parsonage in
Oxfordshire_ (vi. 292), give to a still greater extent the impression of
monostrophic poems on account of the want of distinct separation between
the component parts:

    _Where holy ground begins, unhallowed ends,
       Is marked by no distinguishable line;
       The turf unites, the pathways intertwine;
       And, wheresoe'er the stealing footstep tends,
     Garden, and that Domain where kindreds, friends,
       And neighbours rest together, here confound
       Their several features, mingled like the sound
       Of many waters, or as evening blends
     With shady night. Soft airs, from shrub and flower,
       Waft fragrant greetings to each silent grave;
       And while those lofty poplars gently wave
     Their tops, between them comes and goes a sky
       Bright as the glimpses of eternity,
       To saints accorded in their mortal hour._

The strophic character of many sonnets is still more visible both in
Wordsworth and some earlier poets (as e.g. Sidney or Shakespeare) when
several consecutive sonnets on the same subject are so closely connected
as to begin with the words _But_ or _Nor_, as e.g. in Wordsworth's
_Ecclesiastical Sonnets_ (XI, XV, XVIII, XXIII); or when sonnets (cf.
the same collection, No. XXXII) end like the Spenserian stanza in an
Alexandrine. This peculiarity, which, of course, does not conform to the
strict and harmonious structure of the sonnet, and is found as early as
in a sonnet by Burns (p. 119), sometimes occurs in later poets also.[203]

Wordsworth has had an undoubtedly great influence on the further
development of sonnet-writing, which is still extensively practised both
in England and America.

§ =315.= None of the numerous sonnet-writers of the nineteenth century,
however, brought about a new epoch in this kind of poetry. They, as a
rule, confined themselves to either one or other of the four chief forms
noted above, viz.:

1. The specifically English form of Surrey and Shakespeare, used e.g. by
Keats, S. T. Coleridge, Mrs. Hemans, C. Tennyson Turner, Mrs. Browning,
M. Arnold (pp. 37, 38) (cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 566).

2. The Wordsworth sonnet, approaching to the Italian sonnet in its
form or rather variety of forms; it occurs in S. T. Coleridge, Hartley
Coleridge, Sara Coleridge, Byron, Mrs. Hemans, Lamb, Tennyson, D. G.
Rossetti, M. Arnold (pp. 1-8) (cf. ib. §§ 561-2).

3. The Miltonic form, correct in its rhymes but not in the relationship
of its different parts to one another, used by Keats, Byron, Aubrey de
Vere, Lord Houghton, Mrs. Browning, Rossetti, Swinburne, and others (cf.
ib. § 563).

4. The strict Italian form, as we find it in Keats, Byron, Leigh Hunt,
Aubrey de Vere, Tennyson, Browning, Mrs. Browning, Austin Dobson,
Rossetti, Swinburne, M. Arnold (pp. 179-85), and most poets of the
modern school (cf. ib. §§ 564-5).


  [188] Stanzas of six and twelve lines formed on the same principle
        (_a a a b b b_ and _a a b b c c d d e e f f_) are very rare.
        For specimens see _Metrik_, ii, § 363.

  [189] Cf. O. Wilda, _Über die örtliche Verbreitung der zwölfzeiligen
        Schweifreimstrophe in England_, Breslau Dissertation, Breslau,

  [190] This is a stanza of four iambic lines alternately of four and
        three feet with masculine endings, usually rhyming _a b a b_.

  [191] _Chaucerian and other Pieces, &c._, ed. Skeat, Oxford, 1897,
        p. 347.

  [192] This form of stanza is of great importance in the anisometrical
        'lays', which cannot be discussed in this place (cf. _Metrik_,
        i, § 168). In these poems the strophic arrangement is not
        strictly followed throughout, but only in certain parts; a
        general conformity only is observed in these cases.

  [193] As to this form cf. _Huchown's Pistel of Swete Susan_,
        herausgeg. von Dr. H. Köster, Strassburg, 1895 (_Quellen und
        Forschungen_, 76), pp. 15-36.

  [194] Cf. R. Brotanek, _Alexander Montgomerie_, Vienna, 1896.

  [195] It is worth noticing that there are also tripartite stanzas in
        Middle English, either allied to the bob-wheel stanza or
        belonging to it, both in lyric and dramatic poetry; e.g. the
        ten-lined stanza of a poem in Wright's _Songs and Carols_ (Percy
        Soc., 1847), p. 15, on the scheme _A B A B C C C₄ d₁ D D₄_
        (quoted in _Metrik_, i, p. 406); one of eleven lines according
        to the formula _A A A₄ B₃ C C C₄ B₃ d₁ B D₃_ in the
        _Towneley Mysteries_, p. 224 (quoted in _Metrik_, i, p. 407),
        and one of thirteen lines, used in a dialogue, corresponding to
        the scheme _A B A B A A B A A B₃ c₁ B₃ C₂_, ibid., pp. 135-9
        (quoted in _Metrik_, i, p. 408).

  [196] Cf. Karl Bartsch, 'Der Strophenbau in der deutschen Lyrik'
        (_Germania_, ii, p. 290).

  [197] For titles of books and essays on the sonnet see _Englische
        Metrik_, ii, pp. 836-7 note; cf. also L. Bladene, 'Morfologia
        del Sonetto nei secoli XIII e XIV' (_Studi di Filologia
        Romanza_, fasc. 10).

  [198] Cf. _Étude sur Joachim du Bellay et son rôle dans la réforme de
        Ronsard_, par G. Plötz. Berlin, Herbig, 1874, p. 24.

  [199] _The Sonnet: Its Origin, Structure and Place in Poetry_, London,
        1874, 8º, p. 4.

  [200] For certain other varieties occasionally used by these poets see
        _Metrik_, §§ 536 and 544-5.

  [201] Cf. _Studien über A. M._, von Oscar Hoffmann (Breslau
        Dissertation), Altenburg, 1894, p. 32; _Engl. Studien_, xx. 49
        ff.; and Rud. Brotanek, _Wiener Beiträge_, vol. iii, pp. 122-3.

  [202] Cf. Wordsworth, _Prose Works_, ed. Grosart, 1876, vol. iii, p.
        323, where he praises Milton for this peculiarity, showing
        thereby that he was influenced in his sonnet-writing by Milton.

  [203] On Wordsworth's Sonnets see the Note on the Wordsworthian Sonnet
        by Mr. T. Hutchinson, in his edition of _Poems in two volumes by
        William Wordsworth_ (1807), London, 1897, vol. i, p. 208.



§ =316.= The =madrigal=, an Italian form (It. _mandriale_,
_madrigale_, from _mandra_ flock), is a pastoral song, a rural idyl.
The Italian madrigals of Petrarch, &c., are short, isometrical poems
of eleven-syllable verses, consisting of two or three terzetti with
different rhymes and two or four other rhyming verses, mostly couplets:
_a b c   a b c   d d, a b a   b c b   c c, a b b   a c c   d d,
a b b   c d d   e e, a b b   a c c   c d d, a b a   c b c   d e []
d e, a b b   c d d   e e   f f, a b b   c d d   e f f   g g._

The English madrigals found in Sidney and especially in Drummond
resemble the Italian madrigals only in subject; in their form they
differ widely from their models, as they consist of from fifteen to five
lines and have the structure of canzone-stanzas of three- and five-foot
verses. The stanzas run on an average from eight to twelve lines. As a
specimen the twelfth madrigal of Drummond (_Poets_, iv. 644), according
to the formula _a₃ a₅ b₃ a₅ b₃ b₅ c₅ c₃ d d₅_, may be quoted

    _Trees happier far than I,
     Which have the grace to heave your heads so high,
     And overlook those plains:
     Grow till your branches kiss that lofty sky,
     Which her sweet self contains.
     There make her know mine endless love and pains,
     And how these tears which from mine eyes do fall,
     Help you to rise so tall:
     Tell her, as once I for her sake lov'd breath,
     So for her sake I now court lingering death._

Other madrigals have the following schemes (the first
occurring twice in Sidney and once in Drummond, while the
rest are found in Drummond only):

fifteen lines, _a₃ a₅ b₃ c₅ c₃ b₅ b₃ d₅ d₃ e e₅ d₃ e f f₅_;
fourteen lines, _a a₃ a₅ b₃ c₅ b₃ c d₅ e e₃ d f₅ d₃ f₅_;
thirteen lines, _a a₃ b₅ c c₃ b₅ c₃ d d₅ e₃ f e f₅_; twelve
lines, _a₂ b₅ b₃ a₅ c d₃ d c₅ c e₃ f f₅_; eleven lines, _a₃
b c a₅ b d₃ d e e f f₅_; ten lines, _a b₃ b a₅ a c b₃ c d d₅_;
nine lines, _a₃ a₅ b c b₃ c c d d₅_; eight lines, _a₃ a₅ b b c₃
c d d₅_; seven lines, _a b a₃ c c₅ a₃ b₅_; six lines, _a b b a c₃
c₅_; five lines, _a b b₃ a b₅_. For specimens of these and other
madrigals in Drummond cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 508.

§ =317.= Some poems in Drummond's and Sidney's works entitled epigrams
consist, as a rule, of two or more five-foot verses, rhyming in
couplets. In Sidney there are also short poems resembling these in
subject, but consisting of one-rhymed Alexandrines. We have also one in
R. Browning (iii. 146) of seven one-rhymed Septenary verses; several
others occur in D. G. Rossetti (ii. 137-40) of eight lines on the
schemes _a a₄ b b₄ a a₄ b b₄_ styled Chimes (cf. _Metrik_, ii, §§
570, 571.)

§ =318.= The =terza-rima=. Of much greater importance is another
Italian form, viz. a continuous stanza of eleven-syllable verses, the
terza-rima, the metre in which Dante wrote his Divina Commedia. It first
appears in English poetry in Chaucer's Complaint to his Lady, second and
third part,[204] but may be said to have been introduced into English
literature by Wyatt, who wrote satires and penitential psalms in this
form (Ald. ed. pp. 186-7, 209-34), and by Surrey in his _Description of
the restless state of a Lover_ (Ald. ed. p. 1). The rhyme-system of the
terza-rima is _a b a b c b c d c_, &c. That is to say, the first and
third lines of the first triplet rhyme together, while the middle line
has a different rhyme which recurs in the first and third line of the
second triplet; and in the same manner the first and third lines of each
successive triplet rhyme with the middle line of the preceding one, so
as to form a continuous chain of three-line stanzas of iambic five-foot
verses till the end of the poem, which is formed by a single line added
to the last stanza and rhyming with its second line.

The first stanzas of Surrey's poem may be quoted here:

      _The sun hath twice brought forth his tender green,
    Twice clad the earth in lively lustiness;
    Once have the winds the trees despoiled clean,
      And once again begins their cruelness;
    Since I have hid under my breast the harm
    That never shall recover healthfulness._

      _The winter's hurt recovers with the warm;
    The parched green restored is with shade;
    What warmth, alas! may serve for to disarm
      The frozen heart, that mine in flame hath made?
    What cold again is able to restore
    My fresh green years_, &c., &c.

The terza-rima has not the compact structure of the sonnet,
as in each of its stanzas a rhyme is wanting which is only
supplied in the following stanza. For this reason it seems to
be especially adapted for epic or reflective poetry.

Comparatively few examples of this form are met with in
English poetry, as e.g. in Sidney, S. Daniel, Drummond,
Milton, and Shelley (cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 572).

In Sidney and R. Browning (iii. 102) we also find a variety
of the terza-rima consisting of four-foot verses, and in Browning
some others formed of four-stressed verses (iv. 288).

Some similar rhyme-systems of three lines, occurring in
Sidney and Drummond, are of less importance (cf. ib., § 573).

§ =319.= Certain other varieties of the terza-rima, although found in
recent poets, need only be briefly noticed here.

One of four lines on the model _a a b a₅   b b c b₅   c c d c₅_, &c.,
occurs in Swinburne, _Poems_, ii. 32, 34, 239; another on the scheme _a
a b a₅, c c b c₅, d d e d₅_, &c., ib. i. 13; a third one, following
the formula _a b c₃ b₂, a b c₃ b₂, a b c₃ b₂_, called _Triads_,
ib. ii. 159 (cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 564).

Five-lined forms, similar to the terza-rima, occur in Sidney, e.g.
_abcdd, efghh, iklmm_, the rhymeless lines being connected by sectional
rhyme, the stanzas themselves likewise by sectional rhyme; another on
the model _a₅ b₃ c₅ c₃ B₅, B₅ d₃ e₅ e₃ D₅, D₅ f₃ g₅ g₃ F₅_; and a third
on the scheme _a₃ a₅ b c₃ b₅, c₃ c₅ d e₃ d₅, e₃ e₅ f g₃ f₅_, &c. A
related form, _a b a b c₄, c d c d e₄, ... y z y z z₄_, is found in Mrs.
Browning (iv. 44). For specimen cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 575.

A terza-rima system of six lines may be better mentioned in this section
than together with the sub-varieties of the sextain, as was done in
_Metrik_, ii, §578; they pretty often occur in Sidney, e.g. _Pansies_,
ix (Grosart, i. 202), on the schemes _a b a b c b, c d c d e d, e f e f
g f, v w v w x w, ... x y x y z y y_.

In Spenser's _Pastoral Aeglogue_ on Sidney (pp. 506-7) a rhyme-system
according to _a b c a b c₅, d b e d f e₅, g f h g i h₅, k i l k m l₅_,
&c. is met with; in Mrs. Browning (iii. 236) a much simpler system,
constructed of five-foot lines on the formula _a b a b a b c d c d c d e
f e f e f_, &c., is used.

A system of ten lines, consisting of five-foot verses (_a b a b b c a e
d D, D e d e e f d f g G, G h g h h i g i k K_, &c., ending in a stanza
of four lines, _X y x y_) occurs in Sidney, pp. 218-20 (221-4, xxxi);
cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 580.

§ =320.= Still less popular was another Italian poetical form, the
=sextain=, originally invented by the Provençal poet, Arnaut Daniel,
and for the first time reproduced in English poetry by Sidney in his

The sextain consists of eleven-syllabled or rather five-foot verses
and has six stanzas of six lines each, and an envoy of three lines
in addition. Each of the six stanzas, considered individually, is
rhymeless, and so is the envoy. But the end-words of the lines of each
stanza from the second to the sixth are identical with those of the
lines in the preceding stanza, but in a different order, viz. six,
one, five, two, four, three. In the envoy, the six end-words of the
first stanza recur, in the same order, alternately in the middle and
at the end of the line. Hence the whole system of rhymes (or rather of
recurrence of end-words) is as follows: _a b c d e f . f a e b d c . c
f d a b e . e c b f a d . d e a c f b . b d f e c a + (a) b (c) d (e) f_.

The first two stanzas of Sidney's _Agelastus Sestine_, pp. 438-9 (426-7,
lxxiv), together with the envoy and with the end-words of the other
stanzas, may serve to make this clear:

    _Since wayling is a bud of causefull sorrow,
     Since sorrow is the follower of evill fortune,
     Since no evill fortune equals publike damage;
     Now Prince's losse hath made our damage publike
     Sorrow, pay we to thee the rights of Nature,
     And inward griefe seale up with outward wayling._

    _Why should we spare our voice from endlesse wayling
     Who iustly make our hearts the seate of sorrow,
     In such a case, where it appears that Nature
     Doth adde her force unto the sting of Fortune!
     Choosing, alas, this our theatre publike,
     Where they would leave trophees of cruell damage._

The other stanzas have the corresponding rhyme-words in this order:

            III        IV          V         VI
          _damage     Nature     publike    fortune
          wayling    damage     nature     publike
          publike    Fortune    sorrow     wayling
          sorrowe    wayling    damage     nature
          fortune    sorrowe    wayling    damage
          Nature     publike    fortune    sorrow_

The envoy is:

    _Since sorrow, then, concludeth all our fortune,
     With all our deaths shew we this damage publique:
     His nature feares to dye, who lives still wayling._

This strict form of the sextain, which in Sidney, pp. 216-17 (219-21,
xxx), occurs even with a twofold rhyming system, but, of course, with
only one envoy, has, as far as we know, only once been imitated in
modern poetry, viz. by E. W. Gosse (_New Poems_). Cf. _Metrik_, ii, §

§ =321.= Besides this original form of the sextain several other
varieties are met with in English poetry. Thus Spenser, in the eighth
eclogue of his _Shepherd's Calendar_ (pp. 471-2), has a sextain of a
somewhat different structure, the rhymeless end-words being arranged in
this order: _a b c d e f. f a b c d e. e f a b c d. d e f a b c. c d e f
a b. b c d e f a + (a) b (c) d (e) f_. Here the final word of the last
verse of the first stanza, it is true, is also used as final word in the
first verse of the second stanza, but the order of the final words of
the other verses of the first stanza remains unchanged in the second.
The same relation of the end-words exists between st. ii to st. iii,
between st. iii to st. iv, &c., and lastly between st. vi and the envoy;
the envoy, again, has the end-words of the first stanza; those which
have their place in the interior of the verse occur at the end of the
third measure.

Some other sub-varieties of the sextain have rhyming final words in each

In Sidney's _Arcadia_, p. 443 (430-1, lxxvi), e.g. one sextain has
the following end-words: _light_, _treasure_, _might_, _pleasure_,
_direction_, _affection_. These end-words recur in the following stanzas
in the order of the regular sextain; hence st. ii has _affection_,
_light_, _direction_, _treasure_, _pleasure_, _might_, &c. In this
variety, also, the rhyme-words of the envoy occur at a fixed place, viz.
at the end of the second measure. Drummond wrote two sextains of the
same elegant form.

In Swinburne also (_Poems_, ii. 46) we have a sextain of rhymed stanzas,
the first stanza rhyming _day_, _night_, _way_, _light_, _may_,
_delight_. All these recur in the following stanzas in a similar order,
though not so strictly observed as in the sextain by Spenser, mentioned
above (cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 577).

One example (probably unique in English poetry) of what is known as the
_Double Sextain_ is found in Swinburne's _The Complaint of Lisa_ (Poems,
ii. 60-8), a poem in which he has given one of the most brilliant
specimens of his skill in rhyming. It consists of twelve twelve-lined
stanzas and a six-lined envoy. The first two stanzas rhyme _a b c A B d
C e f E D F_, _F a f D A C b e c E d B_; the envoy on the scheme

          _(F) E (e) f (C) A (c) d (b) a (D) B_;

where the corresponding capital and small letters denote different
words rhyming with each other. Cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 581.

§ =322.=. Side by side with these well-known poems of fixed form, mostly
constructed on Italian models, there are some others influenced by
French poetry which have been introduced into English for the most part
by contemporary modern poets, as e.g. Swinburne, Austin Dobson, Robert
Bridges, D.G. Rossetti, A. Lang, and E.W. Gosse[205]. These are the
virelay, roundel, rondeau, triolet, villanelle, ballade, and chant
royal. The =virelay= seems to have been in vogue in earlier English
poetry. Chaucer, e.g. in his _Legende of good Women_, v. 423, says of
himself that he had written _balades_, _roundels_, and _virelayes_. But
only isolated specimens of it have been preserved; in more recent times
it has not been imitated at all.

According to Lubarsch[206] the virelay consists of verses of unequal
length, joined by _concatenatio_ so as to form stanzas of nine lines on
the scheme: _a a b a a b a a b, b b c b b c b b c, c c d c c d c c d,

Apart from this, however, there were undoubtedly other forms in
existence (cf. Bartsch, _Chrestomathie de l'ancien français_, p. 413).
Morris, in the Aldine edition of Chaucer's Works, vol. vi, p. 305, gives
a virelay of two-foot iambic verses in six-lined stanzas on the model

      _a a a b a a a b, b b b c b b b c c c c d c c c d_, &c.

(quoted _Metrik_, i, § 155).

§ =323.=. The =roundel=, used by Eustache Deschamps, Charles d'Orléans,
and others, was introduced into English poetry, it seems, by Chaucer.
But there are only a few roundels of his in existence; one of these
occurs in _The Assembly of Fowles_ (ll. 681-8); if the verses of the
burden are repeated, as printed in the Globe Edition, pp. 638-9, it has
thirteen lines (=a b b= _a b_ =a b= _a b b_ =a b b=, the thick types
showing the refrain-verses):

    _Now welcom, somer, with thy sonne softe,
     That hast this wintres weders overshake
     And driven awey the longe nyghtes blake;_

    _Seynt Valentyn, that art ful by on lofte,
     Thus syngen smale foules for thy sake:
     Now welcom, somer, with thy sonne softe,
     That hast this wintres weders overshake._

    _Wel han they cause for to gladen ofte,
     Sith ech of hem recovered hath his make;
     Ful blisful mowe they ben when they awake.
     Now welcom, somer, with thy sonne softe,
     That hast this wintres weders overshake
     And driven awey the longe nyghtes blake._

Three other roundels of Chaucer on the scheme last mentioned have been
published lately by Skeat in _Chaucer's Minor Poems_, pp. 386-7; some
other Middle English roundels were written by Hoccleve and Lydgate.

In French the roundel was not always confined to one particular metre,
nor did it always consist of a fixed number of verses; the same may be
said of the English roundels.

The essential condition of this form, as used by the French poets, was
that two, three, or four verses forming a refrain must recur three times
at fixed positions in a tripartite isometrical poem consisting mostly of
thirteen or fourteen four- or five-foot verses. A common form of the
French roundel consisted of fourteen octosyllabic verses on the model

        _=a b= b a a b =a b= a b b a =a b=._

Conforming to this scheme is a roundel by Lydgate[207]:

    _Rejoice ye reames of England and of Fraunce!
     A braunche that sprange oute of the floure de lys,
     Blode of seint Edward and [of] seint Lowys,
     God hath this day sent in governaunce._

    _God of nature hath yoven him suffisaunce
     Likly to atteyne to grete honure and pris.
     Rejoice ye reames of England and of Fraunce!
     A braunche hath sprung oute of the floure de lys._

    _O hevenly blossome, o budde of all plesaunce,
     God graunt the grace for to ben als wise
     As was thi fader, by circumspect advise,
     Stable in vertue withoute variaunce.
     Rejoice ye reames of England and of Fraunce,
     A braunche hath sprung oute of the floure de lys._

Another roundel of four-foot verses, by Lydgate (Ritson, i. 129),
corresponds to _=a b= a b a b =a b= a b a b =a b=_ (cf. _Metrik_, i, §
180); some other roundels, of a looser structure, consisting, seemingly,
of ten lines, are quoted in the same place (cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 583).

A Modern English roundel of fourteen lines, constructed of three-foot
verses, by Austin Dobson, has the scheme _=a b= a b b a =a b= a b a b_
=a b= (quoted ib. § 583). The French roundel of thirteen lines may be
looked upon as a preliminary form to the rondeau, which was developed
from the roundel at the end of the fifteenth and the beginning of the
sixteenth century.

§ =324.= The =rondeau= is a poem consisting of thirteen lines of eight
or ten syllables, or four or five measures. It has three stanzas of
five, three, and five lines, rhyming on the scheme _a a b b a   a
a b   a a b b a_. It has, moreover, a refrain which is formed by
the first words of the first line, and recurs twice, viz. after the
eighth and thirteenth verses, with which it is syntactically connected.
Strictly speaking it therefore has fifteen lines, corresponding to the
scheme _a a b b a   a a b_ + _r   a a b b a_ + _r_. The rondeau was
much cultivated by the French poet, Clément Marot. It was introduced
into English by Wyatt, from whom the rondeau _Complaint for True Love
unrequited_ (p. 23) may be quoted here:

    _What 'vaileth truth, or by it to take pain?
     To strive by steadfastness for to attain
     How to be just, and flee from doubleness?
     Since all alike, where ruleth craftiness,
     Rewarded is both crafty, false, and plain._

    _Soonest he speeds that most can lie and feign:
     True meaning heart is had in high disdain,
     Against deceit and cloaked doubleness,
                        What 'vaileth truth?_

    _Deceived is he by false and crafty train,
     That means no guile, and faithful doth remain
     Within the trap, without help or redress:
     But for to love, lo, such a stern mistress,
     Where cruelty dwells, alas, it were in vain.
                        What 'vaileth truth?_

This is the proper form of the rondeau. Other forms deviating from it
are modelled on the schemes:

    _a a b b a   b b a_ + _r   b b a a b_ + _r_        (Wyatt, p. 24),
    _a a b b a_ + _r   c c b_ + _r   a a b b a_ + _r_     (ib. p. 26),
    _a b b a a b_ + _r   a b b a_ + _r_       (D. G. Rossetti, i. 179).

Austin Dobson, Robert Bridges, and Theo. Marzials strictly follow the
form quoted above.

Another form of the rondeau entirely deviating from the above is found
in Swinburne, _A Century of Roundels_,[208] where he combines verses of
the most varied length and rhythm on the scheme _ABA_ + _b BAB ABA_ +
_b_ where _b_ denotes part of a verse, rhyming with the second, but
repeated from the beginning of the first verse and consisting of one or
several words (cf. _Metrik_, ii, §§ 584, 585).

§ =325.= The triolet and the villanelle are unusual forms occurring only
in modern poets, e.g. Dobson and Gosse.

The =triolet=, found as early as in Adenet-le-Roi at the beginning of
the thirteenth century, is a short poem of eight mostly octosyllabic
verses, rhyming according to the formula =a b= _a_ =a= _a b_ =ab=, the
first verse recurring as a refrain in the fourth, the first and second
together in the seventh and eighth place. Two specimens have been
quoted, _Metrik_, ii, § 586.

§ =326.= The =villanelle= (a peasant song, rustic ditty, from
_villanus_) was cultivated by Jean Passerat (1534-1602); in modern
poetry by Th. de Banville, L. Baulmier, &c. It mostly consists of
octosyllabic verses divided into five stanzas (sometimes a larger or
smaller number) of three lines plus a final stanza of four lines, the
whole corresponding to the scheme =a=¹ _b_ =a=² + _a b_ =a=¹ + _a b_
=a=² + _a b_ =a=¹ + _a b_ =a=² + _a b_ =a=¹ =a=². Hence the first
and the third verses of the first stanza are used alternately as a
refrain to form the last verse of the following stanzas, while in the
last stanza both verses are used in this way. A villanelle by Gosse on
this model consisting of eight stanzas, perhaps the only specimen in
English literature, has been quoted, _Metrik_, ii, § 587.

§ =327.= The =ballade= is a poetical form consisting of somewhat longer
stanzas all having the same rhymes. Several varieties of it existed in
Old French poetry. The two most usual forms are that with octosyllabic
and that with decasyllabic lines. The first form is composed of three
stanzas of eight lines on the model _a b a b b c b C_ (cf. § 269). The
rhymes in each stanza agree with those of the corresponding lines in the
two others, the last line, which is identical in all the three, forming
the refrain; this refrain-verse recurs also at the end of the _envoi_,
which corresponds in its structure to the second half of the main
stanza, according to the formula _b c b C_. The decasyllabic form has
three stanzas of ten verses on the scheme _a b a b b c c d c D_ (cf.
§ 271), and an _envoi_ of five verses on the scheme _c c d c D_; the
same rules holding good in all other respects as in the eight-lined
form. It is further to be observed that the _envoi_ began, as a rule,
with one of the words _Prince_, _Princesse_, _Reine_, _Roi_, _Sire_,
either because the poem was addressed to some personage of royal or
princely rank, or because, originally, this address referred to the poet
who had been crowned as 'king' in the last poetical contest.

In England also the ballade had become known as early as in the
fourteenth century. We have a collection of ballades composed in the
French language by Gower,[209] consisting of stanzas of either eight or
seven (_rhyme royal_) decasyllabic verses with the same rhyme throughout
the poem. Similar to the French are Chaucer's English ballades in his
Minor Poems, which, however, in so far differ from the regular form,
that the _envoi_ consists of five, six, or seven lines; in some of the
poems even there is no _envoi_ at all. Accurate reproductions of the Old
French ballade are not found again until recent times. There are
examples by Austin Dobson and especially by Swinburne _(A Midsummer
Holiday_, London, 1884). They occur in both forms, constructed as well
of four- and five-foot iambic, as of six-, seven-, or eight-foot
trochaic or of five- and seven-foot iambic-anapaestic verses. (For
specimens cf. _Metrik_, ii, § 588.)

§ =328.= The =Chant Royal= is an extended ballade of five ten-lined
ballade-stanzas (of the second form mentioned above), instead of three,
together with an _envoi_. In Clément Marot we meet with another form of
five eleven-line stanzas of decasyllabic verses also with the same
rhymes throughout; the _envoi_ having five lines. The scheme is
_a b a b c c d d e d E_ in the stanzas and _d d e d E_ in the _envoi_.

A Chant Royal by Gosse, composed on this difficult model (perhaps the
only specimen to be found in English poetry), is quoted _Metrik_, ii, §

A more detailed discussion of these French poetical forms of a fixed
character and of others not imitated in English poetry may be found in
Kastner's _History of French Versification_ (Oxford, at the Clarendon
Press, 1903), chapter x. Cf. also Edmund Stengel, _Romanische
Verslehre_, in Gröber's _Grundriss der Romanischen Philologie_
(Strassburg, 1893), vol. ii, pp. 87 ff.


  [204] See Chaucer's Works, edited by W. W. Skeat, _Minor Poems_, pp.
        75-6, 310-11.

  [205] Cf. the essay by Gosse in _The Cornhill Magazine_, No. 211, July,
        1877, pp. 53-71.

  [206] _Französische Verslehre_, Berlin, 1879, p. 388.

  [207] Ritson's _Ancient Songs_, i. 128, written, it is true, in
        five-foot verses; the repetition of the two refrain-verses in the
        proper place, however, is not indicated in the edition, and a
        slight emendation of the text is also required by the sense, viz.
        _hath sprung_ instead of _that sprang_ in the last line.

  [208] London, Chatto & Windus, 1833.

  [209] _The Works of John Gower_, ed. G. C. Macaulay, Oxford, 1899, vol.
        i, pp. 335 ff.


Transcriber's Notes

Footnotes have been moved to the end of the each chapter, and
renumbered consecutively to be unique. The sole footnote reference
on p. 250 was mis-numbered, and is corrected here as footnote 173.

The unicode character set available to render the various typographical
features may not be complete. Your reading device may not have the full
complement of fonts required to render all the characters.

Italicized words or phrases are rendered using underscore characters
as _italic_. Any text printed in a bold font will appear as =bold=.

All poetry was printed in italic. To highlight alliteration effects,
some characters were printed using a normal, bold font. In other places,
to indicate special rythyms, such as spondees in an otherwise iambic
line, the author used a normal font, without a bold weight, to show
the secondary stress. These vowels will be delimited with '+'. For
simplicity's sake, the line or lines will be _italicized_, and
the highlighted characters will be marked within: e.g.,

        _=m=ōdum lufien | he is =m=ægna spēd_,

where the initial 'm' is printed in bold, normal font.

    '_The séa is at ébb, | and the sóund of her útmost wórd,
    Is sóft as the l+éa+st w+a+ve's lápse | in a stíll sm+a+ll r+éa+ch.
    From báy into báy, | on quést of a góal deférred,
    From héadland éver to héadland | and bréach to bréach,
    Where éarth gives éar | to the méssage that áll days préach._'

Here, the entire verse is italic, but the +vowels+ are printed in a
normal, but not bold font. Note that the vertical bars, in the original,
are never italicized.

In sections § 25-30, the subtypes of line types A, B, C, etc. are
printed as 'A1', but in later sections these are printed as subscripts.
Both are given here as 'A1', etc.

In the stanza notation employed in Book II, Chapter III, the number of
feet in a line are indicated as in italics, using single letters with
subscripts (both lower- and uppercase):

                       _a a₄ b₃ c c₄ b₃_

Rhyming patterns can use extra spaces, which are indicated with
non-breaking spaces:

     _a b b a   a b b a   c d e d e c₅   c₃ f f₅ f₃ g g₅_

There is also one superscripted '4', unsupported by this character set,
which uses the carat (^), e.g., 'Phonetik_^4'.

There are cases where punctuation, spelling or spacing seem questionable,
particularly in quoted matter. Where possible, these have been checked
against images of the sources Schipper used. Corrections made to the
text are as follows:

p.  46  Beow. 499[,] 1542, 2095, 2930          Missing comma added.

p.  53  _ges[c´/é]aft_                         The accent on 'c' is
                                                  likely a printer's

p.  76  _-en_, _-es_, _[-]eþ_                  Added missing hyphen.

p.  88   J. A. 31[.]                           Added missing stop.

p. 100  _Nou haþ =p=rúde þe =p=[r´i/rí]s_      The accent on 'r' is
                                                 likely misplaced.

p. 128  _Chambers's Cyclop. of Eng. Lit[.]_,   Missing '.' in

p. 156  _in váyn_: _s[d/á]yen_ Sur. 31;        Probable printer's error.

p. 168  _prayer: p[r]ayr_                      Missing 'r' inserted.

p. 169  _carry 'em_ (_=carry them_[)]          Closing ')' inserted.

p. 205  _How féw to g[oó/óo]d efféct_          Accent should appear
                                                  on first vowel.

p. 216  that búd and blóom forth[ ]bríngs      Missing space inserted.

p. 224  (1550-1700),[']                        Spurious apostrophe

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A History of English Versification" ***

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