Northern Drive to St Lucy

Northern Drive to St Lucy
Hurricane Season in Barbados. Are you ready for it? Click on Picture for Today's Weather Forecast.Have a super day come rain or shine.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Specialized Rhyme Schemes in English Poetry Versification - Part VIII B

Anacreon Ode *
Dorian Ode or Choric Ode/Pindaric Ode *
Cowleyan Pindaric Ode *
Epinicion Ode *
Epithalamion Ode *
Horatian Ode
Homostrophic Ode
Irregular Ode
Prothalamion Ode *

Andrew Marvell's ode, "Upon Cromwell's Return from Ireland" opened up the flood-gates of British History as seen in the mind's eye of a Barbadian whose formative years in education were during the time when Barbados was a colony of Great Britain, a name supplanted for the preferred name, England.

For decades, Barbados was referred to as "Little England". Visitors to the island saw Barbados as "more British than the British", sarcasm or not, this remark didn't sit too well with post-colonial Barbadians. The 21st Century shows truly how Barbados has evolved into its true identity. As I think more deeply now on the colonial history of Barbados, it is worth the while to note that our next door neighbor, the Americans were not the first group in the New World to battle against British Colonialism. Long before the American Revolution, the planters of Barbados mainly of English, Irish and Scottish decent formed a Legislative Assembly. Barbados was loyal to the Crown during Britain's civil wars and, following the beheading of King Charles I in 1649, Cromwell dispatched a force to establish his authority over Barbados. The invading fleet arrived in 1651 and by 1652 Barbados had surrendered. This culminated with the signing of the "Treaty of Oistins" on January 11, 1652 at "ye mermaid Tavern" located in the town of Oistin in the parish of Christ Church on the southern part of Barbados. Use the google satellite map link provided here to location the exact position of Oistins if you so desire. Oistins is a major fishing community with a modern fishing market.

Oistins google map

This "Treaty of Oistins" contains a clause that reads "no taxes, customs, imports or excise shall be laid, nor levy made on any of the inhabitants of this island without their consent in a General Assembly". The articles of agreement in the Treaty of Oistins were drawn up to form Barbados' own parliament - the third oldest parliament in the entire Commonwealth. The Charter guaranteed government by a governor and a freely elected assembly, as well as freedom from taxation without local consent. When the British crown was restored in 1660, this Charter ironically provided Barbados with a greater measure of independence from the English monarchy than that of other British colonies.

Of vast significance to all Barbadians is the fact that the "Treaty of Oistins" became the model after which the American Declaration of Independence of 1776 was framed and which contains as well, the same concept of "No taxation without representation".

Andrew Marvell's ode "Upon Cromwell's Return from Ireland" therefore reflects on a few crucial months of 1650 in an England that was undergoing decisive social and cultural transformation. "Upon Cromwell's Return from Ireland", is one of the finest Horatian odes to be produced by Marvell. The verses are short within thirty quatrains that make up the ode. These quatrains are made up of rhyming couples that use a regular form (two four-foot verses followed by two three-foot verses). So what we see here are that these quatrains are made up of tetrameter and trimeter couplets and a regular rhyme scheme aabb throughout the entire ode. Take a look.

Upon Cromwell's Return from Ireland

The forward youth that would appear a
Must now forsake his Muses dear, a
Nor in the shadows sing b
His numbers languishing. b/aabb

'Tis time to leave the books in dust, a
And oil th' unused armour's rust, a
Removing from the wall b
The corslet of the hall. b/aabb

So restless Cromwell could not cease a
In the inglorious arts of peace, a
But thorough advent'rous war b
Urged his active star. b/aabb

And like the three-fork'd lightning, first a
Breaking the clouds where it was nurst, a
Did through his own side b
His fiery way divide. b/aabb

For 'tis all one to courage high, a
The emulous or enemy; a
And with such to enclose b
Is more than to oppose. b/aabb

Then burning through the air he went a
And palaces and temples rent; a
And Cæsar's head at last b
Did through his laurels blast. b/aabb

'Tis madness to resist or blame a
The force of angry Heaven's flame; a
And, if we would speak true, b
Much to the man is due, b/aabb

Who from his private gardens where a
He liv'd reserved and austere, a
As if his highest plot b
To plant the bergamot, b/aabb

Could by industrious valour climb a
To ruin the great work of time, a
And cast the kingdom old b
Into another mould. b/aabb

Though justice against fate complain, a
And plead the ancient rights in vain; a
But those do hold or break b
As men are strong or weak. b/aabb

Nature that hateth emptiness a
Allows of penetration less, a
And therefore must make room b
Where greater spirits come. b/aabb

What field of all the civil wars a
Where his were not the deepest scars? a
And Hampton shows what part b
He had of wiser art, b/aabb

Where, twining subtle fears with hope, a
He wove a net of such a scope a
That Charles himself might chase b
To Carisbrooke's narrow case, b/aabb

That thence the royal actor borne a
The tragic scaffold might adorn, a
While round the armed bands b
Did clap their bloody hands. b/aabb

He nothing common did or mean a
Upon that memorable scene, a
But with his keener eye b
The axe's edge did try; b/aabb

Nor call'd the gods with vulgar spite a
To vindicate his helpless right, a
But bowed his comely head b
Down as upon a bed. b/aabb

This was that memorable hour a
Which first assur'd the forced pow'r. a
So when they did design b
The Capitol's first line, b/aabb

A bleeding head, where they begun, a
Did fright the architects to run; a
And yet in that the state b
Foresaw its happy fate. b/aabb

And now the Irish are asham'd a
To see themselves in one year tam'd; a
So much one man can do b
That does both act and know. b/aabb

They can affirm his praises best, a
And have, though overcome, confest a
How good he is, how just, b
And fit for highest trust; b/aabb

Nor yet grown stiffer with command, a
But still in the republic's hand; a
How fit he is to sway b
That can so well obey. b/aabb

He to the Commons' feet presents a
A kingdom for his first year's rents; a
And, what he may, forbears b
His fame, to make it theirs, b/aabb

And has his sword and spoils ungirt, a
To lay them at the public's skirt. a
So when the falcon high b
Falls heavy from the sky, b/aabb

She, having kill'd, no more does search a
But on the next green bough to perch, a
Where, when he first does lure, b
The falc'ner has her sure. b/aabb

What may not then our isle presume a
While victory his crest does plume! a
What may not others fear b
If thus he crown each year! b/aabb

A Cæsar he ere long to Gaul, a
To Italy an Hannibal, a
And to all states not free, b
Shall climacteric be. b/aabb

The Pict no shelter now shall find a
Within his parti-colour'd mind; a
But from this valour sad b
Shrink underneath the plaid, b/aabb

Happy if in the tufted brake a
The English hunter him mistake, a
Nor lay his hounds in near b
The Caledonian deer. b/aabb

But thou, the war's and fortune's son, a
March indefatigably on; a
And for the last effect b
Still keep thy sword erect; b/aabb

Besides the force it has to fright a
The spirits of the shady night, a
The same arts that did gain b
A pow'r, must it maintain. b/aabb

Andrew Marvell's life on earth spanned from1621 to 1678. He was an English metaphysical poet from Winestead-in-Holderness, East Riding of Yorkshire, near the city of Kingston-upon-Hull. He is recognized as one of the greatest poets of the 17th Century. In the literary world, he is associated with John Donne, George Herbert and John Milton.

Wait for the continuation

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Specialized Rhyme Schemes in English Poetry Versification - Part VIII A

Anacreon Ode *
Dorian Ode or Choric Ode/Pindaric Ode *
Cowleyan Pindaric Ode *
Epinicion Ode *
Epithalamion Ode *
Horatian Ode
Homostrophic Ode
Irregular Ode
Prothalamion Ode *

Now that I finished reading "Ode to the Virginian Voyage" composed by Michael Drayton along the style of the Horatian ode I can tell you that it has trimeter and dimeter verses. This is a significant shift from his customary way of using long verses in his poetry. In this poem he used this rhyme scheme: abccab. Take a look.

Ode to the Virginian Voyage

You brave heroic minds, a
Worthy your country's name, b
That honour still pursue, c
Go and subdue! c
Whilst loit'ring hinds a
Lurk here at home with shame. b/abccab

Britons, you stay too long; a
Quickly aboard bestow you, b
And with a merry gale c
Swell your stretch'd sail, c
With vows as strong a
As the winds that blow you! b/abccaB

Your course securely steer, a
West and by south forth keep; b
Rocks, lee-shores, nor shoals, c
When Æolus scowls, c
You need not fear, a
So absolute the deep. b/abccab

And cheerfully at sea a
Success you still entice b
To get the pearl and gold, c
And ours to hold c
Virginia, a
Earth's only paradise! b/abccab

Where nature hath in store a
Fowl, venison, and fish, b
And the fruitful'st soil, c
Without your toil, c
Three harvests more, a
All greater than your wish. b/abccab

And the ambitious vine a
Crowns with his purple mass, b
The cedar reaching high c
To kiss the sky, c
The cypress, pine, a
And useful sassafras; b/abccab

To whose the golden age a
Still nature's laws doth give; b
No other cares that tend c
But them to defend c
From winter's age, A
That long there doth not live. b/abccAb

When as the luscious smell a
Of that delicious land, b
Above the seas that flows, c
The clear wind throws, c
Your hearts to swell a
Approaching the dear strand. b/abccab

In kenning of the shore, a
Thanks to God first given, b
O you, the happiest men, c
Be frolic then! c
Let cannons roar a
Frighting the wide heaven. b/abccab

And in regions far a
Such heroes bring ye forth, b
As those from whom we came; c
And plant our name c
Under that star a
Not known unto our north. b/abccab

And, as there plenty grows a
Of laurel everywhere, b
Apollo's sacred tree, c
You may it see c
A poet's brows a
To crown, that may sing there. b/abccab

Thy voyages attend, a
Industrious Hakluyt, b
Whose reading shall enflame c
Men to seek fame, c
And much commend a
To after-times thy wit. b/abccab

During his life Drayton was a disciple of Edmund Spenser. Also he showed tremendous admiration for the Horatian Ode structure named after its founder, Horace, the 1st Century-BC Latin poet.

The Horatian ode is a short lyric poem written in stanzas of two or four short verses. Horace's odes are intimate and reflective. They are often addressed to a friend and deal with such motifs as friendship, love and the practice of poetry. It is said too, that Drayton revised his work constantly by rewriting and reissuing them. Sometimes under different title, for the better or worse in the eyes of his critics. I believe that this behavior showed that he was indeed a stern critic of himself. Hence, as the oracles would have it, his odes of 1606 were revised and issued with additions and omissions in 1619.

Drayton's odes reflect acknowledgement of his indebtedness to Horace's poetic style as seen in his short verses. Also, a great testament of his zeal to come away from his customary long verses for which he is known, and for what his critics alluded to their long-windedness and quite boring. This criticism he addressed in his 1606 'Poems Lyric and Pastoral' that consist of odes and eclogues all nearly composed in short, decisive verses, a medium that English poetry has always found difficult.

Yes indeed, he used short verses for the Horace's style "Ode to the Virginian Voyage" but with sexain stanzas as oppose to restricting the stanzas to two or four verses. So what I can see is that he has shortened the verses but lengthened the stanzas. So then, would "Ode to the Virginian Voyage" be considered still as an Horatian ode or an Irregular ode because it does not follow the two- or four-verse stanza that typifies the Horatian ode? Yes, for I suppose Drayton would contend that it meets all the criteria for the Horatian spirit and even when it is presented in this manner with the rhyme scheme abcc ab. Take a look.

Ode to the Virginian Voyage

You brave heroic minds, a
Worthy your country's name, b
That honour still pursue, c
Go and subdue! c/abcc

Whilst loit'ring hinds a
Lurk here at home with shame. b/ab

Britons, you stay too long; a
Quickly aboard bestow you, b
And with a merry gale c
Swell your stretch'd sail, c/abcc

With vows as strong a
As the winds that blow you! b/ab

Your course securely steer, a
West and by south forth keep; b
Rocks, lee-shores, nor shoals, c
16 When Æolus scowls, c/abcc

You need not fear, a
So absolute the deep. b/ab

And cheerfully at sea a
Success you still entice b
To get the pearl and gold, c
And ours to hold c/abcc
Virginia, a
Earth's only paradise! b/ab

Where nature hath in store a
Fowl, venison, and fish, b
And the fruitful'st soil, c
Without your toil, c/abcc

Three harvests more, a
All greater than your wish. b/ab

And the ambitious vine a
Crowns with his purple mass, b
The cedar reaching high c
To kiss the sky, c/abcc

The cypress, pine, a
And useful sassafras; b/ab

To whose the golden age a
Still nature's laws doth give; b
No other cares that tend c
But them to defend c/abcc
From winter's age, a
That long there doth not live. b/ab

When as the luscious smell a
Of that delicious land, b
Above the seas that flows, c
The clear wind throws, c/abcc

Your hearts to swell a
Approaching the dear strand. b/ab

In kenning of the shore, a
Thanks to God first given, b
O you, the happiest men, c
Be frolic then! c/abcc

Let cannons roar a
Frighting the wide heaven. b/ab

And in regions far a
Such heroes bring ye forth, b
As those from whom we came; c
And plant our name c/abcc

Under that star a
Not known unto our north. b/ab

And, as there plenty grows a
Of laurel everywhere, b
Apollo's sacred tree, c
You may it see c/abcc

A poet's brows a
To crown, that may sing there. b/ab

Thy voyages attend, a
Industrious Hakluyt, b
Whose reading shall enflame c
Men to seek fame, c/abcc

And much commend a
To after-times thy wit. b/ab

Michael Drayton who was an English poet came to prominence in the Elizabethan Era. He was born in Hartshill, Warwickshire in 1563. He married Anne, the daughter of Sir Henry Goodeere. She became his inspiration for his 1619 'Idea' a voluminous set of sonnets. He died in London in 1631 on or close to his sixty-eighth birthday and a monument placed over him by the Countess of Dorset. It bears memorial lines attributed to Ben Jonson.

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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Specialized Rhyme Schemes in English Poetry Versification - Part Vll

Anacreon Ode *
Dorian Ode or Choric Ode/Pindaric Ode *
Cowleyan Pindaric Ode
Epinicion Ode *
Epithalamion Ode *
Horatian Ode
Homostrophic Ode
Irregular Ode
Prothalamion Ode *

The links on this blog-list point to the topics previously discussed. If you wish to review those topics, simply click on the asterisk. Any discussion on odes is bound to cross paths with Thomas Gray who was born on Boxing Day of 1716 in Cornhill, London, England. This 18th Century English poet died at the age of 55 years on July 30, 1771. Thomas Gray began seriously writing poems has history says in 1742, and was also known as one of the "Graveyard poets" of the late 1700s. Though Pindaric meter was perceived as being better understood in the 18th Century, Pindaric odes lost their popularity. However, the 18th Century poet, Thomas Gray brought them back to the fore in his "genuine" Pindaric odes as seen in "The Bard" and "The Progress of Poesy" for which he considered his best works. Meanwhile the Cowleyan Pindaric style was revived around 1800 by William Wordsworth in one of his finest odes, "Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood". Now, turning the spotlight back on Thomas Gray it must be known that having read the odes he considered his best works, I boldly share with you that their rhyme schemes truly reflect the structure of Pindaric odes. So here are the things I have found:

In the ode, "The Progress of Poesy" Gray used this rhyme schemes: abbaccddeeff abbaccddeeff aabbaccdedefafagg abbaccddeeff abbaccddeeff aabbaccdedefgfghh abbaccddeeff abbaccddeeff aabbaccdedefgfghh. Take a look.

The Progress of Poesy

Awake, Aeolian lyre, awake, a
And give to rapture all thy trembling strings. b
From Helicon's harmonious springs b
A thousand rills their mazy progress take: a
The laughing flowers that round them blow c
Drink life and fragrance as they flow. c
Now the rich stream of Music winds along, d
Deep, majestic, smooth, and strong, d
Thro' verdant vales, and Ceres' golden reign; e
Now rolling down the steep amain, e
Headlong, impetuous, see it pour; f
The rocks and nodding groves re-bellow to the roar. f

Oh! Sov'reign of the willing soul, a
Parent of sweet and solemn-breathing airs, b
Enchanting shell! the sullen Cares b
And frantic Passions hear thy soft control. a
On Thracia's hills the Lord of War c
Has curbed the fury of his car, c
And dropt his thirsty lance at thy command. d
Perching on the sceptred hand d
Of Jove, thy magic lulls the feathered king e
With ruffled plumes and flagging wing: e
Quenched in dark clouds of slumber lie f
The terror of his beak, and lightnings of his eye. f

Thee the voice, the dance, obey, a
Tempered to thy warbled lay. a
O'er Idalia's velvet-green b
The rosy-crowned Loves are seen b
On Cytherea's day, a
With antic Sport, and blue-eyed Pleasures, c
Frisking light in frolic measures; c
Now pursuing, now retreating, d
Now in circling troops they meet: e
To brisk notes in cadence beating d
Glance their many-twinkling feet. e
Slow melting strains their Queen's approach declare: f
Where'er she turns the Graces homage pay. a
With arms sublime that float upon the air f
In gliding state she wins her easy way: a
O'er her warm cheek and rising bosom move g
The bloom of young Desire and purple light of Love. g

Man's feeble race what ills await! a
Labour, and Penury, the racks of Pain, b
Disease, and Sorrow's weeping train, b
And Death, sad refuge from the storms of Fate! a
The fond complaint, my song, disprove, c
And justify the laws of Jove. c
Say, has he giv'n in vain the heav'nly Muse? d
Night and all her sickly dews, d
Her sceptres wan, and birds of boding cry, e
He gives to range the dreary sky; e
Till down the eastern cliffs afar f
Hyperion's march they spy, and glitt'ring shafts of war. f

In climes beyond the solar road, a
Where shaggy forms o'er ice-built mountains roam, b
The Muse has broke the twilight gloom b
To cheer the shivering Native's dull abode. a
And oft, beneath the od'rous shade c
Of Chili's boundless forests laid, c
She deigns to hear the savage youth repeat, d
In loose numbers wildly sweet, d
Their feather-cinctured chiefs, and dusky loves. e
Her track, where'er the Goddess roves, e
Glory pursue, and gen'rous Shame, f
Th' unconquerable Mind, and Freedom's holy flame. f

Woods, that wave o'er Delphi's steep, a
Isles, that crown th' Aegean deep, a
Fields that cool Ilissus laves, b
Or where Maeander's amber waves b
In lingering lab'rinths creep, a
How do your tuneful echoes languish, c
Mute, but to the voice of anguish! c
Where each old poetic mountain d
Inspiration breathed around; e
Ev'ry shade and hallowed fountain d
Murmured deep a solemn sound: e
Till the sad Nine, in Greece's evil hour, f
Left their Parnassus for the Latian plains. g
Alike they scorn the pomp of tyrant Power, f
And coward Vice, that revels in her chains. g
When Latium had her lofty spirit lost, h
They sought, Oh Albion! next thy sea-encircled coast. h

Far from the sun and summer-gale, a
In thy green lap was Nature's Darling laid, b
What time, where lucid Avon strayed, b
To him the mighty mother did unveil a
Her awful face: the dauntless child c
Stretched forth his little arms, and smiled. c
"This pencil take (she said), whose colours clear d
Richly paint the vernal year: d
Thine too these golden keys, immortal Boy! e
This can unlock the gates of Joy; e
Of Horror that, and thrilling Fears, f
Or ope the sacred source of sympathetic Tears." f

Nor second he, that rode sublime a
Upon the seraph-wings of Ecstasy, b
The secrets of th' Abyss to spy. b
He passed the flaming bounds of place and time: a
The living Throne, the sapphire-blaze, c
Where Angels tremble while they gaze, c
He saw; but, blasted with excess of light, d
Closed his eyes in endless night. d
Behold where Dryden's less presumptuous car e
Wide o'er the fields of glory bear e
Two coursers of ethereal race, f
With necks in thunder clothed, and long-resounding pace. f

Hark, his hands the lyre explore! a
Bright-eyed Fancy, hovering o'er, a
Scatters from her pictured urn b
Thoughts that breathe, and words that burn. b
But ah! 'tis heard no more— a
Oh! Lyre divine, what daring Spirit c
Wakes thee now? Though he inherit c
Nor the pride, nor ample pinion, d
That the Theban eagle bear, e
Sailing with supreme dominion d
Through the azure deep of air: e
Yet oft before his infant eyes would run f
Such forms as glitter in the Muse's ray, g
With orient hues, unborrowed of the Sun: f
Yet shall he mount, and keep his distant way g
Beyond the limits of a vulgar fate, h
Beneath the Good how far - but far above the Great. h

In the formation of "The Bard", Gray used this rhyme scheme: ababccddefefgg ababccddefefgg abcbacdeedfdfdghfhii ababccddefefgg ababccddefefgg abcdacdeedfgfghghfii ababccddefefgg ababcceebfbfgg abcbdceffeghihjkfkll. Take a look.

The Bard


'Ruin seize thee, ruthless King! a
Confusion on thy banners wait, b
Tho' fanned by Conquest's crimson wing a
They mock the air with idle state. b
Helm, nor Hauberk's twisted mail, c
Nor even thy virtues, Tyrant, shall avail c
To save thy secret soul from nightly fears, d
From Cambria'sÊ curse, from Cambria's tears!' d
Such were the sounds, that o'er the crested pride e
Of the first Edward scatter'd wild dismay, f
As down the steep of Snowdon's shaggy side e
He wound with toilsome march his long array. f
Stout Glo'ster stood aghast in speechless trance: g
'To arms!' cried Mortimer, and couch'd his quiv'ring lance. g


On a rock, whose haughty brow a
Frowns o'er old Conway's foaming flood, b
Robed in the sable garb of woe, a
With haggard eyes the Poet stood; b
(Loose his beard, and hoary hair c
Stream'd, like a meteor, to the troubled air) c
And with a Master's hand, and Prophet's fire, d
Struck the deep sorrows of his lyre. d
'Hark, how each giant-oak, and desert cave, e
Sighs to the torrent's aweful voice beneath! f
O'er thee, oh King! their hundred arms they wave, e
Revenge on thee in hoarser murmurs breath; f
Vocal no more, since Cambria's fatal day, g
To high-born Hoel's harp, or soft Llewellyn's lay. g


Cold is Cadwallo's tongue, a
That hush'd the stormy main: b
Brave Urien sleeps upon his craggy bed: c
Mountains, ye mourn in vain b
Modred, whose magic song a
Made huge Plinlimmon bow his cloud-top'd head. c
On dreary Arvon's shore they lie, d
Smear'd with gore, and ghastly pale: e
Far, far aloof th' affrighted ravens sail; e
The famish'd Eagle screams, and passes by. d
Dear lost companions of my tuneful art, f
Dear, as the light that visits these sad eyes, d
Dear, as the ruddy drops that warm my heart, f
Ye died amidst your country's cries-- d
No more I weep. They do not sleep. g
On yonder cliffs, a griesly band, h
I see them sit, they linger yet, f
Avengers of their native land: h
With me in dreadful harmony they join, i
And weave with bloody hands, the tissue of thy line.' i


'Weave the warp, and weave the woof, a
The winding-sheet of Edward's race. b
Give ample room, and verge enough a
The characters of hell to trace. b
Mark the year, and mark the night, c
When Severn shall re-eccho with affright c
The shrieks of death, thro' Berkley's roofs that ring, d
Shrieks of an agonizing King! d
She-Wolf of France, with unrelenting fangs, e
That tear'st the bowels of thy mangled Mate, f
From thee be born, who o'er thy country hangs e
The scourge of Heav'n. What Terrors round him wait! f
Amazement in his van, with Flight combined, g
And Sorrow's faded form, and Solitude behind. g


Mighty Victor, mighty Lord, a
Low on his funeral couch he lies! b
No pitying heart, no eye, afford a
A tear to grace his obsequies. b
Is the sable Warriour fled? c
Thy son is gone. He rests among the Dead. c
The Swarm, that in thy noon-tide beam were born? d
Gone to salute the rising Morn. d
Fair laughs the Morn, and soft the Zephyr blows, e
While proudly riding o'er the azure realm f
In gallant trim the gilded Vessel goes; e
Youth on the prow, and Pleasure at the helm; f
Regardless of the sweeping Whirlwind's sway, g
That, hush'd in grim repose, expects his evening-prey. g


Fill high the sparkling bowl, a
The rich repast prepare, b
Reft of a crown, he yet may share the feast: c
Close by the regal chair b
Fell Thirst and Famine scowl a
A baleful smile upon their baffled Guest. c
Heard ye the din of battle bray, d
Lance to lance, and horse to horse? e
Long Years of havock urge their destined course, e
And thro' the kindred squadrons mow their way. d
Ye Towers of Julius, London's lasting shame, f
With many a foul and midnight murther fed, g
Revere his Consort's faith, his Father's fame, f
And spare the meek Usurper's holy head. g
Above, below, the rose of snow, h
Twined with her blushing foe,Ê we spread: g
The bristled Boar in infant-gore h
Wallows beneath the thorny shade. f
Now, Brothers, bending o'er th' accursed loom i
Stamp we our vengeance deep, and ratify his doom. i


Edward, lo! to sudden fate a
(Weave the woof. The thread is spun) b
Half of thy heart we consecrate. a
(The web is wove. The work is done.)' b
'Stay, oh stay! nor thus forlorn c
Leave me unbless'd, unpitied, here to mourn: c
In yon bright track, that fires the western skies, d
They melt, they vanish from my eyes. d
But oh! what solemn scenes on Snowden's height e
Descending slow their glitt'ring skirts unroll? f
Visions of glory, spare my aching sight, e
Ye unborn Ages, crowd not on my soul! f
No more our long-lost Arthur we bewail. g
All-hail, ye genuine Kings, Brittania's Issue, hail! g


Girt with many a Baron bold a
Sublime their starry fronts they rear; b
And gorgeous Dames, and Statesmen old a
In bearded majesty, appear. b
In the midst a Form divine! c
Her eye proclaims her of the Briton-Line; c
Her lyon-port, her awe-commanding face, e
Attemper'd sweet to virgin-grace. e
What strings symphonious tremble in the air, b
What strains of vocal transport round her play! f
Hear from the grave, great Taliessin, hear; b
They breathe a soul to animate thy clay. f
Bright Rapture calls, and soaring, as she sings, g
Waves in the eye of Heav'n her many-colour'd wings. g


The verse adorn again a
Fierce War, and faithful Love, b
And Truth severe, by fairy Fiction drest. c
In buskin'd measures move b
Pale Grief, and pleasing Pain, d
With Horrour, Tyrant of the throbbing breast. c
A Voice, as of the Cherub-Choir, e
Gales from blooming Eden bear; f
And distant warblings lessen on my ear, f
That lost in long futurity expire. e
Fond impious Man, think'st thou, yon sanguine cloud, g
Rais'd by thy breath, has quench'd the Orb of day? h
To-morrow he repairs the golden flood, i
And warms the nations with redoubled ray. h
Enough for me: With joy I see j
The different doom our Fates assign. k
Be thine Despair, and scept'red Care, f
To triumph, and to die, are mine.' k
He spoke, and headlong from the mountain's height l
Deep in the roaring tide he plung'd to endless night. l

It was widely felt during that period that Cowleyan Pindaric odes were birth from a misunderstanding of Pindar's metrical rules but John Dryden found much favor with them. John Dryden was from the county of Northamptonshire. Permit me to change gears a bit as my mind recalls the many months I have spent in Northamptonshire during the period of the Gulf War dubbed "Operation Desert Shield". I was elated when in my temporary home located in that county where Dryden was born I heard over televised news that President George H. W. Bush had achieved the war objectives against Saddam Hussein of Iraq. Saddam agreed to the cease fire and would mend his ways but he closed his televised remarks with these words, "my tail has been badly bruised but not my head" and with that remark attributed to Saddam Hussein my gut feeling was that Saddam Hussein had not changed his ways, but would take the time to lick his wounds and come back on the scene with acts more dreadful than before. Never thought though that President George W Bush, son of President George H. W. Bush would take up the struggle from where his father left off and that's another sad story in the archives for the 21st Century.

Now, As I was saying, the established fact is that John Dryden widely imitated with notable success the principles of the Cowleyan Pindaric odes in his own poetry. Here I cite three of his odes which support my contention: "The Song for St. Cecilia's Day, 1687", "An Ode, on the Death of Mr. Henry Purcell" and "To the Pious Memory of the Accomplished Young Lady,
Mrs Anne Killigrew, Excellent in the Two Sister-arts of Poesy and Painting".

This rhyme scheme: abcdefefcdABAbb aabacaAaA ababcddb abba abbba aabcbc aabbcbc ababccddd has given shape to the "The Song for St. Cecilia's Day, 1687". Take a look.

A Song for St. Cecilia's Day, 1687

Stanza 1
From harmony, from Heav'nly harmony a
This universal frame began. b
When Nature underneath a heap c
Of jarring atoms lay, d
And could not heave her head, e
The tuneful voice was heard from high, f
Arise ye more than dead. e
Then cold, and hot, and moist, and dry, f
In order to their stations leap, c
And music's pow'r obey. d
From harmony, from Heav'nly harmony A
This universal frame began: B
From harmony to harmony A
Through all the compass of the notes it ran, b
The diapason closing full in man. b

Stanza 2
What passion cannot music raise and quell! a
When Jubal struck the corded shell, a
His list'ning brethren stood around b
And wond'ring, on their faces fell a
To worship that celestial sound: c
Less than a god they thought there could not dwell a
Within the hollow of that shell A
That spoke so sweetly and so well. a
What passion cannot music raise and quell! A

Stanza 3
The trumpet's loud clangor a
Excites us to arms b
With shrill notes of anger a
And mortal alarms. b
The double double double beat c
Of the thund'ring drum d
Cries, hark the foes come; d
Charge, charge, 'tis too late to retreat. b

Stanza 4
The soft complaining flute a
In dying notes discovers b
The woes of hopeless lovers, b
Whose dirge is whisper'd by the warbling lute. a

Stanza 5
Sharp violins proclaim a
Their jealous pangs, and desperation, b
Fury, frantic indignation, b
Depth of pains and height of passion, b
For the fair, disdainful dame. a

Stanza 6
But oh! what art can teach a
What human voice can reach a
The sacred organ's praise? b
Notes inspiring holy love, c
Notes that wing their Heav'nly ways b
To mend the choirs above. c

Stanza 7
Orpheus could lead the savage race; a
And trees unrooted left their place; a
Sequacious of the lyre: b
But bright Cecilia rais'd the wonder high'r; b
When to her organ, vocal breath was giv'n, c
An angel heard, and straight appear'd b
Mistaking earth for Heav'n. c

As from the pow'r of sacred lays a
The spheres began to move, b
And sung the great Creator's praise a
To all the bless'd above; b
So when the last and dreadful hour c
This crumbling pageant shall devour, c
The trumpet shall be heard on high, d
The dead shall live, the living die, d
And music shall untune the sky. d

This rhyme scheme: abbacdccad aabBcbdeedfef aabbccdd is associated with "An Ode, On the Death of Mr. Henry Purcell". Go and take a look.

An Ode, On the Death of Mr. Henry Purcell

Late Servant to his Majesty, and Organist of the Chapel Royal,
and of St. Peter's Westminster

Mark how the Lark and Linnet Sing, a
With rival Notes b
They strain their warbling Throats, b
To welcome in the Spring. a
But in the close of Night, c
When Philomel begins her Heav'nly lay, d
They cease their mutual spite, c
Drink in her Music with delight, c
And list'ning and silent, and silent and list'ning, a
And list'ning and silent obey. d

So ceas'd the rival Crew when Purcell came, a
They Sung no more, or only Sung his Fame. a
Struck dumb they all admir'd the God-like Man, b
The God-like Man, B
Alas, too soon retir'd, c
As He too late began. b
We beg not Hell, our Orpheus to restore, d
Had He been there, e
Their Sovereign's fear e
Had sent Him back before. d
The pow'r of Harmony too well they know, f
He long e'er this had Tun'd their jarring Sphere, e
And left no Hell below. f

The Heav'nly Choir, who heard his Notes from high, a
Let down the Scale of Music from the Sky: a
They handed him along, b
And all the way He taught, and all the way they Sung. b
Ye Brethren of the Lyre, and tuneful Voice, c
Lament his Lot: but at your own rejoice. c
Now live secure and linger out your days, d
The Gods are pleas'd alone with Purcell's Lays, d
Nor know to mend their Choice. c

This rhyme scheme: aabcdcdeeddffgghihhi aabbccdedeeAeAaa aabbbAccAddefefgg aabbccdedeffggg abcbccdddeeeffgfg abbacccdeededbb abbccddeeffggeeeffgghhii aabbcccddeeffgghiihjjj aabbc abcdbeffdgg aabbccddeeAaaffggg appears in "To the Pious Memory of the Pious Memory of the Accomplished Young Lady, Mrs. Anne Killigrew, Excellent in the Two Sister-arts of Poesy and Painting". Take a look.

To the Pious Memory of the Accomplished Young Lady, Mrs Anne Killigrew,
Excellent in the Two Sister-arts of Poesy and Painting

Thou youngest Virgin Daughter of the skies, a
Made in the last promotion of the blest; b
Whose palms, new-plucked from Paradise, a
In spreading branches more sublimely rise, a
Rich with immortal green, above the rest: b
Whether, adopted to some neighbouring star, c
Thou roll'st above us in thy wand'ring race, d
Or, in procession fixed and regular c
Moved with the heavens' majestic pace; d
Or, called to more superior bliss, e
Thou tread'st with seraphims the vast abyss: e
Whatever happy region be thy place, d
Cease thy celestial song a little space; d
(Thou wilt have time enough for hymns divine, f
Since Heaven's eternal year is thine.) f
Hear then a mortal muse thy praise rehearse g
In no ignoble verse; g
But such as thy own voice did practise here, h
When thy first fruits of poesie were given, i
To make thyself a welcome inmate there; h
While yet a young probationer h
And candidate of Heaven. i

If by traduction came thy mind, a
Our wonder is the less to find a
A soul so charming from a stock so good; b
Thy father was transfused into thy blood: b
So wert thou born into the tuneful strain, c
(An early, rich, and inexhausted vein.) c
But if thy pre-existing soul d
Was formed, at first, with myriads more, e
It did through all the mighty poets roll d
Who Greek or Latin laurels wore, e
And was that Sappho last, which once it was before; e
If so, then cease thy flight, O Heav'n-born mind! A
Thou hast no dross to purge from thy rich ore: e
Nor can thy soul a fairer mansion find A
Than was the beauteous frame she left behind: a
Return, to fill or mend the choir of thy celestial kind. a

May we presume to say that at thy birth a
New joy was sprung in Heav'n as well as here on earth? a
For sure the milder planets did combine b
On thy auspicious horoscope to shine, b
And ev'n the most malicious were in trine. b
Thy brother-angels at thy birth A
Strung each his lyre, and tuned it high, c
That all the people of the sky c
Might know a poetess was born on earth; A
And then if ever, mortal ears d
Had heard the music of the spheres! d
And if no clust'ring swarm of bees e
On thy sweet mouth distilled their golden dew, f
'Twas that such vulgar miracles e
Heav'n had not leisure to renew: f
For all the blest fraternity of love g
Solemnized there thy birth, and kept thy holyday above. g

O gracious God! how far have we a
Profaned thy Heav'nly gift of poesy! a
Made prostitute and profligate the Muse, b
Debased to each obscene and impious use, b
Whose harmony was first ordained above, c
For tongues of angels and for hymns of love! c
Oh wretched we! why were we hurried down d
This lubrique and adult'rate age e
(Nay, added fat pollutions of our own) d
T' increase the steaming ordures of the stage? e
What can we say t' excuse our second fall? f
Let this thy vestal, Heav'n, atone for all: f
Her Arethusian stream remains unsoiled, g
gUnmixed with foreign filth and undefiled; g
Her wit was more than man, her innocence a child. g

Art she had none, yet wanted none, a
For nature did that want supply: b
So rich in treasures of her own, c
She might our boasted stores defy: b
Such noble vigour did her verse adorn, c
That it seemed borrowed, where 'twas only born. c
Her morals too were in her bosom bred d
By great examples daily fed, d
What in the best of books, her father's life, she read. d
And to be read herself she need not fear; e
Each test and ev'ry light her muse will bear, e
Though Epictetus with his lamp were there. e
Ev'n love (for love sometimes her muse expressed) f
Was but a lambent-flame which played about her breast, f
Light as the vapours of a morning dream; g
So cold herself, while she such warmth expressed, f
'Twas Cupid bathing in Diana's stream. g

Born to the spacious empire of the Nine, a
One would have thought she should have been content b
To manage well that mighty government; b
But what can young ambitious souls confine? a
To the next realm she stretched her sway, c
For painture near adjoining lay, c
A plenteous province, and alluring prey. c
A chamber of dependences was framed, d
(As conquerers will never want pretence, e
When armed, to justify th' offence), e
And the whole fief, in right of poetry, she claimed. d
The country open lay without defence; e
For poets frequent inroads there had made, d
And perfectly could represent b
The shape, the face, with ev'ry lineament; b

And all the large domains which the dumb-sister swayed, a
All bowed beneath her government, b
Received in triumph wheresoe'er she went. b
Her pencil drew whate'er her soul designed, c
And oft the happy draught surpassed the image in her mind. c
The sylvan scenes of herds and flocks, d
And fruitful plains and barren rocks; d
Of shallow brooks that flowed so clear, e
The bottom did the top appear; e
Of deeper too and ampler floods f
Which as in mirrors showed the woods; f
Of lofty trees, with sacred shades, g
And perspectives of pleasant glades, g
Where nymphs of brightest form appear, e
And shaggy satyrs standing near, e
Which them at once admire and fear. e
The ruins too of some majestic piece, f
Boasting the pow'r of ancient Rome or Greece, f
Whose statues, friezes, columns, broken lie, g
And, though defaced, the wonder of the eye; g
What nature, art, bold fiction, e'er durst frame, h
Her forming hand gave feature to the name. h
So strange a concourse ne'er was seen before, i
But when the peopled ark the whole creation bore. i

The scene then changed; with bold erected look a
Our martial king the sight with rev'rence strook: a
For, not content t' express his outward part, b
Her hand called out the image of his heart, b
His warlike mind, his soul devoid of fear, c
His high-designing thoughts were figured there, c
As when, by magic, ghosts are made appear. c
Our phoenix Queen was portrayed too so bright, d
Beauty alone could beauty take so right: d
Her dress, her shape, her matchless grace, e
Were all observed, as well as heavenly face. e
With such a peerless majesty she stands, f
As in that day she took the crown from sacred hands: f
Before a train of heroines was seen, g
In beauty foremost, as in rank, the Queen! g
Thus nothing to her genius was denied, h
But like a ball of fire, the farther thrown, i
Still with a greater blaze she shone, i
And her bright soul broke out on ev'ry side. h
What next she had designed, Heaven only knows: j
To such immod'rate growth her conquest rose, j
That Fate alone its progress could oppose. j

Now all those charms, that blooming grace, a
That well-proportioned shape, and beauteous face, a
Shall never more be seen by mortal eyes; b
In earth the much-lamented virgin lies! b
Not wit nor piety could Fate prevent; c

Nor was the cruel destiny content a
To finish all the murder at a blow, b
To sweep at once her life and beauty too; c
But, like a hardened felon, took a pride d
To work more mischievously slow, b
And plundered first, and then destroyed. e
O double sacrilege on things divine, f
To rob the relic, and deface the shrine! f
But thus Orinda died: d
Heaven, by the same disease, did both translate; g
As equal were their souls, so equal was their fate. g

Meantime, her warlike brother on the seas a
His waving streamers to the winds displays, b
And vows for his return, with vain devotion, pays. b
Ah, gen'rous youth! that wish forbear, c
The winds too soon will waft thee here! c
Slack all thy sails, and fear to come, d
Alas, thou know'st not, thou art wrecked at home! d
No more shalt thou behold thy sister's face, e
Thou hast already had her last embrace. e
But look aloft, and if thou kenn'st from far f
Among the Pleiads a new-kindled star, f
If any sparkles than the rest more bright, g
'Tis she that shines in that propitious light. g

When in mid-air the golden trump shall sound, a
To raise the nations underground; a
When in the valley of Jehosaphat b
The judging God shall close the book of Fate; b
And there the last assizes keep c
For those who wake and those who sleep; c
When rattling bones together fly d
From the four corners of the sky, d
When sinews o'er the skeletons are spread, e
Those clothed with flesh, and life inspires the dead; e
The sacred poets first shall hear the sound, A
And foremost from the tomb shall bound: a
For they are covered with the lightest ground; a
And straight with in-born vigour, on the wing, f
Like mounting larks, to the New Morning sing. f
There thou, sweet saint, before the choir shall go, g
As harbinger of Heav'n, the way to show, g
The way which thou so well hast learned below. g

Wait for the continuation

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Specialized Rhyme Schemes in English Poetry Versification - Part Vl

Wow! We still have some ways to go on this list. Let's turn the clock back in time to the 16th Century in English Literature.

Anacreon Ode *
Dorian Ode or Choric Ode/Pindaric Ode -
Cowleyan Pindaric Ode -
Epinicion Ode *
Epithalamion Ode *
Horatian Ode
Homostrophic Ode
Irregular Ode
Prothalamion Ode *

Well, look what has greeted us here. This irregular rhyme scheme: aabbccddee aabbccddee ababccdeedff aabbccddee aabbccddee aabbccdeedff aabbccddee aabbccddee ababccdeedff aabbccddee aabbccddee ababccdeedff that Ben Jonson attached to his ode, "To the Immortall Memorie, and Friendship of that Noble Paire, Sir Lucius Cary and Sir H. Morison". This 16th Century English poet's life, spanned the years 1572 to 1637. Upon reading this ode of his you will concur that it is made up of Pindaric Verses. This poetic form noted for its lofty style was created and named after the Classic Greek poet, Pindar. The Pindaric verses were designed for song and they are made up of various meters. The Pindaric Verses are also known as the Dorian or Choric ode. Pindaric odes are noted for their triadic arrangement in the form of the strope and an antistrope of similar pattern and by an epode of different length and pattern. However, Jonson used the terms: turn, counter-turn, and stand in place of the strophe, antistrophe, and epode of the Pindaric ode.

So, as in Pindaric verses, the counter-turn repeats the metric pattern of the turn, while the meter of the stand is varied. The pattern established in the first triad is then repeated in the remaining groups. Hence the rhyme scheme of the Pindaric ode reflects the irregular movement of the verses. Take a look at this Pindaric ode of Jonson.

To the Immortall Memorie, and Friendship of that Noble Paire, Sir Lucius Cary and Sir H. Morison

The Turne

1   BRAVE Infant of Saguntum, cleare  a
2   Thy coming forth in that great yeare,  a
3   When the Prodigious Hannibal did crowne  b
4   His rage, with razing your immortall Towne. b
5   Thou, looking then about, c
6   Ere thou wert halfe got out, c
7   Wise child, did'st hastily returne, d
8   And mad'st thy Mothers wombe thine urne. d
9   How summ'd a circle didst thou leave man-kind e
10 Of deepest lore, could we the Centre find ! e

The Counter-turne

1   Did wiser Nature draw thee back, a
2   From out the horrour of that sack, a
3   Where shame, faith, honour, and regard of right b
4   Lay trampled on ; the deeds of death, and night, b
5   Urg'd, hurried forth, and hurld c
6   Upon th' affrighted world : c
7   Sword, fire, and famine, with fell fury met ; d
8   And all on utmost ruine set ; d
9   As, could they but lifes miseries fore-see, e
10 No doubt all Infants would returne like thee. e

The Stand

1   For, what is life, if measur'd by the space, a
2   Not by the act ? b
3   Or masked man, if valu'd by his face, a
4   Above his fact ? b
5   Here's one out-liv'd his Peeres, c
6   And told forth fourescore yeares ; c
7   He vexed time, and busied the whole State ; d
8   Troubled both foes, and friends ; e
9   But ever to no ends : e
10 What did this Stirrer, but die late ? d
11 How well at twentie had he falne, or stood ! f
12 For three of his four-score he did no good. f

The Turne

1   Hee entred well, by vertuous parts, a
2   Got up and thriv'd with honest arts : a
3   He purchas'd friends, and fame, and honours then, b
4   And had his noble name advanc'd with men : b
5   But weary of that flight, c
6   Hee stoop'd in all mens sight c
7   To sordid flatteries, acts of strife, d
8   And sunke in that dead sea of life, d
9   So deep, as he did then death's waters sup ; e
10 But that the Corke of Title buoy'd him up. e

The Counter-turne

1   Alas, but Morison fell young : a
2   Hee never fell, thou fall'st my tongue. a
3   Hee stood, a Souldier to the last right end, b
4   A perfect Patriot, and a noble friend, b
5   But most a vertuous Sonne. c
6   All Offices were done c
7   By him, so ample, full, and round, d
8   In weight, in measure, number, sound, d
9   As though his age imperfect might appeare, e
10 His life was of Humanitie the Spheare. e

The Stand

1   Goe now, and tell out dayes summ'd up with feares, a
2   And make them yeares ; a
3   Produce thy masse of miseries on the Stage, b
4   To swell thine age ; b
5   Repeat of things a throng, c
6   To shew thou hast beene long, c
7   Not liv'd ; for life doth her great actions spell, d
8   By what was done and wrought e
9   In season, and so brought e
10 To light : her measures are, how well d
11 Each syllabe answer'd, and was form'd, how faire ; f
12 These make the lines of life, and that's her aire. f

The Turne

1   It is not growing like a tree a
2   In bulke, doth make man better bee ; a
3   Or, standing long an Oake, three hundred yeare, b
4   To fall a logge, at last, dry, bald, and seare : b
5   A Lillie of a Day c
6   Is fairer farre, in May, c
7   Although it fall, and die that night ; d
8   It was the Plant, and flowre of light. d
9   In small proportions, we just beauties see : e *
10 And in short measures, life may perfect bee. e *

* If only the last words are considered then the rhyming would be aA revealing the repeated rhyme thus breaking the structure already created for the Turne and Counter-turne. If taken as a phrase the rhyming would show ee. Thus maintaining the structure established for the Turne and Counter-turne. What on earth was Jonson thinking? Perhaps Jonson meant to write the verse as : And in short measures, life may perfect be. Then there would have been no discrepancy.

The Counter-turne

1   Call, noble Lucius, then for Wine, a
2   And let thy lookes with gladnesse shine : a
3   Accept this garland, plant it on thy head, b
4   And think, nay know, thy Morison's not dead. b
5   He leap'd the present age, c
6   Possest with holy rage, c
7   To see that bright eternall Day : d
8   which we Priests, and Poets say d
9   Such truths, as we expect for happy men, e
10 And there he lives with memorie ; and Ben. e

The Stand

1   Johnson, who sung this of him, ere he went a
2   Himselfe to rest, b
3   Or taste a part of that full joy he meant a
4   To have exprest, b
5   In this bright Asterisme : c
6   Where it were friendships schisme, c
7   (Were not his Lucius long with us to tarry) d
8   To separate these twi- e
9   Lights, the Dioscuri ; e
10 And keepe the one halfe from his Harry. d
11 But fate doth so alternate the designe, f
12 Whilst that in heav'n, this light on earth must shine. f

The Turne

1   And shine as you exalted are ; a
2   Two names of friendship, but one Starre : a
3   Of hearts the union. And those not by chance b
4   Made, or indenture, or leas'd out t' advance b
5   The profits for a time. c
6   No pleasures vaine did chime, c
7   Of rimes, or riots, at your feasts, d
8   Orgies of drinke, or fain'd protests : d
9   But simple love of greatnesse, and of good ; e
10 That knits brave minds, and manners, more than blood. e

The Counter-turne

1   This made you first to know the Why a
2   You lik'd, then after, to apply a
3   That liking ; and approach so one the t'other b
4   Till either grew a portion of the other : b
5   Each stiled by his end, c
6   The Copie of his friend. c
7   You liv'd to be the great surnames, d
8   And titles, by which all made claimes d
9   Unto the Vertue. Nothing perfect done, e
10 But as a CARY, or a MORISON. e

The Stand

1   And such a force the faire example had, a
2   As they that saw b
3   The good, and durst not practise it, were glad a
4   That such a Law b
5   Was left yet to Man-kind; c
6   Where they might read, and find c
7   Friendship, indeed, was written, not in words: d
8   And with the heart, not pen, e
9   Of two so early men, e
10 Whose lines her rolls were, and records. d
11 Who, ere the first downe bloomed on the chin, f
12 Had sow'd these fruits, and got the harvest in. f

English Literature asserts that the most original English Odes were written by Andrew Marvell (1621-1678) of Yorkshire whose odes are modelled after Horace and the Londoner, Abraham Cowley (1618-1667) whose odes are influenced by Pindaric verses.

This rhyme scheme: aabbcddc aabbcddc aabbcddc aabbcddc aabcdefd aabbcdde aabcdefd aabbcddc abccdeed aabbcddc aabbceec aabbcddc defines the ode, "On the Death of Mr. William Hervey" written by Abraham Cowley.

This rhyme scheme: aabbccdeeddd aabbccddeefffgg ababbccddeeeffgghhiijjkk aabbccddeecff is associated with the Cowleyan  Pindaric ode, "The Resurrection".

Probably, the rhyme schemes used by Cowley in his odes could be the deciding factor as for why his odes are referred to as Cowleyan Pindaric Odes. Take a look with your analytical eyes and then compare what you have seen with other Pindaric Odes of Ben Jonson and Thomas Gray. Would you then agree that Cowleyan odes have his distinctive style?

On the Death of Mr. William Hervey

Stanza 1

IT was a dismal and a fearful night : a
Scarce could the Morn drive on th' unwilling Light, a
When Sleep, Death's image, left my troubled breast b
          By something liker Death possest. b
My eyes with tears did uncommanded flow, c
          And on my soul hung the dull weight d
          Of some intolerable fate. d
What bell was that ?  Ah me !  too much I know ! c

Stanza 2

My sweet companion and my gentle peer, a
Why hast thou left me thus unkindly here, a
Thy end for ever and my life to moan ? b
          O, thou hast left me all alone !  b
Thy soul and body, when death's agony c
          Besieged around thy noble heart, d
          Did not with more reluctance part d
Than I, my dearest Friend, do part from thee. c

Stanza 3

IT was a dismal and a fearful night: a
Scarce could the Morn drive on th' unwilling Light, a
When Sleep, Death's image, left my troubled breast b
      By something liker Death possest. b
My eyes with tears did uncommanded flow, c
       And on my soul hung the dull weight d
      Of some intolerable fate. d
What bell was that? Ah me! too much I know! c

Stanza 4

My sweet companion and my gentle peer, a
Why hast thou left me thus unkindly here, a
Thy end for ever and my life to moan? b
      O, thou hast left me all alone! b
Thy soul and body, when death's agony c
      Besieged around thy noble heart, d
      Did not with more reluctance part d
Than I, my dearest Friend, do part from thee. c

Stanza 5

My dearest Friend, would I had died for thee! a
Life and this world henceforth will tedious be: a
Nor shall I know hereafter what to do b
      If once my griefs prove tedious too. b
Silent and sad I walk about all day, c
      As sullen ghosts stalk speechless by d
      Where their hid treasures lie; d
Alas! my treasure 's gone; why do I stay? c

Stanza 6

Say, for you saw us, ye immortal lights, a
How oft unwearied have we spent the nights, a
Till the Ledæan stars, so famed for love, b
      Wonder'd at us from above! b
We spent them not in toys, in lusts, or wine; c
      But search of deep Philosophy, d
      Wit, Eloquence, and Poetry— d
Arts which I loved, for they, my Friend, were thine. c

Stanza 7

Ye fields of Cambridge, our dear Cambridge, say a
Have ye not seen us walking every day? a
Was there a tree about which did not know b
      The love betwixt us two? c
      Henceforth, ye gentle trees, for ever fade; d
Or your sad branches thicker join e
      And into darksome shades combine, e
Dark as the grave wherein my Friend is laid! d

Stanza 8

Large was his soul: as large a soul as e'er a
Submitted to inform a body here; a
High as the place 'twas shortly in Heaven to have, b
      But low and humble as his grave. b
So high that all the virtues there did come, c
      As to their chiefest seat d
      Conspicuous and great; d
So low, that for me too it made a room. c

Stanza 9

Knowledge he only sought, and so soon caught a
As if for him Knowledge had rather sought; a
Nor did more learning ever crowded lie b
      In such a short mortality. c
Whene'er the skilful youth discoursed or writ, d
      Still did the notions throng e
      About his eloquent tongue; e
Nor could his ink flow faster than his wit. d

Stanza 10

His mirth was the pure spirits of various wit, a
Yet never did his God or friends forget; a
And when deep talk and wisdom came in view, b
      Retired, and gave to them their due. b
For the rich help of books he always took, c
      Though his own searching mind before d
      Was so with notions written o'er, d
As if wise Nature had made that her book. c

Stanza 11

With as much zeal, devotion, piety, a
He always lived, as other saints do die. a
Still with his soul severe account he kept, b
      Weeping all debts out ere he slept. b
Then down in peace and innocence he lay, c
      Like the Sun's laborious light, e
      Which still in water sets at night, e
Unsullied with his journey of the day. c

Stanza 12

But happy Thou, ta'en from this frantic age, a
Where ignorance and hypocrisy does rage! a
A fitter time for Heaven no soul e'er chose— b
      The place now only free from those. b
There 'mong the blest thou dost for ever shine; c
      And wheresoe'er thou casts thy view d
      Upon that white and radiant crew, d
See'st not a soul clothed with more light than thine. c

The Resurrection

     Not Winds to Voyagers at Sea, a
     Nor Showers to Earth more necessary be, a
    (Heav'ens vital seed cast on the womb of Earth b
       To give the fruitful Year a Birth) b
       Then Verse to Virtue, which can do c
    The Midwifes Office, and the Nurses too; c
    It feeds it strongly, and it cloathes it gay, d
       And when it dyes, with comely pride e
    Embalms it, and erects a Pyramide  e
       That never will decay d
       Till Heaven it self shall melt away, d
    And nought behind it stay. d

    Begin the Song, and strike the Living Lyre; a
    Lo how the Years to come, a numerous and well-fitted Quire, a
    All hand in hand do decently advance, b
    And to my Song with smooth and equal measures dance. b
    Whilst the dance lasts, how long so e're it be, c
    My Musicks voyce shall bear it companie. c
       Till all gentle Notes be drown'd d
       In the last Trumpets dreadful sound. d
    That to the Spheres themselves shall silence bring, e
       Untune the Universal String. e
       Then all the wide extended Sky, f
       And all th'harmonious Worlds on high, f
       And Virgils sacred work shall dy. f
    And he himself shall see in one Fire shine g
    Rich Natures ancient Troy, though built by Hands Divine.g

       Whom Thunders dismal noise, a
    And all that Prophets and Apostles louder spake, b
    And all the Creatures plain conspiring voyce,  a
       Could not whilst they liv'ed, awake, b
       This mightier sound shall make b
       When Dead t'arise, c
       And open Tombs, and open Eyes c
    To the long Sluggards of five thousand years. d
    This mightier Sound shall make its Hearers Ears. d
    Then shall the scatter'ed Atomes crowding come e
       Back to their Ancient Home, e
       Some from Birds, from Fishes some, e
       Some from Earth, and some from Seas,   f
       Some from Beasts, and some from Trees. f
       Some descend from Clouds on high, g
       Some from Metals upwards fly, g
    And where th'attending Soul naked, and shivering stands, h
       Meet, salute, and joyn their hands. h
    As disperst Souldiers at the Trumpets call, i
       Hast to their Colours all. i
       Unhappy most, like Tortur'ed Men, j
    Their Joynts new set, to be new rackt agen. j
       To Mountains they for shelter pray, k
    The Mountains shake, and run about no less confus'd then They.k

    Stop, stop, my Muse, allay thy vig'orous heat, a
       Kindled at a Hint so Great. a
    Hold thy Pindarique Pegasus closely in, b
       Which does to rage begin, b
    And this steep Hill would gallop up with violent course, c
    'Tis an unruly, and a hard-Mouth'd Horse, c
       Fierce, and unbroken yet, d
       Impatient of the Spur or Bit. d
    Now praunces stately, and anon flies o're the place, e
    Disdains the servile Law of any settled pace, e
    Conscious and proud of his own natural force. c
       'Twill no unskilful Touch endure, f
    But flings Writer and Reader too that sits not sure. f

Wait for the continuation

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Specialized Rhyme Schemes in English Poetry Versification - Part V

There is still much more work to be done on the topic. Here is the list that will guide the entries on the blog. Links are provided on areas previously discussed for your reviewing pleasure.

Anacreon Ode *
Dorian Ode or Choric Ode/Pindaric Ode
Cowley Pindaric Ode
Epinicion Ode *
Epithalamion Ode
Horatian Ode
Homostrophic Ode
Irregular Ode
Prothalamion Ode

Centuries and Centuries ago, odes were sung with musical instruments. The Greek odes were sung with the reed instruments such as the aulos. The Anacreon odes were accompanied by the lyre. Odes are majestic and intricate forms of lyrical verse. However, odes as we know them today do not rely on the use of musical instruments when they are recited.

The English ode is typically written in praise of, or dedicated to someone or something which captures the poet's interest or serves as an inspiration for the ode. In a remarkable way, the Greek poet, Pindar and the Latin poet, Horace have left their marks on the forms of odes that appear in many cultures that were influenced by the Greeks and Latins. There is the widely accepted view that the initial model for English odes was Horace who used the form to write meditative lyrics on various themes. Odes do have the tendency to give voice to the poet's narrator who addresses the audience directly. This gives the narrator lead-way to project personal feelings and state of mind on the audience who in turn may equally be affected by the imagery created. English odes are structured around specialized rhyme schemes with some being regular and some irregular. So as you continue reading on some more, you will become perhaps more familiar with poets who use regular and irregular rhyme schemes in their English odes.

These arranged letters ababccbcbddeffeexx ababccdcdeefggffXX aaaabbcbcddeffeggXX ababccdcdeefggffXX ababccdcdeefggffXX ababccdcdbbaeeaaXX ababccdcdeefggfhhXX ababccdcdeefggfhhXX ababccdcdcceffeggXX ababccdcddeffeggXX ababccdedffghghiiXX ababccdcdeefggfhhXX ababccdedffgfdghhXX ababccdcdeefggfhhXX ababccdcdeffeggXX ababccdceeBffbggXX ababccdcdeefggfhhXX abacccdcdeefbbfggXX ababccecefFghhgiiXX ababccdcdeefccfggXX ababccdcddeffeggXX ababccdcdeeaaeaffXX ababccdcdffghhgfXX ababcdd reflect the irregular rhyme scheme used in the Epithalamion ode by Edmund Spenser (1552-1599). Though the rhyme schemes vary, Spenser used typical concatenation technique to link each stage of the stanza together and repeated refrain.

Spenser wrote this wedding ode for his marriage to Elizabeth Boyle, his second wife. This ode has 24 stanzas with varying number of verses in each stanza shown here in the brackets (18, 18, 19, 18, 18, 18, 19, 19, 19, 18, 19, 19, 19, 19, 17, 18, 19, 19, 19, 19, 18, 19, 18, 7) . The last stanza has only 7 verses is the ode's envoi.

A close examination revealed that the stanzas have an irregular pattern of verse lengths and rhyme schemes. This rhyme scheme used by Spenser reflects his use of regular rhyming words mixed with slant rhymes (e.g. sight rhyme, half rhyme, sprung rhyme, near rhyme, oblique rhyme, off-rhyme, imperfect rhyme, para rhyme). His refrain verses for his Epithalamion are shown in the rhyme scheme with the letter x and repeated rhymes have the letters capitalized. The verses are written in iambic. The long verses have ten syllables and the short verses having fewer than ten syllables. Take look


Stanza 1

1 Ye learned sisters, which have oftentimes a
2 Beene to me ayding, others to adorne, b
3 Whom ye thought worthy for your gracefull rymes, a
4 That even the greatest did not greatly scorne b
5 To heare theyr names sung in your simple layes, c
6   But joyèd in theyr praise; c
7 And when ye list your owne mishaps to mourne, b
8 Which death, or love, or fortunes wreck did rayse, c
9 Your string could soone to sadder tenor turne, b
10 And teach the woods and waters to lament d
11   Your doleful dreriment: d
12 Now lay those sorrowfull complaints aside, e
13 And having all your heads with girland crownd, f
14 Helpe me mine owne loves prayses to resound; f
15 Ne let the same of any be envíde: e
16 So Orpheus did for his owne bride: e
17 So I unto my selfe alone will sing; x
18 The woods shall to me answer, and my Eccho ring. x

Stanza 2

1 Early before the worlds light giving lampe a
2 His golden beame upon the hils doth spred, b
3 Having disperst the nights unchearefull dampe, a
4 Doe ye awake, and with fresh lustyhed, b
5 Go to the bowre of my belovèd love, c
6    My truest turtle dove, c7 Bid her awake; for Hymen is awake, d
8 And long since ready forth his maske to move, c
9 With his bright Tead that flames with many a flake, d
10 And many a bachelor to waite on him, e
11 In theyr fresh garments trim. e
12 Bid her awake therefore, and soone her dight, f
13 For lo! the wishèd day is come at last, g
14 That shall, for al the paynes and sorrowes past, g
15 Pay to her usury of long delight: f
16   And whylest she doth her dight, f
17 Doe ye to her of joy and solace sing, X
18 That all the woods may answer, and your eccho ring. X

Stanza 3

1 Bring with you all the Nymphes that you can heare, a
2 Both of the rivers and the forrests greene, a
3 And of the sea that neighbours to her neare, a
4 Al with gay girlands goodly wel beseene. a
5 And let them also with them bring in hand b
6  Another gay girland, b
7 For my fayre love of lillyes and of roses, c
8 Bound truelove wize with a blew silke riband. b
9 And let them make great store of bridale poses, c
10 And let them eeke bring store of other flowers, d
11  To deck the bridale bowers. d
12 And let the ground whereas her foot shall tread, e
13 For feare the stones her tender foot should wrong, f
14 Be strewed with fragrant flowers all along, f
15 And diapred lyke the discolored mead. e
16 Which done, doe at her chamber dore awayt, g
17    For she will waken strayt; g
18 The whiles doe ye this song unto her sing X
19 The woods shall to you answer, and your Eccho ring. X

Stanza 4

1 Ye Nymphes of Mulla, which with carefull heed a
2 The silver scaly trouts doe tend full well, b
3 And greedy pikes which use therein to feed, a
4 (Those trouts and pikes all others doo excell) b
5 And ye likewise which keepe the rushy lake, c
6 Where none doo fishes take, c
7 Bynd up the locks the which hang scatterd light, d
8 And in his waters which your mirror make, c
9 Behold your faces as the christall bright, d
10 That when you come whereas my love doth lie, e
11  No blemish she may spie. e
12 And eke ye lightfoot mayds which keepe the deere f
13 That on the hoary mountayne use to towre, g
14 And the wylde wolves which seeke them to devoure, g
15 With your steele darts doo chace from comming neer, f
16   Be also present heere, f
17 To helpe to decke her and to help to sing, X
18 That all the woods may answer, and your eccho ring. X

Stanza 5

1 Wake now, my love, awake! for it is time, a
2 The Rosy Morne long since left Tithones bed, b
3 All ready to her silver coche to clyme, a
4 And Phoebus gins to shew his glorious hed. b
5 Hark how the cheerefull birds do chaunt theyr laies, c
6  And carroll of loves praise! c
7 The merry Larke hir mattins sings aloft, d
8 The thrush replyes, the mavis descant playes, c
9 The Ouzell shrills, the Ruddock warbles soft, d
10 So goodly all agree, with sweet consent, e
11    To this dayes merriment. e
12 Ah! my deere love, why doe ye sleepe thus long, f
13 When meeter were that ye should now awake, g
14 T'awayt the comming of your joyous make, g
15 And hearken to the birds love-learnèd song, f
16 The deawy leaves among? f
17 For they of joy and pleasance to you sing, X
18 That all the woods them answer, and theyr eccho ring. X

Stanza 6

1 My love is now awake out of her dreame, a
2 And her fayre eyes, like stars that dimmèd were b
3 With darksome cloud, now shew theyr goodly beams a
4 More bright then Hesperus his head doth rere. b
5 Come now, ye damzels, daughters of delight, c
6   Helpe quickly her to dight. c
7 But first come ye, fayre Houres, which were begot, d
8 In Joves sweet paradice, of Day and Night, c
9 Which doe the seasons of the year allot, d
10 And al that ever in this world is fayre b
11 Doe make and still repayre. b
12 And ye three handmayds of the Cyprian Queene, a
13 The which doe still adorne her beauties pride, e
14 Helpe to addorne my beautifullest bride: e
15 And as ye her array, still throw betweene a
16  Some graces to be seene: a
17 And as ye use to Venus, to her sing, X
18 The whiles the woods shal answer, and your eccho ring. X

Stanza 7: ababccdcdeefggfhhXX
Stanza 8: ababccdcdeefggfhhXX
Stanza 9: ababccdcdcceffeggXX
Stanza 10: ababccdcddeffeggXX
Stanza 11: ababccdedffghghiiXX
Stanza 12: ababccdcdeefggfhhXX
Stanza 13: ababccdedffgfdghhXX
Stanza 14: ababccdcdeefggfhhXX
Stanza 15: ababccdcdeffeggXX
Stanza 16: ababccdceeBffbggXX
Stanza 17: ababccdcdeefggfhhXX
Stanza 18: abacccdcdeefbbfggXX
Stanza 19: ababccecefFghhgiiXX
Stanza 20: ababccdcdeefccfggXX
Stanza 21: ababccdcddeffeggXX
Stanza 22: ababccdcdeeaaeaffXX
Stanza 23: ababccdcdffghhgfXX
Stanza 24: ababcdd

Click here to read the ode in its entirety

These arranged letters abbaabcbccddedeexx abbaacdcdbeefeffXX abbaabcbccccdcddXX abbaAcdcddeefeffXX abbaacdcddeeFefFXX abbaacdcddeefeffXX abbaabcdcceefeffXX abbaacdcddeefeffXX abbaacdcddeefeffXX abbaacdcddeefeffXX reflect the irregular rhyme scheme used in the Prothalamion ode written by Edmund Spenser, one of the important poets of the Tudor Period in England. This ode was published in 1596. Spenser wrote this wedding ode to honor the double marriage of the twin daughters of the Earl of Worcester, Lady Elizabeth Somerset and Lady Katherine Somerset. I have read the ten stanzas of the Prothalamion Ode and noticed that each stanza has eighteen verses written in iambic with a refrain and like his Epithalamion ode the stanzas have an irregular pattern of verse lengths and rhyme schemes. This rhyme scheme used by Spenser reflects his use of regular rhyming words mixed with slant rhymes (e.g. sight rhyme, half rhyme, sprung rhyme, near rhyme, oblique rhyme, off-rhyme, imperfect rhyme, para rhyme). His refrain verses for his Prothalamion are shown in the rhyme scheme with the letter x and repeated rhymes have the letters capitalized. In this Prothalamion both spelling and punctuation have been modernized to facilitate ease of reading. Take look


Stanza 1

1 Calm was the day, and through the trembling air, a
2 Sweet-breathing Zephyrus did softly play-- b
3 A gentle spirit, that lightly did delay b
4 Hot Titan's beams, which then did glister fair; a
5 When I (whom sullen care, a
6 Through discontent of my long fruitless stay b
7 In Princes' court, and expectation vain c
8 Of idle hopes, which still do fly away b
9 Like empty shadows, did afflict my brain) c
10 Walk'd forth to ease my pain c
11 Along the shore of silver-streaming Thames; d
12 Whose rutty bank, the which his river hems, d
13 Was painted all with variable flowers, e
14 And all the meads adorn'd with dainty gems, d
15 Fit to deck maidens' bowers, e
16 And crown their paramours e
17 Against the bridal day, which is not long: x
18   Sweet Thames! run softly, till I end my song. x

Stanza 2

1 There, in a meadow, by the river's side, a
2 A flock of nymphs I chancèd to espy, b
3 All lovely daughters of the flood thereby, b
4 With goodly greenish locks all loose untied a
5 As each had been a bride, a
6 And each one had a little wicker basket c
7 Made of fine twigs, entrailèd curiously, d
8 In which they gather'd flowers to fill their flasket, c
9 And with fine fingers, cropt full feateously d
10 The tender stalks on high. b
11 Of every sort, which in that meadow grew, e
12 They gathered some; the violet, pallid blue, e
13 The little daisy, that at evening closes, f
14 The virgin lilly, and the primrose true, e
15 With store of vermeil roses, f
16 To deck their bridegromes' posies f
17 Against the bridal day, which was not long: X
18 Sweet Thames! run softly, till I end my song. X

Stanza 3

1 With that I saw two swans of goodly hue, a
2 Come softly swimming down along the Lee; b
3 Two fairer birds I yet did never see; b
4 The snow which doth the top of Pindus strow, a
5 Did never whiter show, a
6 Nor Jove himself when he a swan would be b
7 For love of Leda, whiter did appear; c
8 Yet Leda was (they say) as white as he, b
9 Yet not so white as these, nor nothing near; c
10 So purely white they were c
11 That even the gentle stream, the which them bare, c
12 Seem'd foul to them, and bade his billows spare c
13 To wet their silken feathers, least they might d
14 Soil their fair plumes with water not so fair, c
15 And mar their beauties bright d
16 That shone as Heaven's light d
17 Against their bridal day, which was not long: X
18 Sweet Thames! run softly, till I end my song. X

Stanza 4

1 Eftsoons the nymphs, which now had flowers their fill, a
2 Ran all in haste, to see that silver brood b
3 As they came floating on the crystal flood; b
4 Whom when they saw, they stood amazèd still a
5 Their wondering eyes to fill; A
6 Them seem'd they never saw a sight so fair c
7 Of fowls, so lovely, that they sure did deem d
8 Them heavenly born, or to be that same pair c
9 Which through the sky draw Venus' silver team; d
10 For sure they did not seem d
11 To be begot of any earthly seed, e
12 But rather Angels or of Angels' breed; e
13 Yet were they bred of summer's heat, they say, f
14 In sweetest season, when each flower and weed e
15 The earth did fresh array;: f
16 So fresh they seem'd as day, f
17 Ev'n as their bridal day, which was not long: X
 18 Sweet Thames! run softly, till I end my song. X

Stanza 5

1 Then forth they all out of their baskets drew, a
2 Great store of flowers, the honour of the field, b
3 That to the sense did fragrant odours yield, b
4 All which upon those goodly birds they threw, a
5 And all the waves did strew, a
6 That like old Peneus' waters they did seem c
7 When down along by pleasant Tempe's shore d
8 Scatter'd with flowers, through Thessaly they stream, c
9 That they appear, through lillies' plenteous store, d
10 Like a bride's chamber-floor. d
11 Two of those nymphs, meanwhile, two garlands bound e
12 Of freshest flowers which in that mead they found, e
13 The which presenting all in trim array, f
14 Their snowy foreheads therewithall they crown'd; e
15 Whilst one did sing this lay f
16 Prepared against that day, f
17 Against their bridal day, which was not long: X
18   Sweet Thames! run softly, till I end my song. X

Stanza 6

1 "Ye gentle birds! the world's fair ornament, a
2 And Heaven's glory, whom this happy hour b
3 Doth lead unto your lovers' blissful bower, b
4 Joy may you have, and gentle heart's content a
5 Of your love's couplement; a
6 And let fair Venus, that is queen of love, c
7 With her heart-quelling son upon you smile, d
8 Whose smile, they say, hath virtue to remove c
9 All love's dislike, and friendship's faulty guile d
10 For ever to assoil. d
11 Let endless peace your steadfast hearts accord, e
12 And blessèd plenty wait upon your board; e
13 And let your bed with pleasures chaste abound, f
14 That fruitful issue may to you afford e
15 Which may your foes confound, f
16 And make your joys redound f
17 Upon your bridal day, which is not long: X
18   Sweet Thames! run softly, till I end my song." X

Stanza 7: abbaabcdcceefeffXX
Stanza 8: abbaacdcddeefeffXX
Stanza 9: abbaacdcddeefeffXX
Stanza 10: abbaacdcddeefeffXX

Click here to read the ode in its entirety

Wait for the continuation

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Haiti Under Rubble from 7.0 Earthquake

Natural disasters whenever and wherever they occur impact on all of our lives. The Good Book says we are our brothers and sisters keepers lead by the Holy Spirit. Hence, we must do our part when disaster shows its ugly face. Any assistance, great or small, given from generous and loving hearts has equal weight. I'm passing on this information I received that Barbadians can go to First Caribbean Bank to donate to the Disaster Relief Fund for Haiti. The banking information is shown below:

First Caribbean Bank Account--2645374-- Cheques can be written to: HELP #2645374

For more information click on this link

My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Haiti.

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