Northern Drive to St Lucy

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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

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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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