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succeeded by the unusual arrangement of three single lines together, pairing three consecutive after them.

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains

My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
One minute past, and Lethewards had sunk:

'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot,
But being too happy in thy happiness,
That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees,

In some melodious plot,
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,

Singest of summer in full-throated ease.—KEATS.

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In the following observe the forceful effect of the alliteration in the lines, already remarkable by being in a run different from the others; also observe the progressive lengthening out of the stanza onward.


*Ruin seize thee, ruthless King ! (trip)
Confusion on thy banners wait!
Though fanned by Conquest's crimson wing,
They mock the air with idle state.

Helm nor hauberk's twisted mail, (trip)
Nor e'en thy virtues, tyrant, shall avail
To save thy secret soul from nightly fears,
From Cambria's curse, from Cambria's tears.'
Such were the sounds that o'er the crested pride
Of the first Edward scattered wild dismay,
As down the steep of Snowdon's shaggy side
He wound, with toilsome march, his long array,
Stout Gloster stood aghast, in speechless trance ;
“To arms!' cried Mortimer, and couched his quivering lance.


When the lines of an ode are very diversified in length, and there is great inequality between different stanzas, both in this respect and in the number of verses, it is customary to call the ode Pindaric, though irregular would be the much more appropriate term, for the arrangement followed by Pindar of set strophes and anti-strophes, whether observed or not, is utterly out of court in English.

The irregular ode is mostly written in stanzas varying from fourteen to twenty-eight lines, the rhymes arranged in any way thought fit, and between lines of length most different; indeed, irregularity in rhyming, as in other points, may be said to be the rule.

The next, however, though so very irregular, yet preserves the same form through every stanza.

Hear the sledges with the bells,

Silver bells!
What a world of merriment their melody foretells !

How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,

In the icy air of night!
While the stars that over-sprinkle
All the heavens seem to twinkle

With a crystalline delight;
Keeping time, time, time,

In a sort of Kunic rhyme
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells

From the bells, bells, bells, bells,

Bells, bells, bells
From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.


Like as this piece indicates in its movement the chiming of bells, so does the following Milking Song,' or cow-call, the open monotonous note of a horn appropriate :

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"Cusha! Cusha! Cusha!' calling,

For the dews will soon be falling ;

grasses mellow,
Mellow, mellow;
Quit your cowslips, cowslips yellow,
Come uppe Whitefoot, come uppe Lightfoot;
Quit the stalks of parsley hollow,

Hollow, hollow;
Come uppe Jetty, rise and follow,

From the clovers lift your
Come uppe Whitefoot, come uppe Lightfoot,
Come uppe Jetty, rise and follow,

Jetty, to the milking shed.'--JEAN INGELOW.



This poem begins thus irregularly, and then merges into lines of four-feet trip and march interchangeable, in which it continues to the end :

Hence, loathed Melancholy,
Of Cerberus and blackest Midnight born,

In Stygian cave forlorn,
’Mongst horrid shapes, and shrieks, and sights unholy !

Find out some uncouth cell,
Where brooding Darkness spreads his jeal Jus wings.

And the night-raven sings ;
There under ebon shades, and low-browed rocks,

As ragyed as thy locks,
In dark Cimmerian desert ever dwell.

But come, thou goddess fair and free,
In heaven yclept Euphrosyne,
And by men heart-easing Mirth;
Whom lovely Venus at a birth, &c.


The body of this poem is of the nature of the piece subjoined, but it has a fore and after stanza of almost regular four-feet:

But thou, O Hope, with eyes so fair,

What was thy delighted measure ?

Still it whispered promised pleasure,
And bade the lovely scenes at distance hail !

Still would her touch the strain prolong,
And from the rocks, the woods, the vale,
She called on Echo still through all her song;

And when her sweetest theme she chose,

A soft responsive voice was heard at every close,
And Hope enchanted smiled, and waved her golden hair.
And longer bad she sung-but, with a frown,

Revenge impatient rose :
He threw his bloodstained sword in thunder down,

And, with a withering look,

The war-denouncing trumpet took,
And blew a blast so loud and dread
Were ne'er prophetic sounds so full of woe!

And ever and anon he beat

The doubling drum with furious heat;
And though sometimes, each dreary pause between,

Dejected Pity at his side, &c.—COLLINS.

ALEXANDER'S FEAST. This, the most varied and the most elevated of all odes, should by rights be quoted in full, deserving of study as it is throughout, and more illustrative in the changeful variety of its metre than any other; but less must suffice.

'Twas at the royal feast, for Persia won

By Philip's warlike son:
Aloft in awful state
The godlike hero sate

On his imperial throne.
His valiant peers were placed around,
Their brows with roses and with myrtles bound;

So should desert in arms be crowned.
The lovely Thaïs by his side,
Sat like a blooming Eastern bride,
In flower of youth, and beauty's pride.

Happy, happy, happy pair!

None but the brave,

None but the brave,
None but the brave deserve the fair.


Now strike the golden lyre again :
A louder yet, and yet a louder strain.

Break his bands of sleep asunder,
And rouse him, like a rattling peal of thunder.

Hark, hark! the horrid sound
Has raised up his head

As awaked from the dead,
And amazed he stares around.
Revenge, revenge! Timotheus cries,

See the Furies arise,
See the snakes that they rear,

How they hiss in their hair.
And the sparkles that flash from their eyes !

Behold a ghastly band,

Each a torch in his hand;
These are Grecian ghosts that in battle were slain,

And unburied remain,
Inglorious on the plain;
Give the vengeance due

To the valiant crew :
Behold how they toss their torches on high!

How they point to the Persian abodes,
And glittering temples of their hostile gods !

The princes applaud with a furious joy,
And the king seized a flambeau with zeal to destroy ;

Thaïs led the way

To light him to his prey,

And, like another Helen, fired another Troy.—DRYDEN. In no ode in the whole language is the change of numbers so well and dexterously managed as in this, the entire gamut of quick and slow feet being run together without the least hitch or strain.

Where, as here, irregular stanzas affect to abandon their own control to impulse, it is not too much to expect that the variations of tone employed should, as in this specimen, show sufficient poetic cause, the movement being put under exclusive control of the sense.

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