For Better for Verse: An interactive learning tool that can help you understand what makes metered poetry in English tick.

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The Roundel(1883)

Algernon Charles Swinburne

A roundel is wrought as a ring or a starbright sphere,
MeterA roundel is wrought as a ring or a starbright sphere,
With craft of delight and with cunning of sound unsought,
MeterWith craft of delight and with cunning of sound unsought,
That the heart of the hearer may smile if to pleasure his ear
MeterThat the heart of the hearer may smile if to pleasure his ear
A roundel is wrought.
MeterA roundel is wrought.

Its jewel of music is carven of all or of aught–
MeterIts jewel of music is carven of all or of aught–
Love, laughter, or mourning–remembrance of rapture or fear–
MeterLove, laughter, or mourning–remembrance of rapture or fear–
That fancy may fashion to hang in the ear of thought.
MeterThat fancy may fashion to hang in the ear of thought.

As a bird’s quick song runs round, and the hearts in us hear
MeterAs a bird’s quick song runs round, and the hearts in us hear

Note on line 8: Since line 1, Swinburne has here and there swapped in spondees to take up, in a single extra stress, the twinned slack of his poem’s anapestic meter. This line carries that principle of substitution to a virtuoso extreme. If you can feel the triple anapest running in the background, while you hear the beat of the five consecutive stresses, you get the prosodic equivalent of what the line is talking about: a sort of quadraphonic migration across an acoustic surround, which is then further answered in the echoing spondees of the line that follows this one.

Pause answer to pause, and again the same strain caught,
MeterPause answer to pause, and again the same strain caught,
So moves the device whence, round as a pearl or tear,
MeterSo moves the device whence, round as a pearl or tear,
A roundel is wrought.
MeterA roundel is wrought.

Rhyme
Show Stress    Foot division    Syncopation