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

Link to U.Va. English Department

Though I Am Young and Cannot Tell(1640)

Ben Jonson

Though I am young, and cannot tell
MeterThough I am young, and cannot tell
Either what Death or Love is well,
MeterEither what Death or Love is well,
Yet I have heard they both bear darts,
MeterYet I have heard they both bear darts,
And both do aim at human hearts.
MeterAnd both do aim at human hearts.
And then again, I have been told
MeterAnd then again, I have been told
Love wounds with heat, as Death with cold;
MeterLove wounds with heat, as Death with cold;
So that I fear they do but bring
MeterSo that I fear they do but bring
Extremes to touch, and mean one thing.
MeterExtremes to touch, and mean one thing.

As in a ruin we it call
MeterAs in a ruin we it call
One thing to be blown up, or fall;
MeterOne thing to be blown up, or fall;
Or to our end like way may have
MeterOr to our end like way may have
By a flash of lightning, or a wave;
MeterBy a flash of lightning, or a wave;
So Love’s inflamèd shaft or brand
MeterSo Love’s inflamèd shaft or brand
May kill as soon as Death’s cold hand;
MeterMay kill as soon as Death’s cold hand;
Except Love’s fires the virtue have
MeterExcept Love’s fires the virtue have
To fright the frost out of the grave.
MeterTo fright the frost out of the grave.

Rhyme
Show Stress    Foot division    Syncopation