The Thorley

The Thorley is a stanzaic form patterned after the poem Chant for Reapers, by English poet, Wilfred Thorley 1878.

The Thorley is:
○ stanzaic, written in any number of quatrains.
○ metered, accentual with alternating lines of L1 & L3 with 5 heavy stesses and L2 & L4 with 3 heavy stresses. The trimeter lines have feminine endings.
○ unrhymed.

Chant for Reapers by Wilfred Thorley

WHY do you hide, O dryads! when we seek
Your healing hands in solace?
Who shall soften like you the places rough?
Who shall hasten the harvest?

Why do you fly, O dryads! when we pray
For laden boughs and blossom?
Who shall quicken like you the sapling trees?
Who shall ripen the orchards?

Bare in the wind the branches wave and break,
The hazel nuts are hollow.
Who shall garner the wheat if you be gone?
Who shall sharpen his sickle?

Wine have we spilt, O dryads! on our knees
Have made you our oblation.
Who shall save us from dearth if you be fled?
Who shall comfort and kindle?

Sadly we delve the furrows, string the vine
Whose flimsy burden topples.
Downward tumble the woods if you be dumb,
Stript of honey and garland.

Why do you hide, O dryads! when we call,
With pleading hands up-lifted?
Smile and bless us again that all be well;
Smile again on your children.

Pasted from <http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?showtopic=668>
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of effort creating this fine PMO resource.

My Example

My Nose (The Thorley)

Say what you will about my larger nose
I seldom think about it.
It anchors well the other facial parts
a package deal, I reckon.

Note: my nose is notable I think
spread out long and spacious.
Seldom seeing it myself allows
measured self-contentment.

© Lawrencealot – August 2, 2014

Note: Stanza 1 is iambic, stanza 2 is trochaic. Both meet the accentual requirement of The Thorley.

Visual Template
Any arrangement with 5 and three stresses for the respective lines will work. This template shows two common meters.

The Thorley