Swinburne 7776

This is an octain form patterned on Algernon Charles Swinburne’s “Before Dawn.”

I simply named this form after it’s syllable pattern since Swinburne created several distinct octave forms.

It is:

Stanzaic: consisting of any number of octains.

Metered: Iambic Trimeter.

Rhyme pattern: aaabcccb, where only the b-rhymes are masculine.

Before Dawn by Algernon Charles Swinburne

SWEET LIFE, if life were stronger,

Earth clear of years that wrong her,

Then two things might live longer,

Two sweeter things than they;

Delight, the rootless flower,

And love, the bloomless bower;

Delight that lives an hour,

And love that lives a day.

From evensong to daytime,

When April melts in Maytime,

Love lengthens out his playtime,

Love lessens breath by breath,

And kiss by kiss grows older

On listless throat or shoulder

Turned sideways now, turned colder

Than life that dreams of death.

This one thing once worth giving

Life gave, and seemed worth living;

Sin sweet beyond forgiving

And brief beyond regret:

To laugh and love together

And weave with foam and feather

And wind and words the tether

Our memories play with yet.

Ah, one thing worth beginning,

One thread in life worth spinning,

Ah sweet, one sin worth sinning

With all the whole soul’s will;

To lull you till one stilled you,

To kiss you till one killed you,

To feed you till one filled you,

Sweet lips, if love could fill;

To hunt sweet Love and lose him

Between white arms and bosom,

Between the bud and blossom,

Between your throat and chin;

To say of shame—what is it?

Of virtue—we can miss it;

Of sin—we can but kiss it,

And it’s no longer sin:

To feel the strong soul, stricken

Through fleshly pulses, quicken

Beneath swift sighs that thicken,

Soft hands and lips that smite;

Lips that no love can tire,

With hands that sting like fire,

Weaving the web Desire

To snare the bird Delight.

But love so lightly plighted,

Our love with torch unlighted,

Paused near us unaffrighted,

Who found and left him free;

None, seeing us cloven in sunder,

Will weep or laugh or wonder;

Light love stands clear of thunder,

And safe from winds at sea.

As, when late larks give warning

Of dying lights and dawning,

Night murmurs to the morning,

“Lie still, O love, lie still;”

And half her dark limbs cover

The white limbs of her lover,

With amorous plumes that hover

And fervent lips that chill;

As scornful day represses

Night’s void and vain caresses,

And from her cloudier tresses

Unwinds the gold of his,

With limbs from limbs dividing

And breath by breath subsiding;

For love has no abiding,

But dies before the kiss;

So hath it been, so be it;

For who shall live and flee it?

But look that no man see it

Or hear it unaware;

Lest all who love and choose him

See Love, and so refuse him;

For all who find him lose him,

But all have found him fair.

Pasted from <http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/before-dawn-7/>

My example poem

Putting Decorum Before ‘Em (Swinburne 7776)

I turned and saw you staring
and knew you were comparing
my dress with girls more daring
than shyness lets me be.
Some say my clothes are fusty,
well it’s because I’m busty
and seem to make men lusty
when there’s too much to see.

While I’m too shy for posing
and chesty flesh exposing
I find myself supposing
that I could test the guys.
I’ll lean across the table
like Greta did with Gable
and see if you are able
to look me in the eyes.

© Lawrencealot – July 31, 2014

Visual Template
Swinburne 7776

The Herrick

The Herrick makes use of alternating feminine and masculine end words. It is a verse form named for Robert Herrick (1591-1674) and patterned after his poem To the Virgins to Make Much Time.

The Herrick is:
○ stanzaic, a poem of 4 quatrains. (16 lines)
○ metered, alternating tetrameter and trimeter lines. Odd number lines are tetrameter ,even numbered lines are trimeter.
○ rhyme, rhyme scheme abab cdcd efef ghgh. Odd numbered lines are masculine rhyme, even numbered lines have feminine rhyme.

To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time by Robert Herrick (1st stanza)

Gather ye rose-buds while ye may:
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles to-day,
To-morrow will be dying.
The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he’s a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he’s to setting.
That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer ;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.
Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may go marry :
For having lost but once your prime
You may for ever tarry.
Pasted from http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?showtopic=668
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resouce.
My Example poem

Are Caterpillars Cognizant?(The Herrick)

When caterpillars go to sleep
I wonder if they’re knowing
that while their sleep is very deep
their lovely wings are growing?

Is metamorphosis a shock
or is it all expected?
Do larvae young ones watch the clock
and know it’s all connected?

When they crochet that crusty shell
that doesn’t look delicious
and hide in sight so very well
are they themselves suspicious?

Like teenage girls that want a bust
anticipating greatly
do they awake with pride or just
think, “What has happened lately.”

© Lawrencealot, – July 27, 2014
Visual Template
The Herrick

The Tennyson

The Tennyson is a stanzaic form patterned after Ask Me No More by English poet,Alfred Lord Tennyson (1802-1892).

The Tennyson is:
○ stanzaic, written in any number of cinquains.
○ metric, iambic, L1-L4 are pentameter and L5 is dimeter.
○ rhymed, rhyme scheme abbaC deedC fggfC etc.
○ written in with L5 as a refrain repeated from stanza to stanza.

Ask Me No More by Alfred Lord Tennyson
Ask me no more: the moon may draw the sea;
The cloud may stoop from heaven and take the shape,
With fold to fold, of mountain or of cape;
But O too fond, when have I answer’d thee?
————–Ask me no more.
Ask me no more: what answer should I give?
I love not hollow cheek or faded eye:
Yet, O my friend, I will not have thee die!
Ask me no more, lest I should bid thee live;
————–Ask me no more.
Ask me no more: thy fate and mine are seal’d:
I strove against the stream and all in vain:
Let the great river take me to the main:
No more, dear love, for at a touch I yield;
————–Ask me no more.
Pasted from http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?showtopic=668
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for the wonderful PMO resource.
My Example Poem
Wastrel ( The Tennyson)
I wasted time throughout my early years.
and emphasized my chase for corporate gold.
I knew of course, that everyone grows old
unless an early death brings loved-ones tears.
I wasted time.
I wasted time while children’s magic bloomed,
and took for granted miracles in play.
I let too many moments slip away.
I failed to nurture love that was presumed.
I wasted time.
I wasted time just letting days go by.
But now I savor simple daily things-
a child that laughs, a parakeet that sings-
and cannot help but often wonder why
I wasted time.
© Lawrencealot – July 29, 2014
Visual Template
The Tennyson

The Fletcher

The Fletcher is a verse form that employs long and short lines, from the poem Away, Delights by John Fletcher (1579-1625)

The Fletcher is:
○ 2 octaves made up of 2 quatrains each.
○ metered, L1, L3, L5, L8 are pentameter and L2, L4, L6, L7 are dimeter*.
○ rhymed ababcdcd efefghgh, L1 and L3 of each octave are feminine rhyme.

Away, Delights! By John Fletcher
AWAY, delights! go seek some other dwelling,
For I must die.
Farewell, false love! thy tongue is ever telling
Lie after lie.
For ever let me rest now from thy smarts;
Alas, for pity go
And fire their hearts
That have been hard to thee! Mine was not so.
Never again deluding love shall know me,
For I will die;
And all those griefs that think to overgrow me
Shall be as I:
For ever will I sleep, while poor maids cry–
‘Alas, for pity stay,
And let us die
With thee! Men cannot mock us in the clay.’
Pasted from http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?showtopic=668
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for the fine PMO resource.
CORRECTION: Line 6 is trimeter.

My Example poem

Drinking Time (The Fletcher)

The bar’s a proper place to start your drinking –
but not too soon
for only drunks and chippies, I am thinking
begin at noon.
If you’re despondent, casting only gloom
we’d rather you just stay
within your room.
our bar’s a place to hunt and flirt and play.

The advantage of starting drinking later –
for normal guys
the early girls will find you looking greater,
surprize, surprize!
And you can differentiate before
you find yourself a ten
that’s but a four.
But then, a four’s a ten compared to men.

© Lawencealot – July 26, 2014

Self-Referential Acrostic Spill

This is an acrostic form invented by David F. Place, aka DaPla on Allpoetry. It takes the form of a regular acrostic with two additional requirements:

[1] It is syllabic: it begins with a single syllable, and adds one syllable to each succeeding line.
[2] It is formulaic: The initial words Are also the acrostic message.

Love you
Only when
Viewed from afar.
Emotions often
Yield insights that can be
Overwhelming, distressing
Until perspective has been gained.
Lovely, yet
Erased, forgotten,
Banned from our consciousness
In violation of our
Renewed commitment to ourselves.
Damn this feeling of lost happiness!
Dark cloud
Rain. I hope I
Know what I need to
Cover and shield from this
Liquid menace. It hangs like
Overlooked bits of the last war’s
Unexploded ordnance. Oh, will you
Dare to disarm this terrible time bomb?
Love you
Often while
Vainly taking
Each kiss that I give
You deeper and deeper,
Obstructing your attempts to
Ululate and broadcast our love.
Each time we
Hid from light of
Day, increasing in
Intimacy, we held
Expectations and limits
At bay. We went further than we
Could have imagined. We were, only
Hours before, complete strangers. O, Mehdi!
Author Notes
These poems are in a form I invented which I call the self-referential acrostic spill.  It’s an acrostic on its own first few words where each line grows by one syllable. (Breaking words over the line by hyphenation is, of course, not allowed.)
Pasted from http://allpoetry.com/poem/11425564-Five-Self-Referential-Acrostic-Spills-by-DaPla
My example poem
Oh, Good Grief
Good grief!
Only this
One time can you
Deceive me like a
Grinning compliant fool.
Repetition is a tool
In comedy for it creates
Episodic expectations, where
Foolish fall for fakes wise men can foresee.
© Lawrencealot – July 24, 2014

Bob and Wheel

Bob and Wheel
Type: Structure, Metrical Requirement, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Appendages
Description: Rather than being a form that verse is actually written in, the Bob and Wheel often is found at the end of some other verse form as a tail.
The bob is anywhere from one accented syllable to a couple of feet long. It may be an enjambment from the last line of the verse it is appended to, or it may enjamb down into the wheel.
The wheel consists of four lines that are three verse feet long.
The rhyme scheme for the Bob and Wheel is “a baba.
The Bob and Wheel might appear indented from the rest of the verse that precedes it. In some cases, although not usually, the Bob and Wheel may be burden, in other words, repeated like a chorus.
Origin: English
Schematic: a baba
Rhythm/Stanza Length: 5
Line/Poem Length: 5

Pasted from http://www.poetrybase.info/forms/000/22.shtml

My thanks to Charles Weatherford for his wonderful Poetrybase resource.

Bob and wheel is the common name for a metrical device most famously used by the Pearl Poet in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. The feature is found mainly in Middle English and Middle Scots poetry, where the bob and wheel occur typically at the end of a stanza. The “bob” is a very short line, sometimes of only two syllables, followed by the “wheel,” longer lines with internal rhyme. There are at least forty known examples of bob and wheel use, but the origin of the form is obscure. It seems to predate the Pearl Poet. Bob and wheel is not used often in modern poetry.

Pasted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_and_wheel

bob and wheel, in alliterative verse, a group of typically five rhymed lines following a section of unrhymed lines, often at the end of a strophe. The bob is the first line in the group and is shorter than the rest; the wheel is the quatrain that follows the bob.

Pasted from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/70743/bob-and-wheel

My example

They come
tracking evil men–
hear their spirits thrum.
Certain death. Amen!

This appended to my Poem: Retribution.
Evil will succumb.

See this appended to a poem:

Mad Song Stanza

Mad Song Stanza
Type: Structure, Metrical Requirement, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Other Requirement, Stanzaic
Description: Five line form with 3 feet, 3, 2, 2, 3, usually iambic and rhyme Xabba, often of a non-linear nature.
Origin: English
xX xX xX
xX xX xA
xX xB
xX xB
xX xX xA
Rhythm/Stanza Length: 5
Pasted from http://www.poetrybase.info/forms/001/176.shtml

My Thanks to Charles L. Weatherford for the fine Poetrybase resource.

Restated Specifications: The Mad Song Stanza is:
Stanzaic: One or more quintains
Syllabic: 6/6/4/4/6
Rhymed: xabba
Metric: Iambic
Poem length: 5 lines or multiple.

My Example poem

Post-Haste ( Mad Song Stanza)

A lim’rick takes too long
and I’ve no time to waste.
This form seems fast,
and not half-assed
and can be done post-haste.

© Lawencealot- July 22, 2014
Visual Template

Mad Song Stanza


 An Allegorose is A Form Created By chasingtheday of Allpoetry.
It is:
Stanzaic: consisting of 3 quintet stanzas (a poem of 15 lines)
Syllabic: each stanza consisting of 6/8/5/10/9 syllables
Rhyme pattern: aabab ccdcd eefef
There is no metric requirement

My Example poem
A Hyperbolic Dangle (Allegorose)
Though there’s a steep incline
you need not fear this bridge of mine
Just trust the cable.
It’s made of tempered steel, not rope or twine.
Despite appearances, it’s stable.
An able bodied man,
or woman, boy or girl who can
show brave demeanor
Can almost skip along across the span,
but you may use a carabiner.
The need to cross is rare
but real, and for the few who care
to sway and dangle
it’s much more fun to go from here to there,
than coming back ‘cus of the angle.
© Lawrencealot – July 22, 2014

Visual Template
This is an ad hoc template: no meter is required.

Swinburne's Sestet

The form is patterned after Algernon Charles Swinburne’s “Ilicet”

It is stanzaic, consisting of any number of sestets.
It is metered, written in iambic tetrameter.
It is rhymed: aabccb, with all but the b-rhymes being feminine.

My example poem
Retribution – Part 1 (Swinburne Sestet)
The desert stretched before the brothers
with air that clings and nearly smothers
and things that live here go to ground.
Now only driven desperation
could make them risk the dehydration
that others crossing here had found.
The renegades had raped and slaughtered
both Henry’s wife and teen-aged daughter
while Tom and he had been away.
The men had now a fearful mission
and they would kill with no contrition
but first they had to live today.
Their water gone, their strength was failing.
Despite the sun, Tom’s face was paling
The waterhole was miles ahead.
Now… just ahead- they were arriving
the waterhole that meant surviving,
without the water they’d be dead.
The spring was poisoned by the outlaws
their evil, dammit, was without flaws.
In it were bloated putrid sheep.
The sun was hot and acted willing
to help them with their slow distilling
enough to drink then more to keep.
The next two days they traveled nightly
and persevered ’til sun shone brightly.
They set their horses free to roam
in foothills. To continue healthy
their only movements must be stealthy.
or death would call these mountains home.
Each bandit kept his horse and cattle-
delighted with their ill-gained chattel
and forced therefore to stick to trails.
The brothers both had served as trackers
and army scouts, and were not slackers,;
they were in fact as hard as nails.
One had a crossbow, one a rifle
both carried knives to wreak reprisal.
Now vengeance was their only aim.
The renegades had thrived on terror,
but their last raid had been an error
now retribution surely came.
© Lawrencealot – July 21, 2014
Visual template

The Stevenson

The Stevenson is an invented verse form patterned after the poem, Requiem by Robert Louis Stevenson, Scottish poet 1850-1894.

The Stevenson is:
○ an octastich (8 line poem) made up of 2 quatrains.
○ metric, L1-L3 & L5-L7 are iambic tetrameter, L4 & L8 are iambic trimeter.
○ rhymed, rhyme scheme aaabcccb.

{Insert by Lawrencealot
Note:  I reject the metric representation and present RESTATED specifications below.}
Requiem by Robert Lewis Stevenson 1879
Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.
This is the verse you grave for me:
‘Here he lies where he longed to be;
Here is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.’

Pasted from http://www.poetrymagnumopus.com/index.php?showtopic=668
My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on the PMO resource.

I was having difficulty scanning this poem, so asked for help from Gary Kent Spain, who provided the following:

UND er the WIDE and STAR ry SKY,
DIG the GRAVE and LET me LIE.
GLAD did i LIVE and GLAD ly DIE,
And i LAID me DOWN with a WILL.

THIS is the VERSE you GRAVE for ME:
‘HERE he LIES where he LONGED to BE;
HERE is the SAIL or, HOME from the SEA,
And the HUNT er HOME from the HILL.

It IS three lines of tetrameter followed by one of trimeter, but not strictly iambic:  the tetrameters are basically iambic (if a bit trochee heavy, and that last foot in S2L3 is an anapest), but the trimeter lines are roughly anapestic:  most anapestic-style lines in English have some iambs strewn about in them.  Perhaps ‘sprung’ rhythm would better be applied to meter such as this, where the nature of the foot is less rigid than normal; but that would fly in the face of convention I guess.
My thanks to Gary for the above. We see the same kind of reliance upon stressed syllables in the form “The Stephens”.
My Example poem
My Requiem (The Stevenson)
Wherever I have been I’ve been
content existing there and then
and never wondered where or when
I’d cash my chips and die.
So when I transfer from this realm
I reckon I’ll not overwhelm
the maker if he’s at the helm,
for he’ll know when and why.
© Lawrencealot – July 20, 2014
Note: This poem was written using the specifications set forth by Van Gorder, above.
It is correct according to her metric specifications, but is a corruption of the Stevenson, shown by the 2nd template below.

Added to original content.

In October 2015 I noticed about the meter. At that time in my development I had a much broader and hopefully more complete understanding of meter generally than I did when this was first entered here. This is my current analysis:
One can keep the definition for L1-L3, L5-L7 presented by Van Gorder if one realizes that single foot substitutions are allowed almost anywhere except the final foot in a line and trochee substitutions occur in the first foot in ALL of the tetrameter lines.
I think that is quite reasonable, BUT there is no way the trimeter lines can properly be called iambic.
One can NOT make final foot substitution and keep the metric name imho.
Therefore to answer the question recently put to me by Avraham Roos, I hereby boldly reject the specification presented above and PROPOSE that this is the correct metric specification for the Stevenson:

The Stevenson is:
An Octastitch made up of two quatrains.
Metric with L1-L3 and L5-L8 composed in IAMBIC TETRAMETER, and
with L4 and L8 composed of ANAPESTIC TRIMETER.
Each tetrameter line begins with a trochee foot substitution, and
each trimeter line contains an iamb foot substitution as foot two.

Visual Templates

Here is the template as used by Stevenson.
The Stevenson


Here is Stevenson’s Requiem, had he followed the metric without
extra substition or headless feet. Only L2 and L7 are changed,
and the L7 change makes the line unnatural.

Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig me a grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
and I laid me down with a will.
This is the verse you grave for me:
‘Here he lies where he longed to be;
‘Here is the sailor, home from sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.’