I have no idea who created this form. Thanks to Sara Gosa of Allpoetry.com for bringing it to my attention. I can only tell you that the example was published in the January 25, 1912 edition of New Age, written by A. Tulloch Cull.
Ocarina – Rhymed
- A sestina discipline using 8 lines per verse and a 4 line enjoy for a 68 line poem
- MUST be used to write a rhyming poem.
- Its structure schematic is
- With the envoy:
- I corrected the occurrence of the words to create complete rhyme which the sample poem did not possess.
- 31 / 28 / 74 / 65 Giving couplet internal rhyme and alternating end-rhyme
- Rhyme scheme: Alternating envelope and alternate rhyme.
- Rhyme pattern:
- 1st abbacddc
- 2nd cdcdabab
- 3rd baabdccd
- 4th dcdcbaba
- 5th abbacddc
- 6th cdcdabab
- 7th baabdccd
- 8th dcdcbaba
To Anna Pavlova (Ocarina)
(In her dance “Le Cygne ” Musique de Saint-Saëns.)
There came to me a vision of sweet song
Borne faintly forward on melodious streams,
A white Chimaera such as stirs the dreams
Of men, who sleep in solitudes and long
To people the dead wastes with strange desire
And breathe between the lips of ancient Death
Stretched mummified in deserts that new breath
That should revive them with its living fire.
White was the vision, white as fiercest fire
And paler far its face than pallid Death,
Begotten of that brood, the Swan’s desire
Raised from frail Leda with its hissing breath.
And as it came its superhuman song
Sang of all those, whom wide relentless streams
Divide from their beloved, towards whom they long,
But whom they ne’er may clasp except in dreams.
They strain to one another in their dreams
But never hear their lovers’ silent song
Pass spectrelike with gliding feet along
The halls of Sleep to Lethe’s stealthy streams
Till conies Old Age, a fouler foe than Death,
To mar the house of their divine desire
And smother with white ashes their young fire
Stifling their bodies’ perfumes with his breath.
Who of us mortals with ephemeral breath
That saw the vision, did not straight desire
To pass from perfect happiness to death
A holocaust of joy within the fire beneath
That from your cloudlike eyelids streams.
Having for elegy your supreme song
I would have died your death and passed to dreams
On that white breast, for which I longed so long.
Half goddess and half swan, you seemed to long
With yearning eyes for those immortal dreams
Of far Olympus, where Peneus streams
Through Tempe’s hallowed vale. Yet in the song
Of feet and face and form I saw the fire
Of love for men, whose evanescent breath
Lends charm to wayward pleasures, watched by Death,
Who casts a glamour on short-lived desire.
All mortal sufferings and vain desire
Wept from your eyes and shook your tortured breath.
Yea, goddess though you were, the immortal fire
That shone from your white shape grew dim as Death.
I questioned of your Sorrow-Did you long
For Youth’s brief summer passed in rhythmic dreams
By winding ways of water, where the song
Of many birds mixed with the murmuring streams?
But though no answer pierced the plash of streams
Your arms that wavered swan-like seemed to long
And beckon for some mystery, which song
Might not reveal lying hid beyond our dreams.
Was it eternal youth, that your last breath
Invoked with prayers so passionate, that fire
Rekindled in those eyes, whose last desire
Was unto life, till clanked the feet of Death?
For as you felt the drear approach of Death,
Your limbs relaxed and from your eyes the fire
Fled fainting forth : You drew one sobbing breath
That shook your shuddering wings, and your desire
Quailed before Death : Your hair, where darkness dreams,
Where Moon and Stars hold festival along
With queenly Night, fell forward in dark streams
About your face, and silenced was your song.
Anna, my dreams find voice within the song
That from the fire of your sweet footsteps streams.
Though dreams and breath and song may pass along
Death’s ways, yet my desire defieth Death.