Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

"Princeton, May, 1917"..

Alfred Noyes

"Ode on the Centenary of Abraham Lincoln". . Percy MacKaye "The Call of the Bugles".

Richard Hovey

'O Glorious France".

"The Daguerreotype"

"An Ode in Time of Hesitation".

"The Nightingale Unheard".

"Uriel" (In memory of William

Moody 1)

[ocr errors]

Edgar Lee Masters

William Vaughn Moody

William Vaughn Moody
Josephine Preston Peabody

Vaughn

"Avenge, O Lord, Thy Slaughtered Saints".... Kipling

1 This is both an ode and an elegy.

Percy MacKaye

CHAPTER II

THE SONNET

Characteristics of the Sonnet. The sonnet is a lyric poem exactly fourteen lines in length. It produces only one emotional effect, but the lines are arranged in two sets, because two waves of thought are expressed. The first, consisting of eight lines, is called the octave. This gives the main thought or rising emotion. The second set, consisting of six lines, is called the sestet. This gives the falling emotion. There is usually this upward and downward movement in a sonnet. In the octave the emotion, question, problem, hope, desire, or whatever it may be, rises to its climax; and in the sestet it goes down to its conclusion. There is scarcely any variation allowed in the arrangement of the rhymes in the octave. Here there should be but two different rhyming words and these should be arranged abba abb a. In the sestet, however, greater liberty is given. There are usually three rhyming words, but they must be different from those used in the octave. Any combination of these rhymes may be made, excepting that the last two lines of a perfect sonnet, according to the original models, do not rhyme. Many writers of sonnets, however, have modified the rhyming plan to suit themselves. The regular meter of the sonnet is iambic pentameter.

Early Sonnets in England. The sonnet form was first used in Italy, and was introduced into English literature by Sir Thomas Wyatt and the Earl of Surrey in the first part of the sixteenth century. This type, although quite difficult to write because of its exact rules, at once became popular. It was taken up by Shakespeare, Spenser, Sidney, and others of the Elizabethans. Shakespeare liked the sonnet so well that he wrote one hundred and fiftyfour of them. In structure his sonnets, however, differ in many particulars from those usually seen, although they show the two waves of feeling.2

1 The student should constantly be reminded that authors are not slaves to custom, and modifications are to be found everywhere, although, in general, a work shows the chief characteristics of the type with which it is classed.

2 The sonnets of Shakespeare differ so generally from those introduced into England from Italy, that they are commonly recognized as a distinct type of sonnet under the name of Shakespearian Sonnet.

Later Sonnet Writers.-Wordsworth is generally regarded as our greatest sonneteer. He wrote over four hundred of these poems, some of which have never been excelled. Other writers who have been especially successful with this form are Milton, Keats, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and Dante Rossetti.

Study of the Sonnet. In each of the following sonnets notice. the two waves of thought, and the rhyming-scheme in octave and sestet. See in what particulars the sonnets of Shakespeare differ from the others.

SONNET XXIX

Shakespeare

/ When in disgrace with Fortune and men's eyes
2 I all alone beweep my outcast state,

[ocr errors]

And trouble deaf Heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon my-self, and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featur'd like him, like him with friends possest,
Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising
Happily I think on thee, and then my state
(Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven's gate;

For thy sweet love rememb'red, such wealth brings,
That then I scorn to change my state with Kings.

SONNET XXX

Shakespeare

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,

And with old woes now wail my dear time's waste;
Then can I drown an eye unus'd to flow,
For precious friends hid in death's dateless night,
And weep afresh love's long-since cancel'd woe,
And moan the expense of many a vanisht sight.
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
The sad account of fore-bemoanèd moan,
Which I now pay as if not paid before.

But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restored, and sorrows end.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

MILTON'S SONNET ON HIS BLINDNESS

When I consider how my life is spent
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent, which is death to hide,
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he, returning, chide;
Doth God exact day labor, light denied?
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, God doth not need,
Either man's work or his own gifts. Who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed,
And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait.

COMPOSED UPON WESTMINSTER BRIDGE, 1802

Wordsworth

Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth like a garment wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will;
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep
And all that mighty heart is lying still!

LONDON, 1802 (TO MILTON)
Wordsworth

Milton! thou should'st be living at this hour:
England hath need of thee: she is a fen
Of stagnant waters: altar, sword, and pen,
Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower,
Have forfeited their ancient English dower

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

Of inward happiness. We are selfish men;
Oh! raise us up, return to us again;
And give us manners, virtue, freedom, power.
Thy soul was like a Star, and dwelt apart:
Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea:
Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free,
So didst thou travel on life's common way,
In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart
The lowliest duties on herself did lay.

ON FIRST LOOKING INTO CHAPMAN'S HOMER

Keats

Much have I travell'd in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen :
Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne:
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold:
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken,
Or like stout Cortez1 when with eagle eyes
He stared at the Pacific-and all his men
Looked at each other with a wild surmise-
Silent, upon the peak in Darien.

SONNET XLIII

FROM "SONNETS FROM THE PORTUGUESE"

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.

I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;

I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise;
I love thee with the passion put to use

In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith;

1 Balboa, not Cortez, discovered the Pacific Ocean.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« ZurückWeiter »