Quantitative Verse Examples
SCANSION OF EXAMPLES
I thought I’d dedicate the booklet to you,
Carpus, lately put to press - it’s nothing much,
And won’t set laughing every one to read it -
Not on purpose, as I’d better put it. Well,
It’s not useless if I could open just one
Single mind to the writing I’m proposing.
I don’t dream a perenne saeclo, but,
If this lasts, it is on the strength of friendship:
Your always having entertained the idea.
II. HORACE 1.9
Once more, burning, a love besets
My heart, and any rest I had attained is all
Discomposed - the result of too
Much time, laziness, and undisciplined desire.
I yearn for Anna, lovely flame,
She whose grace is apparent as a winsome air
Like first snow, or apple blossom,
All there is to dazzle one with a pure delight.
Love has truly descended, and
Now I can’t elaborate on a theme other
Than hers: irrelevant topics
Have fled; forbidden are songs of philosophy.
There’s no way to lessen the blow
Once one’s been stricken, and no remedy but time -
Except for possession, but that’s
Past improbable, and verse, as a sacrifice.
I wouldn’t have made the to me apparent
Error of saying that any given thing
Is ‘what is best.’ One’s love is best - anything
Else is second. But
Ours is a subjective, anarchic age. What
We believe to be readily apparent
Was not always so. Is it even obvious
We disagree? Sure,
My love is best. However, my loving is
Not the reason why. Love is just a way to
Say what all should see: that the loved one is best
It doesn’t change things whatever manner you
Choose to say it: lovelier are her arms than
Marble - softer her kisses are than April,
Or than any sleep.
IV. EARLY SPRING
Winter though it is outside, it has already
Turned to spring within each tree: hidden in the bud
Next month’s flower is waiting
To burst forth in a spray of white.
It does not look it - outside nothing has really
Changed. One sensitive enough to the sound of birds
Might, though, notice a difference
In their song that is sweet and new.
My dear friend, it isn’t just weather I describe -
My heart, too, is about to blossom, even if
No sign is visible to
Outward show. It is all I see:
Some day soon, when a warm spell has apparrelled the
World in green, she’ll appear: lovely, suddenly, like
First magnolia or, rather,
Like birdsong in a quiet mind.