Blank verse-not to be confused with free verse consists of successive lines of unrhymed iambic pentametcr. It is the verse of Paradise Lost and has been widely used in dramatic literature, most notably in the plays of Shakespeare. The following portion of a speech by Satan in Paradise Lost will serve as an example:

    "Is this the region, this the soil, the clime,"
    Said then the lost archangel, "this the seat
    That we must change for heaven, this mournful gloom
    For that celestial light? Be it so, since he
    Who now is sovereign can dispose and bid
    What shall be right: farthest from him is best
    Whom reason bath equaled, force bath made supreme
    Above his equals."

Several fairly intricate forms of French lyric poetry were introduced into English in the Middle Ages and have been used by poets over the centuries, the later part of the nineteenth showing, perhaps, the greatest modern productivity in them. First is the ballade (not to be confused with the ballad); it normally has three stanzas of eight lines and a concluding stanza or "message" called an envoy of four lines usually addressed to a "prince" or patron. The rhyme scheme is ababbcbc with the envoy rhyming bcbc; all of the stanzas have the same rhyme sounds in corresponding lines but no rhyme word may be repeated. The last line of the first stanza becomes a refrain with which each of the other stanzas ends. An amusing use of the form is in Andrew Lang's Double Ballade of Primitive Man; in the envoy, Max, instead of the "prince" or patron, is Professor Max Miiller, a theorist about primitive sun-god myths, who was perhaps the poet's greatest antagonist:

    He lived in a cave by the seas,
    He lived upon oysters and foes,
    But his list of forbidden degrees
    An extensive morality shows; 5
    Geological evidence goes
    To prove he had never a pan,
    But he shaved with a shell when he chose,
    'Twas the manner of Primitive Man!

    He worshipped the rain and the breeze,

    He worshipped the river that flows, 10
    And the Dawn, and the Moon, and the trees,
    And bogies, and serpents and crows;
    He buried his dead with their toes
    Tucked up, an original plan,
    Till their knees came right under their nose, 15
    'Twas the manner of Primitive Man!

    His communal wives, at his ease,

    He would curb with occasional blows;
    Or his state bad a queen, like the bees
    (As another philosopher trows): 20
    When he spoke it was never in prose,
    But he sang in a strain that would scan,
    For (to doubt it, perchance, were morose)
    'Twas the manner of Primitive Man!

    Max, proudly your Aryans poses 25
    But their rigs they undoubtedly ran,
    For as every Darwinian knows,
    'Twas the manner of Primitive Man!

A second French form is the rondeau, of which there are two versions. One, sometimes called the rondel, has fourteen lines but only two rhymes. The first two lines become a refrain in the seventh and eigbth and thirteenth and fourteenth lines. A frequent arrangement of rhymes is abba abab abbaab, the underscored rhymes being the refrain. Occasionally, the last line is omitted. The second version, called the rondeau, has thirteen lines but again only two rhymes. The first part of the first line becomes a refrain repeated without rhyme after the eighth line and at the end of the poem. The usual rhyme scheme is aabbaaab (refrain) aabba (refrain). Austin Dobson's In After Days is a well known example of a rondeau:

    In after days when grasses high
    O'er-top the stone where I shall lie,
    Though ill or well the world adjust
    My slender claim to honoured dust,
    I shall not question nor reply. 5

    I shall not see the morning sky;
    I shall not hear the nigbt-wind sigh;
    I shall be mute, as all men must
    In after days!

    But yet, now living, fain were I 10
    That some one then should testify,
    Saying - He held his pen in trust
    To Art, not serving shame or lust
    . Will none? - Then let my memory die
    In after days! 15

Another even more intricate French form is the villanelle. Five stanzas of three lines and a sixth stanza of four lines make up its nineteen lines. Lines 1 and 3 become a refrain, line 1 being repeated in lines 6, 12, and 18 and line 3 in lines 9, 15, and 19. The tercets rhyme aba and the quatrain abaa; there are only two rhymes throughout. William Ernest Henley's Villanelle is a good example:

    A dainty thing's the Villanelle.
    Sly, musical, a jewel in rhyme,
    It serves its purpose passing well.

    A doublc-clappered silver bell>br> That must be made to clink in chime, 5
    A dainty thing's the Villanelle;

    And if you wish to flute a spell,
    Or ask a meeting 'neath the lime,
    It serves its purpose passing well.

    You must not ask of it the swell 10
    Of organs grandiose and sublime-
    A dainty thing's the Villanelle;

    And, filled with sweetness, as a shell
    Is filled with sound, and launched in time,
    It serves its purpose passing well. 15

    Still fair to see and good to smell
    As in the quaintness of its prime,
    A dainty tbing's the Villanelle,
    It serves its purPOS e passing well.

A variant form of the rondeau is the triolet, consisting of eight lines with but two rhymes, lines 1 and 2 reappearing as lines 7 and 8, and line 1 again as line 4. The rhyme is abaaabab, the underscored rhymes indicating the refrain. A Kiss by Austin Dobson is an example:

    Rose kissed me to-day.
    Will she kiss me tomorrow?
    Let it be as it may,
    Rose kissed me today.
    But the pleasure gives way
    To a savour of sorrow;-
    Rose kissed me to-day,-
    Will she kiss me tomorrow?

Finally, the sestina (introduced from Provengal through Italy to England), the virelai, and the pantoum-all complex forms have not been much used in English and hence are not described in detail here.

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