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Does "His Prayers To Ben Johnson" use enjambment or end stop? 

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r-m123 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) Honors

Posted May 7, 2013 at 9:28 PM via web

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Does "His Prayers To Ben Johnson" use enjambment or end stop? 

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 7, 2013 at 9:56 PM (Answer #1)

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In “His Prayer to Ben Jonson,” Herrick uses enjambment once in the second stanza.

Enjambment is continuing a line from one to the next without stopping.  In this poem, Herrick usually uses punctuation.  Most lines end with a period or a comma.

When I a verse shall make,

Know I have pray'd thee,

For old religion's sake,

Saint Ben to aid me.

Therefore it is all the more striking when he does use enjambment in the second stanza.

Make the way smooth for me,

When I, thy Herrick,

Honouring thee, on my knee

Offer my lyric.

From “on my knee” to “offer my lyric” there is no break.  The line continues, even though it is broken after “thee.”  This further enforces the idea that the speaker is giving himself up to Jonson, his literary mentor.


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