Much of the force and grace of "Virtue" come from the device of anaphora, which gives the poem its orderly and predictable structure and endows it with a soothing and even hypnotic quality. Anaphora is the repetition of words and patterns for poetic effect. This device is immediately apparent in the first line, with the triple repetition of the word "so." Moreover, the same poetic structure governs each of the first three stanzas, while the fourth stanza is shaped by a slight variation of this structure. Each of the first three stanzas begins with the word...
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