Does the poem "To Daffodils" have a regular metrical pattern?I guess I don't really understand what a regular metrical pattern is. Could you provide details as to why or why not it is? Fair...

Does the poem "To Daffodils" have a regular metrical pattern?

I guess I don't really understand what a regular metrical pattern is. Could you provide details as to why or why not it is?

Fair daffodils, we weep to see
You haste away so soon;
As yet the early-rising sun
Has not attain'd his noon.
Stay, stay
Until the hasting day
Has run
But to the evensong;
And, having pray'd together, we
Will go with you along.
We have short time to stay, as you,
We have as short a spring;
As quick a growth to meet decay,
As you, or anything.
We die
As your hours do, and dry
Away
Like to the summer's rain;
Or as the pearls of morning's dew,
Ne'er to be found again.

Asked on by rosegold

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jk180's profile pic

James Kelley | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

Robert Herrick's poem "To Daffodils" does have a regular meter, I would say, but that doesn't mean that the meter is exactly the same in line after line. To me, "regular meter" means that the poem sets up and sticks to a certain pattern. Herrick's poem does just this.

Read the poem out loud, slowly and in a natural voice, and put a little mark above the stressed syllables:

fair DAFoDILs we WEEP so SEE

you HASTE aWAY so SOON

as YET the EARly RIsing SUN

has NOT aTTAINED his NOON

It's ugly, I know, but using all capital letters for the stressed syllables is easiest for me to do on this website. You'll see these four lines alternate between four and three stresses each, and all are in iambic meter. This same pattern is used again in lines 11-14.

Other sections of Herrick's poem will follow a different pattern, of course. (You can figure those patterns out for yourself, I'm sure!.) The important point is that each section of the poem does indeed follow a pattern. Following a pattern is what makes for regular meter.

poonamvalera's profile pic

poonamvalera | College Teacher | (Level 1) Honors

Posted on

The 'Daffodils' has a rhyming scheme throughout the poem. The rhyming scheme of the above stanza is ABAB ( A - cloud and crowd; B - hills and daffodils) and ending with a rhyming couplet CC (C - trees and breeze). The above stanza makes use of 'Enjambment' which converts the poem into a continuous flow of expressions without a pause.

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