The shades of night were falling fast,
As through an Alpine village passed
A youth, who bore, 'mid snow and ice,
A banner with the strange device,
This is the first stanza of Longfellow's poem "Excelsior". There are eight more stanzas of exactly the same meter and rhyme scheme. Longfellow wrote this poem in extremely regular iambic tetrameter. There are four iambic (unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable) feet in each of the first four lines of each stanza, and each stanza is ended by the fifth line containing the world "Excelsior!". The...
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