Edward Lear

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What are the different kinds of metrical feet used in lines 1, 2, and 5 of this poem by Edward Lear?

There was a young lady of Wilts,

Who walked up to Scotland on stilts;

When they said it is shocking

To show so much stocking,

She answered, "Then what about kilts?"

Expert Answers

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This lines you indicated are written in Iambic/Dactyl Tetrameter.  Dactyl refers to the poem's meter - the pattern of syllables in a line.  Dactyl consists of two unstressed (or weak) and one stressed syllable.  Each of the lines here start with a iamb - one unstressed and one stressed syllable, followed by two dactyls.

The tetrameter refers to the number of meterical feet in each line.  There are three in these lines - one iamb, and two dactyls.

The shorter two lines also start with an iamb and then a dactyl, but the last foot of those lines is not completed.

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