Metrical Feet – Samuel Taylor Coleridge



Trōchĕe trīps frŏm lōng tŏ shōrt;
From long to long in solemn sort
Slōw Spōndēe stālks; strōng fo͞ot! yet ill able
Ēvĕr tŏ cōme ŭp wĭth Dācty̆l trĭsȳllăblĕ.
Ĭāmbĭcs mārch frŏm shōrt tŏ lōng;—
Wĭth ă le͞ap ănd ă bo͞und thĕ swĭft Ānăpæ̆sts thrōng;
One syllable long, with one short at each side,
Ămphībrăchy̆s hāstes wĭth ă stātely̆ stride;—
Fīrst ănd lāst bēĭng lōng, mīddlĕ shōrt, Am̄phĭmācer
Strīkes hĭs thūndērīng ho͞ofs līke ă pro͞ud hīgh-brĕd Rācer.
If Derwent be innocent, steady, and wise,
And delight in the things of earth, water, and skies;
Tender warmth at his heart, with these metres to show it,
With sound sense in his brains, may make Derwent a poet,—
May crown him with fame, and must win him the love
Of his father on earth and his Father above.
My dear, dear child!
Could you stand upon Skiddaw, you would not from its whole ridge
See a man who so loves you as your fond S. T. COLERIDGE.


When we analyze the meter, we can see the mnemonic. Each section that talks about a specific type of metrical foot actually uses that foot.


/ u / u / u /

Trochee trips from long to short

u / u / u / u /

From long to long in solemn sort

/ / / / / / / / / u

Slow spondee stalks; strong foot yet ill able

/ u u / u u / u u / u u

Ever to run with the dactyl trisyllable.

u/ u / u / u /

Iambics march from short to long.

u u / u u / u u /u u /

With a leap and a bound the swift anapests throng.


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