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Alice Meynell (Элис Мейнелл)

The English Metres

The rooted liberty of flowers in breeze
    Is theirs, by national luck impulsive, terse,
Tethered, uncaptured, rules obeyed "at ease,"
    Time-strengthened laws of verse.

Or they are like our seasons that admit
    Inflexion, not infraction: Autumn hoar,
Winter more tender than our thoughts of it,
    But a year's steadfast four;

Redundant syllables of Summer rain,
    And displaced accents of authentic Spring;
Spondaic clouds above a gusty plain
    With dactyls on the wing.

Not Common Law, but Equity, is theirs—
    Our metres; play and agile foot askance,
And distant, beckoning, blithely rhyming pairs,
    Unknown to classic France;

Unknown to Italy. Ay, count, collate,
    Latins! with eye foreseeing on the time,
And numbered fingers, and approaching fate
    On the appropriate rhyme.

Nay, nobly our grave measures are decreed:
    Heroic, Alexandrine with the stay,
Deliberate; or else like him whose speed
    Did outrun Peter, urgent in the break of day.

Alice Meynell's other poems:
  1. The Young Neophyte
  2. The Two Poets
  3. A Poet's Wife
  4. The Unexpected Peril
  5. Nurse Edith Cavell

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