SONNETS. Scansion. Scanning a line of verse to determine its meter. Meter. A regular pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables, its rythmic “beat”. Meter’s basic unit is the “foot”. Each foot consists of one stressed and one or more unstressed syllables iamb ( ˘ ′ ), as in relief
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1. Best of all, victory!
2. I bought a car today.
3. Look for hidden pitfalls.
4. in the cool of the night
- Edna St. Vincent Millay
What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply;
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in the winter stands a lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet know its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone;
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.
- John Milton
When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide,
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide;
“Doth God exact day labor, light denied?”
I fondly ask: but Patience to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve his best. His state
Is kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who also stand and wait.”