How do we scan line 16 at the end of the second stanza: two iambs plus an anapest ("And I have not had my part") or a sequence of anapest, pyrrhic, spondee
("And I have not had my part": a "haven't" in Victorian stays)?
When the skating boy abruptly stops, the poem also comes to a halt with "Stopped short"--a hard spondee
followed by a strong caesura.
Moreover, sound again unifies the passage with the consonance of g, r, and t sounds and the expressive spondees
in the phrases "out- / stretch'd arms" (11) and "but the / old top / is green" (14).
The matching meter at the beginnings of lines 8 and 10 accentuates the contrast between the spondees
"vain breath" and "king's oath.
this sequence with the chord-like resonance of three spondees
27) Note the four powerful personified inversions of the last two lines, and the spondees
and trochees in the last, where abruptly inverted meter stresses contrariety.
The forceful spondees
convey the inevitability of her intentions:
For more than a page he dwells upon the prosody of the poem, its iambs and spondees
, and Donne's and Herbert's and Milton's inventive metrics, and then explains:
Coleridge writes the eleven-year-old Henry Gillman that he should learn iambs, trochees, spondees
, pyrrics, amphimacers, and amphibrachs with the diligence he applies when learning his cyphers from a multiplication table (SWF 2.
Egan (1948) reported that out of various types of words presented to trained listeners, spondees
had the highest homogeneity of audibility, which is important because it facilitates precise measurements of the hearing threshold for speech within a narrow range of intensities.
Many nursery rhymes have exactly this mix of spondees
, iambs, and anapests in rhyming stanzas, which is why I called its rhythm "chug-chug.
The main parameters of variation are rhythm (anapests are unmarked, dactyls, iambs, and spondees
are marked) and length (dimeter is unmarked, trimeter, tetrameter, and so on are marked).