Sir, since the last Elizabethan died,
Or, rather, that more Paradisal muse,
Blind with much light, passed to the light more glorious
Or deeper blindness, no man's hand, as thine,
Has, on the world's most noblest chord of song,
Struck certain magic strains. Ears satiate
With the clamorous, timorous whisperings of to-day,
Thrilled to perceive once more the spacious voice
And serene unterrance of old. We heard
-- With rapturous breath half-held, as a dreamer dreams
Who dares not know it dreaming, lest he wake --
The odorous, amorous style of poetry,
The melancholy knocking of those lines,
The long, low soughing of pentameters,
-- Or the sharp of rhyme as a bird's cry --
And the innumerable truant polysyllables
Multitudinously twittering like a bee.
Fulfilled our hearts were with the music then,
And all the evenings sighed it to the dawn,
And all the lovers heard it from all the trees.
All of the accents upon the all the norms!
-- And ah! the stress of the penultimate!
We never knew blank verse could have such feet.
Where is it now? Oh, more than ever, now
I sometimes think no poetry is read
Save where some sepultured C¾sura bled,
Royally incarnadining all the line.
Is the imperial iamb laid to rest,
And the young trochee, having done enough?