What Are The Different Examples Of Metrical Romance?


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Metrical romance is a term generally applied to works of romantic poetry created using a certain set of meters, hence the name metric poetry. A meter is the fundamental rhythmic structure of verses, or of the lines within verses. Traditional verse forms often prescribe to a specific verse meter, or a specific set of meters which are alternated in a predetermined order.

Metrical romance was, in some respect, formalized as a movement by the joint publication of Lyrical Ballads, by Wordsworth and Coleridge in 1798. It is deeply rooted within the traditions as established by John Milton and Edmund Spenser. They, in agreement with John Keats, William Blake, Lord Byron and Percy B. Shelley, believed that by pursuing the sublime and the romance, they were reviving and upholding English poetry's true spirit.

Some of the finest examples among metrical romance are;

  • Paradise Lost, by John Milton
  • The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner, by Samuel Coleridge
  • Sonnets From the Portuguese, by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  • The Emigrants, by Charlotte Turner Smith
  • The Corsair, by George Gordon Byron (or Lord Byron)
  • Lady of Shallot, by Alfred Lord Tennyson
These are just some of many examples of metrical romance. Other great writers, such as Shakespeare, Pope, Dryden, Longfellow, Emerson, Burns, McPherson, Brentano and Edgar Allan Poe, as well as female writers Shelley, Barbauld, Robinson, More and Baillie all fell into the genre of metrical romance.

Another selection of fine examples can be found at Poet Seers. Some of the displayed poems are particularly well suited to show the use of the rhythmic metering so highly valued at the time. One or two of these also show the occasional, deliberate breaking of the generally well defined metric patterns. Keats' 'A Thing of Beauty' in particular shows the effect of this break in the rhythmic pattern.

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