Poem: To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time by Robert Herrick

P oetry is also famed for its lyrical nature, rhyming verse being particularly enjoyable when put to song. The rhythm and rhyme go hand in hand to make an engaging lyric, since both are regular here. It is quite possible that this poem could have developed into a young girl's ditty if given the right circumstances, sung to deliver a warning message to marriageable maids. Herrick's poem is fairly musical in its rhyme, alternating enough to give the singer inertia to follow through with each end rhyme.

Besides the end rhyme discussed above, there is internal rhyme through Herrick's poem, strengthening its structure and encouraging a light, lyrical nature. This internal rhyme can be discerned by looking closely at each alternating line in the stanzas; clearly the alternating tetrameter and trimeter assist this comparison, through which we sometimes see one syllable within the line that rhymes with its metrical counterpart. For instance, the first stanza contains "while/smiles" and "still/will". The second stanza contains "the sun/be run" and "[high]er he's/[near]er he's". These short reflections within the stanzas make the poem more lyrical, flowing from the tongue smoothly. hymed verse.

Copyright 1995, Kaye Anfield