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A nest of singing birds. Three centuries of English verse by Dr. Britton just. The heroic couplet. This is the first of two programmes on the Hubert couplet a couplet is defined as a pair of rhyming lines. Here are some examples of couplets used by some of the poets some of the singing birds of our three hundred years of English verse in Pirates time. Priest craft did begin before polygamy was made to see if that was the first couplet of Dryden's Absalom and Achitophel. Here are four more examples of couplets biting my truant pen beating myself for spite. Food. Said my muse to me. Look in the eye heart and write. This world is not for AA. No it is not strange that
even our lovers should with our fortunes change. Hence we lie to my ghostly father sell. His help to cry here and my dear chap to hell. Saints do not move. Oh Grant for prayers sake they move not well my prayers if. A. In each of those four examples we had a pair of rhyming lines each line consisting of five feet each short of two syllables in English this is the heroic couplet a pair of rhyming lines each of ten syllables. The cup was called heroic because it was regarded as the appropriate verse for Epic or heroic poetry. Not one of those last four examples actually came from heroic poetry however
biting my true and pen beating myself for spite. Food said my muse to me. Look in the heart and write. Those were the last two lines of a sonnet. Next comes some lines of dialogue from the murder of guns Argo the play which Hamlet has played before his Uncle Claudius. This wound is not foray Nor does not strange that even our lovers should with our fortunes change. The next comes from drama too. Hence we lie to my ghostly father sell. His help to crow here and my dear I have to tell him that in the first balcony scene of Romeo and Juliet it gives a sort of full close and somewhat the way in which a couplet also gives a fold close to a sonnet. In fact our fourth example consists of the
last two lines of the sonnet in which Romeo and Juliet first meet. They each have one line. Saints do not move. No ground for prayers and no. My trees I hate as I just said not one of those four examples of heroic couplets actually comes from a heroic poem but the very first example of this program the couplet from Driton begins a poem which could be regarded as a mixture of heroic and mock heroic in Pirates time priestcraft did begin before polygamy was made to see the writing sustains that quality of writing in heroic couplets for the whole of this fairly long put in 1754 in his progress of poesy Thomas Gray had
this to say of Dryden's heroic couplets one stanza devotes its first eight lines to Milton and then come these lines behold where Dryden is less presumptuous car. Why do all the fields of glory be in two courses of ethereal race with the next in Hundred and long resoundingly pace. Great Ed. Note that by the image of the two courses he meant in his own words to express the stately March and sounding energy of Dr. King's writings in pious tyrants priestcraft did begin before polygamy was made a sin when man on many multiplied his kind heir one to one was cursedly confined when Nature prompted and no law denied the promiscuous use of concubine and bride. Then Israel's monarch after Heaven's own heart his vigorous warmth did variously impart to wives and slaves
and wide as his command scattered his maker's image through the land. DRITON is witty as well as energetic and stately. He was treating the following political situation. The opponents of the King of England. Charles the Second had turned against him his illegitimate son that you could month Driton wrote of contemporary England as if it had been ancient Israel. David stands for Charles Absalom for his son Monmouth Achitophel for the statesman Shaftsbury the poet uses this parallel wittily in the opening lines to gloss over the fact that Monmouth was an illegitimate son. There is more energy in the announcement made by David at the end of the poem. This parallels the speech made by Charles the second in Oxford when he rose and overcame his opponents without fighting vast long have hired by native mercy swayed to my wrongs dissembled my river was delayed so willing to forgive the offending age so much the father
did the king assuage but now so far my clemency very slight the offenders question my forgiving right now the one was made for many a very content but to rule for the acts of monarchs and. They call my tenderness of blood my fear their manly tempers can the longest bear. Yet since they will divert my native course it is time to show I am not good by force. Those heaped up fronts that haughty subjects bring our burdens for a camel not a king. Kings are the public pillars of the state. Born to sustain and prop the nations weight. If my young Samson will pretend a call to shake the column let him share for the rhythm of that derives from the balance of ideas.
Shake the column share the ball. Notice how the rhythm of this develops in a somewhat similar way by native mercies Wade and I wrong my revenge dissembled delayed a vast long have hired by native mercy swayed to my wrongs dissembled my revenge delayed. There's the same sort of rhythm in the first couplet of the poem impious time priestcraft did begin before polygamy was made a scene. What about this couplet from an earlier piece of writing the great man Darwin you mark his favorite flies the poor advanced makes friends of enemies. Notice the great man on the poor advanced advanced means raised up. And also notice makes friends of enemies. The great man down you mark his favorite flies. The poor
advanced makes friends of enemies. We find the characteristic rhythm and structure of the heroic couplets in these lines. I do believe you think what Mao you speak. But what we do determine after we break purposes but the slave to memory of violent birth. But poor validity which now like fruit unripe sticks on the tree but for unshaken when they mellow be there speak and break rhymed. When those lines were written again the rhythm comes from antithesis. You think means you intend as against you speak. That is empty speaking and break is the opposite of determined. The purpose is violent in its birth but weaken its ability to remain unchanged. No the unripe fruit sticks on the tree but when they are mellow
they fall and shake. The line purposes but the slave to memory means that determination is powerless to act. And this prompted by memory I do believe you think quite Now you speak but what we do determine after we break purposes but the slave to memory of violent birth. But poor validity which now like fruit unripe sticks on the tree but for unshaken when they mellow be those lines were written a good 70 years before Dr. King's poem. They come as you probably know from one of the speeches of the play a king in the play scene the murder of comes out to some lines of which we've already heard. There is a tradition of criticism that this whole scene was deliberately written badly to parody an outmoded style of dull would be classical drama. This might possibly be true of the first lines of the King.
Thirty times have cart gone round Neptune saltwater Telos orbit ground and thirty dozen moons with borrowed Sheen about the world have. Times twelve thirty has been since love our heart and hymen did our hands unite come your jewel in most secret back. Is he merely sitting in an empty pompous way. We have been married for 30 years. We might justifiably complain about tellers orbit ground as a statement for the earth and Neptune salt water instead of the Seas. But I think the rest can be defended. The King is looking back saying the virtually every minute of 30 years and that is he says 30 times 12 months 30 times 365 days 30 times 365 days multiplied by 24 hours
multiplied by 60 Minutes. You and I have seen the Four Seasons come and go no less than 30 times 30 times hope Phoebus cart gone round Neptune salt water tell us all that ground and 30 dozen movies with borrowed Sheen about the world have times 12:30 has been since love our heart and Hyman did our hands you might commute your most secret back. So many journeys made the sun and moon make us again Caldor our love began that worries me. You are so sick of late. So far from cheering from your former state that I distrust deal. Though I distrust discomfort you my lord nothing must. For Women's fear and love holds quantity. Neither art or any extremity.
Now what my love these hooves have made you know. And as my love is sized my theories where love is great. The littlest stuff is where little fears grow great great love grows there. When the queen says I distrust you she means I fear for you. Now before we hear the whole of the scene I'd like to think about the long speech beginning. I do believe you think what now you speak what's the king saying what's he doing. He expects to die. He knows he is a hero he doesn't know he's being poisoned naturally USAT he doesn't want to be forgotten. But he expects to be yet at this moment of his own very great need. He worries about his wife. He doesn't want her to suffer too much. He wants her to remarry a widow of marriageable age needed another husband a protector in Shakespeare's England. This king consoles his wife
tells her to remarry explains that she will change after his death experience will change her. This is the man whom Hamlet has chosen to represent his dead father the father who in his own words would not between the winds of heaven visit her face too roughly her face being the Queen's Gertrude's for 30 times have Phoebus cart gone round Neptune salt water and tell us all that ground and 30 dozen movies with borrowed Sheen about the world have times 12:30 has been since love our heart and Hyman did our hands you might commute your most sacred band. So many journeys made the sun and moon make us again Caldor our love began that worries me. You are so sick of late so far from cheering from your former stake that I distrust you. Yes though I distrust
discomfort you my lord nothing must for women's fear and love holds quantity neither ought or in extremity. Now what my love these hooves have made you know. And as my lab is sized my theories where love is great. The littlest stuff the where little fears grow great great love grows their faith I must leave the love and shortly to my operant powers their functions leave to do and thou shalt live in this fair world beehives honored beloved and happily when I was kind for a husband finally found the rest. Such love must needs be treason in my breast when second husband let me be a cursed none wed the second but who killed the first. The instances that second marriage move are base respects of
thrift but not of love. Second time I kill my husband when second husband kisses me bad. I do believe you think quite Now you speak but what we do determine after we break purposes but the slave to memory of violent birth. But poor validity which now like fruit unripe sticks on the tree but for unshaken when they mellow be the most necessary tears that we forget to pay ourselves what to ourselves is debt what to ourselves in passion we propose the passion ending the purpose lose the violence of either grief or joy of their own an act choice with themselves destroy where Joy most revels doth most lament grief joy joy grieve on slender accident.
This woman world is not for away nor tis not strange that even our loves should with our fortunes change. What is a question left us yet to prove whether love lead fortune or else fortune love the great man down you mark his favorite flies the poore advanced makes friends of enemies and here that he would love love on for two and for who not needs shall never lack a friend. I'm doing want a hollow friend Duff tried directly seasons him his enemy. Rather orderly to end where I begun our wills and do so contrary run that our devices still are overthrown our thoughts are ours there and none of our own. So think there will no second husband way but dive I
thought when I first lord is dead. New to me give food nor heaven light sport and repose rock for me day and night to desperation to earn my trust and hope and anchors cheere in prison be my scope each opposite to that blank's the face of joy. I need what I would have well and it destroy both here and hence pursue me lasting strife if once a widow ever I be wife is the place warm sweet leave me here while my spirits grow darker and Faine I would beguile the tedious day with sleep. Sleep rock thy brain. Never can miss chance tweener Twain. I don't think that was written as parody. English poets of the 16th and
17th centuries strove to reproduce in English verse the qualities which they admired in Latin and Greek literature from the mid 16th century. They could choose between blank verse and heroic couple blank verse dominated the drama. But there were not a dozen non-dramatic poems in blank verse in English before 16 16 and here it couple It gradually became dominant at first. Poets were unable to write long passages of good quality couplet but the characteristic structure of the individual lines began to show itself as these lines by Nicholas Grimm hold on the death of his mother written probably about 15 55 your daughters wept whom you know so well and kept. But my good sire gave with soft words relief and cloaks with outward cheer his inward grief lest
by his care your sickness should augment and on his case your thoughtful heart may have been. Christopher Marlowe's here in Wonderland is not epic but we can argue that it deals with an heroic personage who performed feats of great strength and courage to end us from the Hellespont for love. And it lies not in our power to love or hate for will in our series over ruled by fate. We have not been given the strength or ability to decide ourselves whether we shall love or hate a person because our will is subjected to fate controlled and determined by a power outside US Marlo's verse rhythm develops from the balancing of opposing ideas or of equivalent ideas. Let's listen to the whole passage dealing with love at first sight of hero and Leander are heroes sacrificing turtles blood veiled to the ground
veiling her eyelids close and modestly they opened as she rose thence flew love's arrow with the golden head and thus Leander was enamored Stones still he stood and evermore he gazed too with the fire that from his countenance blazed relenting hero's gentle heart was struck such force and virtue. Half an amorous look. And it lies not in our power to love or hate for will in our series over ruled by fate. When two are stripped along of the course begin we wish that one should lose the other women and one especially do we effect of two gold ingots like in each respect the reason no man knows. Let it suffice. What we behold is sense you had by our eyes. We are both deliberate
but love is light. Who ever lived that loved not at first sight. He kneeled but unto her devoutly prayed. Chaste hero to herself thus softly said. When I have the same he wish I would hear him. The difficulty with heroic couplet is to make each pair of lines perfect in themselves and yet flexibly related to the whole of a passage. The ideas must develop despite the fact that the lines tend to be end stopped now or certainly succeeded so did Shakespeare in the matter of Gonzaga the king tells his queen. He is about to die. You will remember if I must leave the lab and shortly to my operant powers their functions leave to do and thou shalt live in this fair world beehives honored
beloved and happy a one as kind for husband. I haven't found the rest. Such love most needs be treason in my breast. Second husband let me be a coast. None wed the second but who killed the first. The instances that second marriage move are base respects of thrift. But none of love. Second time I kill my husband died when second husband kisses me in bed. I do believe you think quite Now you speak but what we do determine after we break purposes but the slave to memory of violent birth. But poor validity which now like fruit unripe sticks on the tree but for unshaken when they mellow be the most necessary tears that we forget to pay ourselves what to ourselves is debt what to ourselves in passion
we propose the passion ending the purpose lose the violence of either grief or joy of their own an act choise with themselves destroy where Joy most revels the most lament grief joy joy grieve on slender accident. This woman world is not for away. No it is not strange that even our loves should with our fortunes change. What is a question left us yet to prove whether love lead fortune or else fortune love the great man down you mark his favorite flies the poore advanced makes friends of enemies. And here the dude of love on 4 2 and 4 who not needs shall never lack a friend and who in want a hollow friend tried directly seasons him his enemy.
Mud orderly to end where I began our wills and fates do so contrary run that our devices still are overthrown our thoughts are ours there and none of our own. So think there will no second husband wait. But dive I thought that's when life first Lord is day. To give food. No I haven't light sport in repose luck for me day and night to desperation to earn my trust and hope and anchors cheere in prison be my scope. Each opposite that blanks the face of joy meets what I would have well destroy both here and hence this human lasting strife if once a widow ever I be wife is deeply sworn.
Sweet leave me here while my spirits grow dull and Faine I would beguile the tedious day with sleep. Sleep rock my brain never come mischance between us twain in the minds of the player King we can find couplets which meet all the demands of poets and critics in the 18th century the heyday of complete writing. I particularly admire these two couplets the great man down you mark his favorite flies the poor advanced makes friends of enemies and hear that to live on for two and for who not needs shall never lack a friend. You have been listening to the first of two talks on the heroic couplet. The readers were Jonathan Farwell and challenge. This is Bertram Joseph inviting you to be with us again next week.
This program was produced by Radio Broadcast Services of the University of Washington under a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. This is the national educational radio network.
Series
A nest of singing birds
Episode Number
Heroic Couplet I
Episode Number
7
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
AAPB ID
cpb-aacip/500-gh9b9q7d
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Description
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No description available
Date
1970-00-00
Topics
Literature
Media type
Sound
Duration
00:27:29
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 70-3-7 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:30:00?
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Citations
Chicago: “A nest of singing birds; Heroic Couplet I; 7,” 1970-00-00, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 25, 2024, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-gh9b9q7d.
MLA: “A nest of singing birds; Heroic Couplet I; 7.” 1970-00-00. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. April 25, 2024. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-gh9b9q7d>.
APA: A nest of singing birds; Heroic Couplet I; 7. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-gh9b9q7d