Daphne Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


Musing on the fate of DaphneA
Many feelings urged my breastB
For the God so keen desiringC
And the Nymph so deep distrestB
Never flashed thro' sylvan valleyA
Visions so divinely fairD
He with early ardour glowingC
She with rosy anguish rareD
Only still more sweet and lovelyA
For those terrors on her browsE
Those swift glances wild and brilliantB
Those delicious panting vowsE
Timidly the timid shouldersF
Shrinking from the fervid handB
Dark the tide of hair back flowingC
From the blue veined temples blandB
Lovely too divine ApolloG
In the speed of his pursuitB
With his eye an azure lustreH
And his voice a summer luteB
Looking like some burnished eagleI
Hovering o'er a fluttered birdB
Not unseen of silver NaiadB
And of wistful Dryad heardB
Many a morn the naked beautyB
Saw her bright reflection drownJ
In the flowing smooth faced riverH
While the god came sheening downJ
Down from Pindus bright PeneusF
Tells its muse melodious sourceF
Sacred is its fountained birthplaceF
And the Orient floods its courseF
Many a morn the sunny darlingC
Saw the rising chariot raysF
From the winding river reachesF
Mellowing in amber hazeF
Thro' the flaming mountain gorgesF
Lo the River leaps the plainK
Like a wild god stridden courserH
Tossing high its foamy maneK
Then he swims thro' laurelled sunlightB
Full of all sensations sweetB
Misty with his morning incenseF
To the mirrored maiden's feetB
Wet and bright the dinting pebblesF
Shine where oft she paused and stoodB
All her dreamy warmth revolvingC
While the chilly waters wooedB
Like to rosy born AuroraL
Glowing freshly into viewM
When her doubtful foot she venturesF
On the first cold morning blueM
White as that Thessalian lilyB
Fairest Tempe's fairest flowerH
Lo the tall Peneian virginN
Stands beneath her bathing bowerH
There the laurell'd wreaths o'erarchingC
Crown'd the dainty shuddering maidB
There the dark prophetic laurelI
Kiss'd her with its sister shadeB
There the young green glistening leafletsF
Hush'd with love their breezy pealO
There the little opening floweretsF
Blush'd beneath her vermeil heelO
There among the conscious arboursF
Sounds of soft tumultuous wailP
Mysteries of love melodiousF
Came upon the lyric galeP
Breathings of a deep enchantmentB
Effluence of immortal graceF
Flitted round her faltering footstepQ
Spread a balm about her faceF
Witless of the enamour'd presenceF
Like a dreamy lotus budB
From its drowsy stem down droopingC
Gazed she in the glowing floodB
Softly sweet with fluttering presageR
Felt she that ethereal senseF
Drinking charms of love deliriousF
Reaping bliss of love intenseF
All the air was thrill'd with sunriseF
Birds made music of her nameS
And the god impregnate waterH
Claspt her image ere she cameS
Richer for that glance unconsciousF
Dearer for that soft dismayT
And the sudden self possessionU
And the smile as bright as dayT
Plunging 'mid her scattered tressesF
With her blue invoking eyesF
See her like a star descendingC
Like a rosebud see her riseF
Like a rosebud in the morningC
Dashing off its jewell'd dewsF
Ere unfolding all its fragranceF
It is gathered by the museF
Beauteous in the foamy laughterH
Bubbling round her shrinking waistB
Lo from locks and lips and eyelidsF
Rain the glittering pearl drops chasteB
And about the maiden raptureH
Still the ruddy ripples play'dB
Ebbing round in startled circletsF
When her arms began to wadeB
Flowing in like tides attractedB
To the glowing crescent shineV
Clasping her ambrosial whitenessF
Like an Autumn tinted vineV
Sinking low with love's emotionU
Levying with look and toneW
All love's rosy arts to mimicC
Cytherea's magic zoneW
Trembling up with adorationU
To the crimson daisy tipX
Budding from the snowy bosomY
Fainter than the rose red lipX
Rising in a storm of waveletsF
That for shelter feigning frightB
Prest to those twin heaving havensF
Harbour'd there beneath her lightB
Gleaming in a whirl of eddiesF
Round her lucid throat and neckC
Eddying in a gleam of dimplesF
Up against her bloomy cheekC
Bribing all the breezy waterH
With rich warmth the nymph to keepZ
In a self imprison'd plaisanceF
Tempting her from deep to deepZ
Till at last delirious passionU
Thrill'd the god to wild excessF
And the fervour of a momentB
Made divinity confessF
And he stood in all his gloryB
But so radiant being nearA2
That her eyes were frozen on himB2
In a fascinated fearA2
All with orient splendour shiningC
All with roseate birth aglowG
Gleam'd the golden god before herH
With his golden crescent bowC2
Soon the dazzled light subsidedB
And he seem'd a beauteous youthD2
Form'd to gain the maiden's murmursF
And to pledge the vows of truthD2
Ah that thus he had continuedB
O that such for her had beenN
Graceful with all godlike beautyB
But so humanly sereneE2
Cheeks and mouth and mellow ringletsF
Bounteous as the mid day beamF2
Pleading looks and wistful tremourH
Tender as a maiden's dreamF2
Palms that like a bird's throbb'd bosomY
Palpitate with eagernessF
Lips the bridals of the rosesF
Dewy sweet from the caressF
Lips and limbs and eyes and ringletsF
Swaying praying to one prayerH
Like a lyre swept by a spiritB
In the still enraptur'd airH
Like a lyre in some far valleyB
Uttering ravishments divineV
All its strings to viewless fingersF
Yearning modulations fineV
Yearning with melodious fervourH
Like a beauteous maiden flowerH
When the young beloved three pacesF
Hovers from the bridal bowerH
Throbbing thro' the dawning stillnessF
As a heart within a breastB
When the young beloved is steppingC
Radiant to the nuptial nestB
O for Daphne gentle DaphneB
Ever warmer by degreesF
Whispers full of hopes and visionsF
Throng her ears like honey beesF
Never yet was lonely blossomY
Woo'd with such delicious voiceF
Never since hath mortal maidenU
Dwelt on such celestial choiceF
Love suffused she quivers faltersF
Falters sighs but never speaksF
All her rosy blood up gushingC
Overflows her ripe young cheeksF
Blushing sweet with virgin blushesF
All her loveliness a flameS
Stands she in the orient watersF
Stricken o'er with speechless shameS
Ah but lovelier ever lovelierH
As more deep the colour glowsF
And the honey laden lilyB
Changes to the fragrant roseF
While the god with meek embracesF
Whispering all his sacred charmsF
Softly folds her gently holds herH
In his white encircling armsF
But O Dian veil not whollyB
Thy pale crescent from the mornG2
Vanish not O virgin goddessF
With that look of pallid scornG2
Still thy pure protecting influenceF
Shed from those fair watchful eyesF
Lo her angry orb has vanishedB
And the bright sun thrones the skiesF
Voicelessly the forest VirginN
Vanished but one look she gaveH2
Keen as Niobean arrowH
Thro' the maiden's heart it draveH2
Thus toward that throning bosomY
Where all earth is warmed each spotB
Nourished with autumnal blessingsF
Icy chill was Daphne caughtB
Icy chill but swift revulsionU
All her gentler self renewedB
Even as icy Winter quickensF
With bud opening warmth imbuedB
Even as a torpid brookletB
That to the night gleaming moonI2
Flashed in turn the frozen glancesF
Melts upon the breast of noonI2
But no more O never neverH
Turns she to that bosom brightB
Swiftly all her senses counselI
All her nerves are strung to flightB
O'er the brows of radiant PindusF
Rolls a shadow dark and coldB
And a sound of lamentationI2
Issues from its mournful foldB
Voice of the far sighted MusesF
Cry of keen foreboding songC
Every cleft of startled TempeB
Tingles with it sharp and longC
Over bourn and bosk and dingleI
Over rivers over rillsF
Runs the sad subservient EchoH
Toward the dim blue distant hillsF
And another and anotherH
'Tis a cry more wild than allJ2
And the hills with muffled voicesF
Answer 'Daphne ' to the callJ2
And anotB

George Meredith


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