By Any Other Metre

14 09 2011

The difference between two different metres has never been so pronounced – nor half so fun to discover. The following was composed by Arthur Connor, while in prison for his part in the Irish Rebellion of 1798.

The pomps of Courts and pride of kings
I prize above all earthly things;
I love my country, but the King,
Above all men, his praise I sing.
The Royal banners are displayed,
And may success the standard aid.

I fain would banish far from hence
The “Rights of Man” and “Common Sense.”
Confusion to his odious reign,
That foe to princes, Thomas Paine.
Defeat and ruin seize the cause
Of France, its liberties and laws.

A fiercely nationalistic poem, belied by his subsequently being made a general of the French army upon his escape in 1807. There is another way to read it, however, which is truer to his ideology.

[HT: Futility Closet]




3 responses

14 09 2011
Q. Pheevr

Surely the two stanzas should be printed side by side?

16 09 2011
Simon Holloway

Bingo! Quite a clever little thing, isn’t it?

27 09 2011

This ( reminded me of your post here, when I heard of it. Fascinating idea! Many of the poetic connections are genuinely random, yet can also be read seriously in light of the way we naturally read poetry. The new poem also relates itself to the original one in parts of its sound and structure, which I like.

I imagine someone could create a similarly furtive, coded piece, having far too much time on their hands. It would be an interesting thing :)

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