Friday, September 13, 2013

"A Rondeau on the Rondeau" by Rev. Joseph C. Booth (1914)

A Rondeau on the Rondeau.


Written for The Troy Times.


A Rondeau is a pleasing thing

To write. Come Muse, teach me to sing,

As thou didst teach the bards of yore:

Write thirteen lines, two rhymes, no more;

Add a refrain, twice let it ring,

Proceed and to thy thoughts give wing;

Let thy imagination swing.—

That which has now begun to soar

                A Rondeau is.

My thoughts, now downward, I must fling

And put them back into the sling;

My task, I see, is nearly o'er,

I'm drawing closely to the shore;

Behold, the poem that I bring

                A Rondeau is.



(A Rondeau.)

Troy is the place I like to see

As well as far-famed Albany,

And when I've wandered to and fro

To Troy I always like to go.

The people, there, are kind to me;

Their hearts are full of sympathy;

From ostentation they are free

Come, go with me, you'll find it so.

                Troy is the place!

Troy is a city that will be

More famous, in our history,

Than classic Troy, of years ago

With all her grandeur and her woe.

Read and digest my prophecy.

                Troy is the place!

Troy Times. July 10, 1914: 13 col 1.

The Villanelle.


Written for The Troy Times.

A villanelle has nineteen lines,

        One verse of four and five of three;

Two rhymes in it the Muse entwines.

Two glad refrains within it shines

        Repeated, each, four times you'll see;

A villanelle has nineteen lines.

Grandeur with beauty it combines

        Sublime in its simplicity;

Two rhymes in it the Muse entwines

The encircling Muse the poem designs

        And throws around it this decree:

"A villanelle has nineteen lines."

With graceful charm, the Muse enshrines

        The villanelle's nativity;

Two rhymes in it the Muse entwines.

Sing! thou poetic devotee,

Thy gladsome villanelle to me;

A villanelle has nineteen lines,

Two rhymes in it the Muse entwines.

Troy Times. October 26, 1914: 7 col 1.

A Monosyllabic Sonnet.


Written for The Troy Times.

Please make a verse or two of rhyme for me.

Of bright, short words, the pride of our own tongue;

More sweet than all the long, big words that's sung;

Such words the boy, the man that is to be,

Can spell with ease and then, as if set free

From fear, he reads, though slow, with "lots of lung;"

These are the words that stir the old and young—

The keen, short words, for which I make my plea.

Don't say: "A hymn cannot be made of short,

Small words, or that a bard must use in song,

Or ode, the big ones, if he wants to climb;"

Such thoughts have long been ruled out of the court.

Ah! sing to me sweet words, short words and strong

They are the best you'll find in prose or ryme.

        Mayfield, N.Y.

Troy Times. August 1, 1914: 6 col 2.


(Dedicated to the High school students)

A sonnet complex is in its design,

With one idea or emotion free;

Offspring of Petrarch, and great Dante, see

Unfolding to the last, the fourteenth line.

To make a perfect whole its parts combine;

Unequally divided, though it be

The quatrains in the octave must agree,

The tercets in the sextet intertwine.

Two rhymes within the octave only are

Allowed: A, b,—b, a; a, b,—b, a;

The sextet doubles c, and d, and c.

Three rhymes each tercet has, without a jar

These rigid laws the sonnet must obey;

The sonnet that was born in Italy.

        —Rev. Joseph C. Booth

    Mayfield, N.Y.

Morning Herald. January 18, 1917: 6 col 2.

An Acrostic Sonnet.


A sonnet, in acrostic style, although

Complex in form, is beautiful and fair;

Robed in its mystic garb, extremely rare.

Observe it keep its strict Iambic law;

See its Heroic Measure strike, with awe,

The bard's enraptured soul; it is an heir

Immortal, nurtured by the Muse's care,

Cast in the mould the Olympic gods foresaw

Sing thy Acrostic Sonnet, sweet and clear.

O bard! let its full-charged enchantment flow!

Nature is swayed by its Iambic roll;

Naiads and Muses from their haunts appear;

Echo responds; Parnassus bendeth low,

The heart of nature swings in its control.

Troy Times. August 21, 1914: 2 col 1.

Rev. Booth wrote poems for Easter; Christmas; Thanksgiving; Independence Day; Memorial Day; Decoration Day; Armistice Day; Flag Day; Valentine's Day; Halloween, Children's Day; birthdays; wedding anniversaries; graduations; to honor specific people he knew or groups of people like nurses, veterans, the fire brigade; to honor Tennyson, Longfellow, Shakespeare, Washington, Lincoln, Admiral Dewey, Billy Sunday; for the Red Cross Fund; for the Liberty Loan; for Soldiers' monuments; the flight of the Graf Zeppelin; to answer theological queries; etc.!

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