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Latin Verse
Liturgical Verse

Dirge (from Latin-dirige-direct), is the first word of the first antiphon of the Office of the Dead. It is a funeral march, a song of mourning sung at a funeral, a slow lamentation, an elegy. The structure is usually formal, stanzaic, metric and rhymed at the discretion of the poet.

Dies Irae Day of Wrath (1st 5 stanzas) translation found at Wikipedia. It is a 13th century Latin hymn by Thomas of Celano This poem is written In mono-rhymed triplets with trochaic tetrameter lines.

Day of wrath! O day of mourning!
See fulfilled the prophets' warning,
Heaven and earth in ashes burning!

Oh, what fear man's bosom rendeth,
when from heaven the Judge descendeth,
on whose sentence all dependeth.

Wondrous sound the trumpet flingeth;
through earth's sepulchers it ringeth;
all before the throne it bringeth.

Death is struck, and nature quaking,
all creation is awaking,
to its Judge an answer making.

Lo! the book, exactly worded,
wherein all hath been recorded:
thence shall judgment be awarded.

And here is a more secular version of a dirge, written on the occasion of Abraham Lincoln's death by Walt Whitman written in 3 octaves made up of 2 quatrains each, the first quatrain of longer lines of 8 to 15 syllables and the 2nd quatrain with shorter lines of 5 to 7 syllables, rhyme scheme aabbxcxc ddeexcxc ffggxcxc, with repetition of phrases.

Oh Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman

O Captain my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up--for you the flag is flung for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribboned wreaths for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
You've fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchored safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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