Anapest Examples in Literature

Anapest is a literary device, opposite to dactyle, that is used in a sentence to create swiftness and action. In this article we will also discuss anapest examples in literature.

Definition of Anapest

A metrical foot consists of two short or unstressed syllables followed by one long or stressed syllable. It is the opposite of dactyl. It is used to create the illusion and swiftness and action.

In this measure, each foot in a line consists of three syllables, and not of two as was the case with Iambic and the Trochee. Of these three-syllable, the first two are unaccented, and the third alone is accented.
The number of feet in each line varies as in the case of the other two meters and an anapestic line may also be diametre.

‘Coleridge’ illustrates it in Metrical Feet:

With a leap and a bound the swift A anapests throng.

Here the stress has been given in the italic words.

Patterns of Syllable:

IAMB: Unstressed + Stressed
Trochee: Stressed + unstressed
Dactyl: Unstressed + Unstressed
Anapaest: Unstressed + Unstressed + Stressed

Examples of Anapest:

i. Interrupt in-ter-Rupt
ii. Elephant el-e-Phant
iii. Efficient E-fi-Cient
iv. Intelligent in-teli-Gent
v. Physician Phy-si-Cian

Tones of Syllable:

Iamb: Dum, da Dum, da Dum, da Dum
Troche: Dum da, Dum da, Dum da, Dum da
Dactyl: Dum da da Dum da
Anapaest: da da Dum da da dum da da Dum da da Dum

Anapest Examples in Literature:

In English literature, it is mostly found in popular verse until early in the 18th century. Thereafter it was used fairly frequently for ‘serious’ works by poets like Cowper, Scott, Byron, Morris, and Swinburne.

The Destruction of Sennacherib by Byron

The Assyrian | came down | like the wolf | on the fold,
And his cohorts | were gleaming | in purple and gold;
And the sheen | of their spears was | like stars on the sea,
When the blue | wave rolls nightly | on deep Galilee.

Like the leaves | of the forest when Summer is green,
That host with their | banners’ at sunset was seen;
Like the leaves of the forest | when Autumn hath blown
That host on the morrow | lay withered and strown.

For the Angel of Death | spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed | in the face | of the foe | as he passed;
And the eyes | of the sleepers | waxed deadly and chill,
And their hearts | but once heaved, and forever | grew still!

And there lay the steed | with his nostril all wide,
But through it there | rolled not the breath of his pride;
And the foam of his gasping | lay white on the turf,
And cold | as the spray of the rock-beating surf.

And there lay the rider | distorted and pale,
With the dew | on his brow and the rust | on his mail:
And the tents | were all silent, the banners | alone,
The lances | unlifted, the trumpet | unblown.

And the widows | of Ashur | are loud in their wail,
And the idols | are broke in the temple | of Baal;
And the might of the Gentile, unsmote | by the sword,
Hath melted | like snow | in the glance | of the Lord!

The Message of the March Wind by William Morris

But lo, the old inn, and the lights, and the fire
And the fiddler’s old tune and the shuffling of feet;
Soon for us shall be quiet and rest and desire,
And tomorrow’s uprising to deeds shall be sweet.

The Cloud by P.B. Shelley

I May have broken the woof of my Tent’s thin roof

Here in the sentence, in the word “Broken”, the syllable ‘Bro’ has been stressed. Similarly in the “woof”, the syllable “woo” has been stressed. In the last, the word “Tent” is there.

More to Read:

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.