What is a Spenserian Stanza?
Definition of Spenserian Stanza
The Spenserian Stanza can be defined as,
“A stanza and verse form consisting of nine lines where the first eight lines are in iambic pentameter while the last line, known as ‘Alexandrine’ line is an iambic hexameter with the rhyming scheme ababbcbcc”.
History and Origin
The Spenserian stanza was first used by Edmund Spencer, a celebrated English Poet, in his poem The Faerie Queene.
Poem Examples of Spenserian Stanza
Lo I the man, whose Muse whilome did maske,
As time her taught, in lowly Shepheards weeds,
Am now enforst a far unfitter taske,
For trumpets sterne to chaunge mine Oaten reeds,
And sing of Knights and Ladies gentle deeds;
Whose prayses hauing slept in silence long,
Me, all too meane, the sacred Muse areeds
To blazon broad emongst her learned throng:
Fierce warres and faithfull loues shall moralize my song.
Additional examples of Spenserian Stanza poetry can be found in Lord Byron’s Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, John Keats’ The Eve of St. Agnes and The Female Vagrant by William Wordsworth.