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HOME | Dactylic - Elegiac - Iambic - Sapphic - Goliardic


Goliardic Meter


The Latin Goliardic meter normally consists of 4 line stanzas, rhymed, in two hemistichs: 7 syllables (final stress on the antepenultimate syllable) followed by 6 syllalbes (final stress on the penultimate syllable).


You can think of this as the "Yankee Doodle" meter: Yankee Doodle went to town   Riding on a pony. It is also the meter of the Christmas carol "Good King Wenceslas."


Sometimes the fourth line of a Goliardic stanza is a dactylic hexameter. This is the case in the rhymed Romulus collection of Aesop's fables in verse.


Here are some reference materials online to help you learn about the Latin Goliardic tradition:

Goliardic Songs. A brief article at the Columbia Encyclopedia about the medieval Goliardic tradition.

Goliard Songs. An article at wikipedia about the medieval Goliardic tradition.

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