Second Assignment

Perform a metrical scansion of both excerpts below (from Paradise Lost and from “Rob Roy”). Your scansion must combine both traditional and beat scansion. You do not need to divide the lines into feet. Write a short essay (at least two full pages and no more than four full pages) about your scansion. The essay should treat the metrical features of the poems (as with the first assignment), but should focus on the placement of beats and how they relate to the (traditional) metrical stresses.

Your essay does not need an introduction, conclusion, thesis statement, or list of works cited (unless you do happen to use other sources to help you with the essay). The essay must be well-written and well-organized. Include the complete scansion of the poems (with clear markings) as the final pages of your essay (not included in the page count).

The assignment is due in class on February 22nd.


Milton, Paradise Lost, book IV, lines 73-92

Me miserable! which way shall I fly
Infinite wrath, and infinite despair?
Which way I fly is hell; my self am hell;
And in the lowest deep a lower deep
Still threat’ning to devour me opens wide,
To which the hell I suffer seems a heav’n.
O then at last relent: is there no place
Left for repentance, none for pardon left?
None left but by submission; and that word
Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame
Among the spirits beneath, whom I seduced
With other promises and other vaunts
Than to submit, boasting I could subdue
Th’ omnipotent. Ay me, they little know
How dearly I abide that boast so vain,
Under what torments inwardly I groan:
While they adore me on the throne of hell,
With diadem and sceptre high advanc’d
The lower still I fall, only supreme
In misery; such joy ambition finds.


“Rob Roy” (stanzas 1, 8-10)

Rob Roy frae the Hielands cam
    Unto the Lawland border,
And he has stown a ladie fair,
    To haud his house in order.

As they gaed oure the Hieland hills,
    And at Buchanan tarried,
He bought to her baith cloak and goun,
    Yet she wadna be married.

Six held her up afore the priest,
    Four laid her in a bed, O;
Maist mournfully she wept and cried
    Whan she bye him was laid, O.

‘O be content, be content,
    Be content to stay, ladie;
For now ye are my wedded wife
    Unto your dying day, ladie.’