The proper romance consists of 8-syllable lines with assonance in alternate lines 43 cf. The structure of the romance line has already been treated p.
In the old romances there was no division into stanzas, but poets from the end of the sixteenth century on regularly employ a pause after every fourth line, thereby creating a series of quatrains pp. With syllable lines the verse is called romance heroico or real. The name endecha is given to some assonated verse of either six p.
When the first three lines of a stanza are of seven syllables and the last of eleven, the verse is called endecha real. For examples of alternate assonance in lines of various lengths, see pp. There is usually a pause after the fourth line; lines 2 and 4 have one assonance and lines 5 and 7 another. The assonances change from one stanza to another. See pp. In some seguidillas the stanzas consist only of the first four lines described. The native Spanish strophes are usually combinations of 8-syllable or shorter lines.
The syllable line, itself an importation from Italy, brought with it many well-known Italian strophes. It is a common and characteristic Spanish meter.
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The redondilla menor has the same form expressed in lines of less than eight syllables. The same rime-schemes are found with lines of seven or of eleven pp. Only two rimes are used in one stanza, and not more than two lines having the same rime should stand together pp. Quintillas are sometimes written with lines of other lengths. Examples with eleven and seven syllables are found on pp.
The stanza used in Vida retirada p. Introduction , p. The copla de arte mayor is a stanza of eight such lines, usually having the rime-scheme abbaacca. Each stanza has eight syllable lines with the rime-scheme abababcc. Examples are found of octaves employing short lines.
A variety of the octava rima is the octava bermudina with the rime-scheme abbcdeec , the lines in c ending in agudos. In the Siglo de Oro it appears as a much stricter form than the English sonnet of the corresponding period. The quatrains have the regular construction abba , and the tiercets almost always follow one of two types: either cde, cde, or cdcdcd. See p. The lines are of eleven and seven syllables,—the Italian structure. Of such nature are the poems on pp. For strophes in syllable lines, see p. Most of the lines rime, but without any fixed order, and lines are often left unrimed.
A similar freely riming poem in lines of seven syllables is Villegas' Cantilena p. These may be rimed, or in blank verse. Thus a glosa gloss is a poem "beginning with a text, a line of which enters into each of the stanzas expounding it. The name letrilla is applied sometimes to a little poem in short lines which may be set to music p. A madrigal is a short silva upon a light topic, an expanded conceit.
The term cantilena is given to any short piece of verse intended to be set to music p. Serranillas , in which is described the meeting of a gentleman with a rustic maiden, are famous for the examples written by Juan Ruiz and the Marquis of Santillana. A villancico is a popular poem with a refrain, usually dealing with an episode celebrated in a church festival p.
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Versos sueltos, libres or blancos blank verse are formed, as in English, of syllable lines, with occasionally a shorter line thrown in. There is no rime, but sometimes a couplet may mark the close of an idea. The Spanish romances viejos , which correspond in form and spirit to the early English and Scotch ballads, exist in great number and variety. Anonymous and widely known among the people, they represent as well as any literary product can the spirit of the Spanish nation of the period, in the main stern and martial, but sometimes tender and plaintive.
Others may have their roots in older events, but have undergone constant modification since that time. The romance popular is still alive in Spain and many have recently been collected from oral tradition cf. But modern investigation has shown conclusively that no such age can be ascribed to the romances in their present form, and that in so far as they have any relation with the epic cycles just cited they are rather descendants of them than ancestors,—striking passages remembered by the people and handed down by them in constantly changing form.
Many are obviously later in origin; such are the romances fronterizos , springing from episodes of the Moorish wars, and the romances novelescos , which deal with romantic incidents of daily life. The romances juglarescos are longer poems, mostly concerned with Charlemagne and his peers, veritable degenerate epics, composed by itinerant minstrels to be sung in streets and taverns to throngs of apprentices and rustics.
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They have not the spontaneity and vigor which characterize the better romances viejos. The most comprehensive modern collection is that of A.
The best selected is the Primavera y flor de romances of Wolf and Hofmann Berlin, , reprinted in vols. IX has given still more texts, notably from the third part of the Silva , one of the rarest books in the world. The fundamental critical works on the romances are: F. The romances , as usually printed, are in octosyllabic lines, with a fixed accent on the seventh syllable of each and assonance in alternate lines. Lockhart , John Bowring , J. Gibson and others. Lockhart's versions are the best known and the least literal. In the six romances included in this collection the lyrical quality predominates above the narrative cf.
See S. Morley's Spanish Ballads , New York, It is said that on the morning of the battle he questioned one of his Moorish allies, Yusuf Ibn Alahmar, concerning the conspicuous objects of Granada. The verbal forms in- ara and- iera were used then as now as the equivalent of the pluperfect or the preterit indicative.
In the romances the conditional often replaces the future, usually to fit the assonance. El Alhambra: in the language of the old ballads el , not la , is used before a feminine noun with initial- a or e -, whether the accent be on the first syllable or not. This expletive que is common in Spanish: do not translate. Probably it is merely an allegorical fragment of a longer poem now lost. It is one of those printed in the Cancionero general of It was well translated by Bowring. This theme is found in the Physiologus , a medieval bestiary.
One of these animal stories relates that the turtle-dove has but one mate and if this mate dies the dove remains faithful to its memory. Notes , June, Turtel-Taube , and February, In avecicas and tortolica the diminutive ending- ica seems to be quite equivalent to- ito. Knapp's Span. This usage is now archaic, although it is still sometimes used by modern poets: see p. See also haya in the following line. Lockhart says of "Count Arnaldos," "I should be inclined to suppose that.
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In order that the reader may judge for himself he should have before him the mysterious song itself, which, omitted in the earliest version, is thus given in the Cancionero de romances of , to follow line 18 of the poem:. These few lines, translated by Lockhart as "The Wandering Knight's Song," are only part of a lost ballad which began:. It seems to have dealt with an incursion of the French into Spain, and the lines here given are spoken by the hero Moriscote, when called upon to defend his country. Don Quijote quotes the first two lines of this ballad, Part I, Cap.
El amante desdichado. Named by Lockhart "Valladolid. Twelve lines of this poem were printed in It seems to be rather troubadouresque than popular in origin, but it became very well known later. Lockhart's version is called "The Captive Knight and the Blackbird. This line is too short by one syllable, or has archaic hiatus. See Versification , 4 a. This usage is now archaic or dialectic.
Gil Vicente ? A strong creative artist and thinker, Vicente is the greatest dramatist of Portugal and one of the great literary figures of the Peninsula. Vicente himself wrote music for the song, which was intended to accompany a dance.
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John Bowring made a very good metrical translation of the song Ancient Poetry and Romances of Spain , , p. In the Spanish of the ballads the article is regularly used with a noun in the vocative. Saint Theresa believed herself inspired of God, and her devotional and mystic writings have a tone of authority. She is one of the greatest of Spanish mystics, and her influence is still potent cf. While a professor at the same university he was accused by the Inquisition and imprisoned from to , while his trial proceeded.
He was acquitted, and he taught till his death, which occurred just after he had been chosen Vicar-General of his Order. The greatest of the mystic poets, he wrote as well religious works in prose Los nombres de Cristo, La perfecta casada , and in verse translated Virgil, Horace and other classical authors and parts of the Old Testament.