Formal Description of "Farewell but Whenever You Welcome the Hour," by Thomas Moore
Although there is no consistent poetic meter, each line within the poem has either eleven or twelve syllables. This is not quite syllabic verse because the pattern in the first stanza is not repeated in the following stanzas, but the consistency in syllable count throughout the piece is worth noting. While the meter is inconsistent even within stanzas, the piece is dominated by anapests (metrical feet defined by two light stresses followed by a heavy stress such as in the word “understand”) and iambs (metrical feet defined by a light stress followed by a heavy stress such as in the word “farewell”). This is illustrated in the lines, “There think of the friend who once welcomed it too,/And forgot his own griefs to be happy with you,” (3-4). The first line begins with an iamb (light stress on “there,” heavy stress on “think”) followed by three anapests (light stress on “of” and “the,” heavy stress on “friend.”; “Who” and “once” are light while the “wel-” in “welcomed” is heavy; and the remaining syllable is a light stress followed by a light “it” and a heavy “too”). Most of the lines within the poem are various combinations of iambs and anapests.
The first stanza of the poem is characterized by the repetition of the “w” sound, particularly in the first line with the words “farewell,” “whenever,” and “welcome”. This consonance extends through the rest of the stanza, carried by Moore’s inclusion of words such as, “awakens,” “bower,” “pathway,” and “threw.” “W” serves as a voiced semi-vowel and the repetition of this sound creates a soft, lulling sensation that draws the reader into the rhymes and carries them through the piece.
Many of the lines in “Farewell” are enjambed, meaning that the sentence is broken by line breaks such as, “My soul, happy friends, shall be with you that night --/Shall join in your revels, your sports and your wiles,/And return to me beaming all o’er with your smiles;” (12-14) This enjambment encourages the reader to scan through the lines quickly, contributing to the flow of the poem.
"Farewell but Whenever You Welcome the Hour," by Thomas Moore
Biography of Thomas Moore