Structure and versification in The May Magnificat

The poem's simplicity is not just in its language and tone, but also in its stanza form, which is quatrains, with the first two lines having four feet and the other two, three, rhyming aabb. This is not too far from traditional ballad metre (4343 abcb). The rhythm is called sprung rhythm since the metre is not quite regular enough to call it either iambic or trochaic, though the tendency is towards trochaic (for example, ‘Ask of her, the mighty mother' and ‘Grass and greenworld all together' are regular trochaic tetrameters).

Investigating The May Magnificat
Related material
Scan and go

Scan on your mobile for direct link.