Structure and versification in Ascension - Hymn

The iambic quatrains alternate pentameter lines with a tetrameter and a trimeter. The short last line of each stanza therefore moves it towards simplicity. The stanza structure, as with many hymns, is obvious. The overall structure, as in many hymns, moves rather slowly forward towards a final prayer. The prayer is an ‘either-or' request, so leaving God some room for manoeuvre! The open-ended resolutions of many of Vaughan's poems are distinct from Herbert, whose poems tend to lead towards a neat, even triumphant, climax.

Investigating Ascension - Hymn
  • In what sense is Ascension – Hymn a metaphysical poem?
  • How might the reader view death after reading it?
Related material
Scan and go

Scan on your mobile for direct link.