Iamb

Dit dah dit dah dit dah dit dah dit dah.
Five “A’s” in Morse’s code, or in the ears
Of English speakers, rhythm natural
Of speech. Ten syllables upon the line
March easily together. Dante, though,
Composed his Tuscan grand Comedia
In lines eleven syllables in length,
Not ten. Its native tongue sounds quite as sweet.
How strange and wonderful that beats distinct
And various guide human languages
So differently, so gloriously! The Bard
Of Avon’s iambs dance upon the stage,
And il Poeta’s terza rima glides
Upon the page. We must confess, that were
Dear Nigel to confer the prize, he would
Accord it to the Tuscan, for his lines
Go to eleven. Well enough. But I
Am schooled in iambs, and their rhythm guides
These lines which dance, I fear, without the grace
Of Shakespeare’s, nor achieve felicity.

“Dit dah;” the iamb, echoing the speech
Of ordinary days, a word obtained
From Ancient Greek, inevitably calls
To mind (to mine, at least), a bush ablaze,
Where voice avows, “Ehyeh asher ehyeh!”
“And when they ask the Name of Who has sent
You, say, ‘I represent I Am.'”

Oh, You Who Are, the great I Am, accept
These humble iambs, and my gratitude
For wondrous words, for laughter’s grace, for friends
And family, for love beyond the reach
Of human understanding. God, I thank
You for the iamb. Dah, dit dah: Amen.

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