The Romantic meditative odes combine aspects of the Pindaric and Horatian odes, using the irregular triadic pattern of the Pindaric with the personal meditation of the Horatian, while omitting the Horatian emotional restraint. The triads are divided into a description of an outer natural scene, an extended meditation (simulated by the scene) which may focus on a private or universal issue or both, and the occurrence of insight, resolution or decision which signals a return to the original scene but with a new perspective. Often the stanzas would follow other fixed forms, such as the sonnet, with the pattern and length of the epode differing from that of the strophe and antistrophe.
My example, “Mid-winter’s Resolution - an Ode,” follows the pattern of the Romantic meditative ode
by S. L. P. Van der Veer
The night is chill, the wind is cold ~
this is the cold dark season.
Both flocks and shepherds safe in their folds,
all progress halts for fear of freezing.
The harsh winter’s night gives no reprieve,
the frigid wind no warning.
Death walks such nights, the folks believe ~
those she meets don’t see the morning,
and dawn this time of year comes late.
‘Tis better to cower and wait for the sun
than to tempt the hand of Fate.
The wind and the cold you cannot outrun;
here there’s a fire, a song and a tale,
and no need to struggle against winter’s gale.
What need indeed is there to leave
when immediate comforts abound?
What need, except my heart believes
that still greater things wait to be found?
What cause have we to fight the storm,
what cause to challenge the tide?
What cause to strive when here we’re warm
and failure has met those who have tried?
But how can I bide in complacent rest
when so much begs to be done?
How can I say I am up to the test
if every hardship or trial is shunned?
It withers my heart idle hours to fill
while the road beckons on out in the chill.
The night wind blows cold ~...
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