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Ballades, French and English, and Chaucer's 'Scarcity' of Rhyme W. A. Davenport Chaucer may well have been thefirstto use the form of the French ballade in English, with de Machaut, Deschamps, Graunson as his models. Laila Z. Gross defines the form ofthe 'classic' ballade as three eight-lined stanzas (ababbcbC), using the same rhymes throughout and usually with a brief envoy addressing the lady. If we accept this, then Chaucer's use of the form may seem to typify English casual handling ofFrench fixed forms: only 'To Rosemounde' is in strict form, though without envoy. 'Fortune' is in classic form but has three ballades plus a seven-line envoy (ababbab); The Complaint of Venus has three sets ofthree eight-line stanzas, but with a rhyme pattern of ababbccB and with a ten-line envoy (aabaabbaab); 'Complaint to his Purse', 'Lak of Stedfastnesse', 'Gentilesse' and 'Truth' have rhyme-royal stanzas, with and without envoys; 'Womanly Noblesse' has nine-line stanzas and no refrain. However, the form did, in fact, vary a good deal in French. Wimsatt posits early, middle and late forms in fourteenth-century French usage: the early form used short stanzas with short lines and was brief and light in tone; towards the mid-century ballades using octosyllabic or decasyllabic lines and in stanzas of seven or eight lines develop; later still stanzas I The Riverside Chaucer, ed. by Larry D. Benson and others (Boston: Houghton 1987), p. 632. 182 W. A. Davenport of nine and ten decasyllabic lines turn the ballade into a poem of greater weight and complexity, less likely to be associated with music, more likely to include argument, introduce literary allusions or exempla, and be associated with moral or philosophical themes. Chaucer thus had a variety of models, and his range of variant forms may be evidence of his wide awareness of contemporary French poetry, as much as of his experimental interest in English metrics. He both conforms to several French patterns and uses (possibly invents) some looser forms, as in 'Lenvoy a Bukton' (three eight-line stanzas with envoy but no through-rhyme or refrain), or 'Lenvoy a Scogan' (seven rhyme-royal stanzas, which can be read as a double ballade with envoy, again without through-rhyme or refrain). In these ballade-type poems, Chaucer is creating his version of the kind of late fourteenth- andfifteenth-centurypoem in ballade or rhyme-royal stanzas, but not using the same rhymes throughout, which A. B. Friedman calls the 'pseudo-ballade'. Chaucer's interest in metrics is apparent not only in his trying out of verseforms new to English (terza rima, decasyllabic couplets, and so on), but also in some comments within his poems. Apart from his noting of the 'gret diversite/ In Englissh' at the end of Troilus and Criseyde and his anxiety about the accurate copying of the poem 'that non myswrite the/ N e the mysmetre for defaute of tonge', his most explicit observation on metrical matters is his apology at the end of The Complaint of Venus for the inadequacy of his rendering of Graunson: ... to me it ys a gret penaunce, Syth rym in Englissh hath such skarsete, To folowe word by word the curiosite Of Graunson... (The Complaint of Venus, 79-82) This has usually been taken at face value, both as a comment on the particu poem and as a general characterisation of the linguistic state of English in comparison to Romance languages with their 'easy' supply ofrhyme words. The history of the ballade in English seems to confirm the view that, whereas in French it was easy to write three stanzas sharing the same rhymes, the difficulty 2 James I. Wimsatt, Chaucer and His French Contemporaries: Natural Music in Fourteenth Century (Toronto: University ofToronto Press, 1991), pp. 58-69. 3 A. B. Friedman, 'The Late Medieval Ballade and the Origin of Broadside Balladry', Medium Aevum, 27 (1958), 95-110 (p. 102). 4 Troilus and Criseyde, V, 1795-6. Ballades, French and English, and Chaucer's 'Scarcity' of Rhyme 183 of doing so in English meant that the pattern was soon broken, giving rise to those pseudo-ballades mentioned above, poems in stanzas with or without refrain but lacking...
Twitter User AIR_NEWS 01 shared the update that the opening theme song for Noblesse will be performed by artist Jaejoong with the title of "Breaking Dawn" that will introduce this new addition to the line-up of Crunchyroll Originals beginning this October:
The Ventrue have long been one of the proudest lines of vampires. Its members work hard to maintain a reputation for honor, genteel behavior, and leadership. A sense of noblesse oblige has long pervaded the clan, accompanied by the genuine belief that the Ventrue know what is best for everyone. They not only consider themselves the oldest clan, but see themselves as the enforcers of tradition and the rightful leaders of Kindred society. 2b1af7f3a8