Guide Prepared by Michael J. Cummings...©
"Song From Pippa Passes" is a short lyric poem sung by a character in a
verse play by Robert Browning. This play, or dramatic poem, is entitled
Pippa Passes. Its story centers on a fourteen-year-old girl, Pippa,
who works in a silk mill. On her only day off in the year, she wanders
through the town of Asolo singing happy songs that change for the better
the lives of those who hear them.
Moxon of London published Pippa Passes (the dramatic poem in which
"The Song From Pippa Passes" appears) in 1841 in pamphlet form.
of the Poem
The years at the spring,
And days at the morn;
Mornings at seven;
The hill-sides dew-pearld;
The larks on the wing;
The snails on the thorn;
Gods in His heaven
Alls right with the world.
little song says that everything is as it should be in the world of man
and nature and that everything is full of promise. Moreover, God is watching
over His creation. Therefore, the song says in presenting the theme, all
is right with the world.
eight-line poem has a neat little structure. First, all the lines contain
five syllables. Second, the subject of each clause is a noun that unites
with the verb is to form a contraction (year's, day's,
etc.). Third, a prepositional phrase ends each line except the fourth.
Fourth, the first three lines center on time; the second three, on nature;
and the last two, on God and His dominion. The balanced rhyme scheme is
abcd, abcd. All the rhymes are masculine, consisting of a single syllable
at the end of one line rhyming with a single syllable at the end of another
line. (In feminine rhyme, two syllables rhyme, as in in singing
and ringing, flower and power, and razzle and
language of the poem is simple and easy to understand. There are no wasted
words, and the meaning is clear.
..Study Questions and Writing
Write an eight-line poem that
imitates the rhyme scheme of the "The Song From Pippa Passes." The subject
What is the difference between
a lyric poem, such as "The Song From Pippa Passes," and a ballad?
Why is it seven o'clock in the
morning instead of six or five or eight?
What does a lark do that Pippa
does as she walks along?
The poem remains highly popular
today. What accounts for its popularity?.