In "Metrical Feet," Samuel Taylor Coleridge demonstrates some of the most common and uncommon metrical patterns in English poetry. He wrote the poem for his Hartley, his son, and later revised it for his other son, Derwent. Skiddaw is a mountain in the Lake District.

(emphasis on accented syllables added in bold, along with foot divisions; notice that, when a line would normally end with an unaccented syllable, sometimes that syllable is simply dropped altogether)

Metrical Feet

Lesson for a Boy

Trochee| trips from| long to | short;

From long | to long | in sol | emn sort

Slow spon | dee stalks; | strong foot! | yet ill | able

Ever to | come up with | dactyl tri | syllable.

Iam | bics march | from short | to long;—

With a leap | and a bound | the swift An | apests throng;

One sylla | ble long, with | one short at | each side,

Amphibrach | ys hastes with | a stately | stride:—

First and last| being long, | middle short, | Amphima | cer

Strikes his thun | dering hoofs | like a proud | high-bred Ra | cer.

If Derwent be innocent, steady, and wise,

And delight in the things of earth, water, and skies;

Tender warmth at his heart, with these meters to show it,

With sound sense in his brains, may make Derwent a poet—

May crown him with fame, and must win him the love

Of his father on earth and his father above.

My dear, dear child!

Could you stand upon Skiddaw, you would not from its whole ridge

See a man who so loves you as your fond S. T. Coleridge.