Exercise #14 (page 229)

This exercise was to write a villanelle, six three-line stanzas where the first line of the first stanza is used as a refrain to end the second and fourth stanzas and the last line of the first stanza is repeated as the last line of the third, fifth and sixth.  In other words: verse 1: A1bA2, verse 2: abA1, verse 3: abA2, verse 4: abA1, verse 5: abA2, verse 6: abA1A2

Will my fragile heart be bold,
Take Love’s hand with joy, not fear,
Or growing older, grow more cold?

I’ll see the public all is polled.
I’ll find and ask the wisest seer
Will my fragile heart be bold?

Perhaps I’ll case my heart in gold
Which waterproofs against each tear,
But growing older, grows more cold.

Perhaps, forewarned, my heart is told
By me, in desperate act of mere
Will: my fragile heart, be bold.

Perhaps I’ll slip from Love’s large fold
With a heart that’s free and clear,
But growing older, grows more cold.

The answer can’t be bought and sold;
The question always looming near:
Will my fragile heart be bold,
Or growing older, grow more cold?

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