Meters (Metres) of hymns
Strictly speaking, a proper definition of verse metre includes the stress pattern as well as the number of feet or syllables. Thus ‘iambic tetrameter’ describes a verse in which each line contains four feet, and each foot is an iamb (weak-strong). So it has eight syllables in every line with stresses on the even-numbered syllables. A famous example of this metre is Thomas Ken*'s morning hymn:
Awake, my soul, and with the sun
Thy daily stage of duty run;
Shake off dull sloth, and joyful rise
To pay thy morning sacrifice.
Because the majority of English hymns are iambic, the convention for stating their metres is to give only the number of syllables in each line of the stanza (here...
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