Poetic Forms Poetic Forms    

Lesson 31: Ode: Ode to Pity

by Jane Austen

lesson image


Ever musing I delight to tread

The Paths of honour and the Myrtle Grove

Whilst the pale Moon her beams doth shed

On disappointed Love.

While Philomel on airy hawthorn Bush

Sings sweet and Melancholy, And the thrush

Converses with the Dove.


Gently brawling down the turnpike road,

Sweetly noisy falls the Silent Stream--

The Moon emerges from behind a Cloud

And darts upon the Myrtle Grove her beam.

Ah! then what Lovely Scenes appear,

The hut, the Cot, the Grot, and Chapel queer,

And eke the Abbey too a mouldering heap,

Cnceal'd by aged pines her head doth rear

And quite invisible doth take a peep.


Philomel: A nightingale.

Grot: Short for grotto, a small cave.

    Poetic Forms Poetic Forms    

Lesson 31: Ode: Ode to Pity

by Jane Austen


Study the poem for one week.

Over the week:

  • Read the poem each day.
  • Review the synopsis.
  • Read about the poetic form.
  • Complete the enrichment activities.


Although Jane Austen is renowned for her novels such as "Pride and Prejudice" and "Sense and Sensibility," she also wrote poetry. Her poem, "Ode to Pity," describes the transformation of a scene in the moonlight.


Poems often adhere to specific poetic forms, defined as 'poems following distinct sets of rules.'

The nine poetic forms we'll study include the:

  1. Sijo: A lyrical Korean poetic form of three long lines.
  2. Haiku: A Japanese poem of three lines and a total of seventeen syllables.
  3. Limerick: A humorous poem of five lines and the rhyming scheme AABBA, typically having syllables of 9–9–6–6–9.
  4. Sonnet: A poetic form of fourteen lines that follow one of a few common rhyming schemes.
  5. Epitaph: A poem honoring the deceased, engraved on a burial marker or tomb.
  6. Acrostic: A poem where particular letter spell out a secret message, often the first letter of each line.
  7. Visual: A poem written in such a way that the lines form a pattern, usually related to the subject-matter of the poem.
  8. Ode: A poem honoring and/or celebrating something or someone.
  9. Blank Verse

Odes generally follow these rules:

  1. Written to praise someone or something
  2. Follow a rhyming scheme (e.g. AABBCC)


Activity 1: Recite the Poem Title, Poet Name, and Poem

  • Each day this week, recite aloud the title of the poem, the name of the poet, and the poem.

Activity 2: Study the Poem Picture

Study the poem picture and describe how it relates to the poem.

Activity 3: Narrate the Poem

  • After reading the poem, narrate the poem concepts aloud using your own words.

Activity 4: Complete Book Activities   

  • Click the crayon above, and complete page 34 of 'Elementary Poetry 6: Poetic Forms.'