And I think that I have an indistinct recollection of his mentioning a complex Cretic
rhythm; also a dactylic or heroic, and he arranged them in some manner which I do not quite understand, making the rhythms equal in the rise and fall of the foot, long and short alternating; and, unless I am mistaken, he spoke of an iambic as well as of a trochaic rhythm, and assigned to them short and long quantities.
Or maybe the stanza's function is more purely formal: sonically introducing the "t" that will dominate the final couplet, metrically mediating the first line's trochees and the fifth line's cretic
with a third line suggesting either.
My first card, left, shows the Cretic
leaving Gibraltar on regular sailings between New York - Boston, Gibraltar, Algiers, Naples and many other ports of call on its way to Alexandria ( Egypt ) which was part of the White Star Lines New York-Boston & Mediterranean Service around 1900.
In the extract above, the murdered child's family name, Cassamba, is linked through assonance to 'Labamba' and 'bambino,' evoking a Latino influence, but these words are also linked to the third line, 'bloedsproetsel geschpritztes' through the dominant cretic
trisyllabic stress pattern--a relatively rare form of meter.
He makes good use of George Wright's metrical analysis of the poem's asymptomatic choice of an English stress-equivalent of the Latin cretic
measure, and of Tom Pendleton's demonstration of the poem's profoundly un-Shakespearean language.
I speculated that whoever wrote the poem may have been experimenting to see if he really could adhere to a cretic
pattern for several stanzas, and if the result seemed odd in some places we are free to blame the poet.
In particular, he illustrates the interplay between segments of 4+4 and 3+3+2 morae and the syncopating effect of a cretic
foot in a basically 4/4 rhythm.