A question of rhyme
It is not that history repeats itself, exactly, just that the same debates come up again and again. So it was that when "English literature" was just getting established in the 16th century, there was a concerted struggle over whether poetry should rhyme.
"But the question of rhyme was nor simply a small technical question about the following of ancient models. It was a fundamental element in the definition of poetry itself and the question of its relationship to the other half of the liveral arts, the quadrivium, those arts concerned with measure and proportion. The opponents of rhyme -- among whom we may principally number William Webbe and Thomas Campion, along with Ascham himself -- all acknowledge the close relationship of poetry to rhetoric, or eloquence in general, and thereby agree that poetry has been a principal source of civil order." (in Kinney (ed) The Cambridge Companion to English Literature 1500-1600, CUP, p. 42)
Webbe was seeking "the means, which we yet want, to discern between good writers and bad, but perhaps also challenge from the rude multitude of rustical rhymers, who will be called poets, the right practice and orderly course of true poetry." (From A Discourse of English Poetry, 1586, quoted p. 265.)
Looking at some of the rhymes I'm working on now, I kind of wish that they'd won at the time, rather than blank verse having had to wait until the 20th century to win out.
Three of the four pamphlets I'm looking at that are "elegies" for Dame Helen Branch (who died aged 90 in 1594) give her burial date. One doesn't, which has led me to think that it is likely to have been the earlies, produced before the funeral.
But it has the following lines ...
The yeare was fifteene hundreth, ninetie foure,
And grateful Abchurch hath her bones in store.
Now does "in store" suggest something temporary? There were - for reasons on which I am unclear - 18 days between her death and her funeral. (The only possibly explanation I have is that London had been hit by massive, exceptional storms in the weeks before her death, which might have disrupted things?)
Or is it "in store" just because it rhymes with "foure"?
There may be no answer to this, but I am open to suggestions...