What is dactyl? Dactyl is a three-part foot with an emphasis on the first syllable. This foot reminds the ancient Greek of a finger that has three phalanxes (three syllables). Such a foot was considered to be divine. It was used often by Dionin, who spoke “in the language of the gods.” However, this foot is not common, it’s rather used in a mix with other feet.
It’s pretty simple to define dactyl if you know the structure of the foot : —UU
The first syllable is stressed, the second and the third are unstressed.
Here are some examples of dactyl:
Just for a handful of silver he left us
Just for a riband to stick in his coat.
The Lost Leader by Robert Browning’s
This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,
Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight …
Evangeline by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow