One of the four most important Classic lyric one line metres (the others being the asclepiad metres, the glyconic metre and the hendecasyllabic metre). While the dactylic poetry (epic, boucolic etc.) and the iambic and trochaic poetry (dramatic etc.) use feet arranged by certain orders and quantities, the lyric metres pertain to complete lines. A stanza doesn't need to be constituted of a single metric element (except for the Alcaic and the Sapphic Stanzas), but could interchange them and even occasionally add "feet-metre" lines and couplets (particularly the 'Elegiac Couplet'). The normal lyric stanza has four lines.

The pherecratic is identical to the glyconic metre minus the last short syllable. It is found only in combination with other lines.

The pattern is therefore:

 - - - ^ ^ - -

* - long or stressed syllable; ^ short or unstressed syllable.

Example (in Latin):

  -  -  -  ^  ^ -  -
 suspendisse potenti

(Horatius, Od. I, 5, 11)

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