Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA
Nope, 10-13 isn't the answer. A poem flows best when rhyming couplets, or rhyming lines if you are using a-b-a-b or a-b-b-a have the same syllable count AND the same accents. Ex:
"I came home just the other day
And saw my son had gone away." - Both with 8 syllables and the meter of -/-/-/-/ ("/" being the accented syllable)
"She didn't realize the way her movements made me feel
The way she laughed or how she turned her head
But as I watched her quietly my mind began to reel
Of thoughts that would be better left unsaid."
The rhyming lines have 14 syllables each for 1 an 3 and 10 syllables each for 2 and 4. Even though the stanza consists of 14-10-14-10 the flow is good.
Check where the accents fall in your sentences. In your 3rd and 4th lines, for example, the accents are as follows:
/ - - / - / - / - /
Gallantly riding roads for foreign lands
- - / / / - / - / - /
Leaving green pastoral hills for desert dunes
Perhaps you can see that if the sentences begin with the accents placed /-- in the top line and --/ in the bottom, the smoothness is sacrificed. Whatever meter you decide to use in the first line of the couplet needs to be followed by an equal meter in the second. Ex:
Gallantly riding roads to foreign lands
Onward he left his hills for desert sand
Meter makes us work at this often cruel craft. "to go" and "follow", for example, don't cut the mustard. The meter is -/ and /-. Drives me crazy sometimes. It's basically just a personal thing of how proficient you want to be. Toerag, for example, follows no rules that I'm aware of. He doesn't have to. He's funnier than hell and throws words down for the simple satisfaction of making people laugh. Darned if I can find anything wrong with that philosophy. I admire him for that gift....just don't tell him I said so. But, if you really want to get it down in rhymed poetry, the rhyme, meter and flow of the poem is essential.
Off my soapbox. Hopefully I haven't bored you and that there's something in all this gibberish that you can use. You've got the thoughts and the words...the rest is just mechanics.