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Silence accompanied; | for beast and bird,
The cæsural pause in anapæstic verse, falls appropriately near the middle of the line.
But harmony and variety require not unfrequently a deviation from this rule. "Tis night; and the landscape is lovely no more:
I mourn; | but, ye woodlands, I mourn not for you; For morn is approaching, | your charms to restore, Perfum'd with fresh fragrance and glittering
with dew." “My banks | they are furnished with bees,
Whose murmur | invites me to sleep; My grottoes | are shaded with trees,
And my hills | are white over with sheep." Note 1. The cæsural pause is to be observed only when it coincides with the rhetorical
and the latter may sometimes produce a double pause or demicosura; thus, "The look | that spoke gladness and welcome was
gone, The blaze | that shone bright in the hall | was no
more; A stranger was there, I with a bosom of stone:
And cold was his look, | as I enter'd the door.” 2d. This pause is comparatively slight, and is sometimes entirely omitted in the shorter forms of
* This pause is sometimes termed demi-cæsural, as it has but half the length of that which occurs at the cæsura.
† See note on preceding page.
"Remote from cities liv'd a swain
Metre. Metre is the measure, or 'time' of rhythm, arising from the arrangement of successive sounds, in 'numbers' or groups, corresponding to or contrasted with each other in length or shortness, force or weakness, denominated metrical feet, and constituting prosodial "time.'
These correspondences and contrasts in sound, produce to the ear a degree of that effect which belongs, in its full expression, to the beat' in music. The value of metre may be made to appear in a very striking light, by reading a passage of poetry, without regard to its rhythm, and in the manner of prose. take for example the opening of Paradise Lost, and arrange it to the eye as prose, in the following manner: "Of man's first disobedience; and the fruit of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste brought death into the world, and all our wo, with loss of Eden, till one greater man restore us, and regain the blissful seat, sing, heavenly muse." This passage, if read with a due attention to rhythm, will produce a very different effect to the ear, and become at once invested with a sonorous harmony of utterance.
“Of man's first disobedience; and the fruit
Sing, heavenly muse!" The groups or portions of sound into which rhythm divides itself, are, in the language of prosody, called feet : of these, the following are the principal that occur in English verse; the iambus, consisting of two
syllables; the first either short, or unaccented, or both, and the second either long, or accented, or both, as "ădõre," "förgöt*:"—the trochee, which is exactly the iambus inverted, as "fātăl," "ērror:"—the pyrrhic, which consists of two short syllables, as the first two words in the phrase "in å recess: "—the spondee, which consists of two long syllables, as "lowbrow'd: "—the anapæst, consisting of three syllables, the first two short, and the third long, as “complaisant."
The prevalence of any one of these feet, gives rise to the classification of verse as iambic, trochaic, or anapæstic; each requiring an appropriate but chaste rhythm in the utterance. The spondee and pyrrhic occur only as occasional feet, thrown in for variety in particular verses; thus,
“Shē all night long her amorous descant sung;""'Twas from philosophy man learn’d to tame The soil.”
Note. The trochee and the anapæst, though they usually form distinct species of verse, are occasionally introduced, like the pyrrhic and the spondee, for variety of rhythm; thus,
"Lö! from the echoing āxe and thunděring, flāme Poison and plague, and yelling rage are fled.”
Tambic verse has the following among other subdivisions : heroic-or the rhyming couplet, (two lines) of five iambic feet, or ten syllables in each line. This kind of verse occurs in heroic poems, -(the narrative of heroic actions or enterprises ;) but it is also used in lofty or grave subjects, generally. A stanza is sometimes formed of four heroic couplets, or eight lines rhyming in successive or alternate pairs, and an Alexandrine verse,-a line of six iambic feet, or twelve syllables. See examples of this stanza in the 'Suggestions' for practice on this lesson,—under the heads of moderate' and 'lively' utterance. Blank verse differs from heroic metre in consisting of single lines, and being entirely destitute of rhymehence its epithet of blank.' This species of verse is restricted to the highest order of subjects. Examples of heroic and blank verse were given in the application of the cæsural pause.
*These marks are used to distinguish long and short syllables, and they are transferred arbitrarily to those which are unaccented or accented.
Verses, or lines, are arranged in stanzas, or successive portions, according to rhyme,—the correspondence of the sound of syllables to each other; and hence the further subdivision of iambic verse, as classed in couplets or distichs. Thus, are formed heroic verse, and the couplet of four iambuses, or eight syllables in each line, (called therefore octosyllabic,) of which the following is an example:
The way was long, the wind was cold,
Was carried by an orphan boy." A very common form of iambic verse, is the quatrain or stanza of four lines, in which the rhyme occurs on alternate lines, according to their correspondence in the number of their syllables; the first and third lines containing eight syllables, or four iambic feet; and the second and fourth, six syllables, or three feet; as in the following example:
“The boy stood on the burning deck
Whence all but him had fled;
Shone round him, o'er the dead;
As born to rule the storm,
A proud though childlike form.” A less common form of the iambic stanza is that in which no verse contains more than three iambic feet or their equivalents. This species of stanza belongs to pieces of great force and animation.
" It was the wild midnight:
A storm was on the sky;
The lightning gave its light,
And the thunder echoed by:-
The ocean lash'd the shore;
To make their bed in gore:” Trochaic verse occurs more rarely in separate compositions, being usually interspersed with iambic measure, for variety of rhythm. It is exemplified in Milton's L'Allegro.
"Straight mine eye hath caught new pleasures,
Shallow brooks and rivers wide."* Anapæstic measure is found chiefly in the following forms the longer, containing four feet; and the shorter, containing three.
Of the former, the following stanzas are examples:
trees, Play the sunshine and rain-drops, the birds and the
breeze; *The landscape, outstretching in loveliness, lay On the lap of the year, in the beauty of May. "For the Queen of the Spring, as she pass'd down
the vale, Left her robe on the trees, and her breath on the
gale; And the smile of her promise gave joy to the hours, And flush in her footsteps sprang herbage and
flowers." The shorter anapæstic stanza is exemplified in the following extract.
* Some writers prefer to class this and similar measures under the general head of iambic verse, deficient in one syllable at the beginning of each line. The trochaic scanning, however, is better adapted to reading or recitation.
# The first foot of such verses, is sometimes an jambus,