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Versisica- and we have now only to make some observations on paces of the voice, as the long syllables wure by thcir Versifica
their particular effects in the formation of metre. quantity among the Romans. Tience it follows, that tion.
“ No scholar is ignorant that quantity is a term which our accepted syllables corresponding to their long ones,
four of three. Those of two syllables must either con-
ge were, either three short, a tribrach ; a long and two
bic, which is therefore the foot most congenial to that
The pow’rs I gave éar and gránsted hálf | his práy's,
The rest' | the winds | dispérs'd | in emp'sty áir.
Our heroic line, however, is not wholly restrained to the
use of this foot. In the opinion of Mr Sheridan, it ad. pace; and it is necessary that the syllables which mark
mits all the eight before enumerated; and it certainly this regular movement of the voice should in some
excludes none, unless perhaps the tribrach. It is known measure be distinguished from the others. This di- to every reader of English poetry, that some of the finest stinction, as we have already observed, was made among
heroic verses in our language begin with a trochee ;
remarkable for his use of this foot, as is evident from
(Y) For the convenience of the less learned reader we shall here subjoin a scheme of poetic feet, using the marks
Versifica. The use of this foot, however, is not necessarily con measure of a whole line, constructed in the former man- Versiica. tion. fined to the beginning of a line. Milton frequently ner, must be shorter than that of another line construct.
introduces it into other parts of the verse ; of which ed in the latter; and that the intermixture of verses of take the following instances :
such different measures in the same poem must have a
bad effect on the melody, as being destructive of proporThat all was lost' | back' to / the thick'set slunk
tion. This objection would be well-founded, were not Of E've whose ey'e dárted contágious fire.
the time of the short accented syllables compensated by The last line of the following couplet begins with a a small pause at the end of each word to which they bemyrrhic:
long, as is evident in the following verse :
Then rus'stling crack'lling crash ing thun' i'r down.
This line is formed of iambics by accent upon conso
nants, except the last syllable; and yet by means of But this foot is introduced likewise with very good ef
these soft pauses or rests, the measure of the whole is fect into ot! er parts of the verse, as
equal to that of the following, which consists of pure
O'er beaps of ruin stālk'd | the stately hīvd.
Movement, of so much importance in versification, re-
gards the order of syllables in a foot, measure their quanIn this last line we see that the first fout is a pyrrhic, tity. The order of syllables respects their progress from and the second a spondce; but in the next the two first short to long or from long to short, as in the Greek and feet are spondees.
Latin languages ; or from strong to weak or treak to Hill's peép | o’ér hill's I and Alps | on Alps | arise. strong, i. e. from accented or unaccented syllables, as in
our tongue. It has been already observed that an EngIn the following verse a trochee is succeeded by two spon- lish heroic verse may be composed wholly of iambics; dees, of which the former is a genuine spondee by quan- and experience shows that such verses have a fine metity, and the latter equivalent to a spondee by accent. lody. But as the stress of the voice in repeating verses See thě | bõld youth | stráin up' the threat/'ning steep. such uniformity would disgust the ear in any long suc
of pure iambics, is regularly on every second syllable, We shall now give some instances of lines containing cession, and therefore such changes were sought for as both the pyrrhic and the spondee, and then proceed to might introduce the pleasure of variety without prejuthe consideration of the other four feet.
dice to melody ; or which might even contribute to its Thăt on / vēāk wings | from far pursues your flight. improvenient. Of this nature was the introduction of
the trochee to form the first foot of an heroic verse, Thro’ thě | faīr scēne roll slow | the lingʻring streams.
which experience has shown us is so far from spoiling On her / whīte breast' | a sparkling cross she wore. the melody, that in many cases it heightens it. This Of the four trisyllabic feet, the first, of which we shall foot, however, cannot well be admitted into any other give instances in heroic lines, is the dactyl; as
part of the verse without prejudice to the melody, beMur'muring, and with him' fled the shades of night. other directly opposite. But though it be excluded
cause it interrupts and stops the usual movement by an
with regard to pure melody, it may often be admitted
into any part of the verse with advantage to expression,
as is well known to the readers of Milton.
without prejudice to melody, is the intermixture of The great | hiěrár|chal standard was to move. pyrrhics and spondees; in which two impressions in the
one foot make up for the want of one in the other; and The amphibrach is employed in the four following ver
two long syllables compensate two short, so as to make
the sum of the quantity of the two feet equal to two
On her white breasts a sparkling cross she wore.-
Nor the deep trāct of hell say first what canse. -
placed together in one part of the verse, to be compen-
Stood rul'd stööd vast infinitude confined.
She all night long her monous děs cant sung. ant'are necessarily pronounced in less time than similar That the former is a proper example, will not perhaps feet formed by quantity, it may be objected, that the be questioned; but the third foot in the latter is certain.
Versifica. ly no pyrrhic. As it is marked here and by hin, it is tence which is an incomplete one ; and by disjoining Versiication.
a tribrach ; but we appeal to our English readers, if it the sense as well as the words, often confounds the
end of every line in the same note which they use in
marking a full stop; to the utter annihilation of the She all I nīght long ler am’ofrous des'cănt sun'g.
Some readers (continues our author) of a more It is indeed a better example of the proper use of the enthusiastic kind, elevate their voices at the end of all amphibrach than
which he has given, unless per. verses to a higher note than is ever used in the stops haps the two following lines.
which divide ihe meaning.
But such a continued re-
petition of the same bigh note becomes disgusting by its
monotony, and gives an air of chanting to such recita-
tion. To avoid these several faults, the bulk of readers
voice before it. This will sufficiently distinguish it from
the other pauses, the comma, semicolon, &c. because
“Of the poetic pauses there are two sorts, the ce with the matter, and is as various as the sense.
In a verse
final, we proceed now to consider the cesural, pause. To
that the members of a verse thus divided bear to each the latter part of the verse leaves the strongest and most Versięcs.
where one part rises above another.
Melody in music regards only the effects produced by
the mind in comparing the different members of verse 1. Of the cesure at the end of the second foot. already constructed according to the laws of melody Our plenteous stréams || a various race supply;
with each other, and perceiving a due and beautiful The bright-ey'd per'ch || with fins of Tyrian dye;
proportion between them.
The first and lowest perception of this kind of bar-
mony arises from comparing two members of the same
line with each other, divided in the manner to be seen 2. At the end of the third foot.
in the three instances already given; because the beauty With tender billet-doux || be lights the pyre,
of proportion in the members, according to each of these And breathes three amorous sighs || to raise the fire. divisions, is founded in nature. But there is a percep
tion of harmony in versification, which arises from the
The fields are ravish'd || from the industrious swains, portion of their members ; whether they correspond ex-
already quoted; or whether they are diversified by ce-
See the bold yonth || strain up the threatening steep,
Rush thro' the thickets || down the valleys sweep.
Hang o'er their coursers heads || with eager speed,
And earth rolls back || beneath the flying steed.
portion of the couplets to each other in point of simila-
Thy forests, Windsor, || and thy green retreats,
At once the monarch's || and the muse's seats,
Invite my lays. || Be present sylvan maids,
Unlock your springs || and open all your shades,
Versisca- the second foot in each line of the last ; which gives a John Denham's Cooper's Hill, where he thus describes Versification.
similarity in each couplet distinctly considered, and a the Thames :
Tho' deep 1 yet clear || tho' gentle yet not dull.
Strong without rage || without o'erflowing | full. similarity in comparing the couplets themselves. As in This description has great merit independent of the
harmony of the numbers ; but the chief beauty of the Not half so swift || the trembling doves can fly,
versification lies in the happy disposition of the pauses When the fierce eagle | cleaves the liquid sky;
and semipauses, so as to make a fine harmony in each Not half so swiftly the fierce eagle moves,
line when its portions are compared, and in the couplet When thro’ the clouds || he drives the trembling doves.
when one line is compared with the other.
Having now said all that is necessary upon pauses and There is another mode of dividing lines well suited semipauses, we have done the utmost justice to our subto the nature of the couplet, by introducing semipauses, ject which the limits assigned us will permit. Feet and which with the cesure divide the line into four portions. pauses are the constituent parts of verse; and the proper By a semipause, we mean a small rest of the voice, dur- adjustment of them depends upon the poet's knowledge ing a portion of time equal to half of that taken up by of numbers, accent, quantity, and movement, all of the cesure ; as will be perceived in the following fine which we have endeavoured briefly to explain. In concouplet :
formity to the practice of some critics, we might have Warms | in the sun || refreshes in the breeze,
treated separately of rhime and of blank verse; but as Glows l in the stars
the essentials of all heroic verses are the same, such a and blossoms | in the trees.
division of our subject would have thrown no light That the harmony, and of course the pleasure, result- upon the art of English versification. It may be just ing from poetic numbers, is increased as well by the se worth while to observe, that the pause at the end of a mipause as by the cesure, is obvious to every ear; be- couplet ought to coincide, if possible, with a slight pause cause lines so constructed furnish a greater number of in the sense, and that there is no necessity for this coinmembers for comparison : but it is of more importance cidence of pauses at the end of any particular blank to observe, that by means of the semipauses, lines which, verse. We might likewise compare our heroic line with separately considered, are not of the finest barmony, the ancient hexameter, and endeavour to appretiate their may yet produce it when opposed to each other, and respective merits ; but there is not a reader capable of compared in the couplet. Of the truth of this observa- attending to such a comparison who will not judge for tion, the following couplet, especially as it succeeds that himself; and it may perhaps be questioned, whether immediately quoted, is a striking proof:
there be two who will form precisely the same judgeLives | thro' all life || extends | thro' all extent,
ment. Mr Sheridan, and all the mere English critics, Spreads | undivided || operates , unspent.
give a high degree of preference to our heroic, on ac
count of the vast variety of feet which it admits : whilst
contribute to solve a poetical problem thrown out meter, on account of its more musical notes and ma-
POGGE, the MAILED or ARMED GURNARD, or form part of a chain of islands which stretch along the Poggy COTTUS CATAPHRACTUS. See Cottus, ICHTHYOLO
See Cottus, ICHTHYOLO- whole length of Sumatra, in the East Indies, and lie at islands. Poggy GY, p. 89.
the distance of twenty or thirty leagues from the west islands.
POGGIUS BRACCIOLINUS, a man of great parts coast of that island.
a continent, we should naturally expect to find their in-