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Having previously attempted to form verses in all the different sorts of measure that have been described, with words without reference to sense, the student may arrange the following lines in regular order. The lines themselves contain all the words necessary both for the harmonious construction and the expression of the sense. The order of them is, how ever, disturlied, as will be seen by the following
Adieu to the woodlands, where, gay and sportive,
Same words properly arranged.
Verses to be arranged by the Student in Anapæstic * lines of four feet
Content and joy are now fled from our dwellings,
* Dr. Carey, in his English Prosody, says, “If, like Tertæus of old, I had to awake dormant valor with the voice of song, I would in preference to every other form of English metre, choose the Anapæstic, of four feet in couplets, which, if well written, in real anapæsts, unincumbered with an undue weight of heavy syllables, and judiciously aided by appropriate music, could hardly fail to martialize even shivering cowards, and warm them into heroes; the brisk, animating march of the verse having the same effect on the soul, as the body experiences from the quick, lively step, which, by accelerating the circulation of the blood, at once warms and dilates the heart, and renders the warrior more prompt to deeds of provess.” If any one would test the justness of Dr. Carey's opinion, as thus expressed, his doubts will be resolved by the percsal of Campbell's beautimul piece, enti tled " Lochiel's Warning
Now chivalry is dead, and Gallia ruined,
To be made into Iambic verses with four feet.
Iambic verses of five feet, or the Heroic * measure.
* This is the principal metre of our language, and it is happily adapter to every kind of subject, from the most exalted to the most humble and ra. miliar, and it nar be used with or without rhyme.
RHYME. Rhyme is a similarity, or agreement, in the sound of firal syllables.
Verse without rhyme is called blank verse.*
It is a general rule in poetry, with regard to rhymes, that they should begin on the accented syllable.
In the forming of verses with rhyme, it is a good rule to let the weaker line stand first.t
* Rhyme is by no means to be considered as an essential constituent in English poetry. Much poetry has been written, and that, too, of the choicest description, in which rhyme has no part. The poetry of Milton, Shakspeare, Thomson, Young, and a host of others, whose writings have contributed so much to the literature of the language, seldom admits this "meretricious" ornament, as it has been called. But it has been said, that, although, in the five feet lambic measure, the measured dignity of the verse supplies the place of rhyme, in the other forms of English versification it is absolutely essential. Whoever will be at the pains to convince himself that this is an erroneous opinion, may easily do so by the perusal of the works of Dr. Southey, especially, his « Thalaba, or the Destroyer."
† The student, in his first attempts at versification, should be cautioned against the injudicious use of expletives. An expletive is a word introduced merely to fill out the line, while it not only contributes nothing to the sense. but absolutely weakens it. Pope, in his Essay on Criticism, exemplifies, while he condemns this fault.
“ While expletives their feeble aid do join,
Rhymes may occur in consecutive, or alternate lines, or in 4ny other regular order, at the pleasure of the writer.
Rhymes are of two kinds, perfect rhymes and allowable rhymes. The difference between the two kinds will readily be seen by the following Vocabulary, taken from Walker's "Rhyming Dictionary."
* On the same principle of association, on which some of the earlier les sons in this volume are founded, it is thought that this vocabr lary will aid the student, not only in finding a rhyme, but likewise in suggesting ideas, Dr. Carey, in the Preface to his “ English Prosody," says: “It is not with the view of making poets and poetesses that I send forth this publication. That must be the work of nature alone: it is not in my power to create them; and if it were, I might be accused of doing more harm than good, in tempting many of my young readers to quit a gainful calling for the un gainful trade. My aims are more humble; - 1. To teacia the learner to read poetry with propriety and grace; 2. To improve and polish his style for prose composition." And, further on, he adds ; “Indeed, every person, whether poet or not, who has received any tolerable education, and pretends to write decent prose, ought likewise to be qnalified for the occasional production of a few verses, smooth, at least, and metrically correct, whatever may be their merit or demerit in other respects. That the practice of versi fication materially improves the style for prose composition, there cannot be a doubt. The ear which is acutely sensible to the harmonies of verse, will naturally revolt against inharmonious harshness in prose; and the pains bestowed in searching for a variety of words of different lengths, quantities, and terminations, to suit the exigencies of the metre,
the shifts and turns,
The mirror of the mind.' will copiously enlarge the writer's stock of expressions, - will enable him to array his thoughts in a more elegant and attractive garb, and to vary that garb at pleasure, by the ready aid of a diversified phraseology. It will, at the same time, produce a more important and beautiful effect, – it will enrich the intellectual store of thought; for, while in search for an epithet, for an example, or a periphrase, he is obliged to view the subject in all its possible bearings and relations, that he may choose such particular word or phrase, as shall exhibit it in the most advantageous light. And what study more effectual to call into action the powers of the mind, to exercise the judgment, to whet the sagacity, and give birth to a variety of ideas, which might otherwise have lain for ever dormant ? For these weighty consid erations, the practice of verse-making has been recommended by Locke, Chesterfield, Franklin, &c., &c."
The teacher will find the following exercise, called by the French “ Bouts Rimes,” interesting to tho young student, and, like ali other inducements to thought, auxiliary to the subject of composition.
“One of a party writes down the rhyming words for a short poem ; which another undertakes to complete, by filling up the several verses, on a subject either chosen at pleasure, or prescribed, as the case may be. The following stanza, in which the words in italic are the rhyming words pre viously assigned, will be sufficiently explanatory of the practice:
VOCABULARY OF RHYMES.
Directions for finding Rhymes.
1. In looking for a word in the following vocabulary, consider the five vowels, A, E, I, O, U, and begin at the vowel that precedes the last consonant of the word; for example, to find persuade, and the words that rhyme to it, D is the last consonant, A the vowel that precedes it; look for ADE, and you will find made, fade, invade, and all the other words of that rhyme.
"To HOPE. Down, down, vain hope, to me no Can spring return, with blossoms
crowned, Nor Summer ripen Autumn's
store, Which now lies withering on the
ground. Fade, fade, vain Hope ! all else has faded ; Why should I dream and cherish
vain : I know they are not meant to
last And ne'er will trust to thee
again.' Another sort of poetical amusement has the name of Echo Verses. In these the repetition of the last word or syllable of a verse gives an answer to a question, or explains some subject, which that verse contains. The following echo verses allude to the Roundheads in the reign of Charles the First. Now, Echo, on what's religion grounded ?