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And I loved her the more I when I heārd
Sūch tēn'děrněss fāll' from hěr tongue. In these two stanzas, all are Anapæsts, except the first foot in the third line, which is an Iambus, and the first in the last, which is a Spondee.
T.-Such changes in Anapæstic verse are not uncommon; nor is it uncommon in Iambic and Trochaic, to use one foot for the other ; nor to mingle, as you have shown, the Pyrrhic and the Spondee: they serve to make a pleasing variety, and so to enliven the verse. Do you recollect any other distinction in the structure of Epic verse, and that of reading it ?
G.-Yes, Sir, I remember you told us that a good poet always gave to his lines a pleasing variety by the skilful distribution of long and short syllables ; and varying the place of the cæsural pause, so as to make it different on almost every succeeding line. The Cæsura is a Latin word derived from cædo to cut; and it cuts the line into two parts: this pause in good poetry, is sufficiently indicated by the sense; but if not, no attempt should be made to embellish the reading with that kind of melody.
T.—Very well, Sir, I am gratified to see my remarks have found so good a lodgment. Can you repeat the lines I then used to illustrate what you have just said ?
G.–They were the beginning of Pope's Essay on Man: I wrote them down, and I have applied the marks of quantity, I think, just as you exhibited them, and some of the principal accents also. 1 Awāke, 'my Saint ' Jõhn, lēave 'āll mēan'ěr things 2 Tỏ lòw" imbĩ'tion, ãnd ' thẻ pride • bf kings.
3 Lět ūs' (sĩnce life ' căn līt'tlé mõre' săpply, 4 Thăn jūst 'to look ' ăbout 'ŭs, and to die) 5 Expā'tiāte frēe ' o'ěr all! this scēne ! of mān; 6 A migh'ty māze !! būt nõt 'wịthout 'ă plān; 7 A wild, where wēeds 'ånd flowers' promiscuous
shoot, 8 Or gār'děn, tēm'pting with ' forbid'děn frūit. 9 Togēth'ěr lēt !ūs bēat' this ām'plě fiēld, 10 Try what ' thẻ ốp'en, whit ' thế cõviễrt yield ; 11 Thể lã'tẽnt trặcts, ' thẻ gid'dy heights 'ăxplöre 12 Of allwho blīnd'ly crēep, ' or sīght'ly sbar. 13 Eye Na'tŭre's walks, 'shoot Föl'ly as ' it flies, 14 And catch the mān'něrs līv'ing, as they rise: 15 Laugh whẹre wẽ müst,' bè cũndid whẹre 'wẽ căn; 16 Bút vĩn'dicate the wãys 'bf God | tò mãn.
T.–Very well again : you are right, as far as I can see, in every particular. Here is perfection in forming poetic lines; both as it regards the mingling of long and short syllables, and varying the place of the cæsura ; 80 that in reading, the sense and the melody are both preserved. We observe the same varying change of the cæsural pause in Latin and Greek Hexameters : and none can read them well unless they give the cæsura a constant and marked attention. But why do you put an accent with long quantity on St. or Saint in the first line, rather than John—the common way of reading it ?
G.-Because the first way preserves the measure and the sense; and the other destroys them both. If we put the accent on John, we make it mean the St. John of the Gospel ; but it is the family name of his friend to whom the poet addressed his poem : and it was so pronounced at that day. I think you told us you could recollect when the name in this country was generally called Sension.
T.-Heroic verse, it has been said, is composed of five lambs; or a continued succession of the unaccented and accented syllable : are there any exceptions to be found in the lines read by Master G. ?
H.-Yes, Sir, the first foot on the tenth, the first and the third foot in the thirteenth, and the first in the fifteenth line, have, on each syllable, a strong accent : and the fourth foot in the first line, and the second in the fifth are nearly similar.
T.-Are any of the words contracted to form the regular foot ?
H.-Yes; expatiate, in the fifth, and flowers and promiscuous, in the seventh line.
T.-Point out in each line where the poet has indicated the cæsural pause.
1.-In the first line, after the fifth syllable; in the 2d—the 5th; the 3d—the 2d; the 4th--the 7th; the 5th-the 4th ; the 6th
the 4th ; the 7th-the 2d ; the 8th—the 3d ; the 9th-the 6th; the 10th-the 5th ; the 11th-the 4th ; the 12th-the 6th ; the 13th-the 4th; the 14th-the 7th ; and the 15th and 16th, the 4th.
T.-Every one of the changes noticed in these sixteen lines, adds something to heighten the pleasing effect of the whole. And all can see, that the reading which gives out the sense the best, gives the fullest gratification to the ear : and that mode which resolves the whole into “divisions of sense,” as the book has taught us, serves best to secure all which sense and melody demand.
1. THE ORDER OF NATURE.—Pope.
All' are but párts i of one stupendous whóle, Whose body ' nature is, and God 'the soul ; That, changed through áll, and yet in all the sáme, Great ' in the earth, as in the ethereal' fràme, I Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze, Glóws' in the stars, and blossoms ' in the trees, Lives ' through all life, extends through all extént, Spreads ' undivided, óperates i unspent ; Breathes ' in our soul, infórms our mortal párt, As fúll, as pérfect, in a háir / as heart; As füll, as pérfect, in vile man that mourns, As the rapt sèraph | that adóres ! and burns. To Him, no hígh, no ' lów, no gréat, no small; He fills, He boúnds, connects, and equals i àll.
Cease, thén, nor Order ! Imperfection 'náme,Our proper bliss depends on what we blàme. Know' thy own 'point : This kind, this dúe' degree' Of blindness, weakness, Heaven' bestows ' òn thee. Submit ;-in thís, or any other sphére, Secure to be as blést | as thou canst beár, Safe ' in the hand of one Disposing Power, Or in the natal, or the mòrtal ' hòur. All Nature | is but Art, unknown to thee ; All Chánce, Direction, which thou canst not sée ;
All Discord, Harmony | not understood ;
2. The Daisy.—John Mason Good. B. 1764, d. 1828.
Not' worlds on worlds | in phalanx deep,
3. The Dying CHRISTIAN TO HIS SOUL –Pope. Vital spark of heavenly fláme, Quit, 0, quit this mortal frame ! Trémbling, hóping, língering, flying, I 0, the pain, the bliss of dying ! Cease, fond Nature, cease' thy strife, I And let me lánguísh' into life!