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generally corresponding with the common accent, but not always.
1. In iambic measure, it falls on the last syllable of each foot.
How lōved, how väl | ŭed ōnce | ăvails | thče nōt;
A heap of dust | alone | remains | of thee;
'Tis all thou art, | and all the proud | shall be.
2. In trochaic measure, the accent falls on the first syllable of each foot.
May each mōrn that | in suc | cession,
Leave a strong and | deep im | pression
3. In anapestic measure, the accent falls on the last syllable of each foot.
Máy Ĭ gōv | ĕrn mỹ pās | sions with ab | sõlŭte swãy,
4. In dactylic measure, the accent falls on the first syllable of each foot. The first line in the following example ends with a trochee, and the second, with an additional long syllable.
Brightest and | bēst of thě | sōns of thě | mōrning,
RULE. The metrical accent should be observed when it will not impair the sense, or so much derange
QUESTIONS. Where does the accent fall in iambic measure? Where, in trochaie measure? Where does it fall in anapestic measure? Where does it fall in dactylie What is the rule for metrical accent?
the customary accent as to be harsh and unpleasant to the ear.
It would too much impair the sense, as well as do violence to every ear of any refinement, to read the following example strictly in accordance with the metrical accent, as it is marked.
False eloquence, like the | prismāt | Ic glass,
NOTE. In the following examples, and in others of a similar character, in which there is an unpleasant harshness produced by the conflict of the common and the metrical accents, a compromise may be made, and both syllables may be accented nearly alike.
1. Oŭr sū | prěmé fōe | in time | măy much | rělēnt.
METRICAL CHANGES are used to signify those variations that are sometimes made in words by poetic license, to accommodate them to the measure which the verse requires.
These changes are frequently indicated by an apostrophe, which denotes that the word is abbreviated; but at the present time, custom seems inclined, in most instances, to omit this notation, and leave the reader to determine when such changes are necessary.
QUESTIONS. What may be done when the metrical conflicts with the common accent? What are metrical changes? How are they frequently indicated?
A syllable may sometimes be added to the end of a word in pronouncing it, which would not commonly be sounded.
RULE. When abbreviations are made in words, or additions are made to them by poetic license, they must generally be so far regarded in reading, as not to increase or diminish the number of syllables beyond what the measure requires.
NOTE. Whenever a line in verse contains a redundant letter or syllable, or more than the measure requires, it should either be entirely suppressed, or so slightly and rapidly uttered as to coalesce with the one following. Great care is necessary in reading lines of this description, in order to preserve the harmony.
In the following examples, the feet upon which metrical changes are made, are printed in italics.
1. On ev | ěry side with shad | owỹ squad | rons deep, And hosts infu | rìăte shāke | the shud | děring grõund. |
2. 'Tis mine to teach | th' inac | tive hand | to reap, Kind nature's boun | ties o'er | the globe | diffused.
3. Bend 'gainst | the steep | y hill | thy breast, Who durst | defy | th' Omnipotent | to arms.
His adamantine coat gird well, and each
Fit well his helm, | gripe fast | his orb | ed* shield.
2. And now beneath them lay the wished-for spot,
The sacred bower | of that | renown | ed bard.
QUESTIONS. What license do poets sometimes take with words? What is the rule for reading such lines as contain abbreviations or additions? How should redundant letters or syllables be treated?
This is not properly the etymological figure of paragoge, but it has the same effect, when ed is pronounced as a distinct syllable.
In the first example, the last two syllables in the words every, shadowy, infuriate, and shuddering, are to be so pronounced as to coalesce in the sound of one syllable. In the second and third examples, the words th' inactive and th' Omnipotent, are pronounced [thin-active] and [thom-nipotent,] in order to preserve the measure and harmony. In the example under “additions,” ed, in the words orbed and renowned, must be pronounced as a distinct syllable.
THE general direction for reading poetry is, to give it that measured, harmonious flow of sound, which distinguishes it from prose, without falling into a chanting, or sing-song pronunciation, which renders it ridiculous.
The rules already given for reading prose, are equally applicable to poetry. The metrical structure of poetry, however, requires a few additional ones, which it is proper here to introduce.
RULE 1. Poetry should be read with a fuller swell of the open vowels than prose, and in a more melodious and flowing manner.
O sacred Truth! | thy tri | umph ceased | awhile,
And Hope, thy sister, ceased with thee to smile,
When leagued oppression poured to northern wars
Her whiskered pandoors and her fierce hussars, †
QUESTION. What is rule first for reading poetry?
• Pan'doors, a kind of light-infantry.
Hus-sars', (huz-zars',) mounted soldiers in the German army; cavalry.
Waved her dread standard to the breeze of morn,
RULE 2. Poetry should be read in such a manner as best to convey the meaning of the author, and all sing-song should be carefully avoided.
The italicized syllables mark the difference between the incorrect and the correct readings.
Beware of too sublime a sense
Of your own worth and consequence.
Beware of too sublime a sense
RULE 3. In reading poetry, care should also be taken not to emphasize particles and words that rhyme, unless the sense requires it.
QUESTIONS. What is rule second for reading poetry? What fault is presented In the incorrect reading of the example? What is rule third?