網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

A Stanza, or Staff of Verses, is an entire A Starza of Strain, or compleat Period in Verse: As, a Stanza Verses, sbat. of three Lines.

Nothing, thou elder Brother ev'n to Shade!
Thou had'st a Being ere the World was made,
And (well-fix’d) art alone of ending not

[afraid.
A Stanza of four Verses.
She ne'er faw Courts, but Courts could have

[undone With untaught Looks, and an unpractis'd

(Heart, Her Nets the most prepar'd could never shun, For Nature spread them in the Scorn of Art.

The Sense should always be finish'd in the Its Number of Stanza ; a Stanza in English Poetry cannot con- Verjes. fift of less than three, and has seldom more than twelve Verses, except in Pindarick Odes, where the Stanzas vary very much.

An Ode or Song is a certain Number of Stan-. An Ode or zas more or less, and is proper to the Lyric Song, what. Poetry, or that which was made and set to the Lyre or Harp.

A Poem is a compleat and finish'd Piece of A Poem defin'd Poetry, or any Composition in Verse.

Blank Poetry or Verse is that which has no Blank Verse Rhyme, but only Meire, Harmony of Syllables, or Poetry. and a delightful Cadence of the Accents. As thus in Milton.

I saw the rising Birth
Of Nature from the unapparent Decp.
I saw when at his Word this formless Mass,
The World's material Mould, came to an

(Heap;
Confusion heard his Voice, and wild Uproar
Scood ruld, stood vaft Infinity confin'd;
Till at his second Bidding, Darkness filed,
Light shone, and Order from Disorder sprung.

Poetical

Long and

Of Poetical Poetical Numbers, and Feet and Place, may
Numbers, be understood as follows: In Poetry (especially
Feet andPlace.

in the Latin, Greek, &c.) Syllables are distin-
guished, according to Quantity, into Long and

Short: The long Syllable hath this Mark –, the phort Syllables. sort one this

Jhort one this, and a certain Number of these

long and short Syllables make a Foot, or the PoetiPoetic Foot or cal Feet of a Verse. The Place or Region of a Feet.

Foot in a Verse is its Situation in regard of the

Beginning ; as the Second, Fourth, Sixth, are Poetic Places. cali'd even Places; the First, Third, Fifth, are

calld odd or unequal Places. Poetic Feet Of Feet some be of two Syllables, some of three, and their

as here follow, Kinds,

A Spondee, two Long,
A Foot of two Pyrrhic, two Short,
Syllables is Trochee, one Long and Short,

Wátěr fourfold. lambic, one Short and Long,

Delight
A Moloss, three Long,
A Foot of three

Tribrach, three Short,

Dactyl, one Long and two Short, Syllables.

u Počtry Anapejt, two Short andore Long, vu. Dominier.

We have no English single Words which have
the Quantity of the Spondee, Pyrrhic, Moloss, and
Tribrach ; and accordingly I have left their Places
vacant, And indeed in English Poetry, there is
very small Variety of Feet, the Iambic being as it
were sole Regent of our Verse; according to
Mr. Brightland.

If Pulse of Verse a Nation's Temper shows,
In keen Iambics English Metre flows.

But as fome Variety is necessary to please, our
Poets, maugre the Genius of their Tongue, do
very gracefully admit sometimes a Trochee, some-
times a Dactyl, &c. into their Compositions. As
the fame Author proceeds:

Two

[ocr errors]

Two Syllables our English Feet compose,
But Quantities distinguish them from Prose:
By long and short in various Scations plac'd
Our English Verse harmoniously is grac'd.
With foort and long Heroic Feet we raise,
But these to vary is the Poet's Praise ;
For the same Sounds perpetually difguft:
Dryden to this Variety was just.

If a Verse consists of fix Places or Feet, 'tis The Kinds of call'd an Hexameter Verse'; of this Sort were all Verses the Compositions of Latin and Greek Heroic Poetry, as the Æneid and Iliad. But if the Verse has but five Feet, 'tis call'd Pentameter. If a Verse abounds mostly with Tambics, 'tis callid lambic Verse; and thus it is named in respect of the other Feet.

Of the several Kinds of Feet above set down, Of the differ. the Spondee and the DaEtyl are the most consider- ent Natures able, as being the Measures used in the Hercic and Qualities

of the several Verse by Homer, Virgil, &c. These two Feet are kinds of Feet. of equal Time (for two short Syllables are equal to one long one) but of different Motion. She Spondee has an even, strong and steady Pace, which may be compar'd to a Trott. But the Motion of the Dactyl is brisk, and resembles the nimbler Strokes of, a Gallop. An inverted Dactyl is an Anapest, a very sprightly Trott, and a Motion proper to excite and enrage. The lambic is also of a light and sprightly Nature ; the Trochee is of a contrary one, fit to express weak and languid Motions; as all those Measures which move from long to Fort Syllables. The Pyrrbic and Tribracb are very rapid, as the Moloss is frow and beavy. The Verse is generally lo order'd by the skilful Poet, that it in fonie measure expresses the very Nature and Modes of the Subject, by the Number and Sound of the Feet

S

and

and Syllables. This Mr. Pope gives an elegant Instance of, when, to shew how beavy and dull the French Monosyllable Poetry is, he faith,

And ten low Words oft creep in one dull Line. Which Line is an Instance of what he reproves; for there are indeed ten Monosyllable Words, which seem to creep heavily through the Line, and make it dull and flat.

There are various kinds of Poetry constantly in Use; the Subječt, peculiar Characters, and a Poetical Description of the most considerable Sorts, I shall give the Reader from Mr. Brightland, Boileau, &c. And first

of the kinds of Poetry.

OF BUCOLICS or PASTORAL.

Of Bucolics or This sort of Poetry is callid Pastoral, because
Paftoral ; and it is an Imitation of a Shepherd's Life, or that of
Georgics.

Rural Nymphs and Swains. It is also callid
Bucclics from the Cow-berds, &c. which were the
Subject of their Employment : As Georgics are
Poems so call'd from Husbandry and Agriculture,
the Subjects about which they are employ’d.

The Pastoral that sings of happy Swains,
And harmless Nymphs that haunt the Woods

(and Plains,
Should through the whole discover ev'ry where
Their true Simplicity and pious Air ;
And in the Characters of Maids and Youth,
Unpractis'd Plainness, Innocence and Truth.

As a fair Nymph, when rising from her Bed,
With sparkling Diamonds dresses not her Head;
But, without Gold, or Pearl, or costly Scents,
Gathers from neighb'ring Fields her Orna-

(ments :

Such,

Such, lovely in its Dress, but plain withal,
Ought to appear a perfect Pastoral.

Its Style must still be natural and clear,
And Elegance in every Part appear;
Its bumble Method nothing has of Fierce,
But hates the Rattling of a lofty Verse.
There native Beauty pleases, and excites,
And never with barsh Sounds the Ear affrights.

Oppos'd to this another, low in Style,
Makes Shepherds speak a Language base and

[vile : His Writings flat and heavy, without Sound, Killing the Earth and creeping on the Ground.

Each Pastoral a little plot must own,
Which as it must be simple, must be one :
With small Digressions yet it will dispense,
Nor needs it always Allegoric Sense:

The Pastoral admits of Vows and Praise,
Of Promises, Complaints, of Mirth and Joys,
Congratulations, Singing, Riddles, Jests,
Of Parables, Sentences, and the rest.

In Pastorals to know what Rules are right,
For Guides take Virgil, and read Theocrite ;
Be their just Writings, by the Gods inspir'd,
Your constant Pattern, practis'd, and admir’d.
By them alone you'll easily comprehend
How Poets, without Shame, may condescend
To sing of Gardens, Fields, of Flowers and

[Fruit,
To stir up Shepherds, and to tune the Flute : -
This of their Writings is the Grace and Flight,
Their Risings lofty, yet not cut of Sight.

OF E L E G r.

AN Elegy is a mournful Poem, a funeral Song Of Elegs, and or Ditty ; first invented to bewail the Death of its Properties.

S 2

a Friend,

« 上一頁繼續 »