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« Common Metre” Stanza : Alternate Lines of Eight and Sir
Tõ Thēe i my thoughts I would soar: 1
Thăt mēr | cý i adore.”
" Short Metre” Stanza: Two Lines of Six, one of Eight, and
one of Six Syllables. " To ēv | ěr frā | grănt mēads, I
Whére jich | ăbūn | dănce grows, |
And guards | mỹ sweet | repose.”
“ Iambic” verse occurs, likewise, in the form of the “elegiac' stanza, so called from the circumstance of its having been employed for the purposes of elegy.
Elegiac Stanza: Lines of Ten Syllables, rhyming alternately. Full mãn |ý 8 gõm, | öf pür | est lay | serene, |
Thẻ cỡrk | ủnfath | ốned caves | 5 6 | ceăn bếar. | Full mān ğ å flower | is börn | 1ỏ blūsh | unsēen, I
And waste | its swềet | ness ăn | thẻ des | Ărt air.” |
Another form of the “ iambic” verse, of frequent occurrence in reading, is that of the “ Spenserian stanza, so called from the poet Spenser, who was the first to use it, in a continuous poem of considerable length.
Spenserian " Stanza : Eight Lines of Ten Syllables and one of
Twelve : the Rhymes occurring as follows : on the 1st and 3d, on the 2d, 4th, 5th, and 7th, — and on the 6th, 8th, and 9th. " Whěrē'er | wě trēad, / 't is hāunt | ēd ho | lý ground : 1
Nō ēarth 1 of thine | is löst | în vūl går mould! |
And all I thě Mūs l'ěs 1āles I seem trū | lý vold, I
Each hill i ånd dāle, l each dēep 1 enặng glēn | ănd wõld, I Defies | thẻ põwer | which crushed | thỳ tẽm | ples gone: Age shakes | Athể | nắ's tower, I bút stares | giay Mar| ánhăn.”
There are many other forms of " iambic verse ; but they occur less frequently; and most of them can be easily analyzed after scanning the preceding specimens.*
* For farther examples, and a more extended statement, regarding the "reading of poetry," see " American Elocutionist.”
II. -" Trochaic” Metre. This species of verse derives its name from its predominating foot, the “ trochee,” which consists, as mentioned before, of a long syllable followed by a short, as in the word fūtăl.
" Trochaic ” verse is exemplified in the following lines from Dryden's Ode for Saint Cecilia's Day.
“Söftlý / sweet, în | Lýdiăn | mēasŭ res,
Soon hě | soothed his soul tỏ | pleasúres. - 1
Hönör, I bút ăn | emptỷ | bubble. This species of verse is seldom used in long or continuous poems, but principally in occasional passages for variety of effect. It is found usually in octosyllabic lines of rhyming "couplets," as above.
III. – Anapastic Metre.
This form of verse takes its name from its prevalent foot, the anapæst,” consisting of two short syllables followed by one long, as in the word intěrvēne.
“ Anapæstic” verse is found usually in the two following forms :
1. Stanza of Four or Eight Lines of Three " anapæsts,” or equivalent
Compared | with thể spēed I of its fight, I
And thể swift | wữngěd ār- | rõws of light."
Stanza of Four Lines of Four" anapests,” or equivalent feet. “ Thě ēven- * | ing wăs glo- | rious ; ănd light | through thě
trēes 1 Played the sẵn | shine ănd rain | dröps, the birds | Ănd the
breeze: 1 Thě lānd- / scăpe, oŭtstrētch- | ing în love- | linėss, lay | on the lap | 6 thẻ yêar, | in the bẽau- | tỷ of Mây.” |
IV. – Rhythmical and Prosodial Accent combined. The preceding examples of verse have all, it will here be per* An“iambus " sometimes occurs as the first foot in an "anapæstic"
ceived, been marked with the characters used in prosody. But, for the purposes of elocution, it is important to the control of the voice, in the reading of verse, that the student should accustom himself to the practice of marking the accentuation of verse to the
a process in which the actual “rhythm” of the voice is decided, as in prose, by the position of accent. The mere prosodial
quantities” must, in elocution, be regarded as but subordinate and tributary means of effect to "rhythmical accent," and as contributing to secure its perfect ascendency:
Metre, then, in reading, is to be considered as but precision of “ rhythm” by which utterance is brought more perceptibly under the control of “time,” than in prose. Verse, accordingly, is scored for accent, exactly as prose is. Here, also, the student may be reminded that, in practising on metre, whilst, for the sake of distinct impression, he indulges its effect to the full extent, at first, he must accustom himself to reduce it gradually within those limits which shall render it chaste and delicate. The peculiar effects of " measure in music, do not exceed those of metre, in good reading and recitation; and they are indispensable in the reading of all forms of verse, but, particularly, in lyric strains. In these, - as even a slight attention will suffice to prove, the poet often changes the mood of his metre along with that of his theme. The Ode on the Passions, and all similar pieces, require numerous changes of " rhythm” and prosodial effect, as the descriptive or expressive strain shifts from passion to passion, and from measure to measure. — It is by no means desirable, however, that the metre should be marked in that overdone style of chanting excess, which offends the ear, by obtruding the syllabic structure of the verse, and forcing upon our notice the machinery of prosodial effect.
The subjoined example may serve to suggest, to the teacher and the student, the mode of marking on the black board, or with pencil, similar exercises selected from the pages of this volume, or any other, at choice.
It was deemed preferable to use, for our present purpose, the same examples which have been analyzed for the study of the prosodial structure of verse, so as to show, as impressively as possible, the difference between the literal accent of the mere mechanism of verse as such, and the free, varied, and noble “ rhythm," which it acquires when, in reading and recitation, the object in view is to render verse tributary to meaning and sentiment, or to vivid emotion. The servile style of reading verse which follows its sound rather than its sense, is no worse fault than a literal practising of prosody, a fair and honest but most gratuitous scanning of the lines, rather than the reading of them. The strict metrical marking, however, and due practice on it, may be very useful to students whose habit, in reading, is to turn verse inta prose, through want of ear for metre.
7" Ad | vanced in | view, 1 * they | stand, 19*a horrid | front ati Of | dread full length, 1 * and daz zling | arms, 1 5* in guise ! Of / warriors | old it with | ordered i spear and shield.”
“ Heroic Couplet.” G" Like I leaves on trees the life of man 1 G is I found ; 1991 | Now a green 1 Gin | youth, I | now | withering 1 on the
ground ; 1991 Another | race the following / spring 1 sup | plies: 1991 They | fall suc | cessive, and successive | rise.” |
Octosyllabic “ Couplet." “ The way was long, 190 the / wind was |
cold ; 901 The | minstrel was in | firm and old :"191991
" Quatrain” Stanza: Octosyllabic Couplets.” go The spacious | firmament on high, 1991
With | all the blue e / thereal | sky, 1991
Quatrain Stanza : Octosyllabic Lines, rhyming alternately. q"The heavens declare thy glory, | Lord,
In | every | star | thy | wisdom | shines ; | But when our | eyes be | hold thy | word, 99
We read thy name in | fairer | lines.” 197199 * "Demi-cæsural” pause. † “ Final” pause. #"Çæsural" pause. The pauses marked with the asterisk, &c. are founded primarily and necessarily on the sense ; but the prosodial pauses, indispensable to the "rhythm” of every well-constructed verse, happen in the present instance, to coincide with the pauses of the meaning. Every line of verse has a “ final pause,” which detaches it from the following line, and a "cæsural ” pause which divides it into two parts, equal or unequal, or two" demi-cæsura)" pauses, which divide it into three parts. The demi-cæsural” pauses are sometimes used in addition to the "cæsural,” to subdivide the two parts which it separates.
" Common Metre” Stanza.
1" Thy I love the power of thought be stowed ; 1 gol
To | Thee my thoughts would | soar: 99
That | mercy | I adore."1991901
" Short Metre” Stanza.
G" To | ever fragrant | meads, 1981
9 Where | rich a | bundance | grows, 1991 His gracious hand indulgent | leads, 1991
And | guards my | sweet re | pose.” 199
Elegiac Stanza. G" Full | many a | gem, of | purest | ray se I rene, 1 The dark un | fathomed | caves of ocean
bear: 1991991 Full | many a | flower is born to | blush un | seen, 1 11 And / waste | its | sweetness on the desert |
" Stanza. " Wher | e'er we | tread, | 'tis | haunted, 19 | holy 1
ground : 1891901 | No | earth 1 of thine is lost in | vulgar |
mould! | 1 But one | vast | realm of wonder 19 9 | spreads al
round ; 1 1 And I all the | Muse's | tales | iseem | truly | told, 1991 Till the sense | aches with | gazing to be | hold | a The | scenes | our | earliest | dreams have | dwelt
upon. 1991991 | Each | hill and dale, 99 each | deepening | glen
and | wold, 1 De fies the power which | crushed thy | temples |
gone : 1991 | Age | shakes A | thena’s | tower, 1 but | spares |