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close of the first hemistich, it is by no means inharmonious, yet it is too cumbrous to be carried through an entire piece. It should be used sparingly; and that only in a livelier metre, for the sake of an occasional contrast.

§ 486. Heroic lines, that is, iambic pentameters,—when constructed without rhyme, constitute what is called Blank Verse. This is the most elevated of all measures, and is the

only form in which epic poetry should appear. At the same time, to succeed in it is more difficult than in any other kind of verse. The reason is evident; the effect, having no assistance, as in most cases, from rhyme, is produced entirely by a musical disposition of the feet, frequent inversions, and the constant introduction of those other peculiarities which have been already enumerated as constituting the distinction between the outward form of prose and that of poetry. A correct ear, a delicate taste, and true poetical genius, are essential to success in blank verse.

Milton has made a more effective use of blank verse than any other poet in our literature. It has been employed to a considerable extent in tragedy, to which, as Addison says, "it seems wonderfully adapted"; but even Shakspeare himself has not attained the harmony and effect which characterize the author of "Paradise Lost". Notwithstanding Milton's success, the older critics seem, in general, to have looked on blank verse with disfavor. Dr. Johnson, in his life of the poet just mentioned, pronounces against it in the following terms:-" Poetry may subsist without rhyme; but English poetry will not often please, nor can rhyme ever be safely spared, but where the subject is able to support itself. Of the Italian writers without rhyme whom Milton alleges as precedents, not one is popular; what reason could urge in its defence has been confuted by the ear. * * Like other heroes, Milton is to be admired rather than imitated. He that thinks himself capable of astonishing, may write blank verse; but those that hope only to please, must condescend to rhyme."

Yet, in spite of this verdict from a master-critic, it is evident that blank verse has many advantages. It certainly allows the poet a far

486. What is meant by blank verse? What is its character? What renders it lifficult to succeed in blank verse? What are essential to success in this measure? In whose hands has the most effective use been made of it? To what department of fiterature does Addison declare blank verse adapted? Notwithstanding this, how does Shakspeare himself compare with Milton? How did the older critics regar

freer scope: both from the fact that the sense is not, as in rhymed pentameters, confined to the couplet, and also because it does away with the necessity which rhyme too often imposes on the versifier, of putting in superfluous matter simply for the purpose of filling out the sound. "What rhyme adds to sweetness", says Dryden, "it takes away from sense; and he who loses least by it may be called a gainer.”

For a choice specimen of blank verse, the pupil is referred to p. 224 § 487. Whatever may be the effect of dispensing with rhyme in the case of iambic pentameters, there can be no question as to its inexpediency in other measures. It has occasionally been attempted; but never, perhaps, with success, except in the case of Southey's "Thalaba", for which, despite this drawback, its author's genius has procured an honorable place in our literature.



§ 488. RHYME has been already defined. As we have seen, it enters largely into English verse. The following principles are to be observed respecting it:

I. The more numerous the letters that make the rhyme, the better it is. The French designate as rich rhymes those into which a number of consonants enter. Thus the rhyme of the first couplet given below is fuller, and therefore better, than that of the second:

1. "True wit is nature to advantage dressed;

What oft was thought, but ne'er so well expressed."

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2. "Whoever thinks a faultless piece to see,

Thinks what ne'er was, nor is, nor e'er shall be."

II. No Syllable must rhyme with itself. Hence there is a fault in the following couplet:

blank verse? What does Johnson say about it? With what advantages is blank verse attended? What does Dryden say respecting rhyme?

§ 487. What is the effect of dispensing with rhyme in measures other than iambic pentameter?

§ 488. What rhymes are considered the best? What name is applied to such by the French? Illustrate this by means of the two given couplets. What is the second prin

"We go from Ilium's ruined walls away,
Wherever favoring fortune points the way."

III. Rhyme speaks to the ear, and not to the eye. If, therefore, the concluding sound is the same, no matter what the spelling, the rhyme is perfect. This is the case in the following couplet, though the combinations of letters in the rhyming syllables are quite different:—

"The increasing prospect tires our wandering eyes;
Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise."

Vice versa, though the concluding letters be the same, if the sound is different the rhyme is imperfect; as in the following:

"Encouraged thus, wit's Titans braved the skies;

And the press groaned with licensed blasphemies."

IV. In lines terminating with trochees or amphibrachs, the last two syllables must rhyme; in such as close with dactyls, the last three.

"In the dark and green and gloomy valley,
Satyrs by the brooklet love to dally."

"Take her up tenderly,
Fashioned so slenderly."

§ 489. Rhymes are divided into two classes; perfect, and admissible. In the former, as we have seen, the closing vowel sounds are the same (without reference to spelling), while the consonant sounds that precede them are different; in the latter, the closing vowel sounds, though not the same, closely resemble each other. In either case, if the closing vowel sounds are followed by consonant sounds, the latter must correspond, or the rhyme is inadmissible. Examples follow:

1. Perfect." Be thou the first true merit to befriend;
His praise is lost who stays till all commend."

2. Admissible." Good nature and good sense must ever join:

To err is human; to forgive, divine."

3. Inadmiss." Yet he was kind; or, if severe ir aught,
The love he bore to learning was in fault."

§ 490. With respect to the number of lines that may rhyme together in a stanza, there is no definite rule. Two is

ciple with respect to rhymes? To what does rhyme speak? What is necessary to make a perfect rhyme? What is the character of the rhyme, if the sound is different though the concluding letters be the same? In what lines must the last two syllables rhyme? In what, the last three?

§ 489. Into what two classes are rhymes divided? When is a rhyme said to bo perfect? When, admissible? When is a rhyme inadmissible? Give examples.

490. What is said of the number of lines that may rhyme together? What is the

the most common; though we often have three, and even four in the sonnet and the Spenserian stanza. Other things being equal, the difficulty of constructing a stanza is proportioned to the number of lines made to close with the same sound

Though there is no rule as to the number of lines that may rhyme together, it is a general principle, that, throughout the same poem, those which do rhyme should stand at regular intervals. This the ear expects, and it is disappointed when it finds the regularity disturbed. A capricious disposition of rhymes may surprise the reader, but it rarely pleases him.

§ 491. Ease of utterance requires that every line of ten or more syllables should be so constructed, with regard to its sense, as to admit of at least one cessation of voice, which is known as the Primary Pause. Some lines admit of several; in which case, the inferior or shorter ones are denominated Secondary Pauses. Whether primary or secondary, these pauses must not contravene the sense; and, therefore, it is clear,

I. That they must not divide a word.

II. That they must not separate an adjective and its noun, or an adverb and its verb, when, in either case, the latter immediately follows the former.

§ 492. Heroic lines, or iambic pentameters, are most melodious when the primary pause comes after the fourth or the fifth syllable. Pope, whose accurate ear rarely allowed him to err in matters of euphony, generally brings the pause in question in one of these positions; as in the following lines:

commonest number? How many do we sometimes have? To what is the difficulty of constructing a stanza proportioned? What principle prevails with respect to the regular occurrence of rhymes?

§ 491. What does ease of utterance require? What is a primary pause? What is a secondary pause? With what must these pauses be consistent? What two princi. ples, therefore, are established respecting them?

§ 492. Where does the primary pause occur in the most harmonious heroic lines? What poet generally brings his pauses in one of these positions? Show how they fall in the passage quoted.

"Thee, bold Longinus! || all the Nine inspire,
And bless their critic || with a poet's fire:
An ardent judge, || who, zealous to his trust,
With warmth gives sentence, || yet is always just;
Whose own example || strengthens all his laws,
And is himself || that great sublime he draws."

493. The alexandrine, or iambic hexameter, requires its primary pause, after the third foot.

"The cruel, ravenous, hounds || and bloody hunters near,

This noblest beast of chase, || that vainly doth but fear,

Some bank or quick-set finds; || to which his haunch opposed,
He turns upon his foes, I that soon have him enclosed."

§ 494. Secondary pauses may occur in any part of a line, but contribute most to its melody when they stand at a short distance from the primary. Observe how they fall in the following passages: the secondary pause is denoted by a single vertical line; the primary, by parallels.

"Two principles || in human nature | reign;
Self-love to urge, || and reason to restrain:
Nor this a good, || nor that a bad, | we call,
Each works its end, || to move | or govern | all;
And to their proper operation || still

Ascribe all good, || to their improper, | ill."

"The dew was falling fast, || the stars | began to blink;

I heard a voice; | it said, || 'Drink, | pretty creature, | drink!'
And, looking o'er the hedge, || before me I espied

A snow-white mountain lamb, || with a maiden at its side."


I. Each of the following lines contains its own words; but they are misplaced, so that there is neither rhyme nor rhythm. Restore the order, so as to make the verses anapestic tetramcter acatalectic, rhyming consecutively.


Where, in magnificence, the fathomless waves toss,
The wild albatross soars, high and homeless;
Unshrinking, alone, undaunted, unwearied,
The tempest his throne, his empire the ocean.

$493. Where does the Alexandrine require its primary pause?

§ 494. Where may secondary pauses occur? In what position do they contribute most to the melody of a line?

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