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At the 7th in Two manners : 1. When it happens to be the last save one of a Word ; as, Nor when the War is over, is it Peace.
Dryd. Mirrors are taught to flatter, but our Springs.
Wall. 2: Or the last of a Word, if the following one be a Monosyllable whose Construction depends on the preceding Word on which the Accent is ; as,
And since he could not save her, with her dy'd. Dryd. From all this it appears, that the Pause is determin’d by the Seat of the Accent ; but if the Accents happen to be equally strong on the 2d, 4th, and 6th Syllable of a Verse, the Sense and Construction of the Words must then guide to the Obfera vation of the Pause. For Example ; In one of the Verses I cited as an Instance of it at the 7th Syllable,
Mirrors are taught to flatter, but our Springs. The Accent is as strong on Taught, as the first Syllable of Flatter ; and if the Pause were observ'd at the 4th Syllable of the Verse, it would have nothing disagreeable in its Sound; as,
Mirrors are taught to flatter, but our Springs
Present th'impartial Images of things. Which tho' it be no Violence to the Ear, yet it is to the Sense, and that ought always carefully to be avoided in reading or in repeating of Verses.
For this Reason it is, that'the Construction or Sense should never end at a Syllable where the Pause ought not to be made; as at the 8th and 2d in the Two following Verses:
Bright Hesper twinkles from afar:---Away
My Kids! - for you have had a Ferit to Day. Staff. Which Verses have nothing disagreeable in their Structure but the Pause, which in the first of them must be observ’d at the 8th Syllable, in the ad at the 2d; and so unequal a Divifion can produce no true Harmony. And for this Reason too, the Pauses at the 3d and 7th Syllables, tho' not wholly to be condemn'd, ought to be but sparingly practis'd.
The foregoing Rules ought indispensibly to be follow'd, in all our Verses of 10 Syllables; and the Observation of them, like that of right Time in Musick, will produce Harmony; the Neglect of them Harshnets and Discord; as appears by the following Verses;
None think Rewards render’d worthy their Worth.
Dav. In which, cho' the true Number of Syllables be observ'd, yet neither of them have so much as the Sound of a Verse: Now
their Disagreeableness proceeds from the undue Seat of the Accent: For Example, The first of them is accented on the sth and 7th Syllables ; but if we change the Words, and remove the Accent to the 4th and 6th, the Verse will become smooth and easie ; as,
None think Rewards are equal to their Wortb. The Harshness of the last of them proceeds from its being accented on the 3d Syllable, which may be mended thus, by transposing only one Word ;
And Lovers both, both thy Disciples were. In like manner the following Verses, i To be masacred, not in Battle pain.
Blac. But forcid, barsh, and uneasie unto all.
Cowl. Against the Insults of the Wind and Tide.
Blac. A second Effay will the Pow'rs appease.
Blac, With Scythians expert in the Dart and Box.
Dryd. are rough, because the foregoing Rules are not observ'd in their Structure: For Example, The first, where the Pause is at the sth Syllable, and the Accent on the 3d, is contrary to the Rule, which says, that the Accent that determines the Pause must be on the 2d, 4th, or 6th Syllable of the Verse ; and to mend that Verse we need only place the Accent on the 4th, and then the Pause at the 5th will have nothing disagreeable; as,
Thus to be murthur'd, not in Battle flain. The second Verse is accented on the 3d Syllable, and the Pause is there too ; which makes it indeed the thing it exprefses, forcd, harsh, and uneasie ; it may be mended thus,
But forc'd and harsh, uneasie unto all. The 3d, 4th, and sth of those Verses have like Faults; for the Pauses are at the sth, and the Accent there too, which is likewise contrary to the foregoing Rules : Now they will be made smooth and flowing, by taking the Accent from the 5th, and removing the Seat of the Pause, as.
Again th’Insults both of the Wind and Tide.
A second Trial will the Pom’rs appease.
With Scythians skillful in the Dart and Bow. From whence we conclude, that in all Verses of 10 Syllables, the most prevailing Accents ought to be on the 2d, 4th, or 6th Syllables ; for if they are on the 3d, sth, or 7th, the Verses will be rough and disagreeable, as has been prov'd by the preceding Instances.
In short, the wrong placing of the Accent is as great a Fault in our Versificarion, as false Quantity was in that of the Antients; and therefore we ought to take equal care to avoid it, and endeavour so to dispose the Words, that they may create a
certain Melody in the Ear, without Labour to the Tongue, or Violence to the Sense.
SECT. II. Of the other forts of Verses that are us’d in our Poetry.
Fter the Verses of 10 Syllables, those of 8 are more freA
quent, and we have many intire Poems compos'd in them.
In the Stru&ure of these Verses, as well as of thofe of 10 Syllables, we must take Care that the most prevailing Accents be neither on the 3d nor sth Syllables of them.
They also require a Pause to be observd in pronouncing them, which is generally at the 4th or sth Syllable; as,
T'I sing of Heroes,--and of Kings,
Cowl. The Verses of 7 Syllables, which are call'd Anacreontick, are most beautiful when the strongest Accent is on the 3d, and the Pause either there or at the 4th ; as,
Fill the Bowl—with rosy Wine,
Cowl: The Verses of 9 and of 11 Syllables are of Two forts; one is those that are accented upon the last fave one, which are only che Verses of double Rhyme that belong to those of 8 and io Syllables, of which Examples have already been given : The other is those that are accented on the last Syllable, which are employ'd only in Compositions for Musick, and in the lowest sort of Burlesque Poetry; the Disagreeableness of their Measure having wholly excluded them from grave and serious Subjects. They who desire to see Examples of them, may find some scatter'd here and there in our Masks and Operas, and in our Burlesque Writers. I will give but Two,
Hilas, O Hilas, why fit we myte ?
Apart let me view then each Heavenly Fair,
The Verses of 12 Syllables are truly heroick both in their Measure and Sound, tho' we have no entire Works composd in them; and they are so far from being a Blemish to the Poems they are in, that on the contrary, when
rightly employ'd, they conduce not a little to the Ornament of them ; particularly in the following Rencounters.
1. When they conclude an Episode in an Heroick Poem : Thus Stafford ends his Translation of that of Camilla from the ļļch Æneid with a Verse of 12 Syllables.
The ling’ring Soul th’unwelcome Doom receives,
And round with lift'ning Ears the flying Plague is hung. Dryd. And here we may observe by the way, that whenever a Triplet is made use of in an Heroick Poem, it is a Fault not to close the Sense at the End of the Tripler, but to continue it into the next Line; as Dryden has done in his Translation of the uth Æneid in these Lines.
With Olives crown'd, the Presents they shall bear,
Purple Robe, a Royal Iv'ry Chair,
And Sums of Gold, &c.
Then they, whose Mor bers, frantick with their fear,
But the Sense is not confin'd to the Couplet, for the Close of it may fall into the Middle of the next Verse, that is the Third, and sometimes farther off : Provided the last Verse of the Couplet exceed not the Number of Ten Syllables ; for then the Sense ought always to conclude with it. Examples of this arę fo frequent, that 'tis needless to give any.
3. When they conclude the Stanzas of Lyrick or Pindarick Odes; Examples of which are often seen in Dryden, and others.
In thefe Verses the Pause ought to be at the 6th Syllable, as may be seen in the foregoing Examples. We fometimes find it, tho' very rarely, at the 7th; as,
That such a cursed Creature-lives so long a Space.
When it is at the 4th, the Verse will be rough and hobbling;
And Midwife Time-tbe ripen'd Plot to Murther brought. Dryd. The Prince pursu'd, -and march'd along with equal Pace. Dryd.
In the last of which it is very apparent, that if the Sense and Construction would allow us to make the Pause at the 6th Syllable,
The Prince pursw'd, and march'd-along with equal Pace. the Verse would be much more flowing and easy,
The Verses of 14 Syllables are less frequent than those of 12 ; they are likewise inserted in Heroick Poems, &c. and are agreeable enough when they conclude a Triplet and Sense, and follow a Verse of 12 ; as,
For thee the Land in fragrant Flow'rs is drest ;
While all thy Province, Nature, I survey,
(Dryd. Of Heav'nand Earth; and every where thy wondrous Poxo'r display. Especially if it be the last of a Couplet only; as,
With Court- Informers Haunts, and Royal Spies,
(Dryd. But this is only in Heroicks; for in Pindaricks and Lyricks, Verses of 12 or 14 Syllables are frequently and gracefully plac'd, not only after those of 12 or 10, but of any other Number of Syllables whatsoever.
The Verses of 4 and 6 Syllables have nothing worth observing, and therefore I shall content my self with having made mention of them. They are,' as I said before, us'd only in Qperas and Masks, and in Lyrick and Pindarick Odes. Take one Example of them.
To rule by Love,
To bed no Blood,
But here below,
SECT. III. Several Rules conducing to the Beauty of our Versification. O
UR Poetry being very much polith'd and refin'd since the Days of Chayçer, Spencer, and the other antient Poets,