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OF THE PAUSE OR CÆSURA OF VERSE. Almost every verse admits of a pause in or near the iniddle of the line, which is called the Cæsura ; this must be carefully observed in reading verse, or much of the distinctness, and almost all the harmony, will be lost.
Though the most harmonious place for the capital pause is after the fourth syllable, it inay, for the sake of expressing the sepse strongly and suitably, and even sometimes for the sake of variety, be placed at several other intervals.
The end of a line in verse naturally inclines us to pause; and the words that refuse a pause so seldom occur at the end of a verse, that we often pause between words in verse where we should not in prose, but where a pause would by no means interfere with the sense : this, perhaps, may be the reason why a pause at the end of a line in poetry is sup. posed to be in compliment to the verse, when the very same pause in prose is allowable, and, perhaps, eligible, but neglected as unnecessary; however this be, certain it is, that if we pronounce many lines in Milton, so as to make the equality of impressions on the ear distinctly perceptible at the end of every line; if by making this pause, we make the pauses that mark the sense less perceptible, we exchange a solid advantage for a childish rhythm, and, by endeavouring to preserve the name of verse, lose all its meaning and energy
OF THE CADENCE OF VERSE. In order to form a cadence in a period in rhyming verse, we must adopt the falling indec tien with considerable force in the cæsura of the last line but one.
HOW TO PRONOUNCE A SIMILE IN POETRY. A simile in poetry ought always to be read in a lower tone of voice than that part of the passage which precedes it.
This rule is one of the greatest embellishments of poetic produnciation, and is to be observed no less in blank verse than in rhyme.
GENERAL RULES. Where there is no pause in the sense at the end of a verse, the last word must have exactly the same inflection it would have in
prose. Sublime, grand, and magnificent description in poetry, requires a lower tone of voice, end a sameness nearly approaching to a monotone.
When the first line of a couplet does pot form perfect sense, it is necessary to suspend the voice at the end of the line with the rising slide.
This rule holds good even where the first line forms perfect sense by itself, and is follow. ed by another, forming perfect sense likewise, provided the first line does not end with an emphatic word, which requires the falling slide.
But if the first line ends with an emphatical word, requiring the falling slide, this slide must be given to it, but in a higher tone of voice than the same slide in the last line of the couplet.
When the first line of a couplet does not form sense, and the second line, either from its pot forming sense, or from its being a question, requires the rising slide ; in this case, the first line must end with such a pause as the sense requires, but without any alteration in the tone of the voice.
In the same manner, if a question requires the second line of the couplet to adopt the rising slide, the first ought to have a pause at the end, but the voice, without any alteration, ought to carry on the same tone to the second line, and to continue this tone almost to the end.
The same principles of harmony and variety induce us to read a triplet with a sameness of voice, or a monotone, on the end of the first line, the rising slide on the end of the second, and the falling on the last.
This rule, however, from the various sense of the triplet, is liable to many exceptions ; but, with very few exceptions, it may be laid down as a rule, that a quatrain, or stanza of four lines of alternate verse, may be read with the monotone ending the first line, the rising slide ending the second and third, and the falling the last.
The plaintive tone, so essential to the delivery of elegiac composition, greatly diminishes the slides, and reduces them almost to monotones; nay, a perfect monotone, without any infection at all, is sometimes very judiciously introduced in reading verse.
ON SCANNING. A certain number of syllables connected form a foot. They are called feet, because it is by their aid that the voice, as it were, steps along through the verse, in a measured pace.
All feet used in poetry consist either of two, or of three syllables, and are reducible to eight kinds; four of two syllables, and four of three, as follows: Dissyllable.
Trisyllable. A Trochee
A Dacty! An lambus
An Amphibrach A Spondee
An Anapæst A Phyrrhic
A Tribrach The hyphen - marks a long, and the breve a short syllable.
Such as wish to inform themselves more particularly concerning versification, may code sult the Author's Natural Grammar and Juvenile Expositor where they will find
the sul iect treated of at very considerable length.
PIECES IN POETRY
REAS'NING at ev'ry step he treads,
Man yet mistakes his way, While meaner things, whom instinct leads,
Are rarely known to stray. One silent eve I wander'd late,
And heard the voice of love;
And sooth'd the list’ning dove :
No time shall disengage;
Shall cheer our latest age :
And constancy sincere,
And mine can read them there :
Those ills that wait on all below
Shall ne'er be felt by me,
As being shar'd with thee.
Or kites are hov'ring near,
And know no other fear.
And press thy wedded side,
Death never shall divide.
(Forgive a transient thought,) Thou couldst become unkind at last,
And scorn thy present lot,
Or kites with cruel beak;
This widow'd heart would break.'
Thus sang the sweet sequester'd bird,
Soft as the passing wind; And I recorded what I heard,
A lesson for mankind.
Heavenly Wisdom. How happy is the man who hears
Instruction's warning voice ;
His early, only choice.
Than east or west unfold;
Than is the gain of gold.
A length of happy years;
And honour bright appears.
In pleasure's path to tread : A crown of glory she bestows
Upon the hoary head. According as her labours rise,
So her rewards increase : Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
And all lier paths are peace.
A Morning in Spring. Lo! the bright, the rosy morning,
Calls me forth to take the air; Cheerful spring, with smiles returning
Ushers in the new-born year. Nature now in all her beauty,
With her gently-moving tongue, Prompts me to the pleasing duty,
Of a grateful morning song. See the early blossoms springing;
See the jocund lambkins play! Hear the lark and linnet singing,
Welcome to the new-born day. Vernal music, softly sounding,
Echoes through the verdant grove Nature now with life abounding,
Swells with harinony and love. Now the kind refreshing showers,
Water all the plaing around :
Springing grass, and painted flowers,
In the smiling meads abound.
Leafy robes adorn the trees :
Sweetly swell the gentle breeze.
Praise be thine from ev'ry tongue :
Join the universa song!
For the richest gifts bestow'd;
Sound Jehovah's praise aloud !
An Evening Hymn.
I'll sing my Maker's praise ;
His providence and grace.
My sins, how great their sum!
And strength for days to come.
Let angels guard my head,
Their watch around my bed.
Since God will not remove;
Rejoicing in his love.
The Winter's Day.
And clouds of snow descend;
No deepèn'd colours blend ;
Bleak from the north and east,
Prepar'd to laugh and feast;
All dubious of his way,
And dreads the parting day:
When poverty in vile attire,
Shrinks from the biting blast,
And fears it will not last;
Still closer to her breast;
Scarce feels that it is prest ;-
Its blessings to the poor ;
All suppliant at your door.
Acknowledgonent of Divine Favours.
How many poor I see !
For all his gifts to me!
Yet God has given me more ;
Or beg from door to door.
Half naked, I behold!
And cover'd from the cold !
Where they may lay their head,
And rest upon my bed.
And curse, and lie, and steal,
And do thy holy will.
To me above the rest?
And try to serve thee best.
Gratitude to the Supreme Being, How cheerful along the gay mead,
The daisy and cowslip appear! The flocks, as they carelessly feed
Rojoice in the spring of the year. The myrtles that shade the gay bowers,
The herbage that springs from the sod,