« הקודםהמשך »
Well hast thou stood, my country !-the brave fight
In thy just cause and in thy native might,
Whether the banded prowess, strength, and skill
Beside thee Europe's noblest drew the blade, 525 Each emulous in arms the Ocean Queen to aid.
Well art thou now repaid-though slowly rose,
Rivall’d the heroes of the wat’ry way,
Now, Island Empress, wave thy crest on high,
The chosen emblem of thy sainted Knight,
Yet ’mid the confidence of just renown,
531. Maida.-A town in Southern Italy, where the French were defeated by the English, 1806.
'Tis not alone the heart with valour fired,
'Tis constancy in the good cause alone,
ON ENGLISH VERSIFICATION.
1. POETRY differs from Prose in the object it has in view, and in the form which it employs.
It addresses itself primarily to the imagination and feelings, and tends to elevate and to please. Prose speaks to our reason ; its object is to convince and to instruct.
2. In form, Poetry is bound by METRE, i.e., certain fixed rules with regard to the selection of words and their arrangement in VERSES. Prose is entirely free from all such restrictions, and subject only to the general laws of euphony.
3. The principal element of Verse is RAYTHM. A second but not indispensable element is RHYME.
4. Rhythm is the undulation of sound produced by the alternation of LONG and SHORT SYLLABLES, or rather of accented and unaccented syllables.
5. In versification those syllables are considered long, which have an AcCENT or stress on them, and those are treated as short, which are unaccented.
6. Every word in the language has an accent, viz., the WORD)-ACCENT, by which it is marked as a unit in the spoken language. In writing, the interval left between the words serves the same purpose.
7. Every word of two syllables bas one accented and one unaccented syllable. In English, the majority of such words have the word-accent on the first syllable (the Penultimate), as righteous, pleasure, dúty, táking, ánnals, eástern, légend.
8. There is, however, a great number of words of two syllables, which have the word-accent on the second syllable (the Ultimate), as contént, remáin, withín, although, províde.
9. Sometimes it is the word-accent alone that distinguishes words, which otherwise would not differ in pronunciation, as pérfect and perféct, cónjure and conjúre, conduct and conduct, óbject and objéct.
10. In words of three syllables, the word-accent is seldom on the last, as in cavalier, devotée, disregárd, entertain, invalid, magazíne, persevere, recolléct. It is mostly on the Penultimate, as in uncovered, proportion, sustaíning, dependent, nutritious, perfécting, selécteth, exúlting, submissive, etérnal, already, increasing, abundance; or it is on the Antepenult (the last but two), as in májesty, provident, towering, énemy, wíckedly, pátriot, mémory.
11. The great bulk of the English language consists of words of one, two, or three syllables. Perhaps no word (excepting compounds) derived from the Anglo-Saxon has four syllables. They never have the word-accent on the last syllable, and rarely on the first, as árbitrary, árbitrarily, nécessary, promontory, áccuracy, állegory, ápoplexy, ácrimony, célibacy, controversy, désultory, but mostly on the Penultimate, as horizontal, ignomínious, intercéssion, inundation, manifésto, misdemeanour, or on the Antepenultimate, as obliterate, occasional, oríginal, proportionate, proxímity.”
12. The English language contains a great number of words, of which the pronunciation is varied, especially by the older poets, to suit the exigencies of versification, inasmuch as syllables can be cut off or added. This is done in the following instances :
(1.) A consonant is often dropped to facilitate the contraction of two syl
lables, as ta’en, o'er, e'er, i'th', o'th', o'clock, --for taken, over, ever, in
the, on the or of the, of the clock. 1 These words are mostly borrowed directly or indirectly (through the French) from the Latin, and some, especially scientific terms, from the Greek. The greater number of them have been introduced since the formation of modern English, and this is the reason why they are not familiarly known to the uneducated.
2 Let the student go over a portion of the poems in this volume, and note the respective numbers of words of one, two, three and more, syllables, noting the accent in each, and marking how many of each class are accented on the last, and the several preceding syllables. He will be struck by the fact, that without counting proper names and compounds only two words of four syllables occur on the first ten pages.
(2.) Elisions of vowels and consonants are of frequent occurrence, as I'm,
'tis, 'twas, 'twere, I'll, I'd, they're, I've, let's, for I am, it is, it was, it
were, I will, I would, they are, I have, let us. (3.) Vowels merge in the pronunciation so as to form only one syllable, power , jewel, ruin, bellowing, Raphael
, mutual, to entrap, the upright. (4.) Without throwing out the consonant which separates two syllables,
poets contract these syllables, the consonant being generally a liquid (l, m, n, r), or a soft sibilant (8, v, th), as spirit
, amorous, adventurous, temporal
, difference, christening, reason, prison, miserable, neither, whether, other, poverty, riveted, heaven ; thus “spiritual” becomes a
word of two syllables. (Paradise Lost, v. 402 ; 1. 202.) (5.) Words are expanded by the insertion of vowels, especially before
liquids, as th(o)rough, board (pron. bo-ard), rememb(e)rance, child(e)ren, hand(e)ling, enfeeb(e)led, jugg(e)ler, Eng(e)land, wrest(e)ling, command(e)ment.
(6.) The verbal termination ed of the past tense and the participle is
sounded in verse, even where it has been dropped in prose, as laughéd
for laugh'd. (7.) The short vowel preceding the last syllable is sounded in such termi. nations as the following: ion, as in confusi-on,
ier, as in soldier, ia, Porti-a,
iel, Dani-el, iage, marri-age,
Padu-a, ean, oce-an,
ius, Demetri-us, and in others of a similar nature.
13. The words with their given number and order of accented and unaccented syllables are the material for the formation of rhythmical lines or Verses.
14. The units of which verses are made up, are not single syllables, but complexes of syllables called FEET.