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A heat which glows in every word that's writ; ’Tis / mething of divine, and more than wit ; | Itself unfeen, yet all things by it shown, : Describing all men, but defcrib’d by none. ' '; A poetical genius is the gift of nature, and cannot be acquired; nor can the want of it be supplied by art or in- | dustry : but where fuch a genius is found, it may be affiited by proper rules and directions ; and fuch we shall endea- | vour to lay down. :
|- bles are distinguished into long and /bort, and this length or fhortness is called their quantity. Of two, three, and · fometimes more fyllables, the antients formed their poetical feet, giving each of them a different name. Thus a foot confifting of two long fyllables, was called a spondee; ef a fhort one follow'd by a long one, an iambic ; of a long one followed by two short ones, a daćŻyle, &c. and of ) these feet they composed various kinds of verfes. i But there is very little variety of feet in the Englist poetry, the iamilie being, as it were, the fole regent of our verse, " especially of our Żeroics, which confift of five short and five
After all, the quantity of the fyllables in ours, and other |modern languages, is not well fixed ; nor need we be very
folicitous about it in the composition of verfes. The num-
of the accent, that is strongest in the first hemistich ; for
the pause is to be made at the end of the word where fuch
precede the vowels where the rhyme begins, must be different in each verse ; so that light and delight, vice and advice, move and remove, must not be made to rhyme together; for though the fignification of the words are different enough, the rhyming fyllables are exaétly the fame,
and gcod rhyme confists rather in a likeneß than a fameneß.
of found. From hence it follows, that a word cannot
cation and orthography, if they have the fame found ; as beir, air ; prey, pray; blew, blue, &c. Such rhymes indeed, and others equally bad, as nation and affection, villainy and gentry, follow and willow, where the likeness is not sufficient, were allowed of in the days of Chaucer,
Spencer, and the rest of our antient poets, but are by no means to be admitted in our modern compositions. It may be farther observed, that the rhyming of words de
pends upon their likeness of found, not of orthography; for
rals, and many other subjects, but generally those that aré
grave and ferious. -
But (as we have intimated already) this order may be frequently dispensed with, without destroying the harmony of the verse; nay, it adds a peculiar beauty to the poetry, to indulge fuch a variety now and then, especially in the first and fecond fyllables of the line, of which the following is an instance, where the accent is on the first fyl
| lable, and not on the fecond.
Nów to the máin the búrning fún defcénds.
The pause to be in verses of this kind (as I have before observed) is determined by the feat of the most prevailing accent in the first half-verse, which ought to be either on the second, fourth, or fixth fyllable ; and the pause must immediately follow the word where this accent happens, or the word after it.
In the following lines you have instances of each of the cases mentioned, where the ruling accent only is marked, and the pause denoted by a dash
The pause is fometimes to be allowed of in other places of a verse ; but then the verses are not quite fo agreeable to the ear, as is evident from the following instance :
Here is nothing disagreeable in the strućture of these verfes
times not easily distinguished, as when two or three in the
The verses next to be confidered, are those of /g.ven fylJables, which are called anacreontic, from Anacreon, a Greek poet, who wrote in verfe of that measure.
The accents in this kind of verfe, fall on the first, third, fifth, and /eventh fyllables, as in the following lines :
As for verses of nine and eleven fyllables, they are not worth our notice, being very feldom used, except those which are of double rhyme, and properly belong to the verfes of eight and ten fyllables.
There is a kind of verse of twelve fyllables, having the accent on every third, which is only made ufe of in fubjećts of mirth and pleasantry, as are thofe of eleven fyllables, which run with much the fame cadence. But there is another fort of twelve fyllables, which are now and then introduced amongst our heroics, being fometimes the last of a couplet, or two verfes, as in the following instance.
The ling'ring foul th' unwelcome doom receives,