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represent conclusiveness, therefore confidence, assurance ; l. g.:
There no sigh of memory swelleth ;
--Hymn : Anon. Here again, too, is anticipation, expectancy, hope :
Come, rest in this bosom, my own stricken deer,
-Come, Rest, etc.; Moore. And here, conclusiveness, confidence, assurance :
Come in the evening, or come in the morning ;
- The Welcome : T. Davis. This again, like the rising inflection, represents in. decision, doubt :
That men with knowledge merely played,
- Two Voices : Tennyson. And this, corresponding to the falling inflection, represents so much decision and disregard of doubtful considerations as to seem flippant :
Ah, but traditions, inventions,
(Say we and make up a visage,)
Down the past ages must know more than this age !
-Master Hugues of Saxe-Gotha : Browning.
The old fashioned narrative that dealt with facts, concerning which one could be decided and sure, could find a satisfactory expression in the hexameter; e. g.: This is the forest primeval ; but where are the hearts that beneath it Leaped like the roe when he hears in the woodland the voice of the huntsman ?
-Evangeline : Longfellow.
But the present age is analytic. Its narratives deal with motives, concerning which no one can be sure. Is this one reason why we prefer a more indecisive, hesitating movement? as in our heroic metre:
Of man's first disobedience, and the fruit
-Paradise Lost : Milton. Or that we feel, instinctively, that the more decisive metre is fitter for the mock heroic ?
Tell me whither I may hie me tell me, dear one, that I may know,
--Ferdinando and Elvira : Gilbert. Or for the pathetic,—in a case like this, in which the very decisiveness of the mood, the remorseless assurance of being right, that is conveyed by the style, enhances the effect ? Notice it:
One more unfortunate,
-Bridge of Sighs : Hood.
POETIC PITCH-MELODY AND RHYME.
Variety and Monotony in Elocution and Poetry representing less or more
Control over Self and the Subject — True Significance of Alliteration, Assonance, etc.—Rhyme introducing Element of Sameness-Increases effects of Versification, of Unity of Poetic Form, of Emphasis of all Kinds, of Regularity of Movement, of Rapidity of Thought-Results of Changing the Order of the Occurrence of Rhymes in Tennyson's In Memoriam-Blank Verse admitting of Great Variety Preferable for Long Productions.
PASSING on now, to consider the poetic analogues for
variety and monotony in elocutionary melody, it will be recognized at once that the first is found in verse in which the sounds differ greatly, and the second in that in which they are very similar. The following, therefore, corresponding to varied melody, represent, and very appropriately, too, a buoyant, unrestrained mood, in which the soul is exercising very little control over either itself or its modes of expression (see page 95):
Her feet beneath her petticoat
As if they feared the light :
-Ballad upon a Wedding : Suckling.
Hast thou seen the down in the air,
When wanton blasts have tossed it?
Or the ship on the sea.
-Lute Song : Suckling.
- Pleasures of Hope : Campbell, And the following, in which there is much alliteration (i. e., repetition of the same consonant-sounds), and assonance (i. e., repetition of the same vowel-sounds), represent a very high degree of restraint on the part of the soul, and control exercised over itself and its modes of expression.
Lo, the leader in these glorious wars,
-Ode on Duke of Wellington : Tennyson.
For fate and fear too strong ;
Whose hands would purge of wrong ;
-Garden of Cymodoce : Swinburne.
These quotations, and the principle they illustrate, show us the true significance of passages in which we find grouped the same sounds, as in assonance and alliteration just mentioned; or similar sounds, as in poetic gradation (i. e., a series of vowels all different, in which each is at the smallest remove of all from the one following it), and syzygy (i. e., a combination of consonants easy to pro
nounce). All these sprang, originally, from that tendency at the basis of all art-construction, to bring together, as a result of comparison, things that are alike or allied. But their significance, which alone concerns us at present, is this: if no attention whatever be paid to the succession of vowels and consonants; if those combined be arranged so that they cannot be pronounced easily and smoothly, the verses appear devoid of art, the chief effect of which is to reduce that with which it has to deal to order and form. In the following, for instance, the writer manifests no control over his own powers of expression or his ideas. He presumably meant to give them an artistic form, but as arranged they produce no artistic effect.
Numerous were the friends that gathered,
-Sketches of Palestine : Hammond. If, on the contrary, the writer has made too much of qualities like assonance and alliteration, the impression conveyed is that of too much suppression and control. There seems to be no spontaneity in his work. The following produces, as is its intention, an artificial effect.
Holofernes, I will somewhat affect the letter, for it argues facility :
- Love's Labor's Lost, iv., 2: Shakespear. Swinburne is sometimes almost equally artificial.
His eyes gat grace of sleep, to see