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Let us pass on now to triple measures.
When con. sidering duration, it was noticed that, as contrasted with double measures, the triple give to the movement the effect of greater rapidity, inasmuch as the time usually allotted to two syllables is in them allotted to three. It is important to notice here, in addition to this, that in the degree in which the accented syllable in triple measures is rendered emphatic, there is a tendency to give it the same time as that given to the two unaccented syllables in the same foot, and thus, by way of contrast, to thrust it into greater prominence. Accordingly, initial and terminal accents in triple measure are stronger forms of the same in double measure. They convey, too, an added effect of rapidity, representing, therefore, more drift and momentum in the general thought expressed in the passage. But in triple measure there is also a middle syllable in the foot, which syllable, as well as the one before it or after it, can be emphasized. This fact gives rise to a measure of a new kind, which, as it influences somewhat both of the other kinds of triple measure, needs to be considered before them.
The accent given on the middle of the foot corresponds to what elocutionists term Median stress, in which the voice swells out on the middle of an utterance, as in reading the line : “O joy to the people and joy to the throne." Median stress begins like terminal, indicating, like it a reflective motive,-a desire to impress one's thought on others; and ends like initial, indicating an instinctive motive,-a desire to express one's thought for its own sake. The two forms together seem to indicate, therefore, any thing that is felt to be worth the attention both of others and of one's self. It is accordingly the natural expression for emotion or for eloquence of
thought, for any thing deemed to be intrinsically attractive and interesting whether because beautiful or pathetic. Notice how graceful is the general effect of this kind of verse:
There is a green island in lone Gougaune Barra,
-Gougaune Barra : 7. 7. Callanan.
--The Spinning-Wheel Song : %. F. Waller. Median measures are frequently changed to terminal measures at the ends of the lines; e.g.:
How dear to my heart are the scenes of my childhood,
When fond recollection presents them to view.
Old Oaken Bucket: S. Woodworth.
His hammock swung loose to the sport of the wind :
-The Sailor Boy's Dream : Dimond.
Divinely bestowed upon man.
O had I the wings of a dove,
- Selkirk : Cowper. The following are terminal triple measures, but owing to the fact that there is no break in the regularity of the metre after the pause at the end of each line, their effect is about the same as that of median triple measures :
For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee,
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
-Annabel Lee : Poe. The Greek metre corresponding to median is the Amphibrach, from augi, on both sides, and Bpazús, short. Scholars usually treat it as a form of the anapæst or terminal triple measure, and as significant of the same mental tendency. As the last two quotations have shown, these two measures are often used interchangeably, and, when we come to treat of terminal triple measure, we shall find that there is a reason why this should be so. Any further consideration, therefore, of what the measure represents may better be deferred until then.
In uttering measures termed Initial Triple, of which examples are given below, it will be noticed that there is a natural tendency to use more emphasis with the second than with the first of the unaccented syllables, producing therefore a stronger tone at the end as well as at the beginning of the measure. In this respect a foot thus accented corresponds in effect to what elocutionists term Compound stress; and for this reason might be termed
Compound measure. Compound stress characterizes an utterance the first and last parts of which receive more force than its middle. It may be used for a strong form of initial stress, especially where there are long slides, the beginnings and ends of which need to be brought out with distinctness, as in the word now in the question : " What will you do now ? " or it may be used, as its form (*) suggests, especially with abrupt irregular rhythm, for a combination of the ideas expressed by initial and terminal stress—i. e., for assured, positive, and dictating earnestness, persistence, and determination, as in these words that are italicised.
“You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things." Here are examples of the poetic equivalent for this kind of stress, indicating persistence or determination. They introduce occasionally an initial double measure ; l.gi:
Come away, come away, hark to the summons ;
Come as the winds come when forests are rended,
-Gathering Song of Donald the Black : Scott.
All the world wondered :
Cossack and Russian
--Charge of the Light Brigade: Tennyson
Several Greek measures correspond to this, chiefly perhaps the Dactyl from o áutulos, a finger, which, like the measure, consists of three members, divided at the joints into one long and two short parts. Schmidt tells us that this was used (especially in choric poetry) to denote an exalted God-trusting state of mind, or to express warnings with solemn earnestness ”—both of which uses could evidently be made of a metre representing the ideas just attributed to this. The measure corresponds also to Schmidt's representation of the pæonic, which with some quadruple feet derived its main effect from feet containing a long syllable followed by a short and a long. This, as will be noticed, is more nearly analogous to Compound stress than is the dactyl. But in English both measures would be read in nearly the same way, and would always be used interchangeably. The pæonic measure, according to Schmidt, indicated "overwhelming enthusiasm," as well as another state to be spoken of in a moment. Of course, the “ enthusiasm " here mentioned can very properly be classed as a manifestation of the highest degree of assurance and positiveness, which have been said to characterize this metre. The other state of feeling which Schmidt says that this metre sometimes represents, is apparently just the opposite of enthusiasm--i.e., " uncertainty, wavering, and helplessness." We find an exact parallel to this conflicting use of the Greek pæonics in the employment of initial triple measure in such a poem as Hood's Bridge of Sighs; l.g.:
Touch her not scornfully,
Gently, and humanly.
Now is pure womanly.