« PreviousContinue »
4. Heaven gave this Lyre, and thus decreed,
Be thou a bruised—but not a broken-reed.
QUESTIONS.— When is a syllable said to be accented ? Give examples. How is the accent, when marked, denoted? By what authority is the accent determined ? To whom does it belong to record usage in this respect? In what cases can we perceive the reason for the accent? Give examples of the first case. Oi the second. Explain the secondary accent. Give examples.
What is EMPILASIS? What is its object? How is this object most frequently accomplished ? In what other way is it also effected ? How is emphasis denoted ? What is absolute emphasis ? Give examples. What relative emphasis ? Give examples.
How is accent affected by emphasis ? Give examples. How are inflections affected by it? Give an example in which the inflection is changed from the rising to the falling, by the force of emphasis. Give one, in which it is changed from the falling to the rising. What is an emphatic phrase? Give an example. Whet is meant by the emphatic pause? Give an example.
IV. INSTRUCTIONS FOR READING VERSE.
INFLECTIONS. In reading verse, the inflections should be nearly the same as in reading prose; the chief difference is, that in poetry, the monotone and rising inflection are more frequently used than in prose. The greatest difficulty in reading or declaiming this species of composition, consists in giving it that measured flow which distinguishes it from prose,
without falling into a chanting pronunciation. If, at any time, the reader is in doubt as to the proper inflection, let him reduce the passage to earnest conversation, and pronounce it in the most familiar and prosaic manner, and thus he will generally use the proper
EXERCISES IN INFLECTIONS.
Wide hovering', all the clouds together drove
Like a dark ceiling stood': down rushed the rain
Rode tilting o'er the waves!
With grateful change of grave and merry speech
Or song', our hearts unlocking each to each”,
Taking in his cold hand, a hand of ours',
The one shall strew the other's grave with flowers',
Wilt thou no more revisit me below?
And swells', not dreaming why', my soul shall know
A youth, to fortune and to fame, unknown';
And Melancholy marked him for her own! 4. Large was his bounty', and his soul sincere',
Heaven did a recompense as largely send';
He gained from heaven' ('t was all he wished') a friend! 5. No further seek his merits to disclose',
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode'; (There they alike in trembling hope repose',)
The bosom of his Father, and his God!
ACCENT AND EMPHASIS.
In reading verse, every syllable must have the same accent, and every word the same emphasis as in prose; ; and whenever the melody or music of the verse would lead to an incorrect accent or emphasis, this must be disregarded.
If a poet has made his verse deficient in melody, this must not be remedied by the reader, at the expense of sense or the established rules of accent and quantity. Take the following
Of thrones, and mighty Seraphim prostrate. According to the metrical accent, the last word must be pronounced "prostrate'.” But according to the authorized pronunciation it is "pros'trate." Which shall yield, the poet, or established usage? Certainly not the latter.
Some writers advise a compromise of the matter, and that the word should be pronounced without accenting either syllable. Sometimes this may be done, but where it is not practicable, the prosaic reading should be preserved.
In the following examples, the words and syllables which are improperly accented or emphasized in the poetry, are marked in italics. According to the principle stated above, the reader should avoid giving them that pronunciation which the correct reading of the poetry would require, but should read them as prose, except where he can throw off all accent, and thus compromise the conflict between the poetic reading and the correct reading. That is, he must read the poetry wrong, in order to read the language right.
Taller and stronger than the weeds they shade. 2. Their praise is still, “the style is excellent,”
The sense they humbly take upon content. 3. False eloquence, like the prismatic glass,
Its fairy colors spreads on every place. 4. To do aught good, never will be our task,
But ever to do ill our sole delight.
Man's erring judgment, and mislead the mind,
Is pride, the never-failing vice of fools.
And catch the manners living as they rise.
“Is this thy love, is this the recompense
8. We may, with more successful hope, resolve
To wage, by force or guile, successful war,
Sole reigning, holds the tyranny of Heaven.
Satan except, none higher sat,) with grave
and in his rising seemed
That wash thy hallowed feet, and warbling flow,
Those other two, equaled with me in fate. Note.—The principle which has been stated and exemplified in the preceding examples, admits of a few exceptions; but as they can not be classified in such a way as to furnish a safe guide to any but practiced readers, the rule has been laid down as one without exception. Those who are desirous of pursuing the examination of the subject further, and to see the exceptions reduced to the form of rules, may consult Walker's Rhetorical Grammar, pp. 164–7.
OF POETIC PAUSES, In order to make the measure of poetry perceptible to the ear, there should generally be a slight pause at the end of each line, even where the sense does not require it.
There is, also, in almost every line of poetry, a pause at or near its middle, which is called the cesura.
This should, however, never be so placed as to injure the sense of the passage. It is indeed reckoned a great beauty, where it naturally coincides with the pause required by the
The cesura, though generally placed near the middle, may be placed at other intervals.
There are sometimes also two additional pauses in each line, called demi-cesuras.
The cesura is marked (ID), and the demi-cesura thus, (1), in the examples given.
There is also to be observed a marked accent upon the long
syllable next preceding the cesura, and a slighter one upon that next before each of the demi-cesuras. These
and accents constitute chiefly the melody of poetry. When made too prominent, however, they lead to a sing-song style, which should be carefully avoided.
In the following examples the cesura is marked in each line, the demi-cesura in a few cases only.
EXAMPLES. 1. Nature | to all things || fixed | the limits fit,
And wisely curbed || proud man's pretending wit. 2. So when an angel || by divine command,
With rising tempests || shakes a guilty land. 3. Then from his closing eyes || thy form shall part,
And the last pang || shall tear thee from his heart. 4. Know then thyself; Il presume not God to scan;
The proper study || of mankind is man.
Beloved by Heaven || o'er all the world beside,
That land—thy country || and that spot—thy home. 6. In slumbers of midnight || the sailor | boy lay ;
His hammock | swung loose || at the sport of the wind; But watch-worn and weary || his cares | flew away,
And visions of happiness || danced / o'er his mind. 7. You may as well ll go stand upon the beach,
And bid the main-flood || bate his usual height;
wag their high tops, || and to make no noise,
8. She said, / and struck; || deep entered in her side
The piercing steel, || with reeking purple dyed :