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a treasure and a joy for ever. The Notes have been prepared with great care, and the Editor has been anxious to avail himself of the labours of preceding commentators, wherever such existed. In the greater part of the work, he was, however, obliged to rely on his own resources. He begs to acknowledge his numerous obligations to Mr R. L. Bensly for the very great care with which that learned gentleman read the commentary before it went to press, and for the valuable suggestions he was was kind enough to
RULES OF GERMAN PROSODY.
I. All accented syllables are long.
All radical syllables are long, whether accented or not.
3. All suffixes and inseparable prefixes are short.
Obs. 1. Monosyllabic auxiliary verbs (hat, ist, muß, will, kann) may sometimes be treated as short. It is not, however, correct to extend this licence to other monosyllabic verbs, such as gibt, lacht, weint etc.
Obs. 2. In compound nouns the second substantive is sometimes, though incorrectly, treated as short by earlier poets, notably by Goethe and Schiller, e. g. Königsburg is ~ (amphimacer) in modern German prosody, though the writers referred to use it also as (dactyl).
For further particulars see our introduction to Goethe's Hermann and Dorothea, Pitt Press Edition, pp. xvii. sq.
I. A dactylic hexameter consists of five dactyls (~~~), and one trochee (~), or spondee (≤ −).
2. A dactyl (~~) may be replaced by a spondee (< −) in the first four feet.
Obs. It is not unfrequently replaced by a trochee (~~), especially when the employment of trisyllabic compounds cannot
be avoided. Goethe and Schiller permit themselves considerable licence in this respect.
3. There is generally a pause (caesura) after the first arsis (i. e. accented long syllable) of the third foot.
Obs. By shifting the caesura, the rhythm of a line may be considerably changed. Hence a careful poet should pay special attention to the treatment of the caesura.
4. A pentameter consists of two parts, each containing two dactyls and an additional long syllable. In the second part the last syllable may be either long or short.
5. In the first half of a pentameter the dactyls may be replaced by spondees, but this is inadmissible in the second half.
6. A hexameter and a pentameter joined together are called a distich. A poem consisting of alternate hexameters and pentameters is called an elegiac poem.
The following is a scheme of the metres in which the poems contained in the present volume are written :
450 450 4 1 50 150 00 (hexameter).