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Who seeks for fadeless beauty
Must seek for the use that seals,
The beauty that use reveals;
MARGARET E. SANGSTER.
RESPECT THE BURDEN.
GREAT Garibaldi, through the streets one day
Passing triumphant, while admiring throngs
With acclamations and exultant songs
His zealous followers would have driven aside
The sorry creature, but that good man said,
Laying a kind hand on the suffering head,
Thou happy soul, who journeyest like a king
Along the rose-strewn road, whate'er thy lot,
“Respect the burden.” Thou mayst see it, or not,
Whether loud outcries vex the startled air,
Or in dumb agonies of loss, despair Lifts her still face, so like tranquillity; Though each strained heart-string break, she never shrinks; Says, “Let this cup pass from me,” stoops and drinks.
O heavy burden! why 't is borne, or how,
None know-save those who bear, and He whose hand
Has laid it on, saying, "My beloved, stand
DINAH MARIA MULOCK.
THE THREE FISHERS.
THREE fishers went sailing away to the West,
Away to the West as the sun went down;
For men must work, and women must weep,
Though the harbor-bar be moaning.
Three wives sat up in the light-house tower,
And they trimmed the lamps as the sun went down;
But men must work, and women must weep,
And the harbor-bar be moaning.
Three corpses lay out on the shining sands,
In the morning gleam, as the tide went down,
For men must work, and women must weep,
PROSODY AND VERSIFICATION.
Prosody, from the Greek prosodia, (pros, to, and ode, a song,) is that division of rhetoric which treats of versification, or the art of composing poetic verse.
Verse is that species of composition in which the words are arranged in lines containing a definite number and succession of accented and unaccented syllables; as,
By faith, I and faith | alone, | embrace,
Believling where we can not prove. Verse (Latin vertere, to turn), is so called because when a line is completed the writer turns back, and begins another. A verse is a single line of poetry, made up of feet, and named from the kind and number of feet in a line.
As poetry is properly a versified composition, in treating of its form all that is essential may be grouped under three heads: (1) Meter; (2) Rhyme; (3) Stanza.
Meter (Greek metron, a measure), is the arrangement into verse of definite measures of sounds definitely accented. As we use the term, it more strictly refers to the number of feet in the respective lines, and varies with the number of the accented syllables. In English, meter depends almost wholly upon the accent, or rhythm.
( 336 )
Rhythm is the recurrence of stress at regular intervals. Practically speaking, rhythm refers to the kind of feet, and varies with the number of the unaccented syllables and the place of the accent in the feet.
It is from rhythm that English verse derives its character. In this respect, English meter differs from the classical meters, which are constructed principally according to the length, or quantity, of the vowels. Thus, in English verse we speak of syllables as accented or unaccented, while Greek and Latin verse is measured by syllables regarded as long or short.
A foot, or measure, is a portion of a line consisting of two or three syllables (and not more), combined according to accent.
Each perfect line is composed of a certain number of equal parts, or "feet": these correspond to bars in musical melody. The accented part in a foot always consists of a single syllable; the interval generally consists of a single syllable intervening between the accents, though it may consist of two syllables sounded in the same time as one. This is illustrated by the occurrence of feet of two and of three syllables in the same line; as,
My thoughts | still cling | to the moldering Past,
Between two accented syllables in English verse there may occur one or two, but not more than two, unaccented syllables.
A foot is not necessarily a single word. It may consist of: (1) A succession of monosyllables; as,
And what is the shore | where I stood to see
My boat | sail down the west?
(2) Parts of polysyllables; as,
A long and melancholly mew. The division of a verse or line into feet is called scanning. A straight line (-) over a syllable shows that it is accented; a curved line () shows that it is unaccented. monosyllables may receive accent, although they are without it in prose; as,
And in no quiet canst thou be. Two syllables may sometimes be contracted into one; as,
O'er manly a frozsen, manly a filery Alp. Elision is the running together of two syllables into one by the dropping of one or more letters. This may sometimes be necessary in English verse, but some of the best critics claim that in all cases it can be avoided by supposing that, where it seems to be needed, the poet substituted a trisyllabic foot for a dissyllabic. In the verse
Blest as the immor|tal gods I is hewe must run the and im of the second foot together, if we would preserve the dissyllabic foot throughout. But, if we regard the second foot trisyllabic, there is no need of elision.
Some of the older critics supposed that in verse, where the feet consist of two syllables each, these particular feet must be reduced to two syllables, both in pronunciation and in writing. The following from Butler's Hudibras is an instance of needless elision:
We grant | although he had | much wit,