Page images
PDF
EPUB

. Each hill | ănd dāle, | <ach deep- enÌng glen land wold, 1

wöld Dễfies | the pöwer | which crushed | thý têm- | Albs göne:| Ăge shākes Athē- | nă's tower, 1 bắt spāres | gray Mār- | ăthõn.”

There are many other forms of " iambic” verse; but they occur less frequently; and most of them can be easily analyzed after scanning the preceding specimens.

1

II.-TrochaicMetre. This species of verse derives its name from its predominating foot, the « trochee,” which consists, as mentioned before, of a long syllable followed by a short, as in the word fātăl. “Trochaic's

verse is exemplified in the following lines from Dryden's Ode for St. Cecilia's Day.

“Söftlý | sweet, în | Lýdiăn | measúres,
Soon hě | soothed his | soul tỏ | plēasures. 1
War, he | sũng, Is | tỏil and | tröublẽ,

Hönör, | bút ăn | emptỷ | bubble.” This species of verse is seldom used in long or continuous poems, but principally in occasional passages, for variety of effect. It is found usually in octosyllabic lines of rhyming “ couplets," as above.

III. — Anapastic Metre. This form of verse takes its name from its prevalent foot, the “anapæst,”' consisting of two short syllables followed by one long, as in the word intěrvēne.

Anapæstic” verse is found usually in the two following forms :

1. Stanza of Four or Eight Lines of Three anapæsts,or equivalent

feet.
“Hỏw fleet | is a glance | öf the mind !

Compāred | with thiě spēed | of its flight, |
Thě temp- l ěst itself | lăgs behind, |

And the swift | wingěd ār- | rõws of light."

2. Stanza of Four Lines of Four " anapæsts,or equivalent feet. “The even- ?| ing wăs glo- | rious; ănd light | through thě trees Plẫyed the sũn- | shine and rain | drops, the birds | Ănd the breeze; Thể land- | scape, outströtch- | ing in löve- | lĩness, lay | On thể lập bf the year, | in the bẽau- 1 tỷ ởf Mây.” |

1 For farther examples, and a more extended statement, regarding the "reading of poetry," see "American Elocutionist.”'

2 An "jambus” sometimes occurs as the first foot in an “anapæstic” line.

a pro

IV.- Rhythmical and Prosodial Accent combined. The preceding examples of verse have all, it may now be perceived, been marked with the characters used in prosody. But, for the purposes of elocution, it is important to the control of the voice, in the reading of verse, that the student should accustom himself to the practice of marking the accentuation of verse to the ear, cess in which the actual “ rhythm” of the voice is decided, as in prose, by the position of accent. The mere prosodial “ quantities must, in elocution, be regarded as but subordinate and tributary means of effect to“ rhythmical accent,” and as contributing to secure its perfect ascendency.

Metre, then, in reading, is to be considered as but precision of “ rhythm" by which utterance is brought more perceptibly under the control of “time,” than in prose. Verse, accordingly, is scored for accent, exactly as prose is. Here, also, the student may be reminded that, in practising on metre, whilst, for the sake of distinct impression, he indulges its effect to the full extent, at first, he must accustom himself to reduce it gradually within those limits which shall render it chaste and delicate. The peculiar effects of “ measure in music, do not exceed those of metre, in good reading and recitation; and they are indispensable in the reading of all forms of verse, but, particularly, in lyric strains. In these, - as even a slight attention will suffice to prove, the poet often changes the mood of his metre along with that of his theme. The Ode on the Passions, and all similar pieces, require numerous changes of “ rhythm” and prosodial effect, as the descriptive or expressive strain shifts from passion to passion, - and from measure to measure. — It is by no means desirable, however, that the metre should be marked in that overdone style of chanting excess, which offends the ear, by obtruding the syllabic structure of the verse, and forcing upon our notice the machinery of prosodial effect.

The subjoined example may serve to suggest, to the teacher and the student, the mode of marking on the black board, or with a pencil, similar exercises selected from the pages of this volume, or any other, at choice.

It was deemed preferable to use, for our present purpose, the same examples which have been analyzed for the study of the prosodial structure of verse, so as to show, as impressively as possible, the difference between the literal accent of the mere mechanism of verse as such, and the free, varied, and noble “ rhythm,” which it acquires when, in reading and recitation, the object in view is to render verse tributary to meaning and sentiment, or to vivid emotion. The servile style of reading verse which follows its sound rather than its sense, is no worse fault than a literal practising of prosody, a fair and honest but most gratuitous scanning, of the lines, rather than the reading of them. The strict metrical marking, however, and due practice on it, may be very useful to those students whose habit, in reading, is to turn verse into prose, through want of ear for metre.

NOTATION OF RHYTHMICAL AND PROSODIAL ACCENT COMBINED.

I. —"TambicMetre.

"BlankVerse.

“Ad- vanced in / view, they | stand, 41a | horrid | front 2 | Of | dreadful | length, 117 and dazzling | arms, | , 1 in | guise | Of warriors | old 3 with | ordered | spear and / shield.” |

altal

Heroic Couplet.“ Like | leaves on | trees the | life of | manis | found :1701 | Now | green in | youth, | | now | withering |

the ground; | An- | other | race the following | spring | sup-| plies: 141 - They | fall suc- | cessive, and suc- | cessive | rise.” 1791

on

- The way |

Octosyllabic Couplet.
was | long, the wind |

was cold;

1 The minstrel 1

was in- | firm and old.” 1791701

"QuatrainStanza : Octosyllabic Couplets.The spacious | firmament on high, 1 With | all the blue e-| thereal | sky, | And | spangled | heavens, | Ma | shining | frame, 144 Their | great 0- | riginal | pro- | claim.” | 1 ITI

Quatrain Stanza: Octosyllabic Lines, rhyming alternately. “ The heavens de- | clare thy / glory, | Lord, 1401

In | every | star thy | wisdom | shines ; | 1 | But when our | eyes be- | hold thy | word, I We read thy | name in | fairer | lines.” | ||

1 " Demi-cæsural” pause.

2“ Final ”

pause.
3 « Cæsural” pause.

The pauses marked with the figure 1, &c., are founded primarily and necessarily on the sense ; båt the prosodial pauses, indispensable to the “ rhythm” of every well-constructed verse, happen, in the present instance, to coincide with the pauses of the meaning. Every line of verse has a "final pause,” which detaches it from the following line, and a “cæsural” pause, which divides it into two parts, equal or unequal, or two “ demi-cæsural” pauses, which divide it into three parts. The “demi-cæsural” pauses are sometimes used in addition to the "cæsural," to subdivide the two parts which it separates.

" Common MetreStanza. 1" Thy I love the power of thought be- stowed ; 1441

To | Thee my thoughts would / soar :
Thy | mercy o'er my | life has | flowed; 1401

That I mercy |I a- | dore." |YMI

Short MetreStanza.

Y" To I ever | fragrant | meads, | !

Where rich a- | bundance | grows, | |
His gracious hand indulgent leads,
And | guards my sweet re- | pose.” 1441441

Elegiac Stanza. y“ Full | many a | gem, 1 of purest | ray 1 1 se- | rene, 191 The dark un- | fathomed | caves of ocean

|| bear : Iltal Full | many a | flower is born to blush un

| seen,

1 And / waste its f sweetness on the desert | air.” | 1991

"SpenserianStanza. “Wher- | e'er we | tread, 't is haunted, I 14 | holy |

ground: 141401 | No | earth of thine is lost in vulgar |

mould! | But I one | vast | realm | 4 of | wonder | | spreads a- .

round ; 1 11 And | all the | Muse's | tales | seem | truly | told, I Till the sense | aches with | gazing to be hold | The scenes | our | earliest | dreams have | dwelt upon.

1991 | Each | hill and | dale, | each | deepening | glen |

and | wold, 140 De- / fies the power which | crushed thy | temples / gone :

Italy | Age | shakes A- | thena's 1 tower, but | spares |

athon."1441401

II. .“ TrochaicMetre. “ Softly I sweet, in | Lydian | measures, 1991 Soon he soothed his | soul to pleasures. — 1941

gray | Mar

Warhe | sung is toil and trouble, 1441
Honor, 1 but an | empty | bubble.” 1701

III. -—"AnapesticMetre.

1. Lines of Three Anapæsts." “How | fleet is a glance of the | mind! 1 491491 Com- | pared with the speed of its | flight, || al 1 The tempest | it- | self | 40 | lags be- | hind, 1441 And the | swift-winged | arrows of light.” |44|40|

2. Lines of Four " Anapæsts." Yo The evening | was | glorious; 1 and | light through the

| trees | 441 1 Played the sunshine | and | raindrops, the birds and the

| breeze ; | ITTI The landscape out- | stretching | in | loveliness, I lay 14

On the lap of the year, in the beauty of May." |

11

CHAPTER VIII.

EMPHASIS AND “EXPRESSION.”

The analysis of elocution has, in the preceding chapters, been extended so far as to comprehend all the chief topics of practical elocution. The subjects of emphasis and “ expression,have been reserved for the conclusion of this manual, as they properly comprise a virtual review of the whole subject.

I. –Impassioned Emphasis. Emphasis, in its usual acceptation, is limiteu to mere comparative force of utterance on an accented syllable. The term, properly defined, extends to whatever expedient the voice uses to render a sound specially significant or expressive. Thus, in the scornful challenge which Bolingbroke addresses to Mowbray.

Pale, trembling coward! there I throw my gage:". The emphasis lies, doubtless, on the word coward, and is

« PreviousContinue »