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MIXED METRES.
Writers of verse are under no necessity to a slavish adherence to metrical rules. The muse may soar high with steady wing and stately swoop, or flutter about the lower grounds in fantastic mazes ; but his movements must always be rhythmical and his utterances musical. Linguistic difficulties and the seductive chains of linked sweetness,' urge him to the adoption of every possible variety of measure that lends freedom to th a movement, and relieves the monotony of regula ity. We have already pointed out the addition or omission of short sylla­bles, the interchange of feet of one kind for those of another. Now we have to illustrate, in addition to these variations, the mingling of long and short measures in elegant complexity, together with the fitful ring of rhymes, the combined effect of which often adds to the melody of the rhythm the richness of harmony.
Amongst the simpler of these combinations are the Iambic with Anapestic, Trochaic with Dactylic, in both of which the swing of the melody is unin­terrupted, e.g:
My life | is cold | and dark | and drear | y; It rains j and the wind | is nev ' er wear | y.






E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III