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MIXED METRES. 63
In serious poetry the combination is bad, generally speaking, which subjoins a short line to a long one, especially if they rhyme together; as,
Be thou thine own approver ; honest praise Oft nobly sways Ingenuous youth.
One reason is, that such a combination wants dignity, which is the more apparent in this instance, because the preceding line is the stately heroic verse. To give another example :
By Euphrates' flowery side We did bide;
When poor Sion's doleful state, Desolate.
In these lines the quick return of the rhyme nearly destroys the gravity of the matter. Another reason why these combinations are faulty, is the disproportion between the length of the lines. And upon this account, if lines as disproportionate as these were set in a contrary order, the combination would still be unpleasing, as in this instance:
As if great Atlas from his height Should sink beneath his heavenly weight, And with a mighty flow the flaming wall, As once it shall, Should gape immense, and, rushing down, o'erwhelm this nether ball.