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But a good combination is made by two linep, or more, increasing, as they proceed, in a moderate degree : i.e. by one or two feet; example:
All real here the bard had seen
The glories of his pictured queen : The tuneful Dryden had not flatter'd here, His lyre had blameless been, his tribute all sincere.
It is this gradual increase above the preceding lines which makes the Alexandrine so graceful in the close ; for it has no beauty if set in the beginning of a poem or stanza, as it has been by some of our poets.
After this manner the verse of fourteen syllables may be brought in, and follow the Alexandrine with good effect:
The sylvans to their shades retire ; Those very shades and streams new shades and streams
require, And want a cooling breeze of wind to fan the raging fire.
The lighter sorts of poetry are not to be considered as necessarily subject to this rule. In epigrams, for instance, where wit is often most happily expressed by brevity, the point or concluding line may very properly be shorter than the preceding; as in this:
What a frail thing is beauty! «ays Baron le Cras, Perceiving his mistress had one eye of glast;