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POETIC LICENCES, 107
is the separation of a diphthong into two sounds, as is occasionally found in our older poets; such as regarding the endings tion, sion, and words like hire, dire as dissyllables.
And so by many winding nooks he strays, With willing spirit to the wide o-cean.
is the insertion of a word between the parts of a compound; as, to us ward, on which side soever.
To these may be added the use of archaisms, i.e. old forms of words that have become otherwise obso≠lete ; as wis for know, e'en or eyne for eyes.
Some of these orthographical licences present difficulties which have given rise to so much diverse opinion that it may be useful to illustrate them more in detail. Elisions, generally speaking, should not be such as to create words of unpleasing sound or difficult pronunciation. The following verse is somewhat harsh, for instance :
Then 'gan th' obstrep'rous mob to rage.
Whereas in the opening line of The Paradise Lost the last two syllables of disobedience are merged without any unpleasant effect.
Of man's first disobedience, and the fruitó
One complaint made against our language is that its consonants are too numerous in proportion