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108                             ORTHOMETRY.
to the vowels, and the effect of elision is to increase that proportion.
The second person singular of our verb terminates with letters that do not well accommodate them­selves to elisions, when the verb itself ends with a consonant;
111 thou consider'st that the kind are brave.
That usher'st in the sun, and still prepar'st its way.
Thou mourn'st them living, as already dead.
These elisions are harsh : but where the verb is regular, as love, loved, fear, feared, &c, the same person in the past time presents an obstacle almost insurmountable to any elision. Yet some few have attempted it, making indeed two elisions, as,
Thou shar'd'st their nature, insolence, and fate,
But to others this rough assemblage of consonants has appeared so formidable that, rather than meet it, they have ventured to trespass upon their gram­mar rules. For instance, in Pope's Messiah this passage occurs—
O Thou, my voice inspire, Who touch'd Isaiah's hallowed lips with fire !
—where touch'd is used for touch'd'st.
The occasions for making such elisions as this ought to be avoided ; but unfortunately they occur oftenest in those kinds of poetry where they are east admissible. For with respect to elisions, it is






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