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POETIC LICENCES.
121
have the two last syllables divided. But this ob­servation is not extended to verse of the anapestic kind; for our language, being somewhat overstocked with consonants, does not readily supply short syllables in the proportion which that verse requires. And therefore to divide syllables like those just mentioned is, in that species of verse, no licence at all.
Many other instances of diverse opinions might be quoted upon the niceties of elision and syneeresis, but instead of doing so further, we prefer to im­press upon the student the importance of cultivat­ing a refined taste and critical ear as the ultimate test of rhythmic appreciation. For instance, in the following verse of thirteen syllables, the ear instinc­tively sanctions their reduction to the normal ten, thus:
And man | y a fro | zen, man | y a fi | ery Alp
Milton.
While in the two examples that follow it at once declines to allow any elision in the feet that are marked off.
Canst thou imagine where those spirits live, Which make such del | icate mu | sic in the woods.
Shelley.
And multitu | ditwus as | the desert sands, Borne on the storm its millions shall advance.
Ibid.






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