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12 2                                ORTHOMETRY.
3.—METRICAL LICENCES.
These embrace all deviations of whatever kind from the normal metre of the verse of which the poem is constructed. Thus the normal line of heroic verse, the iambic pentameter, is this:
Any variation, therefore, from this standard is to be regarded as a metrical licence; and the same is the case with all other measures.
We have already been obliged to anticipate to some extent the subject of metrical licences when dealing with the various kinds of metre in detail, and to trespass still further in the same direction in the chapter on mixed metres ; but we have only formally stated and inadequately illustrated the three fundamental principles which form the basis of all such licences, viz :
(i) That an additional unaccented syllable, or even two, may be added to the end of a verse.
(ii) That a syllable may be omitted or added at the beginning.
(iii) That feet, other than those of the normal line, may be substituted in nearly any part of the verse.
The application of these general principles, and the restrictions which the best poets have observed in their use, now claim a more detailed examina­tion.






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