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124
ORTHOMETRY.
It may surprise those who have been taught to depreciate the versification of our earlier poets, to be informed that such perfect verses as are here quoted are not so rare among them as among the moderns. Campion, in his " Art of English Poetry," has these three lines together:
The more secure, the more the stroke we feel Of unprevented harms ; so gloomy storms Appear the sterner if the day be clear.
These he calls pure iambics; which, considering them according to quantity, they are: the accents too are placed on the even syllables throughout, except on ify the sixth in the last verse. Such lines as want this perfection, he distinguishes by the name of licentiate iambics; i.e. lines in which some other foot is substituted for an iambic; to what extent this is allowable we now proceed to state.
But first, be it remembered that in these feet the syllables are considered as accented or unac­cented, not as long or short: and that where quan­tity is to be noticed, it will be expressly pointed out.
The Pyrrhic foot (two unaccented syllables «■» —) may supply the place of an iambic, and is substi­tuted for it oftener than any other foot. It may stand in any part of the verse, e.g. :
In the ist/oot. Is he a churchman ? then he's f6nd of p6wer.
In the 2nd foot. A rebel to the very king he 16ves.






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