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POETIC LICENCES.
135
The second line begins with an anapest; and by the word lo> the measure is broken; omit it, and the whole will run smoothly and agreeably.
Another licence claimed by some writers is that of dropping a .syllable in the middle of the verse ; Swift takes it very often, as here :
And now my dream's out; for I was a dream'd That I saw a huge rat—O dear how I scream'd !
But this licence is questionable at least; it may be called unwarrantable, because it occasions such halting metre.
Diaeresis is a licence more suitable to this kind of verse than to the dissyllabic metres, i.e. to make a dissyllable into a trisyllable, a monosyllable into a dissyllable wherever possible, e.g. :
Would feel herself happier here, By the nightingale warbling nigh.
Cowper.
Drayton makes April three syllables.
Such a division of syllables helps the line to move lightly, and is a reasonable indulgence to a measure which, more than others, is apt to suffer by the clogging of accented words and consonants.
Any long or accented syllable, standing first or second in the foot, is a deviation from this measure ; but it is less offensive to the ear in the second place than in the first:






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