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It is perhaps necessary to insist again here that verse is rhythmic articulate speech, just as music in its broadest definition is rhythmic sound. A printed sheet of notes on a stave is no more music than is a page of poetry verse. We have to deal throughout with poems as read or recited ; with the body, not with the soul of poetic crea­tion.
The rhythm or musical flow of verse depends not only upon the metrical arrangement of accented and unaccented syllables, but in no little degree upon breaks or pauses, which divide it into phrases of different lengths. These pauses are identical in many instances with the grammatical stops, but they are also independent of them, and occur where there are no stops at all. Metrical pauses must, therefore, be clearly distinguished from sen­tential stops at the outset of this enquiry. The one is as essential to the melody as the other is to the sense. With the latter we have no further concern.
Metrical pauses are of two kinds, the one final at the end of a verse, the other casural, which cuts it into oqual or unequal parts.

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