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POETIC PAUSES.
139
i.—THE FINAL PAUSE.
When the verse is rhymed the final pause is unmistakable, and is absolutely necessary to bring out the jingle of the rhymes; but in blank verse, and especially in the dramatic form, it is not so clearly marked, and is often omitted entirely. A good reader, however, will hardly ever fail to mark the end of the lines, however slightly, in reciting two consecutive verses, and if one line is run into another here and there, the occurrence is never continuous. Sheridan, in his " Art of Reading," says that if the first thirteen lines of the Paradise Lost were printed as prose and read by some one who had never seen the poem, they would be read as prose. We are certain that the judgment of most educated men would condemn this assertion. As well might we take the opinion of a Chinaman upon one of Beethoven's sonatas as of an illiterate person upon a question of verse and prose. We may safely conclude that verse which will not stand such a test as this is well deserving of being considered prose.
2.—THE CAESURAL PAUSE.
Caesural pause is the rest or halt of the voice in reading verses aloud at other points than the end of the line. It is independent of the same, and may occur at almost any part of the line, and even in the middle of a foot. No precise rules can be laid down as to its position, although it is






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