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POETIC PAUSES.
141
and polish, has been greatly censured for arrang­ing his pauses in the same, or very nearly the same, position for many lines in succession. Thus, in the following example from his Rape of the Lock, it occurs at the end of the second foot in each line :
The busy sylphs | surround their darling care, Those set the head | and these divide the hair ; Some fold the sleeve, | while others plait the gown, And Beauty's praised | for labours not her own.
The swing of hundreds of lines such as these becomes sleepily wearisome. He seldom varies it beyond the fourth, fifth, or sixth syllable. Here is an instance, very rare with him, where it occurs at the end of the third :
Offend her | and she knows not to forgive, Oblige her | and she'll hate you while you live.
Dryden, whose heroic measures are somewhat less polished but more vigorous than Pope's, varies the position of his pauses more, and correspond­ingly diversifies his rhythm, e.g. :
A man so vari&us that he seemed to be (NY>ne.>
Not one | but all mankind's epitome :
Still in opinions | always in the wrong.
Was everything by starts | and nothing long:
But in the course of one revolving moon, (None.)
Was chemist, | fiddler, | statesman, | and buffoon.
It is blank verse, however, as has been already said, whose rhythm is most diversified by the varying position of the pauses. Milton uses them






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