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HAVING considered the essentials of verse, and the chief variations and combinations thereof, we have now to enquire into the accidents which largely enter into its composition as ornaments to its melody. The chief of these is rhyme, or rime, as the word was formerly, and more cor­rectly, spelled. Rhyme may be defined as a similarity of sound in the final syllable or syllables of two or more verses, or, as Milton speaks of it, as the "jingling sound of like endings." In words that rhyme there must be difference as well as simi­larity of sounds. Words that are identical in sound, however different their appearance may be, do not form rhyme in English poetry, though we occasionally find them there on account of the fewness of rhyming words in our tongue. For instance, such words as I, eye; hie, high; oar, ore, o'er, are assonances, not rhymes. On the other hand, however unlike each other words may look, if their sounds be similar without being identical, they form perfectly good rhymes, of which the following are examples—girl, pearl, curl; box, locks ; cow, bough, frau. In order to arrive at a clear conception of the elements which make up

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