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150                             ORTHOMETRY.
sant variety. That of a mute preceded by a long vowel will be wholly unobjectionable, rich without any cacophony, if a vowel begin the following word, as in the first verse of Paradise Lost. These, however, would, in our language, be limits too narrow for the poet; and the ear practised in our versification will take no offence at the conclusion of the second line of Paradise Lost, where a long vowel is followed by two consonants within the same syllable, and two consonants begin the next verse. The judicious poet, however, will be spar­ing of such accumulation of consonants."
We are not to expect that such good and approved rhymes as are here advocated should constitute the major part in any composition. The difficulty of rhyming well, and the propriety of sacrificing what is merely ornamental to what is more important, must always plead for as much indulgence as can be granted.
2.—IMPERFECT RHYMES.
We now proceed to pass in review imperfect rhymes, viz., such as are admissible into verse, but are not of the best quality. These form a most extensive class; they are found in the works of all our poets, and into some of them they enter very largely. They are admissible, but they gener­ally labour under some defect; either they want the proper correspondence of sound, or they are made of little insignificant words, or they are stale






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