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RHYME.
153
revere, star; impell'd, field ; breast, east; retreat, great; and one identical, known, none.
Some of these imperfections are very slight, and none of them less tolerable than this in the consonants :
For Britain's Empire, boundless as the main, Will guard at once domestic ease, And awe th' aspiring nations into peace.
When there is a double imperfection, and the vowel-sound and consonant are both different, as in this couplet, the rhyme is bad:
Nor did your crutch give battle to your duns, And hold it out where you had built a sconce.
Butler.
From a review of the extract given above, it will appear that in the points under consideration, our later versifiers, to speak of them generally, have improved upon their predecessors, with an exception to Swift alone, who as a correct rhymer has never been excelled by any.
The introduction of little insignificant words to make rhyme is a blemish which is not often chargeable on our modern poets. It was very common before the beginning of the last century; nor do such rhymes appear to have been con­sidered then as any imperfection. The instances are numerous:
Who with his word commanded all to be, And all obeyed him, for that word was he; Only he spoke, and everything that is From out the womb of fertile Nothing ris\
Cowley.