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RHYME.
167
The dikes ate fill'd, and with a roaring sound The rising rivers float the nether ground.
Dry den.
The following couplets in Pope's Rape of the Lock are very remarkable:
The doubtful beam long nods from side to side ; At length the wits mount up, the hairs subside. See, fierce Belinda on the Baron flies, With more than usual lightning in her eyes: Nor fear"d the chief th' unequal fight to try, Who sought no more than on his foe to die. But the bold lord, with manly strength endued, She with one finger and a thumb subdued. Just where the breath of life his nostrils drew, A pinch of snuff the wily virgin threw :
Canto 5.
The first three couplets have nearly the same rhymes, so have the two others ; and to mark the poet's negligence in this passage, the rhymes of the first and fourth couplets have the additional fault of being identical.
These are faults which, though not inexcusable in a long work, are by no means to be allowed in short pieces ; for in such, to be correct and polished - makes a considerable part of their merit. This frequent repetition of rhymes may be perhaps allowed or at least will not be severely con­demned in lyric compositions, where the return of the regular stanza lays the author under a greater restraint. An instance of such repetition occurs in Gray: