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CLASSICAL METRES.
The verse of the Latin and Greek poets is based upon quantity; and its structure is regulated by rules much more rigorous than the easy canons of English rhythm. In English verse time is an accessory merely, and all attempts to string to­gether English words upon that basis only have resulted in what is neither verse nor English, for the words have to lose their proper pronuncia­tion. Here are three lines of English words arranged on the principle of the Latin hexameter by Sir Philip Sidney:
Spenser made similar experiments, and with like results. William Webbe, who wrote a "Dis­course on English Poetry" in 1586, translated Virgil's First Gcorgic into hexameters, but with this important and necessary difference, he sub­stituted accent for quantity. If this be done some approach to metrical effect may be attained, as






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