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IMITATIVE HARMONY.
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galloping over a hardened plain. Now the sounds of these two movements would be, of course, quite dissimilar, yet the rhythm of the verses, which is supposed to imitate them, is exactly the same. If, then, the one is to be praised for its imitative truth­fulness, what can we say of the other? Pope's adaptation of the Greek passage describing the labour of Sisyphus is well worth quoting :
With many a weary step, and many a groan,
Up the high hill he heaves a huge round stone;
The huge round stone resulting with a bound,
Thunders impetuous down, and smokes along the ground.
Up to the middle of the third line we have the slow laboured motion upward imitated, and then the rapid, impetuous downward roll.
In the well-known couplet from the passage at the beginning of this chapter :
When Ajax strives some rock's vast weight to throw, The line too labours and the words move slow,—
we have slowness of motion expressed by a slow succession of syllables, each of the two lines having six accents, one more than the usual number; but when we come to consider the next couplet:
Not so when swift Camilla scours the plain,
Flies o'er the unbending corn, and skims along the main.
we are somewhat disappointed in what is intended to represent swift and rapid motion ; for, in fact, we have the full number of accents and rather






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