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BIBLIOGRAPHY.                            283
recommend anything shaped like trammels for genius, the reading of these notes may be suggested as instructive, if not of advantage to poetical com­position.
The more remarkable passages in Gascoigne's work are these. He speaks of no other feet, as entering into verse, than those of two syllables ; of which, says he, " the first is depressed, or short; the second, elevate, or long." He gives rules for rhyming and for finding a rhyme. Concerning the admission of potysyllables into verse, he gives this direction—" I warn you that you thrust as few words of many syllables into your verse as may be; and hereunto I might allege many reasons : first, the most ancient English words are of one syllable ; so that the more monosyllables you use, the truer English you shall seem, and the less you shall smell of the inkhorn. Also, words of many syllables do cloy a verse, and make it unpleasant."* Respecting the caesura, or pause in a verse, he observes that " in lines of eight syllables it is best in the middle, as:
Amid my bale | I bathe in bliss.
In lines of ten syllables, after the fourth, as:
I smile sometimes, | although my grief be great.
In those of twelve syllables, in the middle; and in those of fourteen, after the eighth, as :
* There are two critics of later times who have given their judgment upon the u»e of polysyllables in English verse, to which allusion has already been made. Of these, one is directly opposed to Gascoigne, the other agrees with him, and, upon the whole, appears 10 be right.






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