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284                               ORTHOMETRY.
Divorce me now, good death, | from love and lingering life ; That one hath been my concubine, | that other was my wife."
" Lines of twelve and fourteen syllables alter­nate," says he [i.e. such as the last here quoted), " is the commonest sort of verse which we use now­adays."
But a more celebrated work on the subject, was a regular treatise, on the Art of English Poesy\ published in 1589, but written some time before, by Puttenham. He says he writes it "to help the courtiers and the gentlewomen of the court to write good poetry, that the art may become vulgar for all Englishmen's use." This author was of a different opinion from Webbe in respect to the introduction of Greek and Latin measures into English poetry ; and he says, with good judgment, thus : " Peradventure with us Englishmen it may be somewhat too late to admit a new invention of feet and times that our forefathers never used, nor never observed till this day, either in their mea­sures or their pronunciation : and perchance will seem in us a presumptuous part to-attempt; con­sidering also it would be hard to find many men to like of one man's choice in the limitation of times and quantities of words; with which not one, but every ear is to be pleased and made a particular judge; it being most truly said, that a multitude or commonalty is hard to please, and easy to offend." In conclusion, he condemns this sort of versification as a frivolous and ridiculous novelty. But, although in this particular he mani-
* These examples are taken from his own poems.






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