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288                                ORTHOMETRY.
and dispense with rhyme, saving in the chorus, or where a sentence shall require a couplet." He says too, that he thinks it wrong to mix uncertainly feminine rhymes with masculine;* which, ever since he was warned of that deformity by a kind friend, he had always so avoided, as that there are not above two couplets in that kind in all his poem of the Civil Wars ; that he " held feminine rhymes to be fittest for ditties, and either to be certain, or set by themselves." The opinions of Daniel are more particularly noticed here, because his versifi­cation is equal to the best of his times.
Another poet, who valued himself upon his skill in numbers, viz. Cowley, may be joined with these authors; not indeed for any formal work upon the subject, but for certain notes made by him upon his own verses. The purport of those notes is to inform his readers that the verses are intended and framed to represent the things described by their imitative harmony. In his preface he expresses himself thus respecting the odes which he calls pindaric: " The numbers are various and irregular, and sometimes (especially some of the long ones) seem harsh and uncouth, if the just measures and cadences be not observed in the pronunciation. So that almost all their sweetness and numerosity
* The terms masculine and feminine, as applied to verse, are taken from the French, and signify—the first, rhymes of one syllable—the other, of two, which we now call double rhymes; and of which this character of King John, from the First Book of his Civil Wars, is an example:
A tyrant loath'd, a homicide convented, Poison'd he dies, disgraced, and unlamented.
By rhymes uncertainly mixed, he means introduced irregularly; not recurring in the stanzas at set distances, which he calls certain.






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