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The gaudy world, whate'er you see, Is all an empty show to me.
It does not require a nice ear to perceive the differ­ence of these lines from the former, nor any great skill to form a right judgment between them in respect of their structure, which is the only point, at this time, under consideration.
Regard to quantity is not indeed essential to English verse ; neither is symmetry nor proportion essential to a dwelling-house: but to a good dwell­ing-house they are essential, and so is regard to quantity to good English verse.
This, however, was a matter to which Pope, at least in his early life, appears to have been insen­sible or inattentive, if the following anecdote be true. The second line of his first pastoral stood originally thus—
Nor blush to sport on Windsor's peaceful plains.
He would have altered it to happy ; but Walsh objected to that correction, saying the quantity would not then be the same; for the first syllable of happy was short; Pope therefore put blissful* Here are other examples of the effect of long sylla­bles worthy of quotation—
The waves behind impel the waves before, Wide-rolling, foaming high, and tumbling on the shore.
* Boswell on Shaksperes Metre.