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But a fault still greater is here :
Sha'n't I return the vengeance in my power?
This term,is so deformed and vulgarized by
elision as to be altogether unfit to appear in poetry. In justice to the poets of the present time, it is to be acknowledged that they are more correct and guarded against these blemishes; and to collect them we are forced to go back to a former age.
Other elisions, not much practised by our moderns, are made in words of more than one syllable, by cutting off the last, like these in Milton : *
Th' specious deeds on earth which glory' excites, To be invulnerable' in those bright arms, So he with difficulty' and labour hard.
But among our earliest poets this sort of elision was common ; Gower used it:
For ever I wrastle', and ever I am behind, As pray unto my Lady' of any help.
So did Chaucer:
Then help me, Lord, to-morrow' in my battaille. Winnen thy cost, take her ensampk-' of me. My body' is ay so redy' and so penible.
* See Hiatus, p. 115.