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BLANK VERSE.                             191
Another circumstance remarkable in Milton's versification is his use of elisions. The practice of cutting' off a vowel at the end of a word was not introduced by him into our poetry, but he revived it when it had become obsolete ; so that his manner appeared as a novelty, and was indeed clearly different from that of other poets, and even from his own earlier productions. In his Comas there occur no elisions like these:
His temple right against the temple' of God— Anguish, and doubt, and fear, and sorrow', and pain— Abominable', unutterable', and worse.
The length of periods, occasionally and judiciously introduced, is another distinguishing feature. Such is the following:
Sing, heavenly Muse, that on the secret top Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire That shepherd who first taught the chosen seed, In the beginning, how the heavens and earth Rose out of chaos.
To these may be added the frequent inversions, as this, which is most remarkable :
God, from the Mount of Sinai, whose gray top Shall tremble, he descending, shall himself, In thunder, lightning, and loud trumpet's sound, Ordain them laws.
But in Milton's versification nothing is more remarkable than the skilful manner by which his