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IMITATIVE HARMONY. 273
in even the most noted examples of it, is more fanciful than real. Still there can be no question that the skilful grouping and management of sounds in poetry may greatly contribute to the sensuousness of description and the appropriateness of the rhythm. This is plainly discernible in some at least of the following examples. In Hamlet (v. 2), the Prince conjures his friend Horatio, who was desirous of dying with him, still to live. His words are:
If ever thou didst hold me in thine heart,
Absent thee from felicity awhile,
And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain,
To tell my story.
The composition of the third line is remarkable, for it is clogged with consonants, and the aspirate, and the hissing s; and all the syllables but one are long, either by quantity or position; i.e. two consonants following the vowel. By this artificial structure, the utterance of the verse is made to resemble the sense, for it does not admit of a quick or easy pronunciation.
In Henry IV.y part I. iii. 1, Glendower translates his daughter's wishes to her husband Mortimer in these words:
She bids you Upon the wanton rushes lay you down, And rest your gentle head upon her lap, And she will sing the song that pleaseth you, And on your eyelids crown the god of sleep, Charming your blood with pleasing heaviness,