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Metrical Accent.

METRICAL ACCENT is a stress laid upon certain syllables in verse, recurring at regular intervals, and generally corresponding with the common accent, but not always.

In Iambic measure, it falls on the last syllable of each foot; as, How lōved, how vāl | ŭed ōnce,| ǎvāils | thee nōt.

RULE 3. The metrical accent should generally be observed when it will not impair the sense, or so much derange the customary accent as to be harsh and unpleasant to the ear.

It would too much impair the sense, to read the following example as marked, in accordance with the metrical ac ent.


False eloquence, like the prismatic glass,
Its gaudy colors spreads in every place.

NOTE. In the following examples, and in others of a similar character, in which there is an unpleasant harshness produced by the conflict of the common and metrical accents, a compromise may be made, and both syllables may be accented nearly alike.


Our supréme foe in time may much relent.

Encamp their legions, or with obscure wing.

Metrical Changes.

METRICAL CHANGES are used to signify those variations that are sometimes made in words, by poetic license, to accommodate them to the measure which the verse requires.

These changes are frequently indicated by an apostrophe, which

QUESTIONS. What is Metrical Accent? Where does it fall in Iambic verse? What s Rule Third? How is the sense impaired in the examples under this rule? When the metrical and common accents conflict, what should be done? What is meant by Metrical Changes? How are they frequently indicated?

denotes that the word is abbreviated; but at the present time, custom seems inclined, in most instances, to omit this notation, and leave the reader to determine when such changes are necessary.

A syllable may sometimes be added to the end of a word, in pronouncing it, which would not commonly be sounded.

RULE 4. When abbreviations are made in words, or additions are made to them by poetic license, they must generally be so far regarded in reading, as not to increase or diminish the number of syllables beyond what the measure requires.

NOTE. Whenever a line in verse contains redundant letters or syllables, or more than the measure requires, they should either be entirely suppressed, or so slightly and rapidly uttered, as to coalesce with the one following.



On every side | with shad | owy squid | rons deep,
And hosts infuriate shūke | the shud | děring ground.
'Tis mine to teach | th' inac | tive hand | to reap
Kind nature's boun | ties, o'er | the globe | diffused.
Bend 'gainst the stee | py hill | thy breast.
Who durst | defy | th' Omnipotent | to arms!


Let each

His adamantine coat gird well, and each


Fit well | his helm, | gripe fast | his orb | ed* shield.
And now beneath them lay the wished for spot,

The sacred bower | of that renowned bard.

In the examples given above, the feet upon which metrical changes are made are printed in italics.

*This is not properly the etymological figure of paragoge, but it has the same effect when ed is pronounced as a distinct syllable.

QUESTIONS. What additions do poets sometimes make to words? What is Rule Fourth? How shall redundant letters or syllables in verse be treated?


Exercise 1.-To Illustrate Rule 1, page 69.

1. The Assyrian came down | like the wolf | on the fold. And his cohorts were gleam | ing in pur | ple and gold; And the sheen | of their spears | was like stars | on the sea, When the blue | wave rolls night | ly on deep | Galilee.

2. Like the leaves of the forests when summer is green, That host | with their banners at sunset were seen; Like the leaves of the forests when autumn hath blown, That host on the morrow lay withered and strown.

3. For the angel of death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed; And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and forever grew still.

4. And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide,
But through it there rolled not the breath of his pride-
And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf
And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.

5. And there lay the rider distorted and pale, With the dew on his brow and the rust on his mail And the tents were all silent, the banners alone, The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown,

6 And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!

Exercise 2.- To Illustrate Rule 2, page 70.

Of man's first disobedience, I and the fruit.. Of that forbidden tree, il whose mortal taste.. Brought death into the world, Il and all our woe, With loss of Eden, till one greater Man . . Restore us, and regain the blissful seat, Sing, heavenly muse, || that on the sacred 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! Or, if Sion hill Delight thee more, and Siloa's brook, that flowed Fast by the oracle of God; I thence Invoke thy aid to my adventurous song, That with no middle flight intends to soar Above th' Aonian mount, while it pursues Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme.

Lo! the poor Indian! | whose untutored mind..
Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind;
His soul || proud science never taught to stray.
Far as the solar walk, or milky way;
Yet simple nature to his hope has given,
Behind the cloud-topped hill, an humbler heaven;
Some safer world in depth of woods embraced,
Some happier island in the watery waste,
Where slaves once more their native land behold,
No fiends torment, no Christians thirst for gold.
TO BE, contents his natural desire,

He asks no angel's wing, no seraph's fire;
But thinks, admitted to that equal sky,
His faithful dog shall bear him company.

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1. THE United States of America constitute an essential portion of a great political system, embracing all the civilized. nations of the earth. At a period when the force of moral opinion is rapidly increasing, they have the precedence in the practice and the defense of the equal rights of man. The sovereignty of the people is here a conceded axiom," and the laws, established upon that basis, are cherished with faithful patriotism.

2. While the nations of Europe aspire after change, our constitution engages the fond admiration of the people, by which it has been established. Prosperity follows the execution of even justice; invention is quickened by the freedom of competition; and labor rewarded with sure and unexampled returns. Domestic peace is maintained without the aid of a military establishment; public sentiment permits the existence of but few standing troops, and those only along the seaboard and on the frontiers.

3. A gallant navy protects our commerce, which spreads its banners on every sea, and extends its enterprise to every clime. Our diplomatic relations connect us, on terms of equality and honest friendship, with the chief powers of the world;

*For explanations in relation to Part II., see preface.

a Ax'iom; self-evident truth b Diplomatic; pertaining to public ministers or


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