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2. The second lambic metre contains two Iambuses: like the former, it is only used in stanzas:

Ăssumes the god,

Affects to nod. 3. To the preceding form, a short syllable is sometimes added :

Prěväiling sādněss,

That leads to madness.
4. The fourth Iambic metre contains three Iambuses:

Thěy come in strēngth årrāy'd,

With banners wide display'd. 5. The fifth Iambric metre is formed by adding a syllable to the preceding :

The heart shall fềel no sörròw,

For joy shall gild the morrow. 6. The sixth Iambic form contains four Iambuses. As it consists of eight syllables, it is commonly called the octosyllabic metre; the comic poem of Hudibras being written in this measure, has given it the name of Hudibrastic verse : as, for instance,

Now whẽn, like lobster boild, the mörn

From black to red began to turn. But Sir Walter Scott's example proves that it is also applicable to serious subjects:

They came, like mountain-torrent red,
That thunders o'er its rocky bed;
They sank like that same torrent's wave,

When swallow'd by a darksome cave. 7. The seventh Iambic metre contains five Iambuses. From its being used chiefly for subjects of importance, it is called the epic or heroic measure; and, when every two lines rhyme, it is termed the heroic couplet. Though the heroic metre properly consists of five Iambuses, it, as well as most of the English common measures, admits the occasional introduction of other feet, for the sake of variety :

Etērnål Hõpe, whěn yonděr sphéres sublime
Peal'd their first notes to sound the march of Time,
Thy joyous youth began—but not to fade.
When all the sister-planets have decay'd;
When wrapt in fire, the realms of ether glow,
And Heaven's last thunder shakes the world below;

Thou, undismay'd, shalt o'er the ruins smile,

And light thy torch at Nature's funeral pile. 8. The eighth Iambic form contains six Iambuses: it is called an Alexandrine, and is now only used to diversify heroic verses ::

A needless Alexandrine ends the song,

Thăt, like ă wounděd snäke, drågs its slow length ălong. 9. The last Iambic form, now rarely used, consists of seven Iambuses:

The Lord descēnded from ăbove, and bow'd the heav'ns on high;

And underneath his feet he placed the darkness of the sky. But it is more usual to break this into a lyric measure, or into two verses, consisting alternately of eight and six syllables.

The Lord descended from above,

And bow'd the heav'ns on high;
And underneath his feet he plac d

The darkness of the sky.

II. TROCHAIC VERSE. 1. The shortest Trochaic verse consists of a Trochee and an additional long syllable. It is rarely used.

Horrid War

Yokes his car.
2. The second Trochaic form consists of two Trochees:

Rich the treasure,

Sweet the pleasure. 3. The third Trochaic metre is formed from the second, by the addition of a long syllable :

Sweet the days of youth,

Dignified by truth.
4. The fourth Trochaic form contains three Trochees :

Fást thě night is falling,

Sights and sounds appalling. 5. The fifth Trochaic metre consists of three Trochees and an additional long syllable:

Now my wēarý lids I close;

Leave me, leave me to repose. 6. The sixth form of English Trochaic verse consists of four Trochees :

Săw yě not the lightning flāshing,

Heard ye not the thunder crashing? 7. The seventh Trochaic form, which is rarely used, is composed of four Trochees and a long syllable:

Thūs hě-spoke in sõrrow and děspäir. 8. The eighth Trochaic form, also rarely used, consists of five Trochees :

All thăt come from yonder dēsert islănd,

From its barren moor or stony high land. 9. The ninth Trochaic form, also rarely used, contains six Trochees:

On å mountain, strētch'd bènēath ă hòary willow,
Lay a shepherd swain, and view'd the rolling billow.

III. ANAPÆSTIC VERSE. 1. The first Anapæstic measure contains a single Anapæest; it is frequently confounded with the first Trochaic :

Īf ågain

They complain. 2. The second Anapæstic metre consists of two Anapæsts :

All our labour mŭst fail,

If the wicked prevail. 3. The third Anapæstic form consists of two Anapæsts and a short syllable:

In the cave of the möuntain,

By the side of the fountain. 4. The fourth Anapæstic form consists of three Anapæsts:

În thč nātions thỹ plāce is lěst võid,

Thou art lost in the list of the free;
Even realms by the plague and the earthquake destroy'd,

May revive—but no hope is for thee.
5. The fifth Anapæstic metre consists of four Anapæsts :

Máy I gõvern mỹ passions with absolute sway,

And grow wiser and better as life wears away. 6. The sixth Anapæstic metre is formed from the preceding, by the addition of a short syllable :

Fròm the tốp of thắt hill, sẵe, thẻ sẵn s dễscõnding. The Anapæstic metres are almost infinitely varied by the introduction of secondary feet.


The Amphibrachic metres are principally used in humorous poetry; they consist of either two or three Amphibrachs :

if this bě your fäshion,

To flý în å passion,
You măy kēep thě whole house to yourself.


There are but few specimens of pure Dactylic poetry in the
English language. The best was written by Dr. Southey.
Each verse contains four Dactyls :

Wearý wăy-wanděrěr, languid ånd sīck åt heart,
Travelling painfully over the rugged road;
Wild-visaged wanderer! oh, for thy heavy chance!

Southey also attempted to naturalize the Sapphic stanza and the hexameter verse; but the structure of both is so opposed to the peculiarities of the English language, that he completely failed. The effort, however, was laudable, and from the following specimens, the reader will perceive that the failure was not owing to any want of ability on the part of that distinguished poet.

A Sapphic stanza consists of three Sapphic lines, and one Adonic; the Sapphic line is composed of a Trochee, a Spondee, a Dactyl, and two Trochees; the Adonic consists of a Dactyl and Spondee:

Cold was thē night-wind, drifting fāst thě snow féll,
Wide were the downs, and shelterless, and naked,
When a poor wanderer struggled on her journey,

Wearý ănd wāysore.

In Hexameter verse, the first four feet may be either Dactyls or Spondees, but the fifth must be a Dactyl, and the sixth a Spondee; but, in English verse, a Trochee must be substituted for a Spondee : Fäde like thě | hõpez of youth, till thě | bēauty of | earth is dě | pār:ěd. Of the CÆSURA. The Cæsura is the pause between one word and another, which divides the verse into two equal or unequal parts. On its right disposition depends, in a great degree, the harmony of the verse. The Cæsural pause may, but must not of necessity, coincide with a pause in the sense. The Cæsural pause may take place after the fourth syllable:

Peal'd their first notes" to sound the march of Time. Or it may come after the fifth syllable:

If Greece must perish," we thy will obey, Or after the sixth syllable:

A generous friendship” no cold medium knows. Or two Cæsuras may divide the verse into three portions: but this produces rather a harsh effect:

Some love to stray," there lodged," amused, and fed. But the introduction of semi-Cesural pauses frequently increases the melodious flow of the verse:

Warms' in the sun," refreshes' in the breeze,
Glows' in the stars," and blossoms' in the trees,
Lives' through all life," extends' through all extent,
Spreads undivided," operates' unspent.


It is much more difficult to read poetry well, than prose; if read without any attention to the metre, it becomes perfectly prosaic; if the metre be the only, or even the chief, object of attention, the reader falls into a semi-musical sing-song, -a style something between reading and singing, with all the disadvantages incident to both, and without any of the merits of either. The inversions, or irregular arrangements, of words allowed in poetry, greatly increase the difficulty. Were we, for instance, to express in prose the following couplet:

Achilles' wrath, to Greece the direful spring
Of woes unnumbered, heavenly Goddess sing!

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