Page:The Comic English Grammar.djvu/125

This page has been validated.
121
PROSODY.

CHAPTER II.

OF VERSIFICATION.

It is with peculiar pleasure that we approach this part of Prosody. We belong to a class of persons to whom a celebrated phrenological manipulator ascribes "some poetical feeling, if studied or called forth;" and, to borrow another expression from the same quarter, we sometimes "versify a little;" that is to say, we diversify our literary occupations by an occasional flirtation with the muses.

We have a great respect for the memory of our old schoolmaster; notwithstanding which, we think we can beat him (which, we shall be told by the wags, would be tit for tat) at poet-making, though, indeed, he was a magician in his way. "I'll make thee a poet, my boy," he used to say, "or the rod shall."

Let us try what we can do.

A verse consists of a certain number and variety of syllables, put together and arranged according to certain laws.

Verses being also called dulcet strains, harmonious numbers, tuneful lays, and so forth, it is clear that such combination and arrangement must be so made as to please the ear.

Versification is the making of verses. This seems such a truism as to be not worth stating; but it is necessary to define what Versification is, because many people suppose it to be the same thing with poetry.

We will prove that it is not.

"Much business in the Funds has lately been
Transacted various monied men between;

Though speculation early in the week