Page:The Comic English Grammar.djvu/137

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133
PROSODY.

It were manifestly culpable to make no mention, in a work of this sort, of certain measures which are especially and essentially, of a comic nature. Some of these have been already adverted to, but two principal varieties yet remain to be considered.

1. Measures taken from the Latin, in which the structure of the ancient Verse, as far as the number and arrangement of the feet are concerned, is preserved, but the quantity of which is regulated in accordance with the spirit of our own language. The character of such verses will be best displayed by employing them on sentimental or serious subjects. Take, for example. Long and Short, or Hexameter and Pentameter verses.

"Jūlĭă, gīrl ŏf my̆ heārt, ĭs thăn jēssămĭne swēetĕr, ŏr frēsh mēads
Hāy-cŏvĕr'd; whāt rōse tīnts thōse ŏn hĕr chēeks, thăt flŏurīsh,
Approach? those bright eyes, what stars, what glittering dew-drops?
And oh! what Parian marble, or snow, that bosom?
If she my love return, what bliss will be greater than mine; but
What more deep sadness if she reprove my passion?
Either a bridegroom proud yon ivy-clad church shall receive me
Soon; or the cold church-yard me with its turf shall cover."

Or the Sapphic metre of which the late Mr. Canning's "Knife-Grinder" is so brilliant an example. Sappho, fair reader, was a poetess, who made love-verses which could be actually scanned. History re-