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WHEN the accent is laid on the first fyllable for feveral lines fucceffively, it occafions an unpleafing monotony.


That chang'd thro' all, and yet in all the fame,
Great in the earth, as in th' ethereal frame;
Warms in the fun, refreshes in the breeze,
Glóws in the stars, and blossoms in the trees,
Líves thro' all life, extends thro' all extent,
Spreads undivided, operates unfpent,
Breathes in our foul, informs our mortal part,

As fúll and perfect in a hair, as heart.

Eff. on M. i. 269.

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It has been usually fuppofed *, that the monotony of thefe lines is owing to the uniform divifion of every verfe, except the firft and the laft, at the fourth fyllable. This however is not the only cause of the monotony. It is chiefly produced by the conftant repetition of the accent on the first syilable.

Webb's Remarks on Poetry, p. S.

This will evidently appear by the following lines, in which the reader will perceive a fimilar monotony, though the poetical rest is varied:

Fáde ev'ry bloffom-wither ev'ry tree;
Die ev'ry flow'r-and perish all but she.

Pope, Paft. iii. 58.

Mix'd with the vulgar-shall thy fate be found,
Piérc'd in the back-a vile, dishonest wound?
Il. viii. 119

Líves thro' all life-extends thro' all extent,
Spreads undivided-operates unfpent.

Eff. on M.

Swift as a flood of fire-when storms arife,
Flóats the wide field-and blazes to the skies.

Il. ii. 948.

§ V.

THE accent is fometimes laid on the first, third, fifth, and seventh fyllables.


Fáireft piece of wéll-form'd earth,
U'rge not thús your háughty bírth.

Cóuld we, which we néver cán,
Stretch our lives beyond their spán;
Béauty like a fhádow flíes,

A'nd our youth before us díes.


This measure has been frequently called the trochaic verfe; because, in Greek and Roman poets, the trochee was a foot, confifting of a long fyllable, fucceeded by a short one, as ārmă. But this appellation is only applicable in a figurative sense.

Verfes of this conftruction fometimes confift of eight fyllables, and end with a double rhyme.

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The following fong, by Mr. Pope, faid to have been written by a person of quality, belongs to this fpecies of verfification.

Flatt ring fpréad thy púrple pínions,
Gentle Cupid, o'er my heart;

I a flave in thy dominions;
Nature must give way to art.

Mild Arcadians, ever blooming,
Nightly nodding o'er your flocks,
See, my weary days confuming,
All beneath yon flow'ry rocks.

Thus the Cyprian goddefs weeping,
Mourn'd Adonis, darling youth;
Him the boar in filence creeping,
Gor❜d with unrelenting tooth.

Cynthia, tune harmonious numbers;
Fair Difcretion, firing the lyre;
Sooth my ever-waking flumbers;
Bright Apollo fend thy choir.

Gloomy Pluto, king of terrors,
Arm'd in adamantine chains,
Lead me to the cryftal mirrors,
Wat'ring foft Elyfian plains.

Mournful cyprefs, verdant willow,
Gilding my Aurelia's brows;
Morpheus, hovʼring o'er my pillow

Hear me pay my dying vows.


Melancholy, smooth Meander,

Swiftly purling in a round,

On thy margin lovers wander,

With thy flow'ry chaplets crown'd.

Thus, when Philomela drooping,
Softly feeks her filent mate,
See the bird of Juno stooping:
Melody refigns to fate.

I have given this fong at full length, because I would obferve, that the author's design is grossly mistaken by many superficial readers, who think it a ferious, as well as an elegant fonnet. It is a piece of exquifite humour, confifting of melodious nonsense, flowery expreffions, and incoherent fentiments, calculated to ridicule those frivolous compofitions, which are

faid to be written " by Perfons of Quality."


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