INTRODUCTION xci ���line made up of monosyllables is not unusual in the work of any poet, but even in such cases Lady Winchilsea's use of monosyllables is excessive. In the second stanza of The Wit and the Beau there are twenty-four monosyllables before the first dissyllable is reached. There are frequent octosyllabic couplets with no dissyllables, as, �Love when next his] leave he took Cast on both so sweet a look. �Cloath me O Fate, tho' not so gay, Cloath me light and fresh as May. �There are also frequent pentameter couplets with but a single dissyllable, and some without even the one dis- syllable, as, �Thus washed in tears, as fair my soul does shew As the first fleece, which on the Lamb does grow. �In the Poor Man's Lamb, a poem of fifty-seven lines, from which this couplet is taken, there are eight monosylla- bic lines besides the couplet. Single pentameter mono- syllabic lines may be counted by the hundred. Even Alexandrines are sometimes monosyllabic, as, �Urg'd him to keep his word and still he swore the same. �Though some of the monosyllabic lines have vowels and consonants so cunningly linked, or are so placed in connec- tion with others of different composition that the ear is not conscious of any break in the general harmony, yet often the recurring monosyllables give an unpleasantly staccato effect, or they make the verse seem childish. �In a consideration of Lady Winchilsea's rhymes their cor- rectness must, of course, be judged by the pronunciations current in her day. Certain variations from modern pro- nunciation are of especial interest. She almost invariably, for instance, rhymes a oi" or "oy " with " I." We find the follow- ing as regular rhymes: join, coin + fine; join'd, coin'd -f- kind; ��� �
Page:Poems of Anne Countess of Winchilsea 1903.djvu/95
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