Page:Poems of Anne Countess of Winchilsea 1903.djvu/96

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xcii INTRODUCTION ���enjoy + lie; joys, noise + devise ; oyl, spoil, toil + smile; spoil'd + wild. " Ea " and " ai " usually rhyme with " a," but with interesting variations. Meat, treat, seat and other similar words rhyme with cate, but also sometimes with meet ; we find reveal, conceal + vale, but also -j- feel ; said -f- made or + wed; sais (for say s) + plays; again + vain or + men (in which case it is usually written " agen"); tea and sea always rhyme with day; but seas rhymes with ease, which in turn rhymes with these, but easy rhymes with lazy. We find also pleas'd + rais'd or+seiz'd; leave + grave or-}- receive (but receive, conceit, seize, and similar words apparently often had in her poems the sound of "a") ; ceas'd, feast, east, and beast rhyme with rest. Divert + art, reserv'd + starv'd, wreck + back, wreck'd + pack'd are frequent combinations. Are is fre- quently used with care, and were with air; wind always rhymes with mind. We find shew + foe or -f- new, been + sin or + seen, fault (sometimes written f aught) -f- taught. The fact that all of these rhymes occur in Dryden and in Pope would indicate that the pronunciation of the day sanctioned them. �In general it may be said of Lady Winchilsea's rhymed heroics that, according to the standard of her days they were more than respectably correct, but that she never attained to a conception of the couplet as the unit of verse. She has almost no enjambment, but she mars the couplet effect, as Pope conceived it, by full stops in the middle of a line or of a couplet, by triplets and by Alexandrines, by the use of feminine rhymes and by combinations of couplets with stan- zaic effects. Nor does she have, except faintly, the antithesis of idea, the structural balance of line and phrase, and the sharp, closing word that mark the couplet in its highest development. When her heroic verse is good its excellences arise from vigor and ease rather than from minute finish. �Less than half of Lady Winchilsea's non-dramatic verse ��� �