IRREGULARITIES. Transposition after an emphatic word or expressionTransposition after Emphatic Words. The influence of an emphatic word at the beginning of a sentence is shown in the transposition of the verb and subject. In such cases the last as well as the first word is often emphatic.
“And so have I a noble father lost,
“In dreadful secrecy impart they did.
A sister driven into desperate terms.” Ib. iv. 7. 25. Here note, that though the first line could be re-transposed and Laertes could naturally say "I have lost a father," on the other hand he could not say "I have driven a sister" without completely changing the sense. "Have" is here used in its original sense, and is equivalent to "I find." When "have" is thus used without any notion of action, it is separated from the participle passive.
“Pray can I not.” Ib. iii. 3. 38.
“But answer made it none.
The influence of an emphatic adverbial expression preceding is shown in the difference between the order in the second and the first of the two following lines:--
To make the dear loss have I means much weaker.
“As every alien pen hath got my use,
And under thee their poetry disperse.
“I did, my lord,
But loath am to produce so bad an instrument.
When the adverbs "never," "ever," are emphatic and placed near the beginning of a sentence, the subject often follows the verb, almost always when the verb is "was," &c. We generally write now "never was," but Shakespeare often wrote "(there) was never."
“Before the time I did Lysander see,
Seem'd Athens as a paradise to me.
Sometimes a word is made emphatic by repetition:
“Was never widow had so dear a loss.
“Sec. O. Peace! We'll hear him.
Third O. Ay, by my beard will we.
Or partly by antithesis, as well as by its natural importance:
“Hamlet. Look you, these are the stops.
Guild. But these cannot I command.
“I your commission will forthwith despatch,
And he to England shall along with you.
The following is explained by the omission of "there:"
“My soul shall thine keep company to heaven.
There seems a disposition to place participles, as though used absolutely, before the words which they qualify.
“I am question'd by my fears . . . that (there) may blow
No sneaping winds at home.
It is rare to find such transpositions as
“And these news,
Having been well, that would have made me sick,
Being sick, have in some measure made me well.
Transpositions are common in prose, especially when an adverb precedes the sentence. “Yet hath Leonora, my onely daughter, escaped.” MONTAIGNE (Florio), 225. “And, therefore, should not we marry so young.” Ib.
“Then the rich jewell'd coffer of Darius,
Transported shall be at high festivals.
is rather a case of "confusion of proximity" ("are" being changed to "is") than transposition. (See 302.)
“Now, sir, the sound that tells what hour it is
Are clamorous groans,