previous next


Verses with four accents change of construction  

A foot or syllable can be omitted where there is any marked pause, whether arising from (1) emotion, (2) antithesis, or (3) parenthesis, or (4) merely from the introduction of a relative clause, or even a new statement.

(1) “Wére't | my fítness
To lét | these hánds | obéy | my blóod, | --' |
They're ápt | enóugh | to dís | locáte | and téar
Thy flésh | and bónes.” Lear, iv. 2. 64. “O' | dislóy | al thíng
That shóuld'st | repáir | my yóuth, | --' | thou héap'st
A yéar's | age ón | me.” Cymb. i. 1. 132.

There is an intended solemnity in the utterances of the ghosts in “Let fáll | thy lánce. | ' | Despáir | and díe.” Rich. III. v. 3. 143. and “Thínk on | lord Hástings. | ' | Despáir | and díe.” Ib. 148.

(2) “Scarce án | y jóy
Did év | er só | long líve. | | No sórrow
But kíll'd | itsélf | much sóon | er.” W. T. v. 3. 53.

(3) “He quít | his fórt | unes hére
(Which yóu | knew gréat) | ' | ánd to | the házard.” Ib. iii. 2. 169.

(4) “Mark whát | I sáy, | ' | which yóu | shall fínd.” M. for M. iv. 3. 130. Perhaps “Is my kíns | man, ' | whóm | the kíng | hath wróng'd,” Rich. II. ii. 2. 114. in a very irregular passage, part of which is nearly prose. “I'nto | his títle | which | the | we fínd.” 1 Hen. IV. iv. 3. 104. “That shé | did gíve me, | ' | whose pó | sy wás.” M. of V. v. 1. 148. “Cáll our | cares féars, | ' | which wíll | in tíme.” Coriol. iii. 1. 137. “'Tis súre | enóugh | --án you | knew hów.” T. A. iv. 1. 95.

A pause may, perhaps, be expected before an oath, as in “As yoú | shall gíve | th' advíce. | Bý | the fíre
That quíck | ens E' | gypt's slíme.” A. and C. i. 3. 68. (But "vice" or "by" may be prolonged.) “That mý | most jéal | ous ánd | too dóubt | ful héart
May líve | at péace. | ' | He sháll | concéal it.” T. N. iv. 3. 28; Macbeth, i. 5. 6. “To wátch, | poor pérdu!
With thís | thin hélm. | ' | Mine éne | my's dóg,
Thóugh he | had bít | me, shóuld | have stood | that níght
Agáinst | my fíre.” Lear, iv. 7. 36. “Last níght | 'twas ón | mine árm. | ' | I kíss'd it.” Cymb. ii. 3. 151. (Certainly not "I kíss | ed ít.") “Would thén | be nóthing. | ' | Trúths would | be táles.” A. and C. ii. 2. 137. “Póint to | rich énds. | ' | Thís my | mean tásk.” Temp. iii. 1. 4. “Must gíve | us páuse (484). | ' | Thére's the | respéct.” Hamlet, iii. 1. 68.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: