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612. A single line of poetry—that is, a series of feet set in a recognized order—is called a Verse.1

Note.--Most of the common verses originally consisted of two series (hemistichs), but the joint between them is often obscured. It is marked in Iambic and Trochaie Tetrameter by the Diæresis, in Dactylic Hexameter by the Cæsura.

a. A verse lacking a syllable at the end is called Catalectic, that is, having a pause to fill the measure; when the end syllable is not lacking, the verse is called Acatalectic, and has no such pause.

b. A final syllable, regularly short, is sometimes lengthened before a pause:2 it is then said to be long by Diastole:

    nostrōrum obruimur,oriturque miserrima caedēs.—Aen. 2.411.

c. The last syllable of any verse may be indifferently long or short (syllaba anceps).

1 The word Verse (versus) signifies a turning back, i.e. to begin again in like manner, as opposed to Prose (prorsus or prōversus ), which means straight ahead.

2 This usage is comparatively rare, most cases where it appears to be found being caused by the retention of an originally long quantity.

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