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were rhymed, but preserving a sustained energy to the end, and especially avoiding anything like haste, which is sure to mar the poetic effect. A half-spoken word, or a neglected pause, will destroy the most effective passages beyond doubt.

The following extract from Grahame's “Sabbath Morn” will afford striking proof of the necessity of careful consideration of these points :

How still the morning of the hallowed day !
Mute is the voice of rural labour, hush'd
The ploughboy's whistle and the milkmaid's song!
The scythe lies glittering in the dewy wreath
Of ledded grass, mingled with faded flowers,
That yestermorn bloom'd waving in the breeze.
Sounds the most faint attract the ear-the hum
Of early bee, the trickling of the dew,
The distant bleating mid-way up the hill.
Calmness sits throned on yon unmoving cloud.
To him who wanders o'er the upland leas,
The blackbird's note comes mellower from the dale ;
And sweeter from the sky the gladsome lark
Warbles his heav'n-tuned song ; the lulling brook
Murmurs more gently down the deep-worn glen;
While from yon roof, where curling smoke
O'ermounts the mist, is heard at intervals

The voice of psalms, the simple song of praise. This leads us, lastly, to notice verse, or poetry, with its variety of metres, but always having its appropriate rhyme. Here every care will be required to avoid sacrificing the sense to the rhyme, or the rhyme to the sense. Two speakers or readers may make the same poem appear like two distinct productions, by the mere difference with which they enunciate the words.

By way of illustrating how important it is thus to seek to fully realise the spirit as well as the letter of the poet's meaning, take the following incident recorded by one who had given lessons on Elocution to large numbers :

“I one day gave out, to a class of ten, Hood's ' Bridge of Sighs.' To the pupil who made the best recitation I promised to present a richly bound volume of that author's poems. Among the young men was one, a plasterer by trade, about twenty-two years of age, a great, uncouth, and uneducated person, of whom, I confess, I expected but little. I had drilled him severely in articulation, for, his education having been neglected, he spoke thickly, and without force, precision, or grace.

“When the day of trial came, I had made up my mind which of the boys was to bear away the prize-one who was grace itself-studied grace. All the class was ready and eager for the trial, to witness which a large audience had assembled. One by one the recitations were made, but all were of unequal merit in parts ; not one pleased me as a whole. The plasterer came last; but so frightened was he by the occasion and the numbers present, that his courage failed, and he was about to abandon the contest-at which all the other contestants laughed. This fired his pride, and he bounded upon the stage, flushing and paling by turns. His trepidation, however, was but momentary. Closing his eyes-evidently to shut out the surroundings, and to catch the sad spirit of the poem-he commenced.

It was as if a mother's wail over the dead had thrilled the assembly. The voice was low, sweet, but wondrously intoned ; the face was white, and the eyes were tearful, but strained in their commingled horror and pity. Instantly we saw before us the beautiful one ‘Gone to her Death.' We were awed, astounded, immovable, and hung upon the words as if they were a revelation. We swayed with each emotion-now with terror, then with pity, then with anger, then with human tenderness that was exquisite pain. We were but reeds bending to each emotion in the air around us ; time, place, person—all were forgotten in the presence of that magic creation.

“The orator had left the platform and regained his seat before the spell was dissolved. Then the audience-many an eye swimming in tears—rose en masse, giving a cheer that was a tribute alike to the poet and the speaker. The untutored plasterer had won the volume, indeed ; and I closed the exercises, thinking how little of all that splendid triumph was due to

my 'art.'

“ The secret of that success lay, not in the orator's grace and skill, but in the simple fact that he possessed the poet's own conception and feeling. And this I have learned, that the true orator is one who feels what he utters, and who, abandoning all art and artifice, gives unrestrained expression to what he feels.”

Hence it will be seen how that reciter will most succeed who


brings by due emphasis the best thoughts to the surface, and in no way offends the ear by the tones of his voice, or dulls the understanding by the rendering of the words he is reciting or reading To do this, however, is no easy matter, and as a result, good readers of poetry are not often to be met with. The main reason arises from the fact that the melody of verse dictates to the ear pauses or rests of its own, and it is in the effort to make these work together that the real difficulty

The very regularity of the time and the sameness in the sound which belong to verses which rhyme have a strong tendency to induce the reader to drop into the same tone as well, and unless this is very carefully guarded against, it will assuredly lead to the “sing-song” style of the schoolboy, and when that is the case the taste as well as the ear of any person who has judgment will soon rebel. Perhaps the best plan to adopt while practising is to ignore at first the rhyme altogether, and read the poetry as if it were prose. After this has been done, and the author's meaning realised, much of the danger will be overcome. While on this point, it may also be as well to illustrate the very common sing-song style into which young people especially are liable to fall. The following words will be perhaps sufficient for the purpose of pointing out how it is that the mistake occurs :

SAIL-or boy, SAIL-or boy, NEV-er a-GAIN

Shall PEACE, love, or KIN-dred thy WISH-es re-PAY ;
Un-BLEST and un-hon-our'd down DEEP in the main,

Full ma-ny score FATH-oms thy FORM shall de-CAY, &c. If this is read as marked so giving twice as much time to the syllables with CAPITAL letters as to those with italic, it will be seen that the fault lies in the reader not recognizing “proper time,” which is as important in reading as it is in singing While if it is recited in the following way, and the right emphasis placed on each word, the difficulty may be just as easily avoided :

Sailor boy, sāilor boy, nēver again

Shall peace, love, or kindred thy wishes rēpay ;
Unblēst and unhonour'd down dēep in the māin,

Full māny score fāthoms thy form shall decāy, &c. Poetry is divided into parts called bars (like music). These bars contain either four or six notes. If the bar contain four notes, the accent, as a rule, should fall on the first and third note, or the first and third syllable of each sentence ; for instance :

Though thy lot in life be scant,

Pine not at thy fate's decree ;
Bless'd with calmness and content,

Can a monarch richer be ?
Should the bar contain six notes, then, as a rule, the accent
should fall on the first and fourth note or syllable of each bar.
The following will illustrate the method :-

Deep is the morass, and wide is the river,

And far is the journey I yet have to roam (PAUSE),
Still my heart sinks not, but throbs quick as ever,

True, true, to the rapture that waits me at home. Perhaps it will even be better understood, if we recommend as a good thing to cultivate an ear for speaking as well as for inging. To aid this, suppose we take the following sentence, from which it will be clearly seen by beating time with the foot firmly on the accented syllables, and softly on those which do not need accent, what expression it gives to the words and thoughts :

Then what are the charms—can you guess,
That make them so fond of each other ?
'Tis the pleasing remembrance of youth,

The raptures that youth did bestow ;
The thoughts of past pleasure and truth,

The best of all blessings below. It will thus be recognized that, as a general rule, more care should be given to avoid, rather than maintain, the measured accent, and that all accents not needful to give force to the sentiment in the verse should be omitted alto. gether. By way of an experiment let the student try the following piece. It will very soon be seen that the greatest care will be needful to give it with proper effect. Indeed, only one who can represent several others, both in words and act, will be able to do justice to it:


Did you ever! No, I never !

Mercy on us, what a smell !
Don't be frightened, Johnny, dear !

Gracious ! how the jackals yell !
Mother, tell me, what's the man

Doing with that pole of his ? Bless your precious little heart,

He's stirring up the beastesses !

Children ! don't you go so near.

Hevings ! there's the Afric cowses ! What's the matter with the child ?

Why, the monkey's tore his trowses ! Here's the monstrous elephant

I'm all a tremble at the sight;
See his monstrous tooth-pick, boys !

Wonder if he's fastened tight ?

There's the lion !- see his tail !

How he drags it on the floor ; 'Sakes alive! I'm awful scared

To hear the horrid creatures roar ! Here's the monkeys in their cage,

Wide awake you are to see 'em ; Funny, ain't it? How would you

Like to have a tail and be 'em ?

Johnny, darling, that's the bear

That tore the naughty boys to pieces ; Horned cattle !-Only hear

How the dreadful camel wheezes ! That's the tall giraffe, my boy,

Who stoops to hear the morning lark; 'Twas him who waded Noah's flood,

And scorned the refuge of the ark.

Here's a crane—the awkward bird !

Strong his neck is as a whaler's, And his bill is full as long

As ever met one from a tailor's. Look !—just see the zebra there,

Standing safe behind the bars ; Goodness me! how like a flag,

All except the corner stars.

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