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Unread 08-30-2019, 10:43 AM
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Allen Tice Allen Tice is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Brooklyn, NY USA
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Mark, worry not.

John, that first is a nice quote indeed, but for me it’s a standard image whose magic hangs altogether on one phrase in the sweetly rhyming last line, in fact, on even one word, the verb: “soundin’ through the town”. I hear a horn, a snorting charger trotting, hallos and shouted responses, and then a lady’s window shutter banging open. Wonderful. What one exact word can do!

The “wee Geordie” in the second citation is also good if it has a frame. In isolation, but with a prose introduction, that quote could suggest “big and tall, that’s all” or the “sound of fat” from a sizable, doubt-ridden young Falstaff. A mellow fellow indeed and good pal, struggling to be fierce in a martial culture.

Now, I definitely don’t claim equivalence for the following with a selection that describes a storm at sea overwhelming a wooden ship from Pseudo-Longinus’ “On the Sublime”, but that does pop into my mind when I encounter these:

They had not sailed a league, a league,
A league but barely three,
When the lift grew dark, and the wind blew loud,
And gurly grew the sea.

The ankers brake and the top-masts lap,
It was such a deadly storm;
And the waves came o'er the broken ship
Till all her sides were torn.

"O where will I get a good sailor
Will take my helm in hand,
Till I get up to the tall top-mast
To see if I can spy land?"

"O here am I, a sailor good,
Will take the helm in hand,
Till you go up to the tall top-mast,
But I fear you'll ne'er spy land."

He had not gone a step, a step,
A step but barely ane,
When a bolt flew out of the good ship's side,
And the salt sea came in.
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