to the songs, the reader is warned that it will be found difficult to make them conform to the ordinary rules of versification, nor is it intended that they should so conform. They are written, and are intended to be read, solely with reference to the regular and invariable recurrence of the caesura, as, for instance, the first stanza of the Revival Hymn:
"Oh, whar / shill we go / w'en de great / day comes Wid de blow / in' er de trumpits / en de bang / in' er de drums / How man / y po' sin / ners'll be kotch'd / out late En fine / no latch ter de gold / en gate /"
In other words, the songs depend for their melody and rhythm upon the musical quality of time, and not upon long or short, accented or unaccented syllables. I am persuaded that this fact led Mr. Sidney Lanier, who is thoroughly familiar with the metrical peculiarities of negro songs, into the exhaustive investigation which has resulted in the publication of his scholarly treatise on The Science of English Verse.
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