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57

(1869) [MARC] Author: Rasmus Rask
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176. The two lines which form the fourth part of the
strophe are without exception united by alliteration
(letter-rhyme), this is a most essential part of the Icelandic versification.
The nature of Alliteration demands that three words should occur
in these lines beginning with the same letter. One of these
three words must stand at the beginning of the second line
and is called the chief letter, the two others in the first line
are governed by it, these are called the sub-letters.

If the chief-letter be a compound as -sp, st etc., the
sub-letters must correspond with it, but if the chief letter be a
vowel or a diphthong the sub-letters may change the tone by
another vowel, as:

Stendr [[A]]ngantýrs
ausinn moldu
[[s]]alr í [[S]]ámsey
[[s]]unnanverðri.

[[** NB dansk original har langt mer kursiv enn dette, merket [[]] **]]

177. It is not always necessary that the chief-letter stands
at the beginning of the line, in short verses it often has a
toneless word before it, indispensable for completing the
sentence, these are called (málfylling) „filling up the sentence“,
such are or, sem í etc.

178. The Assonance or Line-rhyme, consists in the
occurrence in the same line of two syllables, the vowels of
which and the following cons. agree together. The one stands
at the beginning, the other at the end of the syllable. It is
called half-assonance when the vowels are different, and only
the consonants agree. These two kinds of the Line-rhyme
are thus divided; the first line of the quarter verse has the
half-assonance, the second has the assonance, as:

        held-vild, in the first line,

        veg-seg, in the second line.

179. The final rhyme is the same as in the modern
language, except that it is generally monosyllabic, and that the
two lines united by the chief-letter rhyme together, as:

Nú er hersis hefnd
við hilmi efnd,
gengr úlfr ok örn
of Ynglíngs börn.


180. Quantity is not observed, as all syllables may be long.
The freeest and oldest kind of verse is the (fornyrðalag)

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