A grammar of the Telugu language/BOOK ELEVENTH

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(ఛందము, or ఛందస్సు.)

"Thou art arriv'd where of itself, my ken

'No further reaches. I with skill and art

'Thus far have drawn thee. Now thy pleasure take

'For guide. Thou hast overcome the steeper way

'O'er come the straiter. Lo ! the sun that darts

'His beam upon thy forehead."


Telugu literature being principally in verse, a knowledge of proeody is requisite as a guide in enunciation: the natives rarely study this art because they are in childhood taught the traditionally proper mode of reading. But those who study the language at a later period of life will find a knowledge of (tjoss^, chhandamu, tfoisty chhandas) prosody profitable as a guide in accent. I acknowledge that I was reluctant to study the art, and was persuaded to do so only because I was shown it's utility in understanding the proper stops: and in reading so as to be intelligible to others. To use the words of Pope.

What will a child learn sooner than a song? What better teach a foreigner the tongue f What's long or short, each accent where to place. And speak in public with some sort of grace?

But the literature of a foreign country furnishes the means of attaining a higher object: for it gives us an insight into the minds and feelings of the people. We live among them, to use their own metaphor, like oil on water: we have little confidential intercourse with them and after a residence of many years in India, few of our countrymen can answer easy questions regarding the Hindus. Missionaries enjoy, because they seek greater facilities: and those Christian teachers who have resided among the Hindus (chiefly Roman Catholic priests though a few Protestants have done the same) confess that they have derived much benefit from such studies. I for my part can avow that when I commenced the study of Telugu authors, I was already acquainted with what was already printed on Hinduism, both in English and French: and yet I was progressively taught notions entertained by the Hindus or customs observed among them which were entirely novel to me. This experience has shown me that we cannot understand the peculiarities of any nation unless we not only live among them (and as a magistrate, I had much intercourse with all classes) but also study a few volumes of the literature they cultivate. Such study however has its inconveniencies: natives who make much progress in English are looked upon as almost Heretics: and equally mild is the epithet bestowed on those who have devoted some attention to Hindu literature.

In other languages, we may safely neglect prosody: but in Telugu almost every thing is taught in verse: indeed grammars, vocabularies, school books, rules of arithmetic and mensuration, all are in rhyme.

But the prosody may fairly be discriminated as Common, Rare, and Fantastic: the first class is short and easy: the second is still more concise: and the third (which I exclude) forma the bulk of the vernacular treatises on the art.

Even in the first class, I have omitted about three quarters of the rules: retaining only what a learner requires: thus much may easily be learnt in a few days: the remainder embraced a variety of precepts intended to guide (in reality to shackle) versifiers: for were we to believe these pedants, it is almost impossible to compose a truly correct line: or a stanza free from ill omened letters.

Even in the simplest chapters, every difficulty is conjured up: we are assured that there are fifty species of feet, forty five modes of rhyme, and more than a thousand sorts of metre: besides the art of composing verses in fanciful shapes (as that of a chessboard, a sword or a serpent) and writing so that a stanza may be scanned two different ways. I mention these follies because native assistants are fond of pressing them on our notice to magnify the difficulty of their favourite art. Yet the mode of suiting the sound to the sense, so common in other languages has been totally neglected.

The few rules that are requisite may be easily acquired as soon as we have learnt the alphabet: and the beginner should accordingly devote some attention to prosody.

The first part of the Prosody is borrowed from Sanskrit : the second (on changing metres) is entirely foreign to that language.


It is the custom to read verse in a loud tone with strong intonation: and regardless of the subject: for every thing is read alike. This is also the custom in Italy. Made, de Stael, in Corinna chap III. says regarding Improvisation. 'In reading verse, most Italians use a monotonous chant called cantilena which destroys every emotion. No matter how different the words are, the accent never changes.'

Suiting sound to sense so fondly described in Rambler 92 is unknown.


Every syllable is distinctly either long or short as it appears to the eye: none are doubtful: every vowel is pronounced as it is in the alphabet. s$, a, I, u, &c. being short, and -e\ s* a, I, u, &c. being invariably long.

A vowel that is short becomes long, if followed by two commnants (just as in Latin): thus accada, there, has the first vowel long by position though short by nature.

Even if the double letter begins another word. But, as in llukmang 5. 63 taniidwijudu, if one word is Telugu, this is needless, also Naish 5. 8. nalupra.

If a consonant is silent, it lengthens the preceding vowel. Thus in the words S&S~ir- paliken, or chetul, the final syllable

becomes long.

A short vowel is called laghu or Ixh^jjosm hraswamu

(meaning Tight) while a long syllable is called !fo&-3 (meaning heavy) whether it be s~si» long by nature or long by position.*

The quantity being always visible to the eye, marks are seldom used: and we may conveniently retain—for long and w for short: but in the native treatises, the semi circle at which we use for short denotes long: while an upright line I denotes short. Thus the dactyl (instead of— u u ) is written " w I I " I shall endeavour to dispense with these marks.

Poets sometimes insert the circle (sunna) to lengthen the preceding syllable. Thus t9#£o atadu becomes fcs«*o£fc atandu; b"&& vlrudu becomes Last; vlrundu; elsewhere they write "B^Si to for T3^*j and S"?S> for inserting or dropping a double consonant when the metre requires a change.

The letter $ chh is always considered to be double: thus in the word Ok (more correctly ^'"^ois) the first syllable is lengthened, thus swa-chhand. The letter m> as in L*^)s pracriti is considered a vowel: and does not lengthen the preceding syllable.

The letter g always lengthens the preceding short vowel. T hus 'f'i88 is swatah : but prosidially the second short is reckoned long. Colloquially this is pronounced ^Ssi* swa-ta-ha: but this is wrong.

In verse a word is often divided: part being in one line and pal-t in the next.

(* In the Rambler, No. 90. regarding English Prosody, Johnson instead of longs, and shorts uses the better words strong and weak syllables. And I should prefer these expressions were they in general use.)

A line is called ^S^padamu or tf charan'amu, meaning a foot: of which each &es§£xi padyamu or stanza has four. A foot (as it is called in Latin) is x"r»s&> ganamu, and consists of two, three or four syllables. A syllable is called wJktf Ao axaramu, i. e. letter. Thus (J^^B^^try-axara-sabdamu means a word of three syllables, like ~&c>'$Lj%'&0 Sam-scru-tamu, the Sanscrit language.

Prose, called £TS$£x> vachanamu, is in most of the poems, interspersed among the stanzas: it is harmoniously modulated (somewhat like that in Lalla Rookh) or Terentian iambics but is not under any law of scansion. The letter (meaning vachanamu) is placed at the beginning of each passage of prose: which is entirely different from the prose of every day life.

The Feet are denoted by letters, Ma, Pa, Ra, Sa, Ta, Ja, Bha, Na: which were selected by the ancient grammarians and are invariably retained in every Hindu language that uses the Sanscrit alphabet.

To facilitate recollection, I have in the following table placed opposite each ganam a Sanscrit and a Latin word containing the requisite syllables and beginning with the letter that denotes the foot. The ancient prosodians have so arranged this table that the first column contains alternately a long and a short: the second has two: and the third has four of each.

This table is called Xn^-fr^rstixi or Basis of numbers: Ganam and Rhythmus have the same meaning, Number (Zeunius in Anabas. Index: and Cleveland de Rhythmo. p. 95. 96.)

A grammar of the Telugu language.pdf

X, or K u w Xoiv Xenes Spondee.

LL ll e>£» Liber u \j Pyrrhic.

GLorHvl KoK Hoesifc — w Trochee.

LGorVlv./ eitfo Vagans \j — Iambus.

(*Native writers on prosody often express the xx by TP and the by tr'. Thus also w Ja would denote "two amphibrachs." Syllables being used to denote feet as ut, re, mi, &c. in the gamut signify notes.)


The learned assert that there are many thousand uniform metres: but in fact only ten or twelve are in common use.

The Regular or uniform metres have the four lines of the stanza alike; in the following instance, as in some English verses, there is a long and a short syllable alternately: the star denotes the yate or pause (caesura) in each line.

Ramabhyud. V. 213. Again, in the novel of Bhanumanta (5. 112.)

sfcO&-Kr»6(T»iS8o£) * s£r»;S"3ooOti-«8er* eo ej «

This metre, called Hamsa-yana is the same as the Greek Tetrameter Catalectic or the common ballad metre.

What though silent is my anguish Or breath'd only to the air In all these stanzas, it is evident that the line is divided at the Yati into two unequal parts: of which the initials rhyme together. There is also the prasa rhyme, which connects all four lines. The prasa is "the consonant or consonants standing between the two first vowels in a line of verse." Accordingly in the first verse now cited, "&>tu, &c. L is the prasa: in the second, *>°«, &c. the letters NCH: in the third &c. It is the

prasa being alike in all the lines. The vowel is of importance in the Yati rhyme but not in the prasa.

It may be thought that N is a consonant, but this is Sunna which is regarded merely as an adjunct to a vowel.

It is evident that some of these Uniform metres may be scanned with feet of two syllables: but the native custom is to scan every fixed line with feet of three syllables disregarding the harmony: this strictness renders many metres intricate: which otherwise would present no difficulty.

In the uniform metres, each line must end with a long syllable. There is no liberty whatever should it be short by nature (as 6 psi at the end of the 2d line in the last verse exhibited) it is long by position: because the next line begins with a double consonant.

As exemplified in the same word, it is often convenient to divide a word, between two lines.

The above metres are placed first because particularly easy: but they are not in common use : the four most used are the following: and will be found to be in truth but two: from which, the other two deviate only in the first syllable.

The utpala-mala or "chain of violets" runs thus: yati falling on the tenth syllable.


That is

— UU!-U-|UUU|*-UU|-UU|-U-|U

And the Champaca-mala or Tulip-wreath is the same, excepting that the first syllable of one metre is long and in the other is divided into two shorts. Thus yati falls on the eleventh syllable.


That is UUUU|-U-|UUU|*-UU|-UU|-U-|U —

Herein the first foot, consisting of four short syllables is marked NL denoting N the tribrach to which is added L, being one short syllable. Such a foot of four shorts, (in Greek called proceleusmatic) is in Sanskrit and Telugu called geyser Nalamu,

If the Champacamala is according to native custom, scanned by feet of three syllables, the names of the feet will of course be different:—thus,


but the metre never varies and we may divide it in either manner at pleasure.

The following verses are written in these metres.


"Can acquired honours remain permanent in bloom, as intrinsic merit? They may endure for a while but soon perish. The hire of gold remains bright for ever: a piece of iron may be polished and flash for a while: but how long will that brilliancy last? Oh Bhascara!"

CHAMPACAMALA METRE. Xi&ir'jSlioS' •^U^jpSS) * TV-g'jS-cr'$!S»eJ^a&"Bo5SKJr- "3i«o"3JSj"3oa^g558 * ^^^•^oiSoir'^^&S^ [ocr errors]

"If a distinguished man fall into difficulties, he may indeed be raised by a potent protector, but can the insignificant, however numerous, aid him ? when a lake is dried up, a cloud may replenish it, but what would avail a million drops of dew? Oh Bhascara."*

In these verses, the star points out the yati rhymes: some of these are obvious, thus in the second line VE answers to VE. But in the first line, HA answers to tiram * AIna. Thus we find the same vowel in each.: for ai is a compound of two vowels. The prasa is obvious. In the first verse, it falls on L, in the second on N; which letters stand second in each of the four lines.

In the third line L is doubled: this is considered somewhat irregular: as the prasa consonant ought to be the same in each line.

The four syllables preceding the four prasas are required to be alike: all long or all short: each of the six stanzas already produced exemplifies this principle. Each line ends with a long syllable.

These remarks apply equally to all metres and the reader will therefore revert to them though in the following pages I shall not weary him by reiterating them.

The next pair of metres is of Sanskrit origin. The Sardula runs thus

ifotfojr V£P&* 2-3% Ssoxt' M S J S

  • -wtin-a sja «r° TIG

having yati on the thirteenth syllable: and by dividing the initial, the Mattebha i3 formed: having yati on the fourteenth.

s5oK£fc»g-o§J ^Sof^ S G S J S

  • t&'ttf '»lla «r>. TT G

The yati and prasa rhymes are placed as usual; whenever a stanza is written, it is the custom to prefix the initial that denotes the metre.

The following description of a Hindu beauty is given in the Cala Purno dayam : it is in the Sardula metre: I have divided each line at the yati rhyme.

  • The Bhascara Satacam which furnishes the two last verses is a common school book and is admired as displaying much genius. EPXoM^ -^.9og"5o

5J° Tbs, he Q ifr* 0 jS r" Tsr>«o uXbT^-a So"B£ «BS

This verse is cited by Appa Cavi 3,377 to show that in the 4th line, the prasa sometimes is slightly changed. Though quoted from the Kala Purno dayam, it does not appear in that poem.

Here every line, or couplet, contains the feet m, s,j, s, t, t,g. The Mattebha is exemplified in the following verse, in the (Bhagavat) Gajendra Moxam.

a&^0*TS° re3s-"Er»o


The four fixed metres now described are in constant use : others which more rarely occur will be placed in a future page. It is evident that the Fixed or Uniform Metres are (like the first ode of Horace) alike in every line. The variable metres proceed on a different principle. The first of these is the Canda padyam.


The 5"otfi6<s£:S.» Canda Padyamu (for which the sign is admits those feet which are equal to four short syllables. These are (K, B, J, S, and NL) the Spondee, Dactyl, amphibrach, ana

pcest, and proceleusmatic: this last consisting of four short syllables: as honnnlbus, or f Spg, *


1 2 3 raw* rjsgss rst»&& Sbnl

4 5 6 7 8

r»8;S So<3o2f *g-5T»a # x-raoQo «6ott< N L, S J S K

1 2 3

^ssss Nl.nl.nl

4 5 6 7 8 eBbS-3 £»ok» * S S J S S

Thus each stanza has sixteen feet: three in the uneven lines and five in those which are (second and fourth) even. Eight feet form the half verse. The feet are shewn in the margin.

The prasa as usual connects" the four lines: and in this instance, the prasa is the consonant V. In the first and third (the odd) lines, there is no yati. In the even lines the yati, as shewn by the star falls on the fourth foot: which is the seventh foot of the couplet.

The sixth foot of each couplet must be either J or NL. In the following verses, these feet are specified.

The foot J is inadmissible in the uneven seats: being the 1st, 3d, 5th and 7th.

The last syllable of each half must be long: accordingly S and K are the only feet admissible in the eighth place.

The following popular stanzas written in this metre are taken from the Sumati Satacam, a common school book. Each stanza ends with the word Sumati, or Oh wise man! (Sixth foot.)

  • When I commenced the study of prosody thirty years ago, to aid memory I framed the rules in Latin : with these five words to exemplify'the feet. SylvTs opaca colur dulcta tacStagne. Citing as instances the Iliad, B. 39. ®rj<Ttw c/ieXXev aXyea, orora^as adding ircpi<£p<uns. పుట:A grammar of the Telugu language.pdf/337

16. Truth is the soul of speech. The soul of a fort is the host of stout soldiers. The soul of a woman is modesty: and the signature is the soul of a letter.

18. Listen 0 holy one! To him who is vested with office, will accrue wealth and glory, but likewise death. And he who is out of employment gains neither wealth nor fame;—yet death is equally certain!

31. Never quarrel with your honorable wife, nor lay empty faults on her; if tears gush from the eyes of a sweet-voiced woman, fortune shall never remain in that house.

42. If a Carnam (or attorney) were to trust a carnam, he might look upon his days as ended; he never could survive it: a carnam can only live by excluding from his confidence his brother carnam.

If you will not bear delay nor put up with expense, but burst out hastily in impatience, can the work prosper? If you will allow time and afford the cost, any undertaking, though ruined, may be accomplished.

The Canda verse is a variety of the Sanscrit Arya a very melodious metre constantly used in poems and plays : it is the metre employed by Nannaya Bhatta in his Chintamani, or treatise on Telugu grammar: for instance, in the Introduction that author says—

1 2 3 *S$* ^ V*** K J K

4 5 6 7 8

-^oS" ef\& eu«$ tj*g S K J B G

1 2 3 er*"! »6tuj& <s,jj°^j K S K

4 5 6 7 8

TT°?r>s S*5^ <*> BKJSL

Swa stha—na vesha—bhasha Bhimatas—santo—rasapra—lubdhadhi—yah L5ke—bahuman—yante

Vaicrita—cavya—nich anyad apaha ya

C. P. Brown's Telugu Grammar. p p

The wise love the abode, the dress, and the polished language which appertain to their own nation: such take pleasure in the poetry of their own land, rather than in that which is foreign.

It will be perceived that the Arya in one of its varieties is the harmonious rhythm used by Horace.

Misera—rum est neque a—mori S B K

Dare lu—dum neque—dul—ci mala-vino S B G BK

lavere aut—exani—mari S B K

Metuen—tes patru—ae—verbera—lingua? S B Q B K

Because in the sixth foot, the Sanscrit uses a single syllable, either long or short: a liberty not known in Telugu.


The Changing or Upajati metres ^AafOsSj tfsJKtu originate in the Kannadi language. These were at first regulated by harmony alone but were afterwards limited by certain rules.

It would seem that before the introduction of Sanskrit learning, the oldest Telugu metres were mere VK&eu Harmonies, or melodies, such as will be described in a future page. In the course of time, prosodians observed that in these songs the dactyl, cretic and antibacchic (BET, remembered by the word $"83 Blur, rata) were prevalent feet: and that, to vary the rhythm, the initial long syllable of each foot was divided into two shorts: this principle has already been noticed, with regard to the Champs- camala and Mattebha metres. Hereby B the dactyl became TfL the procelleusmatic: while it became NG, the cretic being converted into the pceon quartus: and I the antibacchic became SL the pceon tertius.

Thus three feet were changed so as to furnish a larger number: and the poet was left at liberty to use whichever was most convenient: having the choice of six varieties. These metres thus being particularly easy to compose, the greater part of Telugu literature is written in upajatis.

Arranged on the original plan, these feet stand thus. The first pair, M and Y are rejected as in harmonious.

Here a short syllable being prefixed to each foot that had a short initial, makes that foot equal to the one above it.

At first sight, this ancient mode of arrangement may appear fanciful: but is convenient as fixing the feet in the recollection.

The six feet thus formed are denominated ssio^eJX'rss&citaj Indra feet; Indra being a name of Jupiter: which we may conveniently call the greater feet. The Greek would call them Dactylic.

If we take the first couple of these, E v | w and NG | ] | w, and drop the last syllable, we have two "lesser" feet which are called Ar»e§x'c8«Sx>eu or Apollonian.

Accordingly the Surya feet (or Trochaicks) are GL or H u | or the Trochee — U/ N III the Tribrach w ^ <j

The Indra and Surya feet, (or, greater and lesser feet) are used in all the Telugu Changing Metres. The Chandra feet are found only in a few metres which will be afterwards noticed.

The Uniform metres, as already shewn, require particular feet in particular places; but the changing metres admit any Indra foot in the Indra seats and any Surya foot in the Surya places.

[Every line in the Changing metres ends with a Surya foot: and as the Surya feet end in shorts, every changing metre has the final syllable short: whereas the fixed metres have it long.f

  • Foot note.—And if we add a syllable to any Indra foot, this is called, a Ho[aXn^a or Adonian. That is Choriambic. The syllable thus added is, as far as I have observed, always short: but this is not stated in the treatises on prosody.

f But in all manuscripts of poems, the final short syllables are wrongly written long: because in reading, it is usual to draw out the final vowel in a sort of whire or drawling tone.

There are also peculiarities in the rhyme. The Dwipada uses both yati and prasa: as do also the Eagada, Taruvaja, Utsaha and Accara. But in the simpler metres (Giti and Sisa) the yati rhyme is requisite but prasa is needless.

But sometimes, instead of yati, prasa is used in the same line: this will be afterwards explained.

Thus some of the Changing metres have a fixed prasa and others an optional prasa No metre that uses the fixed

ought to use the other kind: but many poets break this rule. The fixed prasa is always used in combination with yati: the optional prasa is used instead of yati.]

These remarks will be understood better when we have examined the verses now to be cited.

To aid the memory, we may observe that some of the Indra feet have four syllables and others three : and one Surya foot having three syllables and the other two:—the longer foot of each kind has a short initial. In other words, if any Indra foot begins with a long syllable, it has three syllables: but four if the initial is short: a Surya that begins with a long has two syllables: the one beginning with a short has three.

The commonest upajati Metres are called Giti, Visa, and Dwipada. The Giti Metres ft 8s5j Two metres are known

by this name: the Ataveladi W-t>"3«>a and the Tetagiti 1}fc>&0 both of which are denoted by the initial M.

The Ataveladi has, both in the first and third lines, three Suryas and two Indras: the second and fourth lines have five Suryas in each. In all four lines, the yati rhyme falls on the fourth foot, denoted by the asterisk. The following Ataveladi is in the పుట:A grammar of the Telugu language.pdf/342 పుట:A grammar of the Telugu language.pdf/343

out the final in a monotonous drawl or whine: and hence transcribers ignorant of prosody usually make all these syllables long.


The Dwipada or Common Metre is written in couplets, each of which is connected by prasa. The learned despise couplets because the poems thus written are in a flowing easy style which uneducated persons read with enjoyment. They resemble the Latin iambic of Terence, using colloquial expressions (sermoni propriora.) such as Horace found most suitable to his satires. Sir Samuel Eomilly (in a letter dated 13th October, 1810,) speaking of the Lady of the Lake, observes that it hardly can be viewed as a poem. All this I notice that we may not be led to despise a class of literature which though unpretending is peculiarly profitable to a student. Natives admire pendantry of all sorts: but to a taste formed on English authors, the couplet style of Telugu verse is more agreeable than compositions of more pretence.

The dwipada has in each line three Indra feet and one Surya, with yati in the middle. Some ancient poets, as the author of the Basava Purana, use prasa yati at pleasure : but in more correct compositions of modern date, prasa yati is forbidden in all verse that uses the regular prasa.

In the Lila (^^Soxfie), canto XI. the poet describes a beautiful garden the retreat of a hermit, and then'proceeds thus—

S(6fc»ew SJjJoX' •fT'S^Aj er*jS fi?ftyojy^ocod5T» t$J6^3=n.e>pei©> &c. &c.

The prasa rhyme duly connects every couplet: thus in the first it falls on the letter V. in the next, st, in the third, N. &c. Occasionally we find three lines rhyming together: and elsewhere poets indulge in rhyming terminations: thus in the Dwipada Ramayana, Yuddha, P. 2178.


« xr- eo u—

so »' > v—

Prasa yati is used in some Dwipada poems of ancient date, but is considered inelegant.

By adding these, the poet has employed eight rhymes in each couplet.

If Prasa is not used, the metre is denominated sfcoeS Manjari. In this metre is written that entertaining historical romance the <6«rjji8StfC6jJJ or Legends of Palnaud.


There are a few uniform metres which call for explanation because they occasionally occur: and the reader may revert to them after acquiring a little familiarity with the prosody. These are chiefly borrowed from Sanskrit.

The Sragdhara: which divides the line of twenty-one syllables into three parts: and the yati comes thrice. Prasa as usual. The following, in the Sura Bhand Eswaram, is evidently translated from a verse in the Amrugam which is in the metre. But the Sanscrit metre commences with a long syllable which the Telugu divides into two shorts.

a£)oosSj»8og~iSr»Si<^r- I 8tgg పుట:A grammar of the Telugu language.pdf/346 పుట:A grammar of the Telugu language.pdf/347 This is nearly the metre of the English ballad :—Pity kind gentle folks, friends of humanity.

The Pancha Ckamara metre is purely Iambic, having a short and long syllable alternately.

Surya Tanaya 2. 53. "O ladies, when you went hence last night, I lay down in my bed without a single anxious thought, and fell asleep: but in the morning watch, I saw a portentous vision—I will describe it.

All metre in Telugu except Dwip requires rhyme: the terminations of the lines do not rhyme together as in English (unless by chance or caprice) but the rhyme falls on the initials. The first syllable, or vowel, of a line rhymes to some one syllable (not always the beginning of a word) in that line: which rhyme is called yati. Again if the second syllable (more strictly, the consonant that is between the two first vowels) rhymes to the second of the next line, this is called prasa. Such rhymes were used in Saxon and our oldest English poet Spenser says FQ 1. XII. 23.

'The blazing brightness of her beauty's beam And glorious light of her sunshining face To tell, were as to strive against the stream My ragged rhymes are all too rude and base.

And see also 2. VI. 16. The lilly, &c.

Prior uses quadruple rhymes: in " an English Padlock"—

Be to her virtues very kind Be to her faults a little blind Let all her ways be unconfin'd And clap your padlock on her mind.

See also Penny Cyclop, on Alliteration and Quarterly Review 1826, vol. 34, p. 14. Such alliteration is used in Icelandic and indeed throughout the Gothic languages. See account of versification in Tymwhitt's Introduction to Chaucer. Gray uses it. Ruin seize thee ruthless king, &c. And Byron So darkly deeply beautifully blue. The yati "Asonancia" is used in Spanish verse. See Penny Cyclop, in " Spain" p. 302.

Scott uses quadruple rhymes O in that day that dreadful day when man to judgment wakes from clay What power shall bo the siners stay When heaven and earth shall pass away. Shakespeare uses quadruple rhymes (prasa) in Merchant of Venice, Act 5.

But here the same word is reiterated as is the Persian custom: whereas in Telugu this is not allowed.

The following, in Paidimarri 3. 8. gives a clear view of yati and praise.


All the more useful part of Telugu prosody has now been described: a few metres remain to be noticed which use four and even five syllables in a foot. Some of these are melodious and all are very easy. Being derived from certain tunes (laya) some retain that word in tho denomination, as Layagrahi, Layahari, Layavibhati, &c.

An instance of the Laya-grahi occurs in the Tale of Tara (Book V. 137.) in the description of the battle of the gods. Ramabhyu. V. 19. 28, Radha Samagamam. 3. 112.

Parijata 2. 122 wox^r, &c. or Vasu. 2. 38. KP. 6. 263. or Sarang Pad. I. 85.

    • "?ss5£ eoo£«&>£> * * r^8s5sS> sH#&c. Herein the line of thirty syllables is divided into eight feet; of which seven contain each (BL) a dactyl and short syllable. The rhyme as here shewn falls in four places in the line: and this is a prasa not a yati. Thus each line has four rhymes: the last foot is a spondee.

There are many varieties of this chiming metre. If the foot BL is used six times, with the yati after every eight syllables, it is called the ^aTisftSsSx Q&o If all the longs except the two last of the Laya-grahi are resolved into two shorts each (like a-chime of 4 bells) the metre is named Layavibhati, of which there is an instance at the close of the Ehanumad Vijayam, one line running thus:—

The Laya-vibhati would be thus arranged.


having 34 syllables in the line, divided into four portions, and the second syllable of each portion being prasa—here denoted by a star. It is a smooth melodious chiming metre—Take the following example Vizaia Vil. 3. 88.

1st line 3oo351tf£ -Rg-^S^ Xz<x>£cX>

2d line r*e»9xe ■sr-SoiHS' ~3t>&&v Im-t^s"

Ku3o;5-»k T^oL^f S"e.0oi<>3a 8 3jr 3d line Se>ra>a In the Telugu Pancha Tantram, and the llama Stava Eajam, several other varieties occur. But in principle these are perfectly easy, for the rhythm is evident to the ear ; and whenever an unusual metre is used, the name is appended. Vencat Arya page 177. Sragdhara KP. 6. 280. Manigana nicaram KP. C. 283.


The Eagada is a melody, similar to the descants or tirades (as they are termed) in French poetry. (See New Monthly Magazine 1827, page 78.) Prosodians have laboured to reduce these harmonies to metrical rule, and have invented many names for various species: calling some, the "Amble, the Elephant pace, the Swan," &c. but these are superfluous: the Eagada usually is mentioned in poems without any such epithet.

It is a " carol" ditty* or harmony that occurs in most poems or romances, in the passages that describe rural scenes and pleasures. It uses both the yati, the press, and the (wcf^po&s&sSij) rhyming terminations. The feet are very irregular, and some erroneously imagine they may be measured by the "Chandra" feet (see page 234.) The fact is that the composer's ear is the only criterion, and the sense is not always clear. For, as their own criticks remark, a Ragada or melody, is as independant of sense as a bird's song is of words. In fact this is in verse what the capriccio is in music: though wild, it is the result of premeditation. The following are instances.

Tale of Tara. 11. 135. But the favourite sort is the following: —

er^ejtc^cStiSo * Nor &cvtx>oXt&x.o

Bhanumati Parinayam 11. 92. The ear will easily perceive the prosody of these verses: in the first instance the lines may be measured by dactyls: or by four feet of four short syllables (proceleusraa) which are equivalent to dactyls: in the second each line has four feet and each foot is equal to five short syllables, That is, a dactyl with a short ^dded: or, five breves.

Different sorts of Ragadas are marked with various fanciful names: of which nine are given in books of prosody, such as the

  • " Ditty" see Paradise Lost XI. 584. and 1.449 Caroll" ib XII. 367. A Melody. — See Midsummer Nights Dream. s&$>tSX83Xd, the fi^KSSX-SCJx'S &c. &c. i. e. the sweet-pacer, the elephant pace, the horse pace, &c. &c. which I omit because they are not in use even among good scholars: every poet uses any name he thinks suitable.

The &cs$x> or carol appears in several of those poems which are written in #cAdss» musical measures. Thus in the *jBj^^8«csfi 'u', <s6i&"K"'jSsS» page 35.

sSw-'SSeHelf J> &8bv~Sw£~$p :Stf<yi&>Soe):Sg6<>r-«i5&'KTMa \K>£>e>

js-aa-crs^tf JTo er*a^^8<5x»8|| It is evident that each of these lines consists of four surya feet and eight such feet form a couplet: with Yati and prasa as usual. Such metres are regulated by the ear alone and have no well known name: though various prosodians have attempted to discriminate one as the horse's amble «&S< and other the lions pace, &c. borrowed from a fancied analogy to the tread of various animals.

The Eagada appears to have originated in the Kos^o^tJto 0r jr^aosjAassSjaeu ballads which on particular feasts are sung by choruses of children in the streets. These antiquated ditties have a loose rhythm which generally may be scanned with four Indra feet in a line : they use or neglect alliteration at pleasure. See TT (paper) 497 page 32 where are these lines in the tsaoTrtfai^)^

S5?Jfc8 er*§8 8ioif-4$tix><M

So^tf tTJTgtu tSsS^^eupi &c, &c. It will be observed that the last couplet is regularly formed of four Indra feet, with brass, and with yati (as in Dwipada) in the middle. These rude ballads which often use fescennine expressions, appear to be remnants of the primitive Telugu: and the Ragada metre appears to be the modernized form: while the same basis (as Greek prosodians term it) with an abbreviation of the fourth foot formed the Dwipada. Thus some metres which at first sight appear refined and intricate prove to be merely musical melodies reduced to rule.

Other verses denominated i 8$ hymn, "A^oif t$£ chant, c&>S>."7e^

sS^-Odes chorus, &c. appertain to^o^jS'y^stomusi

cal composition and deviate widely from the laws of prosody. For they pay no regard to quantity: the word Krishna becomes an iambus, (LG) and the word K~*aoe GovTnda (T) becomes (S) Govinda oi^rfc becomes -i^i ;&r» ekkenu w^© B=«P^&=M Rama, Rama. Some attempts have been made to write Christian Hymns in Telugu metre: not the metres already known in the language but new ones moulded to English tunes. These will I hope succeed ultimately though we must look for a few failures before the work is well executed. The plan has succeeded in other languages.

Suiting the sound to the senses so fondly described in Rambler 92 is unknown.


The Dandacam or chant or blank verse is a measured prose, consisting of one short and two long syllables alternately. It may therefore be looked upon as a Series of bacchicks (Y) or (T) antibacchicks. At the close of the paragraph, one or two long syllables are added. Sometimes the first six syllables are short. This metre is conveniently transcribed in lines, of which each contains four or five feet. The following instance occurs in the Bhagavat.

—O '—0 a

But a more free style of blank verse is used in poems, under the denomination of Scfcssa prose. In this, feet are not scanned, but the whole is constructed with a certain melodious flow utterly different from common verse. In English, we have instances of this in Lalla Rookh. To write it well is considered more difficult than composing verse. Grammarians remark that in Vachanam the semicircle (arddha bindu) is inadmissible. But in ignorance of this rule, we may observe its use in nearly all the modern printed Telugu prose. This is certainly erroneous.


A few metres imitated from those in the Cannadi language have been introduced but have never become popular or common.

One of these is the Taruvaja: the Dwipada has three

Indras and one Surya in each line: but two such lines form one Taruvaja line : four of which form one stanza, governed as usual by prasa. The Taruvaja may otherwise be defined as having eight Dwipada lines, of which prasa governs the irregular (1st, 3d, 5th and 7th) lines: while each line has yati four times repeated: this as usual will be pointed out by a star. Though so hard to define the verse is easy to read and the harmony is easily perceived. The following occurs in the first book of the Mahabharat, (canto 2, verse 152, of the printed edition.)

  • jSSSj^saXiiXij^ * c*fioX'OK0;6oe&
  1. «e>:S"o5kSbiS>oSo * ^t^sScdo

Herein we may observe that the lines (here placed as alternate lines) have N as prasa and the poet has thought fit to use the same yati rhyme throughout.

C. JP. Brown's Telugu Grammar. E r

The Utsaha is merely a variety of the Ramayana already described : it is composed of seven Surya feet and a long syllable: whereas most of the Changing metres end in a short syllable: the yati falls on the fifth foot and the prasa is as usual. The following instance is in the Vishnu Puran. 2. 58.

cBcrjfc Xra-j& c"Ss& * cSfioao 8*& &

TSSodSuai "336 OKIES' • <£-V BdSS sJ^afesS" )ft)0

See a better instance in Kala Purnodayam 3. 238.

And in the same poem. s—oo>t.


■3j6r^eS!er-^|S> 3 jS?C«r'e>;Sf55*X'§~.

Also Padma 8. 118.

The last changing Metre to be described is the t'^_* Accara which is used only by Nannaya Bhatt, and one or two imitators. The poet himself uses only two varieties; which he calls by the one name Accara: but the prosodians not only have given separate names to these two, but have named four others: of which I have met no instances. In all probability, these were mere Melodies like the Ragada; or like some songs in Moore and Byron ; they were experiments in metre which have not attained popularity.

These metres use the Chandra feet: that is, an Indra foot to which a syllable (usually short) is added. The first is called the ^"^.Sl^tf Madhy'accara; wherein the line consists of two equal portions; or, we may consider it as eight lines; each containing two Indras and one Surya. Yati falls on the fourth foot, as shewn by the asterisk. The prasa is as usual.

Or else; as occurs in these instances, the poet has capriciously made the yati fall on the fifth foot.


Adi Parvam. Book VI. 303.

Book VII. 162.

The Accara is in truth a kannadi metre and has been naturalized in very few Telugu poems.

The other species, called Madhur-accara is defined as containing one Surya foot, four Indras, and an additional syllable: or, in the usual phrase, one Surya, three Indras, and one Chandra. The prasa as usual: the yati falls on the initial of the third Indra. Instances—

SSfSSioaSb r>1&\& * -CT»e$cS&> ffc^dtf^e* cSfioi&fS $Xpo&> e)S:5&:^ # 6"~*A;Scx» eXoSS^jeu jSfS^ii dS3u;6jSoc» eScSSoi&p * UO^TT' Tp£&SSOSSo

Adi Parvam, IV, 49. Aranya Parram, VI. 377. SECTION VIII. ON EHTME.

In rhyme, the Telugu rules are precise and simple. As to Prasa, entire uniformity of the consonant is the principal requisite. But occasionally a slight license occurs.

In the yati rhyme, it is necessary for the vowels* to correspond, as well as the consonants. The prasa allows E (for instance) to rhyme to no other letter: Tati will allow it to rhyme to Kha, Ga, and Gha. For a perfect uniformity is needless and it is enough if a consonant rhymes to any letter in the same line (or class) of the alphabet. Thus 5", 4>, X, and are alike; ^, « and are alike and & $ a $ are alike. The letter f, V not only rhyme to each other, but also to fat e, &c. The letter rhymes both to 8" and also to & and also to ff \ chha.

The sunna rhymes to a, The sunna also preceding any letter of a class, is allowed to rhyme to the nasal of that class. Thus wo8 may rhyme to £ because this is the nasal of the class to which tS belongs.

The letters R, viz. and *» are in the older writers not suffered to rhyme; because the » was harsher in sound than 8 and therefore was discordant. But the later poets for three centuries past have dropped the » wholly and to revive this letter is absurd.

Regarding Welsh rhymes, see the treatise in Newcastle Magarinefor 1822, penes me and Penny Cycl. in Welsh, p. 218—219.

Christian hymns generally deviate from the prosody of the secular poets. Thus Prudentius uses metres suited to tunes and disregards quantity.

In his song on Beatrice, Benedick calls scorn and horn a hard rhyme (Much Ado. 5. 2.) but in modern days, we see the ear perceives no difference.

The rules regarding vowels are equally easy. The short and long sounds of each vowel correspond. Thus u rhymes to u &c.

  • Similar to the Spanish rhymes called Assonants : See that article in the Penny Cyclopedia, Or Icelandic Rhyme, See Edinb. Ber, 1805. p. 384.

Compound vowels (ai, au, the diphthongs) rhyme to either of the letters with which they are compounded.

The vowels ai» Eu nxr° rii and 2 lu are often considered as consonants : but being rarely used, merely as a feat, they are not worth notice. When they are used in prasa, they are disregarded because reckoned as vowels, and the prasa requires uniformity of consonants alone. Thus in press, $ and ^) would rhyme, but if or r, would not rhyme with because E is a consonant, and if one prasa line uses ^ or Uf, the other must use the same letter.

These rules are obvious. Others can only be acquired by practice. Of these, the most remarkable is regarding initial vowels. In the word ir*r>S to him, and the word goes under, the same consonant and vowel § occur, nor is it any objection that one is at the beginning and the other at the end of a word. Yet these two can never rhyme.

This and similar points are mere matters of taste, interesting to learned natives who write in verse and are experienced in its principles: but unprofitable to a foreigner, as he will never be expected to compose in Telugu metre.

The rules for rhyme furnish a valuable criterion in orthography. Thus the word ^&55iJ To live is also spelt \_«JfcSSt> a peculiarity which the prasa rhyme demonstrates: because it answers to another word which uses D. Many quotations in the Telugu dictionary now ready for printing are marked "yati" or "prasa" denoting that the passage so noted proves the spelling. For instance—the words and \w«£SS now adduced. Also

sS» (Tadbhavam of "S^*55") which some erroneously write -tp°k<6& ehhagamu: also ^tr^tf sS» q. y.

Some verses occur with Antya niyamam Theottghoot as Kanyaca VIII. 316 and Manu 3, 30 &c.

Though accuracy of rhyme is studied, the most celebrated poems furnish instances of careless rhymes. Thus in the Vasu Charitra 3. 152. tJ|| The second line has chi rhyming to za—thus *jSS5 jfes5cr<;S;>lTT"^i£a» * Kg^jB^3o(S^55, &c. Both the ancient commentators insist much on matters of prosody and rhyme: Tet on this remarkable deviation both are silent.