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It is requested that the following observation, which was accidently omitted, may be particularly pointed out to the beginner:
“ The first syllable of retulit is never short in the Odes of Horace
• Retulit inferias Jugurthæ.'
Od. II. 1.28.
In the composition of Latin lyrics, there is no model so deserving of imitation as Horace, whether we consider the propriety with which he treats every subject, ' light or serious, the peculiar delicacy and style of his expression, or the sweetness and harmony of his numbers. The facility with which the thoughts, admirably adapted to his purpose, rise in his mind, is equalled only by the beauty and terseness of expression in which he clothes those thoughts. This peculiar characteristic is called by Petronius, the“ curiosa felicitas” of Horace; and, displayed as it is in rich profusion through his Odes, and communicating a sensation of delight which never tires, it is, for the student and the scholar, an inexhaustible source of wealth to the taste and the imagination. On this account, to the student in Lyric poetry and composition, it cannot be too strongly recommended to drink deeply at this fountain of the Muses, commit to memory every line of this great exemplar, and to dwell with unceasing care and reflection upon the charming productions of this delightful and incomparable writer :
Nocturnâ versare manu, versare diurna. The rules which are here laid down for the structure of the Sapphic and Alcaic stanza are founded upon the structure of that stanza as it is in Horace; and it has been thought right not to extend these observations to any other of the Horatian measures, for
two reasons : - 1st, That the Sapphic and Alcaic measures are by far the most numerous in the odes of Horace, and on this account form the best, because the most extensive, authority in Lyric measure; and, 2d, because a pupil well versed in the poetry of Horace, and especially in the structure of the Sapphic and Alcaic stanza, will soon almost intuitively understand the laws and rhythm of the other Lyric measures, Archilochian, Iambic, &c. &c.
ON THE SAPPHIC STANZA.
1. The Sapphic Stanza consists of four lines; the three first alike,—the last, called the Versus Adonicus, being always a dactyl and a spondee.
2. The following is a scheme of the Latin Sapphic Stanza : 1st, 2d, and 3d - 1--|
1 Versus Adonicus 3. In this, as in all measures, to preserve the rhythm, a cæsura takes place; this cæsura is generally after the 5th syllable, thus
1 | | ។ ។
4. Sometimes the cæsura is after the 6th syllable, but the cæsura after the 5th syllable is of much more frequent occurrence.*
" | | | | | | -1 Daunisæ deffende descus calmenæ
* The following are the numbers of the Sapphic stanzas, and
5. In the Greek ode there was a trochee in the second place, but Horace always has a spondee there; altering the measure of his Greek original in this, as in many other instances, to suit the stateliness and majesty of the Latin language.
6. Et and in often suffer elision at the end of a line; and sometimes the first syllable of the first word in the Versus Adonicus suffers elision with the last word of the preceding line :
Jove non probante
Uxorius amnis. 7. Of the Versus Adonicus, which is always a dactyl and a spondee, it is only to be remarked, that it is better that it should not begin a sentence which is continued in the following stanza, there being only one instance of that in Horace, and that, perhaps, a doubtful one.*
8. To give variety to the cadences in a stanza, each line ought to be constructed of words not of the same length with the corresponding words in the other lines. This rule is not universal; but an attentive observation of Horace, and a careful and musical ear, will in this point direct the judgment of the composer.
examples of this cæsura, in the four books of the Odes, and the Carmen Seculare of Horace:
1st Book, fifty-five stanzas, six examples.
nineteen One may, perhaps, infer from this statement, that this cæsura was more used in those odes which were designed to be sung to music on any public solemnity, or in those lines which conveyed the impression of a loftier thought.
* See Anthon's Horace, Book iv. ode 11. 4. note.