Sidebilder
PDF

In the fourth foot, the cæsura is not necessary, ifthere is one at the penthemimeris ; as,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

The exercises which follono consist of lines to, which the preceding observations on the cæsura are to be applied, and vohich may be formed into hexameter or pentameter verses, by a change qf the position qf one word in each line. 1. Ipse dei elypeus terrâ cùm imâ tollitur, Manè rubet; rubet terrâque, cùm conditur imâ.

9. En, proles antiqua redit ; virtus concordia,
Cumque fide pietas cervice altâ vagantur.

8. Sol fugit, et removent subeuntia cœlum nubila,
Et effusis, gruvis decidit imber, aquis.
4. Quòd si quis monitis aures tardas adverterit,
* Heu, referet quanto mea verba dolore!

[ocr errors]

'6. Interea colat pax arva; pax candida primùm .
Duxit sub juga curva araturos boves.
Nitent pace bidens vomerque ; at tristia duri ,
Militis situs in tenebris occupat arma..

7. Non, domus et fundus, non acervus æris et auri
Deduxit ægroto domini corpore febres, *
Non animo curas. Oportet valeat possessor,
Si uti comportatis rebus bene cogitat.

[ocr errors][merged small]

The principal rules for the arrangement of words in Latin prose are, applicable also to the composition of verse; but the language of poetry admits of a much greater variety of inversion, than the language of prose, and consequently of a more frequent deviation from the general laws of position. An adjective is generally placed in poetry before one or more words, which intervene between it and its substantive ; it is sometimes found immediately after the noun to which it relates, and sometimes immediately before it; and it occasionally occurs in other situations ; as, Dumosâ pendere procul de rupe videbo. Carmina nulla canam; non, me pascente, capellæ, IFlorentem cytisum et salices carpetis amaras. When two adjectives are introduced in the same verse, they are most commonly placed together in the beginning of the line ; as, - Agrestem tenui meditabor arundine musam. When an adjective is peculiarly emphatic, it is elegantly placed at a considerable distance after its substantive, and sometimes, in the beginning of the following line : as

Vox quoque per lucos vulgo exaudita silentes
Ingens, et simulacra modis pallentia miris.

Prepositions are often placed, in poetry, after the noun which they govern, and are sometimes separated from the words with which they are compounded, and placed in a different part of the verse ; as,

Spemque metumque inter dubii seu vivere credant.
Ter conatus ibi collo dare brachia circum.

The compounds quicunque, quisnam, priusquam, with a few other compound words, are sometimes divided by the figure tmesis; as,

Qui te cunque manent isto certamine casus. .

Although each of the first four feet in a hexameter verse may be either a dactyle or a spondee, yet the greatest harmòny generally results from a judicious intermixture of both these kinds offeet. This variety, however, is often neglected, and sometimes with an expressive and striking effect. It may in general be observed that lightness, rapidity or confusion may be expressed the most forcibly by dactyles, and slowness, grief or dignity by spondees; as,

Radit iter liquidum, celeres neque commovet alas.
Cara deüm soboles, magnum Jovis incrementum.

A sentence is most commonly completed in every distich, or two lines of pentameter or elegiac poetry, , but the elegance of hexameters is increased, when neither a sentence nor the clause of a sentence is finished with the verse, and when each line, through several successive verses, is begum with one or more words immediately connected in sense with the preceding line. When one word only is thus carried on to the next verse, it is in most instances either a dactyle, or a polysyllable of sufficient length to complete the first foot, and leave a cæsural syllable in the second ; it is seldom or never a monosyllable only, and, unless, the word is remarkably emphatic, it is not often a spondee. . A monosyllable is seldom found at the end of a hexameter or pentameter verse, unless it is elided, or preceded by another monosyllable; as,

[ocr errors]

Sicut erat magni genibus procumbere non est.
Littoribus nostris anchora pacta tua est.

A dissyllable is most commonly found at the end of a pen tameter verse. ' A word of four, and, preferably, a word of five syllables may occasionally be admitted ; but words. of one syllable, and words of three syllables must be absolutely excluded. A dissyllable often occurs also in the last foot of a hexameter, but seldom in the fifth, unless a trochaic cæsura takes place in it; as, Ilion, et Tenedos, Simoisque, et Xanthus, et Ide, Nomina sunt ipso penè timenda sono.

A hexameter line frequently ends in a trisyllable, but very seldom in a polysyllable. A spondaic hexameter is most commonly concluded with a polysyllable, but sometimes by a word of three syllables.

It is obvious that the preceding observations on the concluding foot

of a verse may be traced to the rules for the regulation of the cæsura; but, as the most constant attention to these rules is essential to the composition of Latin verse, the repetition of a part of them in this chapter may not be either irrelevant or useless. The following lines, which are designed to show in what parts of a verse polysyllables are advantageously placed, may be referred also to the samè rules.

A word offour syllables may with propriety stand thus in a hexameter verse ;

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[graphic]
« ForrigeFortsett »