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

The exercises which follow consist of lines to which the preceding observations on the casura are to be applied, and which may be formed into hexameter or pentameter verses, by a change of the position of one word in each line.

[ocr errors]

2. En, proles antiqua redit; virtus concordia,
Cumque fide pietas cervice altá vagantur.

3. Sol fugit, et removent subeuntia coelum nubila,
Et effusis, gravis decidit imber, aquis.

4. Quod si quis monitis aures tardas adverterit,
Heu, referet quanto mea verba dolore!

5. Arte laboratae puppes vincuntur ab aquore.
Tu tua brachia plus remis posse putes?
6. Interea colat pax arva; pax candida primūm
Duxit subjuga curva araturos boves.
Nitent pace bidens vomerque; at tristia duri
Militis situs in tenebris occupat arma.

7. Non domus et fundus, non acervus aeris et auri
Deduxit a groto domini corpore febres,
Non animo curas. Oportet valeat possessor,
Siuti 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,

Dumosá pendere procul de rupe videbo.
Carmina nulla canam; non, me pascente, capellae,
Florentem 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,

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

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

Quite 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 harmony generally results from a judicious intermixture of both these kinds of feet. 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 deúm 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 begun 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 casural 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,

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

A dissyllable is most commonly found at the end of a pentameter 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 casura takes place in it; as,

Ilion, et Tenedos, Simoisque, et Xanthus, et Ide,
Nomina sunt ipso penê 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 caesura; 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 same rules.

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

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