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2. DACTYLIC TETRAMETER a posteriore.'

The Tetrameter a posteriore, or Spondaic tetrameter, consists of the last four feet of an hexameter ; as,

Certus enim pro misit Apollo.

Sometimes, as in the hexameter, a spondee occupies the last place but one, in which case the preceding foot ought to be a dactyl, or the line will be too heavy; as,

Mensỡ rèm cônr|bent Archita.


The Trimeter catalectic is a line consisting of the first five half-feet of an hexameter, or two feet and a half; as,

a Arbori büsquě cūsmae. Horace uniformly observes this construction, viz. two dactyls and a semi-foot. Ausonius, however, sometimes makes the first foot a spondee, and twice uses a spondee in the second place; but the spondee injures the harmony of the verse.


The Adonic, or Dactylic Dimeter, consists of two feet, a dactyl and spondee; as,

(1) The expression a posteriore refers to the verse being considered as taken from the latter part of an hexameter line (a posteriore parte versus hexametri), and is consequently opposed to the dactylic tetrameter a priore. This last is taken from the first part (a priore parte) of an hexameter, and must always have the last foot a dactyl.

(2) This verse derives its name from the circumstance of its being used by the Greeks in the music which accompanied the celebration of the festival of Adonis: that part probably which represented the restoration of Adonis to life.

Risit Apollo.

Sappho is said to have written entire poems in this measure, now lost. Boëthius has a piece of thirty-one Adonic lines (lib. 1. metr. 7.), of which the following are a specimen.

Nubibus atris
Condita nullum
Fundere possunt
Sidera lumen.
Si mare volvens
Turbidus auster
Misceat aestum, &.c.

The measure, however, is too short to be pleasing, unless accompanied by one of a different kind. Hence an Adonic is used in concluding the Sapphic stanza. (No. 10.) In tragic choruses, it is arbitrarily added to any number of Sapphics, without regard to uniformity. (Vid. Senec. Oedip., act 1. Troades, act 4. Herc. Fur., act 3. Thyest., act 3.)


lambic verses take their name from the lambus," which in pure lambics, was the only foot admitted. They are scanned by measures of two feet; and it was usual, in reciting them, to make a short pause at the end of every second foot, with an emphasis (arsis) on its final syllable.

The lambic Trimeter (called likewise Senarius, from its containing six feet,) consists of three measures (metra). The feet which compose it, six in number, are properly all iambi; in which case, as above stated, the line is called a

(1) The term Iambus ("lapbos) is derived, according to some etymologists, from ldarw, "to injure," or "attack," on account of its having been originally used in satirical composition. Lennep makes it the same with labos, and deduces this last from law; the same as iw, * to throw at.”


pre iambic. The caesural pause most commonly occurs at the penthemimeris ; that is, after two feet and a half; as,

Phåsēslús il|| lẽ quêm | vidē||tis hös pites. Il The metres here end respectively where the double lines art marked, and the caesural pause takes place at the middit of the third foot, after the word ille.

The pure lambic, however, was rarely used. This seems to have been owing partly to the very great difficulty of producing any considerable number of good verses, and partly w the wish of giving to the verse a greater degree of weight und dignity. In consequence of this, the spondee was allowed to take the place of the iambus in the first, third, and fifth feet.' The admission of the spondee paved the way for other innovations. Thus, the double time of one long syllable was divided into two single times, or two short syllables. Hence, for the iambus, of three times, was substituted a tribrach, in every station except the sixth, because there the final syllable being lengthened by the longer pause at the termination of the line, a tribrach would, in fact, be equal to an anapaest, containing four times instead of three. For the spondee, of four times, was substituted a dactyl or an anapaest, and sometimes, in the first station, a proceleusmaticus.

The scale of the mixed Iambic Trimeter is therefore as follows,

(1) The reason why the lambus was retained in the even places, tha

the second, fourth, and sixth, appears to have been this : that by plaring the spondee first, and making the iambus to follow, greater emphasis was given to the concluding syllable of each measure, on which the ictwo and pause took place, than would have been the case had two long syllables stood together. Vid. Carey's Latin Prosody, p. 259, ed. 1819,where other particulars will be found relative to the Trimeter lambig measure as used by the Latin writers of Tragedy, Comedy, and Fable. (2) The scale of the Greek Trimeter lambic must not be confounded

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As an exemplification of this scale, we shall subjoin some of the principal mixed trimeters of Horace.

Epod. Line.

1. 27. Pěcūs Călă||bris anstě si|| dus fersvidūm. 2. 23. Libēt | jācē||rë, mõdõ | süb än||tiqua illicē. 33. Aut ămistě lē|| vi rāfrå tēn||dit rēstiā.

Aut äsmītě lè||vi räsrå tēn||dīt rēstiā. 35. Păvădüm[vě lépõ|| rem, ēt ād|věnām || lăquěól grūêm 39. Quod si | pūdi|\că mulisēr in || pārtēm | jūvēt. 57. Aut her lăpă|thi prāta ământis, et grăvi. 61. Hàs instěr čpū||lās, ut I jūvat || pastās | ovēs. 65. Positõs(quě vērınās, dīļtīs ēx||āmēn | dõmūs.

67. Haec übi | lócū||tūs foesněrā||tór Al phiūs. 3. 17. Nēc mülnús húmě|| ris on ficā||cřs Herscủlis.

with this. Porson (Praef. ad Hec. 6.) has denied the admissibility of the anapaest into the third or fifth place of the Greek Tragic trimeter, except in the case of Proper Names with the anapaest contained in the same word. In Latin tragedy, however, it obtained admission into both stations, though more rarely into the third. In the fifth station, the Roman tragedians not only admitted, but seemed to have a strong inclination for, this foot. Vid. Carey's Latin Prosody, p. 256, ed. 1819.

(1) The quantity of the a in amite depends on that of tne e in leti. If we read lēvi, it is šmite, but if lēvi, ámile. This results from the principles of the Trimeter lambic scale. We cannot say ámite lēvi, without admitting an anapaest into the second place, which would violate the measure ; neither can we read āmite lèvi, without admitting a pyrrhich into the second place, which is unheard of.

Epod. Line.
5. 15. Cānidilă brěvi|| būs implícā||vilperis.

25. At ēr pēdī||Săgă|nă, për || totām dõinum.
49. Quid dixlit? aut || quid tăcălit ? 0 || rēbüs | meis
79. Priüs quě coe||lüm si dět inferius mări.
85. Sed dúbilūs, un || dě rūm(pěrēt || silēnstiūm.

91. Quin, übi | peri||rë jūs sūs èx || spirāsvěro. 7. 1. Quo, quo scèles||fi rüistis ? aut || cür dēx|těris. 9. 17. Ad hoc | frěmen||tēs vērstěrünt || bis mille equos. 10. 7. Insür||găt Aqužslo, quänstūs al|| tis mõn|tībūs.

19. Tõnisūs u||do quüm | rěmū||giēns | sinūs.' 11. 23. Nunc, gloriān||tis quàm libēt || múlíērscủlām.

27. Sěd õlisūs ar||dor aut púēl||lae can didae. 17. 6. Canidisă, par||cë võ cibüs || tandēm sắcris.

12. Alitisbús āt|lquě cănisbús hómi||cidam Hèctorēm.
42. Infā mis Hēlē||nae Cässtór öfllfensus | vicē.
63. Ingrāslă măsē|| rõ vistă dù|| cēnda ēst, | in hoc
65. Optāt | quiē|| tēm Pělõpis infidi | pătēr.
74. Vectábor háměj|ris tunc | ēgo žni||mācis | ěquès.
78. Dễrip drẻ L|| nam tocibus || possim | mẽs.


This is the common Trimeter (No. 5.) wanting the final syllable. It consists of five feet, properly all iambi, followed by a catalectic syllable: as,

Võcāstus at|| quě nön | mõrā||tús audit. Like the common Trimeter, however, it admits the spondee into the first and third places; but not into the fifth, which would render the verse too heavy and prosaic.

(1) Ionius, from the Greek 'Iovios. Hence the remark of Maltby (Morell. Les. Graec. Pros, ad. roc.) 'Iúvios apud poetas mihi nondum occurrit ; nam ad Pind. Nem. 4. 87. recte dedit Heynius 'Ibriov non me. Ito solum jubente, verum etiam hac Dammii regula. "Si de gente Graeca serio est, semper hoc nomen scribi, perw: sed si de mari Ionio, επηρετ ρετ ο μικρόν.

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