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THE METRES OF THE ODES.
I. The FIRST ASCLEPIAD Metre consists uniformly of the common Asclepiad line; i. e. of two Choriambi between an Iambic Syzygy, thus,
Od. I. 1; III. 30; IV. 8.
II. The SECOND ASCLEPIAD is a couplet consisting of a Glyconic verse (i. e. of one Choriambus between an Iambic Syzygy) and of the common Asclepiad line:
Od. I. 3. 13. 19. 36; II. 9. 15. 19. 24, 25. 28; IV. 1. 3.
III. The THIRD ASCLEPIAD is a stanza of four lines, of which three are the common Asclepiads, and the fourth is a Glyconic:
Od. I. 6. 15. 24. 33; II. 12; III. 10. 16; IV. 5. 12.
IV. The FOURTH ASCLEPIAD is a stanza of four lines, of which the first two are common Asclepiads; the third is a Pherecratean verse (i. e. one Choriambus placed between a Spondee and a single syllable, long or short), and the fourth a Glyconic :
V. The FIFTH ASCLEPIAD consists of uniform lines, made up of three Choriambi between an Iambic Syzygy:
VI. The FIRST SAPPHIC Metre is a stanza of four lines, the first three of which are the common Sapphic verse; i. e. a Trochaic Dipodia followed by the Aristophanic Choriamb. Dim. Cat.; and the fourth is Adonic *:
Od. I. 2. 10. 12. 20. 22. 25. 30. 32. 38; II. 2. 4. 6. 8. 10. 16; III. 8. 11. 14. 18. 20. 22. 27; IV. 2. 6. 11. Carm. Sæc.
VII. The SECOND SAPPHIC is a couplet consisting of the Aristophanic verse (Choriamb. Dim. Cat.) and the line called the greater Sapphic; i. e. a Trochaic Dipodia followed by a Choriambic Trim. Cat.;
Od. IV. 7.
Od. I. 8.
VIII. The ALCAIC is a stanza of four lines, the first two of which consist of eleven syllables, the third of nine, and the fourth of ten; thus:
Od. I. 9. 16, 17. 26, 27. 29. 31. 34, 35. 37; II. 1. 3. 5. 7. 9. 11. 13, 14, 15. 17. 19, 20; III. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. 17. 21. 23. 26. 29; IV. 4. 9. 15. 17.
IX. The FIRST ARCHILOCHIAN is a couplet consisting of a common Hexameter line, and a Dactylic Penthimemer, i. e. two Dactyls and a syllable:
- ~~ |- ~~ |
~~|~||~~ |- ~~|~~~l-u
* Dactylic Dim, Cat.
X. The SECOND ARCHILOCHIAN is a couplet consisting of the Hexameter verse, and an Iambelegus; i. e. an Iamb. Dim. Acat. with a Dactylic Penthimemer:
XI. The THIRD ARCHILOCHIAN is a couplet consisting of an Iambic Senarius and an Elegiambus; i. e. a Dactyl. Penth. with an Iamb. Dim. Acat.:
XII. The FOURTH ARCHILOCHIAN is a couplet, the first line of which is made up of Alcmanian and Ithyphallic verses †, and the second is an Iamb. Trim. Cat. :
Od. I. 4.
XIII. The ALCMANIAN is a couplet consisting of a common Hexameter, and a Dactylic Tetram. Cat.:
~||~~~ |- ||~~|~~~|-uul-~
* Dactyl. Tetram. Acat.
Od. I. 7. 28. Epod. 12.
XIV. The FIRST IAMBIC consists solely of Iambic Senarii :
XV. The SECOND IAMBIC is a couplet consisting of an Iambic Senarius and an Iambic Quaternarius:
Three Trochees, or two and a Spondee.
XVI. The FIRST PYTHIAMBIC is a couplet consisting of the common Dactylic Hexameter and an Iambic Quaternarius :
Epod. 14, 15.
XVII. The SECOND PYTHIAMBIC is a couplet of the Dactylic Hexameter and Iambic Senarius:
XVIII. The TROCHAIC is a couplet, of which the first line is Troch. Dim. Cat., and the second Iamb. Trim. Cat.; or the couplet may be regarded as one Trochaic line, Tetram. Hypercat. :
Q. HORATII FLACCI
CARMINUM, SEU ODARUM,
MECENAS atavis edite regibus,
ODE I. METRE I.
This first Ode was probably intended as a dedicatory piece, accompanying the first three books of the Carmina-Ode was not in use for two or three centuries after Horace. The subject, briefly, is-Every one has his ruling passion, or favourite pursuit-the Author's is poetry.
1. Mæcenas.] Not Mecenas, or Mecœnas; the true orthography is ascertained by inscriptions on marbles, and the usage of Greek writers.
Atavis.] Generally for-ancestors. Strictly, Atavus is the fifth ancestor; he stands in the same relation to proavus, as proavus to pater. The precise order, genealogically, appears in Plautus, Pers. i. 2. 5.
Pater, avus, proavus, abavus, atavus, tritavus. Edite regibus.] In Od. iii. 29. 1. Horace describes Maecenas as Tyrrhena regum progenies. The Tyrrhenians, or Etrurians, consisted, like the Achæans and the Ionians, of twelve distinct communities, confederated for common purposes, with each its own chief, called a Lucumo. Some ancestor of Mæcenas held this office, and the sycophancy of dependents supplied the rest. It was, besides, the current language of flattery to speak of great men as kings. Horace, in his Satires, furnishes proof of this, direct or indirect. But Mæcenas himself was a Roman knight, and piqued himself on the refusal of senatorial rank. For a considerable time he was præfect, or military commander of the city; and
O Mæcenas, orte à majoribus proceribus, ô et meum columen, et cara mea gloria; sunt plerique qui decurrentes gaudent conspergi pulvere Olympico, et quos meta
a confidential minister of Augustus, apparently, to the close of life-better known, however, for his luxurious and convivial propensities, and love of literature, or at least of literary men, than for his military or political talents. He was the patron of Virgil, Horace, and Propertius, and of others whose works have perished, and their names with them.
2. Dulce decus meum.] Dulce expresses his pleasure in the friendship, and decus his sense of the honour done him by his distinguished friend.
3. Sunt quos.] Some are devoted to gymnastics, others to agriculture, commerce, luxury, war, hunting, &c.
Curriculo.] The word is used loosely for the car, the race, and the race-ground. Here specifically for the race-ground—in stadio.
Olympicum.] The Olympic games were celebrated at Elis, in the Peloponnesus, in honour of Hercules, every fourth year, and were attended by vast crowds from every part of Greece and her colonies. The institution, or re-institution of these games, B. C. 776, constituted the most memorable epoch of the Greeks. They dated by Olympiads. Victory in the chariot races was one of the first objects of ambition among the higher ranks; it entitled the hero to personal distinctions and political privileges, and was as much coveted among Greeks, as a triumph among Romans.
4. Meta.] A small pyramidal obelisk, placed at the end of the stadion, opposite the starting-post, for the purpose of indi