« PreviousContinue »
in syllabam. The choriamb, therefore, to which the iambic dipody corresponds, must not be considered dactylic; but, on the other hand, the absence of the substitution does not prove the rhythm to be dactylic.
The higher Dorian lyric poetry (Pindar) rejects this substitution as contrary to its dignity ; the tragic poets, however, use it, and in such a manner that different forms often correspond to each other in strophe and antistrophe.
It is not a change of the rhythm, but of the measure, if the irrational time is put for the rational, or if a long is resolved into two shorts, or two shorts are contracted into one long.
Caesura, Diaeresis. The verse-rhythm is united to words, elements which are themselves rhythmical. The intensity of force manifests itself in the verse as arsis and thesis; in the word, as more elevated and more depressed accent (acute, grave): the extension in the verse as metre; in the word as quantity. From a recurring succession of arses and theses, for which a corresponding metre is substituted, arise rhythmical series; the smallest series, by the repetition of which, the larger are produced, is the verse-foot. So also in the word-rhythm, the smallest rhythmical unit, is the word-foot; and from the sequence of word-feet, arise word-series. Verse we defined to be a limited whole consisting of one or more verse-series; to this, the sentence corresponds, which consists either of one or of several word-series (simple or complex sentence). To the composition by distichs, the period consisting of antecedent and conclusion corresponds; to the strophe, antistrophe and epode, the proposition, antithesis and conclusion.
The question now arises whether the verse-rhythin wholly coincides with the word-rhythm; that is, whether the arsis falls on the acute, the thesis on the grave, the long upon a long syllable, the short on a short syllable; whether a simple series embraces a simple sentence, and a verse, according as it consists of one or several series, includes a simple or complex proposition; whether, finally, in the distich, a period consisting of antecedent and conclusion, and in the strophe, antistrophe and epode, a period consisting of antecedent, antithesis and conclusion must be completed.
We have however already remarked (c. 6.) that in the ancient languages the word-accent does not coincide with the verse-accent, by which the rhythm gains in life and flexibility. But metre and quantity are the point of union, where verse-rhythm and word-rhythm meet, as otherwise an absolute contradiction between the two would take place; for, in general, the feet of the word-rhythm, and of the verse-rhythm, and therefore the rhythmical series and sentences, coincide as little as the accents. The interweaving of the two produces variety and power; the coincidence, uniformity and feebleness; but not in all rhythms to a like extent.
In rhythms of the unequal kind, which are lively and flexible in their character, the interweaving of the word-feet and verse-feet is suitably applied, because the liveliness is thereby heightened. In falling rhythms, which are in their nature relaxed, the contradiction between the two feet obliterates the feeble thesis termination; the ending of the word, which usually takes place in the arsis, raises this and causes the thesis to be more lightly passed over. Hence, iambic, trochaic, and dactylic series delight in the interweaving of wordfeet and verse-feet; the anapaestic however, less so, because the forcible termination upon the arsis, if it should fall within a word, would not sound out so strongly. The same remark applies to the cretic, choriamb, and the rising ionic.
These laws, however, are not so strict but that they allow various exceptions, which when a specific purpose is attained by them, are by no means faulty." The effort also to unite word-feet and verse-feet, ought not to be carried too far. Too great solicitude is as objectionable as too great negligence. With all the laws, which art prescribes to itself, freedom ought not to be destroyed; for true art is that which moves freely within the laws.
With respect to verse-series and word-series, they can be interblended, or the ends of both coincide.
From the coincidence and disagreement of verse-series and word-series springs the idea of the diaeresis and caesura (διαίρεσις and τομή,) abscission and incision.
The coincidence of both feet, is called the foot-diaeresis, the coincidence of both series is the principal diaeresis, and the disagreement of the two feet, is the foot-caesura, so that the word-foot is divided by the verse-foot, hence the name; and the disagreement of the two series, so that the verseseries ends before the word-series, is the principal caesura.
Every principal diaeresis and principal caesura is at the same time a foot-diaeresis and a foot-ceasura. In writing, the end of a word-series is usually distinguished by a punctuation mark; hence the principal diaeresis and the principal caesuras, fall in the punctuation, as Άρχετε βωκoλικάς, Μώσαι φίλαι, άρχετ' αοιδάς
Luv-vw, -1--vu,l-wu-The verse has a principal caesura and a principal diaeresis, and is accordingly divided into three series. The verse :
Integer vitae, scelerisque purus
---------has a principal caesura, and therefore consists of two series. Feet of three syllables, as the dactyle, are capable of a twofold foot caesura, either after the long -7 _~, which is called the masculine, because it is in the arsis; or after the first short -"|", xarà tòv tooxaiov, which, as it occurs in the thesis, is less strong, and therefore is called the feminine.
Caesura and diaeresis, have but one aim, namely the marking of the terminations of the series; the poet, therefore, will be able to make use of them at his pleasure. But certain rhythms are more inclined to the diaeresis, others more to the caesura. In general those rhythms which delight in foot caesuras, will have principal caesuras; rhythms which are inclined to foot diaereses, will have principal diaereses. Trochaic, iambic and dactylic series therefore have mostly the caesura; anapaestic, choriambic, cretic and ionic, mostly the diaeresis; but the former do not entirely exclude the diaeresis, nor the latter the caesura. Thus, for example, the trochaic catalectic tetrameter in the lyric poets has the caesura mostly after the arsis of the fifth foot;
in the dramatists on the contrary the diaeresis occurs after the dimeter;
۔ ۔ ۔ ۔ ۔ ۔ ۔ ۔ ۔ ۔ ۔ ۔ ۔ ۔
It is clear from what has thus far been said, that the caesura and the diaeresis belong to the essence neither of the verse-rhythm nor of the word-rhythm, but are only perceptible when the two are united; hence it follows that it is an error to stop in the caesura with the voice; but in the diaeresis a short stop is more readily allowed, because a series ends in it. This also is the reason that, when a pause must be made in the midst of a verse, a diaeresis also occurs, as in the elegiac pentameter:
Nubila si fuerint nullus amicus erit. The question now arises, how the diaeresis and the caesura are marked by the voice. The beginning both of a verseseries and of a word-series commonly has a greater elevation or intensity of the voice, than the end. The diaeresis is therefore marked by a corresponding falling of the voice: the caesura, on the contrary, by a corresponding rising. The fact that a syllable short by itself, can be used for a long, if it stands in the caesura, is to be explained by this increased intensity. This lengthening, however, takes place only in dactylic rhythms, and then for the most part only in the epic poets.
We have seen above that the coincidence of verse-series and word-series is purposely neglected in order to produce certain effects; the same is the case with verse-periods and periods in language. A word in a period of language that runs into a following verse produces the same impression as the syllable that stands in the caesura, as Hom. Il. I. 51, 52.
Αυταρ έπειτ' αυτοϊσι βέλος έχεπευκές εφιείς,
Βάλλ'· αεί δε πυραι κ. τ. λ. The same also applies to strophes, which do not always close with grammatical propositions. See Pind. Olymp. VI. 49, 50. Pyth. I. 32, 33.
We have thus treated, in this First Part, the doctrine of the definition, of the general laws of rhythm, and of its representation to the senses by the means of speech. The consideration of the method by which the rhythm embodied in words was adapted to song and music lies beyond the limits of metrical science, and forms a part of the theory of the music of the ancients.
THE APPLICATION OF THE LAWS OF RHYTHM TO
POETRY BY THE GREEKS AND ROMANS.
Brief Survey of the History of Greek and Roman Poetry,
with particular reference to the Metrical Form. Greek poetry is superior to that of all other nations both because it developed itself from the earliest and rudest beginnings to the highest degrees of perfection naturally and independent of foreign influence, and we are able, notwithstanding the loss of many works, to follow exactly the course of its development, and because it shows itself in all its parts so harmoniously unfolded that it justly has been and will be a model to all nations for all time. The harmony reveals itself principally in the choice of the most suitable form to each subject, and so by a reversed process the perfection of the material, the really spiritual element of poetry can be traced from the perfect form. Since in a national poetry, as the Grecian was, the national character is necessarily reflected, and since, notwithstanding the unity of the Greek mind, still each tribe had its peculiarities, and maintained them in life as in poetry, and stamped them upon the material as upon the form, it is evident that the metrical science is not only to be considered, as is usually done, as an auxiliary science for the better understanding of the ancient poets, or as a direction how to imitate them in poetic attempts, but that as a system of artistical form of the poetic thought, it has a higher historical value. We look, therefore, upon the metrical science, as a production of antiquity which like any other of its productions, bears on itself the peculiar stamp of its origin. But as without a knowledge of the form the poetic material cannot exercise its full effect upon our mind, and can, there