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of the first two lines and add it to the end of the lines, we shall have a perfect sapphic verse in both cases, identical in number of syllables and length of quantities, the only difference being that the caesura will not be found in the same place. This then should help the student in alcaic versification.
This metre is a strong and lively one and was used by Horace in poems of solemn feeling, as well as for appeal, encouragement, exhortation, and admonition. For general rules the student is referred to those preceding page 7.
1. Word accent and verse accent should not coincide; at least not more than once in a single verse, if it can be avoided. The reason is that in alcaic verse the lines are short and special effort must be made to distinguish them from prose.
2. Verse-endings should not correspond too often with the sense pause, but an attempt should be made to vary the verse with run-over lines.
3. The first syllable of the first and second verses may be either long or short. Horace more often makes it long.
4. The first two lines consist of a single syllable (long or short), followed by a trochee, spondee, and two dactyls. Thus :
5. The caesura comes after the fifth syllable in the first two lines and has a fixed position. There are a few rare exceptions in Horace in which the caesura comes after the sixth syllable.
6. The third verse consists of one half the first line (neglecting the caesura), followed by two trochees. ~|_|__| _ ~|_ ~
7. The fourth line consists of the last half of the first verse from the caesura followed by a trochee and spondee (or trochee).
8. The third and fourth verses of an alcaic stanza have no caesura properly so called. There are certain combinations of syllables based on Horace's odes which are to be imitated. These will be found below.
9. The final syllable of all lines should be long by preference. It is thus found in the more polished odes of Horace. This, however, is a rule that has many exceptions.
10. A word of four syllables at the beginning or end of the third line is to be avoided.
11. Too many monosyllables in a verse are not to be allowed, especially in the last two lines of a stanza. A line should not end in a monosyllable, unless the final syllable of the previous word be elided.
12. In the following examples may be seen the best models taken from Horace for the third and fourth lines. By a close imitation of these models the student will produce the best results.
Horace, Odes, III, 2.
(b) Pones iambis sive flamma.
(c) Culpante nunc torrentia agros. Horace, Odes, III, 1.
In the above example (a) is the best and strongest line, and if possible the pupil should have the third line of his exercise an exact imitation of that one. The other two are, however, common and may be imitated. Two other models, even though found in Horace, are not to be imitated, as the words and feet coincide. They are:
(d) Cantare rivos atque truncis. Horace, Odes, II, 19. (e) Hic classe formidatus ille. Horace, Odes, III, 6.
Horace, Odes, III, 5. Horace, Odes, III, 5.
(a) Incolumi Iove et urbe Roma.
Any one of the above three may be imitated, as all are equally common. The following is rare and should not be imitated, since those who maintain that there is a caesura in the third and fourth lines point out that in this verse there would be a trochaic caesura.
(d) Hospitis ille || venena Colcha. Horace, Odes, II, 13.
For those who follow the theory of a caesura in the third and fourth verses, the different caesural pauses are shown on page 9. The student will find it much easier, however, to imitate the models shown above and separate his words accordingly.
8. Exercises in Alcaic Verse
I. EXERCISES IN BROKEN ALCAIC VERSE
(Each line complete in itself.)
(a) Sub quando daedala trabe insonaret
Nec carerent oculi lacrimis
(b) Persea fovit brachiis tenellum
(c) Aetas sterneris et mollissima tuum
(d) Aquae capillis immineant quantum
(e) Quae mihi timeres quod si metu sunt
Mala ponti dura dura fugae.
(All four lines mingled together.)
(a) Quis tangit fila? Quis modo Lacedaemonis tacentes dudum excutiet? Horrisono aere pubemque defunctos revocabit?
(b) Quorum caesaries divina uti flos hyacinthinus per imbres vernos pandens se lugubre, honestos animi timores humeris fusa,
(c) Altasque vires, ac fidem niveam spirabat. Libertas scilicet aurea illos spectare avebat et propriam sobolem dicare.
(d) Alcaeus alterne, nova mente velox ensem cavet? Qui coma viridi myrtoque devinctus aede sacrata Pallados diu retentos
(e) Ignes celavit; dum diva fulmina rutilantia auspicato promeret; tum vindex clarus invictusque emicuit, trepidumque vulnus ..
(f) Infixit. At, Diva, ne chelys inopportuna aures tuas male ominatis vocibus increpans eliciat tristem memoremque guttam!
II. MODEL EXERCISE IN ALCAIC VERSE
The exercise taken for a model is the stanza by Burns entitled Bright Ran Thy Line, O Galloway.
Bright ran thy line, O Galloway,
Through many a far-famed sire;
For hints, let us suppose that we have the following:
(1) O Gallulus, through many a famous (line 2) name of your sires (2) ran thy noble stock (stirps); (3) as the famous street of the Romans (Quirites) (4) and the end for both is the mire.
Translating and marking the quantities we have these variations:
Ō Gallŭlě, per multă nōmină clară pătrum (or māiōrūm) fāmōsă