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and thirteenth century, an Aquinas, or an Adam of St Victor, it displayed all its latent capabilities, and
Æquore sed multo Nereus, custode sepulto,
Res tandem blandæ sunt mortis causa nefandæ. A brief analysis of this poem, and further quotations not without an elegance of their own, may be found in Sir A. Crooke's Essay on the History of Rhyming Latin Verse, pp. 63–75. These too of Hildebert on the Crucifixion are good:
Vita subit letum, dulcedo potat acetum :
It is curious to observe how, during the middle ages, rhyme sought to penetrate and make a place for itself everywhere. Thus we have leonine sapphics as well as leonine hexameters and pentameters. The following may belong to the twelfth or thirteenth century (Hommey, Supplementum Patrum, p. 179), and, like the poem of Commodianus, see p. 11, must be scanned by accent only, and not by prosody:
Virtutum chori, summo qui Rectori
Hexameters and pentameters with final rhymes, and these following close upon one another, as in our heroic verse, not artificially interlaced (interlaqueati), as in our sonnet or Spenserian stanza, were called caudati, as having tails (caudas). They were not, I think, quite as much cultivated as the leonine, although of them also immense numbers were written; nor do they very often reach the strength and precision which the leonine sometimes attain ; yet they too are capable of a certain terseness and even elegance, of the same character as we have seen the leonine verses to display. Thus Hildebert describes attained its final glory and perfection, satiating the ear with a richness of melody scarcely anywhere to be sur
how the legal shadows are outlines of the truth, which as such disappear and flee away, Christ the substance being come:
Agnus enim legis carnales diluit actus,
Quisve locus votis, teneat quum navita portum ?
Villa, boves, uxor, cænam clausere vocatis :
Mundus, cura, caro, cælum clausere renatis. A passing and repassing from one of these arrangements of rhyme to the other is not uncommon. Thus to quote Hildebert again (Opp. p. 1260), and here, as everywhere, I seek to make citations which, besides illustrating the matter directly in hand, have more or less an independent merit of their own:
Crux non clara parum spoliis spoliavit avarum ;
Omne bonum nobis cum sanguine de Cruce fluxit. Or take another example from the Carmen Paræneticum ascribed to St Bernard (Opp., vol. ii. p. 909):
Amplius in rebus noli sperare caducis,
Postea nec florem monstrat, nec spirat odorem. He presently passes back from the leonine to the tail rhymes, intermingling besides with these a third form, springing from a combination of the two. The caudati tripertiti are divided, as their name indicates, into three sections, each containing two
passed. At first the rhymes were often merely vowel or assonant ones, the consonants not being required to agree; or the rhyme was adhered to, when this was convenient, but disregarded, when the needful word was not readily at hand; or the stress of the rhyme was suffered to fall on an unaccented syllable, thus scarcely striking the ear; or it was limited to the similar termination of a single letter; while sometimes, on the strength of this like ending, as sufficiently sustaining the melody, the whole other construction of the verse, and arrangement of the syllables, was neglected.*
feet; the first and second sections in every line rhyme with one another, and so far they resemble the leonine; but they are also tailed, in that the close of one line rhymes with the close of the succeeding. I know none of this kind which are not almost too bad to quote. Here however is a specimen:
Est data sævam causa per Evam perditionis,
They are curious, however, inasmuch as in these triparted distichs we trace the rudiments, as F. Wolf has clearly shown (Ueber die Lais, p. 200), of that much employed six-line strophe of our modern poetry, in which the rhymes are disposed thus, a abccb, the stanza which has attained its final glory in Wordsworth's Ruth; each of the Latin lines falling into three sections, and thus the couplet expanding into the strophe of six lines. Besides Wolf's admirable treatise just referred to, there are two treatises on the rhymed poetry of the middle ages in Gebaveri Anthologia Dissertationum, Lips., 1733 ; one, p. 265, Pro Rhythmis, seu Omoioteleutis Poeticis; another by Elias Major, p. 299, De Versibus Leoninis. Sir A. Crooke, in his Essay on Rhyming Latin Verse, has drawn freely on these, but has also information of his own.
* It may be that they who first used it, were oftentimes scarcely or not at all conscious of what they were doing. Thus The first in whose hymns there are distinct traces of the adoption of rhyme is Hilary, who died bishop of Poitiers in 368. His hymn on the Epiphany,
Jesus refulsit omnium
consists of eight quatrains, the four lines composing each of which have a like termination, while otherwise they observe the ordinary laws of the iambic dimeter. In the hymn of Pope Damasus (who died a very few years later) on St Agatha, the four lines of the quatrain do not rhyme all together, but two and two; and the verses consist, or are intended to consist, of three dactyls with a terminal rhyming syllable, as thus:
Stirpe decens, elegans specie,
It is true that earlier than either of these is the poem of Commodianus, referred to already, and that in cne section all the words end in 0. This could not be accidental ; yet at the same time, as nothing similar occurs in other parts of the poem, it must be counted,
Ampère says very beautifully upon the hymns of St Ambrose, in which he traces such unconscious preludings to the later rhymed poetry of Christendom: Ces hymnes sont versifiés d'après la règle de la métrique ancienne, mais il est curieux de voir une tendance à la rime se produire évidemment dans ces strophes analogues à celles d'Horace. Ce qui sera le fondement de la prosodie des temps modernes, la rime, n'est pas encore une loi de la versification, et déjà un besoin mystérieux de l'oreille l'introduit dans les vers pour ainsi dire à l'insu de l'oreille elle même (Hist. Litt. de la France, vol. i. p. 411).
where it does appear, rather as an arbitrary ornament than an essential element, of the rhythm.
Seeing, then, that it thus lies in our power to trace distinctly, and as it were step by step, the rise and growth of the Latin rhymed poetry, to preside at its very birth and cradle,—one cannot but wonder at a very common assertion, namely, that it borrowed rhyme Il from languages, which assuredly do not now preserve any examples in this kind that are not of far later origin than much which we possess in the Latin tongue. "I know of no poem,” says Dr. Guest,* " written in a Gothic dialect with final rhyme, before Otfrid's Evangely. This was written in Frankish, about the year 870.”
He, it is true, supposes the Latin rhymers to have gotten rhyme from the Celtic races,-among some of whom undoubtedly it existed very early, as among the Welch in the sixth century—and then in their turn to have imparted it to the Gothic nations.
But a necessity for this unlikely hypothesis rests only on the assumption, that the Romans were confessedly ignorant of rhyme." Certainly, if we found it in the Latin poetry suddenly starting up in its final perfection, complete and lacking nothing,
;-as we do find some of the Greek lyric metres, the complex alcaic, for example, in the pages of Horace,
-we could then hardly come to any other conclusion, but that it had been imported ab extra, even though we might not be able to say with certainty from what quarter it had been obtained. But everything about its introduction serves rather to mark it as autochthonic.f
* History of English Rhythms, vol. i. p. 119.
+ Ampère has expressed the same conviction. Of the Latin poetry of the eleventh century he says: La tendance à la rime,