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guish the songs and singers of Israel, she had little sympathy or correspondence. The national separation, the miraculous history, the typical ritual, the worship of a God against whose direct government idolatry was treason — these mysteries, or such as these, which overshadow the face of the Hebrew poetry, did not affect the imagination of the Greek poet, excepting, perhaps, in his connexion with the earlier tragic drama. With that single exception, all the elder poetry of Greece breathes a spirit of undoubting obedience to the popular or Olympian polytheism-a scheme of gods compounded, partly of the canonized heroes of the ante-historical times, and partly of the personified forms, functions, and powers of the material world, in conjunction with, but generally as agents superior to, some of the passions and moral qualities of man, also personified. That something, too, of the popular religion and worship was borrowed from Egypt and Phoenicia few can doubt; but whatever was so borrowed was re-cast, or at least re-coloured, by fancy and art; and, let the deity or the rite come from what region soever it might, there soon fell upon it and around it, the same sunshiny hue, the same elegance of form and rhythm of motion, which the spirit of Beauty- the aboriginal genius of Greece-continually poured forth upon the games, the sacrifices, and the funerals, the
• Statues, and temples, and memorial tombs,' of that renowned land. To this spirit, as to an imperial sovereign, the whole poetry of Greece was subject; to its rules and requisitions, all peculiarities of theme, all shapings of the individual imagination, were uniformly reduced. It was a veritable presence
a power of light, and life, and harmony, prevailing with a gentle but strong coercion over all thought, and passion, and purposeraising the low, illumining the obscure, repressing the extravagant, and infusing throughout a unity of its own creation. It is the
energy of this living principle that, in our judgment, strikingly distinguishes the Greek from the Hebrew poetry-giving that symmetry of form and ordonnance* of composition to the first, which are the characteristic deficiencies of the last. A Greek poem is obviously, to the critical eye, a work of art, the end of which is to produce pleasure, consistently with perfect beauty in the instrument of production; the Hebrew song was an outbreak of the heart, the only law and object of which were a significant expression of strong emotion. In the one, the workmanship is sometimes more valuable than the materials ; in the other, the
* We venture to suggest the naturalization of this expressive word, as being, in its formation, in accordance with the genius of our language-and itself without a synonyme—the two pre-requisite conditions, in our judgment, to the use of a foreign term in pure style.
materials are frequently no otherwise wrought upon than by the unavoidable action of the passion which animates them. Not in the poetry only, but in all the arts and spectacles of Greece, the same influence of proporțion and completeness operated : in no form of the Greek poetry did it work more powerfully than in the mature and perfect ode; and it was the same Protean spirit which raised a Parthenon instead of a pyramid, that produced a Pindar instead of a David.
Nor is it difficult to assign a cause for the more immediate subjection of the lyric poetry of Greece to the intuences of this law of beauty and proportion. Whether the elder verse—the Homeric and Hesiodic
was sung, or as we rather believe with Ilgen, recitatived, there can be no doubt that the poetry which succeeded, and which became emphatically associated with the lyre,* was primarily composed with a view to its being actually sung, in our popular sense of the word. We have a remarkable proof of it în a fragment of Archilochus—the very earliest of the lyric bardsin which there is the first instance of a burthen, imitative of the
instrument to which it was intended to be sung :
* The following rough sketch of the xıb ága—whence our word, guitar-is offered for the purpose of "helping some of our younger readers to the true meaning of the terms used in the descriptions of that instrument, or of the aúga,which differed only from the ridága by being longer and narrower.
The strings were passed through holes in the Suges, or upper bridge, and fastened round the pegs on the top of it. The strings were tuned in the present way by a key or screw, called xoedórovov. The agiywvov, or harp of modern times, was a Syrian instrument, and not introduced amongst the Greeks till much later. The common lyre had seven strings; Simonides added an eighth. Timotheus, the great musician in Alexander's time, played on twelve strings. The paradis, a barbarous instrument, had twenty strings; the simicon, thirty-five; and the epigonion, forty. seem odd, but we venture to assert, that ágpovíce meant melody, and not harmony, in our musical sense ; and that the true Greek word for our harmony was évtipwría. But enough of this craft.
ώ καλλίνικε, ,
ώ καλλίνικε, χαιρ' άναξ Ηράκλεις,
την ελλα καλλίνικο. * It is certain that the pauses and intonations required by the ear in the musical accompaniment must have affected the construction of the words so accompanied : many pieces were probably composed to be sung to already well-known airs; and even when the poet indulged, as was, no doubt, often the case, in effusions not designed for any public occasion or actual singing, he still was mainly governed by the rules which belonged in general to that class of composition in which his own poem was ostensibly comprehended. Nor must we forget the intimate combination of the choric dance with music and poetry-not precisely that manner and form of dance now inculcated by Frenchmen, but the art of evolving beauty by motion and gesture, and of exciting a pleasure, of which the basis should be a sense of the natural difference between the two vehicles of expression, and a curiosity to witness the incongruity overcome. It may seem a strong thing to say, that the Greek ode was composed to dance as well as to music; and yet it is certain, that the verse, the air, and the measure or motion, were all three, if not coefficients, at least influencing principles, in the conception and formal construction of every one of Pindar's immortal hymns. The mind of the Greeks, within its own sphere, was a truly catholic mind; the Muses were sisters, and the arts all related ; and the self-same genius which, in sculpture and architecture, preferred the harmonies of exquisite proportion of parts, and a thence resulting completeness of the whole, to the imposing and sometimes sublime effects of simple magnitude, diffused also a controlling rhythm -- an attempering tone-over all the formal peculiarities of the different kinds of their literature. That literature, indeed—especially its poetrywas fundamentally artificial; but it was an inwoven and incorporate artifice, which, like the cæstus on the hand of an athlete, impeded no motion, marred no grace, but gave precision to the aim, and added weight to the blow.
We need not re-iterate here our lamentation over the broken lyre of ancient Greece; the scattered fragments prove our loss to be as irreparable as it is inestimable, and perhaps we may, with more reason, wonder that time and barbarism have spared any, than that they should have destroyed the greatest part of so subtle
* Ed. Gais. lx. Suidas explains rúvsadamas referable to the sound of the pipe pripempece pasviñs xgoupatos absou; the admirable scholiast on Pindar Olymp. ix. 1, considers it an imitation of the sound of the lyre. We cannot guess which it is most like, or would have been most like in a Greek mouth, but it is enough that it was certainly meant to represent the tones of some accompanying instrument or other.
and complex an instrument. For not altogether has the passion of Sappho, the gaiety of Anacreon, or the tenderness of Simonides perished: some breathings and flashes still remain, and even if all these had been extinguished, the best part of the majesty and picturesqueness of Pindar would still be ours, to give the world the measure of a lyric poet. We shall shortly devote an entire paper to that great master; but our view of his wonderful odes will be more complete, if we give a previous summary of the characters of the several lyric writers who preceded or were contemporary with him.
The first two of whom we have any distinct account, or, at least, any genuine fragments preserved, are Archilochus and Alcman.* Of Archilochus, the greatest of these two, we have said something lately, when treating of the Greek Elegy; he is a famous name in the old world, and must surely have been deserving of it, for good or for evil of uncommon quality--there being scarcely halfa-dozen, amongst all the ancient classics, in whose works we may not trace some instance or record of his universal invention or exquisite skill-of his vigour of genius or bitterness of spirit. Besides writing a man, and his daughter who should have married him, into hanging themselves, he founded a colony, and then lampooned it; struck out a score of new metres—and, if we may judge by the diversity of the numerous but slender fragments of his poems still existing, was grand master of Olympic odes, Bacchic hymns, warlike, moral, and consolatory elegies, bird-and-beast fables, love-songs, and libellous epigrams—throughout Greece and all her islands. Touch me who dare ''Apxino xov TaTETS-was his motto; which nevertheless he appears to have said once too
for it is certainly not greatly improbable that the man who is said to have assassinated him-Calondas the Crow—had previously been hitched by him into the gripe of some fierce iambics, or exposed to ridicule in some tale of a fox and a crow. The charge of licentiousness lies heavy on the poetry of Archilochus, and some proofs still remain that such charge was not without foundation; yet what proportion these polluted parts bore to the whole body of his works we know not; and it is almost impossible to conceive the author of several of the more serious fragments in the collection to have been habitually a perpetrator of ribald verse. Consider the spirit of those noble lines :
* There is, no doubt, an authentic account of Thaletas, a Cretan lyric poet, earlier, in all probability, than Archilochus. There is, however, some uncertainty about this. -Arist. Polit. ii. c. 10; Strabo x. 482; Plutarch ; Vit. Lycurg. His songs and airs - for he was a great improver of music-were very popular at Sparta, where they were constantly in use at the Gymnopædic festivals, with the songs of Alcman, and the pæans of Dionysodotus.-Athen. xv. c. 6. Athenæus also tells us of one Xanthus, a lyric poet, the author, as it seems, of a poem either called the Orestiad, or on that subject; and we collect from the name of this work, and also from the remark of Athenæus, that Stesichorus had stolen and spoiled-TUUTEToínusv—much from Xanthus, that his compositions were predominantly of the grave or heroic kind, like those of his imitator.Ath. xii. p. 513. Not a line, we believe, belonging to Thaletas or Xanthus now remains.
θυμε, θύμ’ αμηχάνoισι κηδεσιν κυκώμενε.-και. τ. λ. : My soul-my soul, though cureless seem the ills that yex thy rest, Bear up--subdue the hostile crew with right opposing breast. Take thou thy stand within spear-reach, and if thou win the day, Boast not !-nor beaten once, at home with vain repinings stay; But in misfortune wisely mourn,-in joy rejoice with heed, And bear in mind, to all mankind, the measure that's decreed !' Or of these:-τους θεούς τίθει τα πάντα πολλάκις μεν εκ κακών
άνδρας ορθoύσιν-κ. τ. λ. There are are many other fragments in which the same tone of stoic patience, and a resolute manliness prevail; and from the impression made upon us by a careful perusal of all the remains of Archilochus, we should conjecture that the offensive passages in his poems, of which we hear so much, were rather the occasional result of satiric sport or anger, than the fruits of an impure and lascivious mind. Amongst the fragments are the commencements of two fables of the Fox and the Eagle, and the Fox and the Ape the first to be found in Greek literature after the Hawk and the Nightingale of Hesiod. These Archilochian fables were very famous, were adopted and incorporated in the Æsopic collection, and are sometimes quoted by distinguished writers as the composition of Æsop himself—the Homer of apologue.* Ai voş seems to be the old word for a bird and beast fable; wūlos is later.
Αίνος τις ανθρώπων όδε,
A league to make.'-— &c.
* Aristoph. Aves, 652.
| xxxviï. Ed. Gaisf. * xxxix. Ib. This is the model of Pecti, nihil me, sicut antea, juvat
Scribere versiculosHorace adding an unconnected dimeter iambic.
& Ζεύ, πάτερ Ζεύ, σον μίν ουρανού κράτος,
où d'pz'in åv@gua w ogãs-xvii. is the model of Beatus ille qui procul negotiis
Ut prisca gens mortalium. Solvitur acris hiems, &c., is taken from
τοϊος γαρ φιλότητος έρως υπό καρδίην έλυσθείς πολλήν κατ' αχλύν όμμάτων έχιυε-xxiv. .