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time to put an end to the profane games and more than profane dances then in fashion. We are glad to be able to say that the ingenious Father was eminently successful. The populace flocked out to listen, until Ephraem had won the whole city and put his enemies to shame. These homilies and hymns paid no attention to rhyme or quantity, not even to accent. To our ears they would sound as simply rhythmical prose.*

About the same time that Ephraem was singing to his Edessa congregations two other great men were writing hymns in other parts of the world. Gregory of Nazianzus, in Asia Minor, was, at the age of about fifty, elected Patriarch of Constantinople in A.D. 379. But his position there was so difficult and troubled that after two years he resigned. He now retired to Nazianzus, where he lived several years, writing hymns and sacred poems. Gregory used classical metres, even elegiacs, which are scarcely fitted for congregational singing. But among his 240 hymns many are firstrate, and might with advantage be taken into more general use. Mr. Chatfield has produced a good translation of many of them.t

The third of the illustrious band of contemporaries was Hilary, Bishop of Poictiers, who has been called the Father of Latin Hymnody. In A.D. 356 he was exiled by Constantine to Phrygia, and thus had an excellent opportunity of learning something of Greek hymns. On returning to his see, soon after A.D. 360, he compiled a book of hymns,' but this has unfortunately been lost. A few, however, have been preserved, among them a morning hymn containing a metrical account of part of the Gospel story: the hymn begins 'Hymnum dicat turba fratrum, hymnum cantus personet.' The article in the Dictionary on Hilary is, we must confess, disappointing. In the first place, it gives no adequate discussion of the reasons for and against attributing to him the eight hymns assigned him by the Benedictine editors. After all, the only undoubted hymn of Hilary out of these eight seems to be the Lucis Largitor splendide,' which was sent with a letter to his daughter from Phrygia. And,

This holds good also of the hymns of the Greek Church, excepting the earliest. Those translated by Dr. Neale are all in rhythmical prose. See his 'Hymns of the Eastern Church,' Introduction, pp. 15, 25, 8qq.

† Songs and Hymns of the Earliest Greek Church (London: 1876). The well-known hymn 'Lord Jesus think on me is translated by Mr. Chatfield from the Greek of Synesius, who died a.n. 430.

whereas fuller details are promised under their respective first lines, only two are so mentioned, in either case the writer denying that they are Hilary's. Again, under Beata nobis gaudia,' we read: "This hymn is sometimes ' ascribed to St. Hilary of Poictiers; but . . . upon insuffi'cient evidence. [See Hilary.]' But, as we have said, no discussion of the sufficiency or insufficiency of the evidence is to be there found.


Not long after the death of Hilary St. Ambrose brought the use of hymns into his cathedral church at Milan. beautiful tradition makes the "Te Deum Laudamus" to 'have been composed under inspiration, and recited alternately by SS. Ambrose and Augustine immediately after the baptism of the latter in 387.' (Dictionary, p. 56.) But, alas! it is not true. The Bishop of Salisbury, in his scholarly and suggestive article on the Te Deum'-that grandest of unmetrical hymns-comes to the conclusion that it was written at some period in the first half of the fifth century, whereas Ambrose died in A.D. 397. The chief grounds for denying the Ambrose-Augustine authorship are the comparative lateness of the tradition, the existence of so many rival claims, the apparent use of St. Jerome's Gallican Psalter in the last eight verses, and the expression suscepisti hominem' in verse 16. We can promise the reader who will take the trouble to consult the article in the Dictionary, not forgetting the additional details in the first appendix, much interesting and profitable reading. The first definite mention of the Te Deum' is to be found in the rule of Cæsarius, Bishop of Arles, which was drawn up not later than A.D. 502.

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At any rate, St. Ambrose wrote Latin hymns; they are models of what congregational hymns should be-short, terse, vigorous, yet simple withal. The morning hymn, 'Splendor paternæ gloriæ,' and the Advent hymn, Veni, 'Redemptor gentium,' no doubt genuine, are good examples of his style. The Benedictine editors assign him twelve of the 'Ambrosian' hymns, so called as being more or less closely written in his manner, of which Daniel's 'Thesaurus' gives no less than ninety-two. Here, as in the case of Hilary, the Dictionary is disappointing. After giving the first lines of the twelve hymns, histories of these hymns, together with details of translations in English,' are promised, to be found under their respective first lines.' Let us see how this promise is carried out. Three of the twelve are omitted under their respective first lines,' and

have, therefore, to be hunted up in the cross-reference index; while of one of these three, so far as we have been able to discover, the Dictionary gives no further account whatever.

Prudentius-or, to give him his full name, Marcus Aurelius Clemens Prudentius-an able Spanish lawyer who, after gaining the office of judge, was appointed to a high post at the Imperial Court, retired soon after A.D. 400, at the age of fifty-seven, to write hymns full of sweetness and light. The usually severe Dr. Bentley calls him the Horace and Virgil of the Christians,' which is no doubt extravagant praise. Archbishop Trench says, more soberly and more truly Giving, as he does, many and distinct tokens of belonging to an age of deeply sunken taste, yet was his gift of sacred poetry a most true one, and in many respects a most original. . . . Whether consciously or unconsciously, 'he acted on the principle that the new life claimed new 'forms in which to manifest itself.' The fact was that Prudentius lived at a period of transition. On the one hand, attention was no longer paid to the quantity of syllables; on the other hand, the compensations of rhyme were not yet developed. His hymns for Christmas, Corde natus ex Parentis, and for Epiphany, 'O sola magnarum urbium,' are extracts from longer poems, and have always been widely used.

We shall find this a suitable point at which to say a few words on two growing tendencies in Latin hymns which through them have affected hymns in general. These are the substitution of rhythmical for metrical laws and the adoption of rhyme at the end of lines. Quantity was no native of Latin soil, but a foreign thing imported from Greece. It therefore had struck no deep root and obtained no wide recognition in the universal sense of the people.' Hymns were, as yet at any rate, to be sung by the unlearned as well as by the learned. As time went on there were ever fewer and fewer who could appreciate a melody based on the quantitative value of words. And so hymn-writers naturally and of necessity fell back on accent, which was appreciable by every ear, even the most uncultivated. But as, after all, the ear demands in poetry some means of knowing when the verse is ended-a knowledge, be it remembered, no longer afforded by the metre-rhyme now became necessary.

The use of rhyme was, however, no novelty in Latin poetry. Rhymes are fairly frequent, for example, in Ennius and Ovid, are found even in Virgil, the great master of

metre. But whereas in the metrical poets they were but occasional and rare, they now came to be the almost invariable accompaniment of poetry. From the third century and onward it grew more and more usual to help out by the aid of rhyme lines that absolutely refused to scan on the exact principles of the old prosody, until the exceptions to its use were almost unknown. The hymn-writers of the twelfth and thirteenth centures had perfected this instrument, and the use made of rhymes in such poems as the 'Dies ira' or the Stabat Mater dolorosa' is splendidly effective. It is true that in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries there was a revival of metrical hymns written by the brothers De Santeuil and by Charles Coffin. But these are isolated exceptions which go to prove the rule. Rhyme was, therefore, at least to begin with, no merely meretricious ornament. But in later days, when monks had little to think about and less to do, it was certainly misused with perverse and artificial ingenuity.

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The rhythm of St. Bernard, a monk of Cluny, born at Morlaix in Brittany, but of English parentage, affords us an excellent example of rhyme thus run mad. This poem contains nearly three thousand lines, is entitled 'Concerning 'the Contempt of the World,' and is mainly a fierce satire on horrible corruption in high places. By way, however, of contrast with the evil of earth, the glories of heaven are depicted in glowing colours and with genuine poetic fire. The rhythm is famous owing to its having given us the beautiful hymns, Brief life is here our portion' and 'Jeru'salem the golden,' which are Dr. Neale's free translations from the Latin. Here are the four verses which begin the hymn Brief life is here our portion':

'Hic breve vivitur hic breve plangitur hic breve fletur,
Non breve vivere, non breve plangere retribuetur;

O retributio! stat brevis actio, vita perennis;

O retributio! cælica mansio stat lue plenis.'

What a metre for a man to choose! Its intense difficulty will be noted, inasmuch as each hexameter is divided into three equal parts, of which the first two rhyme together, while the end of the line rhymes with the next. Well might Bernard, in his dedicatory epistle, say: 'Unless that 'spirit of wisdom and understanding had been with me and 'flowed in upon so difficult a metre I could not have com'posed so long a work.' It will be worth our while to compare Mr. Moultrie's attempt at translating these lines in the original metre:

'Here we have many fears; this is the vale of tears, the land of


Tears are there none at all, in that celestial hall, on life's bright


There is eternal rest, there after toil the blest cease from life's

There in Heaven's banquet-hall sounds the high festival of the

Now, this is, no doubt, a good deal better than we might have expected in dealing with so contorted a measure. And yet, after all, what chance of adoption in English-speaking congregations would the old monk's rhythm have had but for Neale's spirited paraphrase in ballad metre? Surely


Peter Abælard, so well known by reason of his romantic attachment to Héloïse, wrote some fairly good hymns, chiefly for Héloïse and her nuns. He also wrote this remarkable one for the Festival of the Holy Innocents:

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The puerility and jingle may serve to remind us of a hymn actually printed in at least one modern English hymnbook:

'So shall He collect us, direct us, protect us

From Egypt's strand:

So shall He precede us, and feed us, and lead us

To Canaan's land.

Toils and foes assailing, friends quailing, hearts failing,
Shall threat in vain :

If He be providing, presiding, and guiding

To Him again.'

One of the two or three greatest of Latin hymns is the 'Stabat Mater dolorosa,' which Rossini and, recently, Dvorák have wedded to such exquisite music, and which the editor and sub-editor have dealt with most ably. This lovely and

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