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APPENDIX.

Poetry of Cicero.

The poems of Cicero are of considerable importance to the student of Latin versification. His great facility and formal polish made him successful in producing a much more finished and harmonious cadence than had before been attained. Coming between Ennius and Lucretius, and evidently studied by the latter, he is an important link in metrical development. We propose in this note merely to give some examples of his versification that the student may judge for himself, and compare them with those of Lucretius, Catullus, and Virgil. They are quoted from the edition of Orelli (vol. iv. p. 0112 sqq.).

From the Marius (Cic. de Legg. I. i. S 2):

  “Hic lovis altisoni subito pinnata satelles 
  Arboris e trunco serpentis saucia morsu 
  Subrigit, ipsa feris transfigens unguibus, anguem 
  Semianimum et varia graviter cervice micantem, 
  Quem se intorquentem lanians rostroque cruentans, 
  Iam saltata animos, iam duros ulta dolores, 
  Abiecit ceflantem et laceratum adfligit in unda, 
  Seque obitu a solis nitidos convertit ad ortus. 
  Hanc ubi praepetibus pennis lapsuque vo antem 
  Conspexit Marius, divini miminis augur, 
  Faustaque signa suae laudis reditusque notavit, 
  Partibus intonuit caeli pater ipse sinistris. 
  Sic aquilae clarum firmavit Iuppiter omen.”

Praises of himself, from the poem on his consulship (Div. I. ii. S 17 sqq.):

  “Haec tardata diu species multumque morata 
  Consulet tandem celsa est in sede locata, 
  Atque una tixi ac signati temporis hora, 
  Iuppiter excelsa clarabat sceptra columna; 
  Et clades patriae flamma ferroque parata 
  Vocibus Allobrogum patribus populoque patebat. 
  Rite igitur veteres quorum monumenta tenetis, 
  Qui populos urbisque modo ac virtute regebant, 
  Ritectiam vestri quorum pietasque fidesque 
  Praestitit ac longe vicit sapientia cunctos 
  Praecipue coluere vigenti numine divos. 
  Haec adeo penitus cura videri sagaci 
  Otia qui studiis laeti tenuere decoris, 
  Inque Academia umbrifera nitidoque Lyceo 
  Fuderunt claras fecundi pectoris artis: 
  E quibus ereptum primo iam a flore in ventae, 
  Te patria in media virtuttum mole locavit. 
  Tu tamen auxiferas curas requiete relaxans 
  Quod patriae vacat id studiis nobisque dedisti.”

We append some verses by Quintus Cicero, who the orator declared would make a better poet than himself. They are on the twelve constellations, a well-worn but apparently attractive subject:

  “Flumina verna cient obscuro lumine Pisces, 
  Curriculumque Aries aequat noctisque dieque, 
  Cornua quem comunt florum praenuntia Tauri, 
  Aridaque aestatis Gemini primordia pandunt, 
  Longaque iam minuit praeclarus lumina Cancer, 
  Languiticusque Leo proflat ferus ore calores. 
  Post modicum quatiens Virgo fugat orta vaporem. 
  Autumnni reserat porfas aequatque diurna 
  Tempora nocturnis disperse sidere Libra, 
  Et fetos ramos denudat flamma Nepai. 
  Pigra sagittipotens iaculatur frigora terris. 
  Bruma gelu glacians iubare spirat Capricorni: 
  Quam sequitur nebulas rorans liquor altus Aquari: 
  Tanta supra circaque vigent ubi flumina. Mundi 
  At dextra laevaque cict rota fulgida Solis 
  Mobile curriculum, et Lunae simulacra feruntur. 
  Squama sub aeterno conspectu torta Draconis 
  Eminet: hanc inter fulgentem sidera septem 
  Magna quatit stellans, quam serrans serus in alia 
  Conditur Oceani ripa cum luce Bootes.”

This is poor stuff; two epigrams are more interesting:

  I.

  “Crede ratem ventis, animum ne crede puellis: 
  Namque est feminea tutior unda fide.”

  II.

  “Femina nulla bona est, et, si bona contigit ulla, 
  Nescio quo fato res mala facta bona.”

We observe the entire lack of inspiration, combined with considerable smoothness, but both, in a feebler degree, which are characteristic of his brother's poems.