Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 13.djvu/49

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RHYTHMICAL


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RHYTHMICAL


which they ignore who say that the singing of psalma in EngUsh began with the Reformation. Sir Thomas Wyat (d. 1521) is said to have done the whole psalter. We have only "Certayne Psalmes chosen out of the Psalter of David, commonlye called the VII Peni- tential Psalmes, Drawen into English metre ". Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey (d. 1547), translated Pss. Iv, Ixxiii, Ixxxviii into English verse. Miles Cover- dale (d. 1567) translated several psalms in "Goastly psalmes and spirituall songs drawen out of the Holy Scripture ". The old Version of the Anglican Church, printed at the end of the Prayer Book (1562) con- tains thirty-seven rhyming psalms translated by Thomas Sternhold, fifty-eight by John Hopkins, twenty-eight by Thomas Norton, and the remainder by Robert Wisdom (Ps. cxxv), William Whittingham (Ps. cxix of 700 lines) and others. Sternhold's psalms had been previously published (1549). Robert Crowley (1549) did the entire psalter into verse. The Seven Penitential Psalms were trans- lated by very many; William Hunnis (1583) entitles his translation, with quaint Elizabethan conceit, "Seven Sobs of a Sorrowful Soul for Sinne". During the reign of Edward VI, Sir Thomas Smith translated ninety-two of the psalms into English verse, while imprisoned in the Tower. A chaplain to Queen Mary, calling himself the "symple and unlearned Syr William Forrest, preeiste", did a poetical version of fifty psalms (1551). Matthew Parker (1557), later Archbishop of Canterbury, completed a metrical psalter. The Scotch had their Psalmes buickes from 1564. One of the most renowned of Scotch versifiers of the Psalms was Robert Pont (1575). Zachary Boyd, another Scotchman, published the Psalms in verse early in the seventeenth century. Of English rhyming versifications of the Psalms, the most charm- ing are those of Sir Philip Sidney (d. 1586) together with his sister. Countess of Pembroke. This com- plete psalter was not published till 1823. The rich variety of the versification is worthy of note; almost all the usual varieties of lyric metres of that lyric age are called into requisition and handled with elegance. The stately and elegant style of Lord Bacon is distinctive of his poetical paraphrases of several psalms. Richard Vcrstegan, a Catholic, published a rhyming version of the Seven Penitential Psalms (1601). George Sandys (1636) published a volume containing a metrical version of other parts of the Bible together with "a Paraphrase upon the Psalmes of David, set to new Tunes for Private Devotion, and a Thorow Base for Voice and Instruments"; his work is touching in its simplicity and unction. The Psalm Books of the various Protestant churches are mostly rhyming versions and are numerous: New England Psalm Book (Boston, 1773); Psalm Book of the Reformed Dutch Church in North America (New York, 1792); The Bay Psalm Book (Cambridge, 1640). Noteworthy also, among the popular and more recent rhymed psalters are: Brady and Tate (poet laureate), "A new Version of the Psalms of David" (Boston, 1762); James Mer- rick, "The Psalms in English Verse" (Reading, England, 1765); I. Watts, "The Psalms of David" (27th ed., Boston, 1771); J. T. Barrett, "A Course of Psalms" (Lambeth, 1825); Abraham Coles, "A New Rendering of the Hebrew Psalms into English Verse" (New York, 1885); David S. Wrangham, "Lyra Regis" (Leeds, 1885); Arthur Trevor Jebb, "A Book of Psalms" (London, 1898). Such are the chief rhyming English psalters. Other parts of Holy Writ done into rhyming English verse are: Christopher Tye's "The Acts of the Apostles trans- lated into English Metre" (1553); Zachary Boyd's "St. Matthew" (early seventeenth cent.); Thomas Prince's "Canticles, parts of Isaias and Revelations" in New England Psalm Book (1758); Henry Ains- wort, "Solomon's Song of Songs" (1642); John


Mason Good's "Song of Songs" (London, 1803); C. C. Price's "Acts of the Apostles" (New York, 1845). The French have had rhyming psalters since the "Sainctes Chansonettes en Rime FranQaise" of Clement Marot (1540). Some Italian rhymed ver- sions of the Bible are: Abbate Francesco Rezzano, "II Libro di Giobbe" (Nice, 1781); Stefano Egidio Petroni, "Proverbi di Salomone" (London, 1815) j Abbate Pietro Rossi, " Lamentazioni di Geremia, i Sette Salmi Penitenziali e il Cantico di Mose" (Nizza, 1781); Evasio Leone, "II Cantico de' Cantici" (Venice, 1793); Francesco Campana, "Libro di Giuditta" (Nizza, 1782).

Bibliotheca Sussexinna, II (London, 1839) ; Warton, History of English Poetry (1774-81); Holland, The Psalmists of Britain (London, 1843). WALTER DruM.

Rhythmical OfUce. — I. Description, Develop- ment, AND Division. — By rhythmical office is meant a liturgical horary prayer, the canonical hours of the priest, or an office of the Breviary, in which not only the hymns are regulated by a certain rhythm, but where, with the exception of the psalms and lessons, practically all the other parts show metre, rhythm, or rhyme; such parts for instance as the antiphons to each psalm, to the Magnificat, Invitatorium, and Benedictus, likewise the responses and versicles to the prayers, and after each of the nine lessons; quite often also the benedictions before the lessons, and the antiphons to the minor Horce (Prime, Terce, Sext, and None).

The old technical term for such an office was Historia, with or without an additional "rhytmata" or rimala, an expression that frequently caused mis- understanding on the part of later writers. The reason for the name lay in the fact that originally the antiphons or the responses, and sometimes the two together, served to amplify or comment upon the history of a saint, of which there was a brief sketch in the readings of the second nocturn. Grad- ually this name was transferred to offices in which no word was said about a "history", and thus we find the expression "Historia ss. Trinitatis". The structure of the ordinary office of the Breviary in which antiphons, psalms, hymns, lessons, and re- sponses followed one another in fixed order, was the natural form for the rhythmical office. It was not a question of inventing something new, as with the hymns, sequences, or other kinds of poetry, but of creating a text in poetic form in the place of a text in prose form, where the scheme existed, definitely arranged in all its parts. A development therefore which could eventually serve as a basis for the division of the rhythmical offices into distinct classes is of itself limited to a narrow field, namely the ex- ternal form of the parts of the office as they appear in poetic garb. Here we find in historical order the following characters: (1) a metrical, of hexameters intermixed with prose or rhymed prose; (2) a rhyth- mical, in the broadest sense, which will be explained below; (3) a form embellished by strict rhythm and rhyme. Consequently one may distinguish three classes of rhythmical offices: (1) metrical offices, in hexameters or distichs; (2) offices in rhymed prose, i. e., offices with very free and irregular rhythm, or with dissimilar assonant long lines; (3) rhymed of- fices with regular rhythm and harmonious artistic structure. The second class represents a state of transition, wherefore the groups may be called those of the first epoch, the groups of the transition period, and those of the third epoch, in the same way as with the sequences, although with the latter the characteristic difference is much more pronounced. If one desires a general name for all three groups, the expression "Rhymed Office", as suggested by ^'His- toria rimata" would be quite appropriate for the pars major et potior, which includes the best and most artistic offices ; this designation : ' 'gereimtes Officium "