Hexameter from the Psalms.

Since I’ve been reading the Psalms and the Iliad back to back, I’ve decided to write a bit of hexameter based on the Psalms.  These are scarcely great works of art, but do they allow me to practice the meter.  

Here’s my first offering, based on Ps. 36:31 (LXX).  

ἐν κράδιῃ νόμος τοῦ θεοῦ ἐστι, ἄνακτος ἐόντος. 
τοῦ δ᾽ὁδός οὐκ ἐδαμάσθη, ὠκίστ᾽ ἐρχεται αὐτῃ.
“The law of God is in his heart, as the Lord is present [with him].
His path has not been overthrown, and he goes swiftly in it.” 
The Psalm itself reads:
ὁ νόμος τοῦ θεοῦ αὐτοῦ ἐν καρδίᾳ αὐτοῦ,
καὶ οὐχ ὑποσκελισθήσεται τὰ διαβήματα αὐτοῦ.
“The law of God is in his heart,
and his steps will not be overthrown.” 
ἐν αὐτῷ,

3 thoughts on “Hexameter from the Psalms.

  1. A fun exercise, and nice use of shortening in arsis (θεοῦ ἐστι)! Do you intend the τοῦ before θεοῦ as possessive?

    Also, have you compared your result to Ps.-Apollinaris’ paraphrases of the Psalms? For this verse, he has:

    θεσπεσίου φορέει κραδίην ἐγκύμονα θεσμοῦ,
    οὐδέ οἱ ἴχνια πάγχυ παραβλάπτοιτο πεσόντι.

  2. I wrote τοῦ θεοῦ knowing that I was mixing dialects (i.e. I meant to use the standard Attic article, even though that’s anachronistic for Homer). I guess the possessive works too: the law of his God.

    I’ve not yet looked at Ps. Apollinaris, though I should. I couldn’t recall who it was who put the psalms into hexameter.

  3. Ludwich’s Teubner edition of Ps.-Apollinaris is handily online. Just search archive.org for “Metaphrasis Psalmorum.” That will also bring up two other Humanist attempts to put the Psalms into Greek.

    Johann Serranus’ volume doesn’t contain all the Psalms and lacks yours, which is unfortunate, since he attempts other Greek meters than hexameter. James Duport turns your verse as follows:

    Θεσμὸν ἑοῖο Θεοῖο φίλον περὶ κῆρι φυλάσσει
    Ἐν στήθεσσιν ἑοῖς· τῷ καὶ πόσιν οὐκ ἂν ὀλίσθοι.

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