πατέρα. This is the only tragic trimeter in which the third foot is formed by a single word of three short syllables. When the third foot is a tribrach there is usu. a caesura both in the third and in the fourth foot (as O. T. 248“κακὸν κακῶς νιν ἄμορον ἐκτρῖψαι βίον”: cp. Eur. Tro. 497): or at least in the third foot (as Soph. Ant. 31). But it should be observed that the pause after χαῖῤ, ὦ πάτερ makes a vital difference. The movement of the verse begins afresh at πατέρα, and the effect of that word to the ear is like that of a tribrach in the first, rather than in the third, place of a trimeter. Hence we may defend the text here, and yet concede that no tragic poet could have written such a verse without the pause (e.g. “ἦλθ᾽ ἄσμενος πατέρα ποτ᾽ εἰσορᾶν δοκῶν”).
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