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One of the four most important Classic lyric one line metres (the others being the asclepiad metres, the glyconic metre and the pherecratic metre). While the dactylic poetry (epic, boucolic etc.) and the iambic and trochaic poetry (dramatic etc.) use feet arranged by certain orders and quantities, the lyric metres pertain to complete lines. A stanza doesn't need to be constituted of a single metric element (except for the Alcaic and the Sapphic Stanzas), but could interchange them and even occasionally add "feet-metre" lines and couplets (particularly the 'Elegiac Couplet'). The normal lyric stanza has four lines.

The hendecasyllabic metre was Catullus' favourite line. It consists (as the name suggests) of eleven syllable in this pattern:

 - - - ^ ^ : - ^ - ^ - -

* - long or stressed syllable; ^ short or unstressed syllable; : caesura

Either the first or the second syllable may be occasionally short, and the caesura sometimes may change its place.

Example (in Latin):

  - - -    ^^  -  ^  :  -       ^ - -
 vivamus, mea Lesbi(a), atqu(e) amemus

(Catullus 5, 1)

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