Page:Annotated Edition of the Authorised Daily Prayer Book.djvu/27

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Yigdal and Adon Olam. vii

Principles of the Faith (P.B. page 89), each line of the poem representing one of the Principles. Maimonides lived from 1135 till 1204. Thus the earliest date for the poem is the thirteenth century. It has been conjectured that in the last line is interwoven the authors name, Yeḥiel son of Baruch (יְחַיֶה אֵל בְּרֹב...בָּרוּךְ...‏). S. D. Luzzatto in his introduction to the Roman Rite assigns the authorship to Daniel bar Judah. In that case the poem belongs to the fourteenth century. For remarks on the thirteen Principles see below, notes on P.B. p. 89.

The hymn Yigdal, like much of the mediæval Hebrew poetry, is written in rhyme and metre. The rhyme in this case (as well as in Adon Olam which follows) consists in a repetition at the end of each line of the same sounds. This assonance, which would not constitute an admissible rhyme in English, produces a pleasing effect in Hebrew. More elaborate rhymes are used in the hymns on P.B. pages in, 217, and 275. As regards metre, Hebrew verse depends upon the combinations of two kinds of syllables: the tenuah (תְּנוּעָה) a simple sound, and the yathed (יָתֵד) a compound sound. In the latter a sheva or ḥateph is followed by a full vowel. Thus each syllable in the word yīg-dāl is a tenuah, while the next word ēlō-hīm is made up of a yathed and a tenuah. The metrical scheme of Yigdal is as follows :

יִגְדֲּל אֱל־ | הִים חַי וְיִשְׁ־ | תַּבַּח ||‏

נִמְצָא וְאֵין | עֵת אֶל מְצִי־ | אוּתוֺ ||‏ Page 3. He is Lord of the universe. Adon Olam (אֲדוֺן עוֺלָם). Like the hymn mentioned in the previous note, Adon Olam is a dogmatic hymn, but this is the simpler and probably older of the two. It was written in the Gaonic age, though its authorship is unknown. It has been attributed to various Gaonim (as the Jewish authorities in Persia were termed in the middle ages)