A Greek and Latin metre, so named from Sappho, the inventor. Horace always writes this metre in four-line stanzas, the last being an Adonic. There must be a caesura at the fifth foot of each of the first three lines, which runs thus:
The Adonic is -
The first and third stanzas of the famous Ode of Horace (i. 22) may be translated thus, preserving the metre:
He of sound life, who ne'er with sinners wendeth, Needs no Maurish bow, such as malice bendeth, Nor with poisoned darts life from harm defendeth, Fuscus believe me. Once I, unarmed, was in a forest roaming, Singing love lays, when i' the secret gloaming Rushed a huge wolf, which, though in fury foaming, Did not aggrieve me.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894