xvii), and to "Demeter" (xiii) are mere abstracts of the longer hymns iv, xxxiii, and ii.
The Hymn is doubtless a very ancient form; but if no example of extreme antiquity survive this must be put down to the fact that until the age of literary consciousness, such things are not preserved.
While it appears to have been a hymn of the longer type (15), we have no evidence to show either its scope or date.
All these considerations point to the seventh century as the probable date of the hymn.
The "Hymn to Apollo" consists of two parts, which beyond any doubt were originally distinct, a Delian hymn and a Pythian hymn.
The Delian hymn describes how Leto, in travail with Apollo, sought out a place in which to bear her son, and how Apollo, born in Delos, at once claimed for himself the lyre, the bow, and prophecy.
294-299) seems to have been still standing when the hymn was written, and this temple was burned in
The hymn must therefore be later than that date, though Terpander, according to Weir Smyth (16), may have only modified the scale of the lyre; yet while the burlesque character precludes an early date, this feature is far removed, as Allen and Sikes remark, from the silliness of the "Battle of the Frogs and Mice", so that a date in the earlier part of the sixth century is most probable.
The influence of Hesiod is clear, and the hymn has almost certainly been used by the author of the "Hymn to Demeter", so that the date must lie between these two periods, and the seventh century seems to be the latest date possible.
The only other considerable hymn is that to "Pan", which describes how he roams hunting among the mountains and thickets and streams, how he makes music at dusk while returning from the chase, and how he joins in dancing with the nymphs who sing the story of his birth.