It is not meant that for three centuries the dirge-writers had nothing else to sing of; much less, that they sang of the fall of Jerusalem (presupposed by our book) before its occurrence.
Rather, the contrary; for he implies that The Qinoth contained not only Jeremiah's single dirge on Josiah, but also the elegies of " all the singing men and singing women," from the time of Josiah's death (608) down to his own day (3rd century).
The uniform gloom of this, the most dirge-like of all the pieces, is unrelieved by a single ray of hope, even the hope of vengeance; cf.
A vivid description of the festival at Alexandria (for which Bion probably wrote his Dirge of Adonis) is given by Theocritus in his fifteenth idyll, the Adoniazusae.
The sailors, desirous of hearing so famous a musician, consented, and the poet, standing on the deck of the ship, in full minstrel's attire, sang a dirge accompanied by his lyre.