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 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.
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.