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Related to cithern: Cythara


see citterncittern
, stringed musical instrument of the guitar family having an oval body, a flat back, and a fretted neck. Its strings, made of wire and varying in number, were plucked. It was first made in the Middle Ages and at that time was usually called citole or sitole.
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Referring to Rossetti's "The Blessed Damozel," Buchanan complains: "On the whole, one feels disheartened and amazed at the poet who, in the nineteenth century, talks about 'damozels,' 'citherns,' and 'citoles.'" As we can see, Buchanan allies himself with the nineteenth-century present, against Rossetti's attempt to reclaim the diction of an idealized past.
Here is Plutarch, in North's translation, on Antony's first glimpse of Cleopatra: [S]he disdained to set forward otherwise, but to take her barge in the river of Cydnus, the poop whereof was of gold, the sails of purple, and the oars of silver, which kept stroke in rowing after the sound of the music of flutes, howboys, citherns, viols, and such other instruments as they played upon the barge.
Thus, The conscience is converted into palms, Like windy citherns hankering for hymns.