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But fiercely ran the current,
Never, I ween,* did swimmer,
Struggle through such a raging flood
Safe to the landing-place :
But his limbs were borne up bravely
And our good father Tiber
Bare bravely up his chin.
"Curse on him!" quoth false Sextus;
But for this stay, ere close of day
We should have sack'd* the town!"
Palatinus, a hill in
Tiber, the river upon which Rome, the capital of Italy, is built.
Crest, the ornament worn on the helmet, Rapturous, joyous. Tuscany, a district in the north of Italy, formerly called Etruria.
Ween, to think.
Sacked, plundered, pillaged.
Fathers, the senators of Rome.
Molten image, a metal statue erected in his honour.
Comitium, a place in Rome where public meetings were held.
Valiantly, bravely, courageously.
Juno, the goddess of marriages and births.
Algidus, a forest near
"Heaven help him!" quoth Lars Porsena, 55
"And bring him safe to shore;
For such a gallant feat of arms
Was never seen before."
And now he feels the bottom;
Now on dry earth he stands;
Now round him throng the Fathers *
And now with shouts and clapping,
They gave him of the corn-land,
As much as two strong oxen
And there it stands unto this day,
To witness if I lie.
It stands in the Comitium,"
Plain for all folk to see;
Horatius in his harness,
How valiantly* he kept the bridge
And still his name sounds stirring,
As the trumpet-blast that cries to them
And wives still pray to Juno*
And in the nights of winter,
When the cold north-winds blow,
JOHANN CHRISTOPH FRIEDRICH SCHILLER (1759-1805), the great German poet, was a native of Marbach, a small town of Würtemberg, situated on the banks of the Neckar. Among his works may be mentioned: The Robbers, Kabale and Leibe, Don Carlos, and The Song of the Bell.
This translation is by LORD LYTTON (1805-1873).
"OH, where is the knight or the squire so bold Squire, a knight's
He spoke, and the cup from the terrible steep,
Charybdis, a whirlpool caused by the rush of strong tidal currents, occasionally dangerous to shipping. There is a
famous one called the Maëlstrom, "grinding stream," between two Isles off the coast of Norway. IntheStraits
of the south Lofoden
of Messina there is also remarkable
Swirled into the maëlstrom that maddened eddy, much dreaded
"And where is the diver so stout to go
I ask ye again-to the deep below?"
by ancient mariners, but passed without difficulty by modern
Guerdon, a reward cr
And the knights and the squires that gathered recompense.
Stood silent-and fixed on the ocean their
15 They looked on the dismal and savage Profound, And the peril chilled back every thought of
And thrice spoke the monarch—“The cup to win, Wight, crea- Is there never a wight * who will venture in ?"
Aspect, appearance. Do ffing, taking off.
And all as before heard in silence the king,
Till a youth with an aspect * unfearing but gentle,
Marge, edge. As he strode to the marge* of the summit, and gave
Welkin, the sky, or the clouds.
Travail, excessive labour.
And it bubbles and seethes, and it hisses and roars,
Commotion, Yet, at length comes a lull o'er the mighty commotion,* And dark through the whiteness, and still through the swell,
The whirlpool cleaves downward and downward in ocean
tomless gulf. The stiller and darker the farther it goes,
waves broken on the rocks.
The youth gave his trust to his Maker! Before
And o'er him the breakers mysteriously rolled,
And the giant mouth closed on the swimmer so bold.
All was still on the height, save the murmur that went,
Thrilled from lip unto lip, "Gallant youth, fare thee
More hollow and more wails the deep on the ear-
55 If thou shouldst in those waters thy diadem * fling,
And cry, "Who may find it shall win it and wear;
60 What the deeps that howl yonder in terror conceal.
Oh, many a bark, to that breast grappled fast,
Has gone down to the fearful and fathomless* grave; Fathomless, Again, crashed together the keel* and the mast,
that of which the depth cannot be
found. fathom is a nautical measure of six feet.
Keel, the bot'tom of a ship. Wrath,
To be seen tossed aloft in the glee of the wave! 65 Like the growth of a storm ever louder and clearer, Grows the roar of the gulf rising nearer and nearer. And it bubbles and seethes, and it hisses and roars, As when fire is with water commixed and contending; And the spray of its wrath* to the welkin up-soars, And flood upon flood hurries on, never ending, And as with the swell of the far thunder-boom, Rushes roaringly forth from the heart of the gloom. And lo! from the heart of that far-floating gloom, Like the wing of the cygnet*—what gleams on the sea? Cygnet, a 75 Lo! an arm and a neck glancing up from the tomb! Steering stalwart and shoreward. O joy, it is he! The left hand is lifted in triumph; behold,
It waves as a trophy * the goblet of gold!
young swan Stalwart, &c., swimming bravely and strongly to shore. Trophy, any. thing taken from an enemy and
And he breathed deep, and he breathed long,
mark of victory. Prey, plunder, that
85 And he comes, with the crowd in their clamour and glee; * seized to be
And the king from her maidens has beckoned his
She pours to the boy the bright wine which they bring, 90 And thus spoke the Diver-"Long life to the King!
"Happy they whom the rose-hues of daylight rejoice, The air and the sky that to mortals are given ! May the horror below nevermore find a voiceNor man stretch too far the wide mercy of heaven!* 95 Nevermore, nevermore may he lift from the sight The veil which is woven with terror and night!
devoured. Glee, joy, gladness.
tempt God by rushing
into unnecessary dan