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But fiercely ran the current,
Swollen high by months of rain,
And fast his blood was flowing,
And he was sore in pain,
And heavy with his armour,
And spent with changing blows;
And oft they thought him sinking,
But still again he rose.

Never, I ween,* did swimmer,
In such an evil case,

Struggle through such a raging flood

Safe to the landing-place :

But his limbs were borne up bravely
By the brave heart within,

And our good father Tiber

Bare bravely up his chin.

"Curse on him!" quoth false Sextus;
"Will not the villain drown?

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.

Harness, armour.

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.

Gory, bloody.

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 *
To press his gory * hands;

And now with shouts and clapping,
And noise of weeping loud,
He enters through the river-gate,
Borne by the joyous crowd.

They gave him of the corn-land,
That was of public right,

As much as two strong oxen
Could plough from morn till night:
And they made a molten image,
And set it up on high,


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,
Halting upon one knee :
And underneath is written,
In letters all of gold,

How valiantly* he kept the bridge
In the brave days of old.

And still his name sounds stirring,
Unto the men of Rome,

As the trumpet-blast that cries to them
To charge the Volscian home:

And wives still pray to Juno*
For boys with hearts as bold
As his who kept the bridge so well
In the brave days of old.

And in the nights of winter,

When the cold north-winds blow,
And the long howling of the wolves
Is heard amidst the snow;
When round the lonely cottage
Roars loud the tempest's din,
And the good logs of Algidus
Roar louder yet within;










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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).

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"OH, where is the knight or the squire so bold Squire, a knight's
As to dive to the howling Charybdis below?
I cast in the whirlpool a goblet of gold,
And o'er it already the dark waters flow;
Whoever to me may the goblet bring,
Shall have for his guerdon* that gift of his

He spoke, and the cup from the terrible steep,
That, rugged and hoary, hung over the verge
Of the endless and measureless world of the

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

the surge.

"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

the prize.

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,
'Mid the tremulous squires-stepped out from the ring,
Unbuckling his girdle, and doffing * his mantle;
And the murmuring crowd, as they parted asunder,
On the stately boy cast their looks of wonder.

Marge, edge. As he strode to the marge* of the summit, and gave
One glance on the gulf of that merciless main,
Lo! the wave that for ever devours the wave,
Casts roaringly up the Charybdis again ;
And as with the swell of the far thunder-boom,
Rushes foamingly forth from the heart of the gloom.

Welkin, the sky, or the clouds.

Travail, excessive labour.


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 it never will rest, nor from travail * be free,
Like a sea that is labouring the birth of a sea.

Commotion, Yet, at length comes a lull o'er the mighty commotion,* And dark through the whiteness, and still through the swell,

Abyss, bot

The whirlpool cleaves downward and downward in ocean
A yawning abyss,* like the pathway to hell;

tomless gulf. The stiller and darker the farther it goes,
Sucked into that smoothness the breakers* repose.


waves broken on the rocks.

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The youth gave his trust to his Maker! Before
That path through the riven abyss closed again,
Hark! a shriek from the gazers that circle the shore,- 45
And behold! he is whirled in the grasp of the main !

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,
From the grave of the deep, sounding hollow and fell, 50
Or save when the tremulous sighing lament

Thrilled from lip unto lip, "Gallant youth, fare thee

More hollow and more wails the deep on the ear-
More dread and more dread grows suspense * in its fear.

55 If thou shouldst in those waters thy diadem * fling,

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Diadem, a

royal crown.

And cry, "Who may find it shall win it and wear;
God wot, though the prize were the crown of a king- Wot, to
A crown at such hazard were valued too dear.
For never shall lips of the living reveal *

60 What the deeps that howl yonder in terror conceal.


Oh, many a bark, to that breast grappled fast,


Reveal, to

make known

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,
And he greeted the heavenly delight of the day.
They gaze on each other-they shout as they throng kept as a
"He lives-lo, the ocean has rendered its prey! *
And safe from the whirlpool and free from the grave,
Comes back to the daylight the soul of the brave!"

mark of victory. Prey, plunder, that

which is

85 And he comes, with the crowd in their clamour and glee; * seized to be
And the goblet his daring has won from the water,
He lifts to the king as he sinks on his knee—

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.

Nor man,

&c. May

man never

tempt God by rushing

into unnecessary dan


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