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THE

BOOK OF RECITATIONS.

PART 1.-POETIC.

THE DIVER.

BY SCHILLER, TRANSLATED BY BULWER LYTTON.

“Oh, where is the knight or the squire so bold

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 king.”

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 deep,

Swirled into the maëlstrom that maddened the surge.
“And where is the diver so stout to go-
I ask ye again—to the deep below ?

And the knights and the squires that gathered around,

Stood silent—and fixed on the ocean their eyes ;
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,
Is there never a wight who will venture in ?"

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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.
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.
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. Yet, at length, comes a lull o'er the mighty commotion,

And dark through the whiteness, and still through theswell, The whirlpool cleaves downward and downward in ocean

A yawning abyss, like the pathway to hell ;
The stiller and darker the farther it goes,
Sucked into that smoothness the breakers repose.
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,-

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, Or save when the tremulous sighing lament

Thrilled from lip unto lip, “Gallant youth, fare thee well !

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