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"And straight the sun was flecked with bars, (Heaven's Mother send us grace!) As if through a dungeon

grate he peered, With broad and burning

face. 180

"Alas! (thought I, and my

heart beat loud) How fast she nears and

nears! Are those her sails that

glance in the sun, Like restless gossameres?

"Are those her ribs through which the sun 185 Did peer, as through a grate? And is that Woman all her crew? Is that a Death? and are

there two? Is Death that woman's


"Her lips were red, her looks were free, 190 Her locks were yellow as gold: Her skin was as white as

leprosy, The nightmare Life-in

Death was she, Who thicks man's blood

with cold.

"The naked hulk alongside came, 195

And the twain were casting I

dice; 'The game is done! I've

won, I've won!' Quoth she, and whistles


"The sun's rim dips; the

stars rush out: At one stride comes the I

dark; 200 With far-heard whisper,

o'er the sea, Off shot the spectre-bark. I

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One after another.

His shipmates drop down dead.

The stars were dim, and

thick the night, The steersman's face by his

lamp gleamed white; From the sails the dew did drip— Till clomb above the eastern bar The horned moon, with one bright star 210 Within the nether tip.

"One after one, by the stardogged moon,

Too quick for groan or sigh,

Each turned his face with a ghastly pang, And cursed me with his eye. 215

"Four times fifty living men,

(And I heard nor sigh nor groan)

With heavy thump, a lifeless lump,

They dropped down one by one.

"The souls did from their bodies fly,— 220

They fled to bliss or woe!

And every soul, it passed me by,

Like the whizz of my crossbow!"

Part IV "I fear thee, ancient Mar- The Wedding

• t Guest feareth that

mer • a spirit is talking to

I fear thy skinny hand! 225 And thou art long, and lank, and brown,
As is the ribbed sea-sand.

"I fear thee and thy glitter-
ing eye,

And thy skinny hand, so brown."—

But Life-in-Death begins her work on the ancient Mar

But t1n' ancient Mariner assureth him of his bodily life, and proceeaeth to relate his horrible penance.

He despiseth the creatures of the calm,

And envieth that they should live, and to many be dead.

But the curse liveth for him in the eye of the dead

"Fear not, fear not, thou

wedding-guest! 230

This body dropt not down.

"Alone, alone, all, all alone, Alone on a wide, wide sea! And never a saint took

pity on My soul in agony. 235

"The many men, so beautiful!

And they all dead did lie: And a thousand thousand slimy things Lived on; and so did I.

"I looked upon the rotting sea, 240

And drew my eyes away; I looked upon the rotting deck,

And there the dead men lay.

"I looked to heaven, and tried to pray; But or ever a prayer had gusht, 245 A wicked whisper came, and made My heart as dry as dust.

"I closed my lids, and kept

them close, And the balls like pulses |

beat; For the sky and the sea, and the sea and the sky, 250 Lay like a load on my weary eye, And the dead were at my


"The cold sweat melted from their limbs,

Nor rot nor reek did they:

The look with which they looked on me 255

Had never passed away.

"An orphan's curse would

drag to hell A spirit from on high;

But oh! more horrible than that Is the curse in a dead man's eye! 260

Seven days, seven nights, I saw that curse, And yet I could not die.

"The moving moon went

up the sky, And nowhere did abide: Softly she was going up, 265 And a star or two beside—

"Her beams bemocked the

sultry main, Like April hoar-frost spread; But where the ship's huge

shadow lay, The charmed water burnt

alway 270 A still and awful red.

"Beyond the shadow of

the ship, I watched the water-snakes: They moved in tracks of

shining white, And when they reared, the

elfish light 275 Fell off in hoary flakes.

"Within the shadow of

the ship I watched their rich attire: Blue, glossy green, and

velvet black, They coiled and swam;

and every track 280 Was a flash of golden fire.

"O happy living things! no tongue

Their beauty might declare:A spring of love gushed from my heart,

And I blessed them unaware! 285

Sure my kind saint took pity on me, And I blessed them unaware.

"The selfsame moment I

could pray; And from my neck so free

In his loneliness and fixedness be yearneth towards the journeying moon, and the stars that still sojourn, yet still move onward; and everywhere the blue sky belongs to them, and 1s their appointed rest, and their native country and their own natural homes, which they enter unannounced, as lords that are certainly expected; and yet there is a silent joy at their arrival.

By the light of the moon he beholdeth God's creatures of the great calm.

Their beauty and their happiness.

He blesseth them in his heart.

The spell begins tc break.

anc1ent Mariner is refreshed with rain.

He heareth sounds

ind seeth strange sights and commo


The Albatross fell off, and sank 290

Like lead into the sea.

Part V

"Oh sleep! it is a gentle thing,

Beloved from pole to pole! To Mary Queen the praise

be given! She sent the gentle sleep

from Heaven, 295 That slid into my soul.

"The silly buckets on the deck,

That had so long remained, I dreamt that they were

filled with dew; And when I awoke, it

rained. 300

"My lips were wet, my throat was cold, My garments all were dank; Sure I had drunken in my dreams,

And still my body drank.

"I moved, and could not feel my limbs: 305

I was so light—almost

I thought that I had died in sleep,

And was a blessed ghost.

"And soon I heard a roaring wind:

It did not come anear; 310 But with its sound it shook the sails, That were so thin and sere.

"The upper air burst into life! And a hundred fire-flags sheen, To and fro they were hurried about; 315

And to and fro, and in and out, The wan stars danced between.

"And the coming wind did

roar more loud, And the sails did sigh like

sedge; And the rain poured down from one black cloud; The moon was at its edge.

"The thick black cloud was cleft, and still 322

The moon was at its side:

Like waters shot from some high crag,

The lightning fell with never a jag, 325

A river steep and wide.

"The loud wind never reached the ship, spired, and the

Yet now the ship moved on! slup movcs on:Beneath the lightning and the moon
The dead men gave a groan.

"They groaned, they stirred, they all uprose, 331
Nor spake, nor moved their eyes;
It had been strange, even in a dream,
To have seen those dead men rise.

"The helmsman steered, the ship moved on; 335
Yet never a breeze up-blew;
The mariners all 'gan work the ropes,
Where they were wont to do:
They raised their limbs

like lifeless tools— We were a ghastly crew.

"The body of my brother's son 341

Stood by me, knee to knee:
The body and I pulled at one rope,
But he said nought to me."

"I fear thee, ancient Mar

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But not by the souls of the men, nor by demons of earth or middle air. but by a blessed troop of angelic spirits, sent down by the invocation of the guardian saint.

'Twas not those souls that

fled in pain, Which to their corses came

again, But a troop of spirits blest:

"For when it dawned— they dropped their arms, 350

And clustered round the mast;

Sweet sounds rose slowly through their mouths,

And from their bodies passed.

"Around, around, flew each

sweet sound, Then darted to the sun; 355 Slowly the sounds came

back again, Now mixed, now one by


"Sometimes a-dropping

from the sky I heard the skylark sing; Sometimes all little birds

that are, 360 How they seemed to fill

the sea and air With their sweet jargoning!

"And now 'twas like all

instruments, Now like a lonely flute; And now it is an angel's

song, 365 That makes the heavens be


"It ceased; yet still the

sails made on A pleasant noise till noon, A noise like of a hidden

brook In the leafy month of June, 370

That to the sleeping woods all night Singeth a quiet tune.

"Till noon we quietly sailed on, Yet never a breeze did breathe:

Slowly and smoothly went the ship, 375

Moved onward from beneath.

"Under the keel nine

fathom deep, From the land of mist and

snow, The spirit slid; and it was he That made the ship to go. The sails at noon left off

their tune, 381 And the ship stood still


"The sun, right up above the mast,

Had fixed her to the ocean;

But in a minute she 'gan stir, 38s

With a short uneasy motion—

Backwards and forwards half her length,

With a short uneasy motion.

"Then like a pawing horse let go, She made a sudden bound: It flung the blood into my head, 391 And I fell down in a swound.

"How long in that same fit Hay, I have not to declare; But ere my living life

returned, 395 I heard, and in my soul

discerned Two voices in the air.

"'Is it he?' quoth one, 'is this the man? By Him who died on cross, With his cruel bow he laid full low 400

The harmless Albatross.

'"The spirit who bideth

by himself In the land of mist and


The lonesomr

Spirit from the south pole carries 00 the ship as far as the Line, in obedience to the angelic troop, but still requireth vengeance.

The Polar Spirit's fellow-demons, the invisible inhabitants of the element, take part in bis wrong, and two of them relate, one to the other, that penance long and heavy for the ancient Mariner bath been accorded to the Polar Spirit. who returoeth southward.


The Mariner hath been cast into a trance; for the anrelk power causeth the vessel to drive northward faster than human life could endure

He loved the bird

loved the man Who shot him with his bow.' 405

"The other was a softer

voice, As soft as honey-dew: Quoth he, 'The man hath

penance done, And penance more will do.'

Part VI
First Voice

'"But tell me, tell me! speak again, 410

Thy soft response renewing—

What makes that ship drive on so fast? What is the ocean doing?'

Second Voice

"'Still as a slave before

his lord, The ocean hath no blast; His great bright eye most

silently 416 Up to the moon is cast—

"'If he may know which way to go;

For she guides him, smooth or grim.

See, brother, see! how graciously 420

She looketh down on him.'

First Voice "'But why drives on that

ship so fast, Without or wave or wind?'

Second Voice

"'The air is cut away

before, And closes from behind.

'"Fly, brother, fly! more high, more high! 426

Or we shall be belated:

For slow and slow that ship will go,

When the Mariner's trance is abated.'

The supernatural motion is retarded; the Marin e r awakes, and his penance begins anew.

"I woke, and we were sailing on, 430

As in a gentle weather:

'Twas night, calm night, the moon was high;

The dead men stood to-

"All stood together on the deck,
For a charnel-dungeon fitter:
All fixed on me their stony eyes, 436 That in the moon did glitter.

"The pang, the curse, with which they died,
Had never passed away:
I could not draw my eyes from theirs, 440

Nor turn them up to pray.

"And now this spell was Jf££!%?kbaSiy

snapt: once more I viewed the ocean green, And looked far forth, yet

little saw Of what had else been seen—

"Like one, that on a lonesome road 446

Doth walk in fear and dread,

And having once turned round, walks on, And turns no more his head;

Because he knows a frightful fiend 450

Doth close behind him tread.

"But soon there breathed

a wind on me, Nor sound nor motion made: Its path was not upon the

sea, In ripple or in shade. 455

"It raised my hair, it fanned my cheek Like a meadow-gale of spring— It mingled strangely with my fears, Yet it felt like a welcoming.

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