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An ancient
Mariner

meeteth three

Gallants bid

den to a wed

ding-feast, and detaineth one.

The Wedding-Guest is spell-bound by the eye of

the old seafaring-man, and constrained to hear his tale.

THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER.

IN SEVEN PARTS.

PART I.

It is an ancient Mariner,

And he stoppeth one of three.

By thy long grey beard and glittering eye, Now wherefore stopp'st thou me?

'The Bridegroom's doors are open'd wide, And I am next of kin ;

The guests are met, the feast is set :
May'st hear the merry din.'

He holds him with his skinny hand,
'There was a ship,' quoth he.
'Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!'
Eftsoons his hand dropt he.

He holds him with his glittering eye-
The Wedding-Guest stood still,
And listens like a three years' child:
The Mariner hath his will.

The Wedding-Guest sat on a stone:
He cannot choose but hear;

And thus spake on that ancient man,
The bright-eyed Mariner.

'The ship was cheer'd, the harbour clear'd, Merrily did we drop

Below the kirk, below the hill,

Below the light-house top.

The Mariner

tells how the
ship sailed
southward
with a good
wind and fair Went down into the sea,
weather, till

it reached the line.

"

The sun came up upon the left,

Out of the sea came he!

And he shone bright, and on the right

'Higher and higher every day,

Till over the mast at noon-'

The Wedding-Guest here beat his breast,
For he heard the loud bassoon.

The bride hath paced into the hall,
Red as a rose is she;
Nodding their heads before her goes
The merry minstrelsy.

The Wedding-Guest he beat his breast,
Yet he cannot choose but hear;

And thus spake on that ancient man,
The bright-eyed Mariner.

'And now the storm-blast came, and he
Was tyrannous and strong:

He struck with his o'ertaking wings,
And chased us south along.

With sloping masts and dipping prow,
As who pursued with yell and blow
Still treads the shadow of his foe,

And forward bends his head,

The ship drove fast, loud roar'd the blast,
And southward aye we fled.

And now there came both mist and snow,
And it grew wondrous cold;

And ice, mast-high, came floating by,
As green as emerald

And through the drifts the snowy clifts
Did send a dismal sheen

Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken-
The ice was all between.

The ice was here, the ice was there,

The ice was all around:

It crack'd and growl'd, and roar'd and howl'd,
Like noises in a swound!

The Wedding-Guest heareth the bridal music; but the Mariner continueth his tale.

The ship drawn by a storm toward the south

pole.

The land of

ice, and of fearful sounds, where no

living thing was to be

seen.

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THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER.

IN SEVEN PARTS.

PART I.

It is an ancient Mariner,

And he stoppeth one of three.

By thy long grey beard and glittering eye,
Now wherefore stopp'st thou me?

'The Bridegroom's doors are open'd wide,
And I am next of kin ;

The guests are met, the feast is set:
May'st hear the merry din.'

He holds him with his skinny hand,

"

There was a ship,' quoth he.

'Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!'
Eftsoons his hand dropt he.

He holds him with his glittering eye-
The Wedding-Guest stood still,
And listens like a three years' child:
The Mariner hath his will.

The Wedding-Guest sat on a stone:
He cannot choose but hear;

And thus spake on that ancient man,
The bright-eyed Mariner.

'The ship was cheer'd, the harbour clear'd,

Merrily did we drop

Below the kirk, below the hill,

Below the light-house top.

The sun came up upon the left,

Out of the sea came he!

And he shone bright, and on the right

southward
with a good
wind and fair Went down into the sea,
weather, till

it reached the line.

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Nor dim nor red, like God's own head,
The glorious Sun uprist :

Then all averr'd, I had kill'd the bird

But when the fog cleared off, they justify the same, and thus make themselves accom

That brought the fog and mist. 'Twas right, said they, such birds to slay, plices in the That bring the fog and mist.

crime.

The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew, The fair

The furrow stream'd off free;

breeze continues, the

We were the first that ever burst

Into that silent sea.

ship enters the Pacific Ocean, and sails northward, even

Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt till it reaches 'Twas sad as sad could be ;

the Line.

[down,

And we did speak only to break

The silence of the sea!

All in a hot and copper sky,

The bloody Sun, at noon,

Right up above the mast did stand,
No bigger than the Moon.

Day after day, day after day,

We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.

The very deep did rot: O Christ!

That ever this should be!

Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs.

Upon the slimy sea.

About, about, in reel and rout
The death-fires danced at night;
The water, like a witch's oils,
Burnt green and blue and white.

The ship hath been suddenly becalmed.

And the Albatross begins to be avenged.

A spirit had

followed

And some in dreams assured were them; one of Of the spirit that plagued us so : Nine fathom deep he had followed us

the invisible

inhabitants

of this planet, From the land of mist and snow. neither de

parted souls nor angels; concerning whom the learned Jew, Josephus, and the Platonic Constantinopolitan, Michael Psellus, may be consulted. They are very numerous, and there is no climate or element without one or more.

The ship

mates, in their sore distress, would fain throw the whole guilt on the ancient Mariner; in sign whereof they hang the dead sea-bird round his neck.

The ancient

Mariner beholdeth a sign in the ele

ment afar off.

And every tongue, through utter drouth,
Was wither'd at the root;

We could not speak, no more than if
We had been choked with soot.

Ah! well a-day! what evil looks
Had I from old and young!
Instead of the Cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.

PART III.

There pass'd a weary time. Each throat
Was parch'd, and glazed each eye.
A weary time! A weary time!
How glazed each weary eye!
When looking westward, I beheld
A something in the sky.

At first it seem'd a little speck,
And then it seem'd a mist;

It moved and moved, and took at last

A certain shape, I wist.

A speck, a mist, a shape, I wist!

And still it near'd and near'd:
And as if it dodged a water-sprite,
It plunged and tack'd and veer'd.

With throats unslaked, with black lips We could nor laugh nor wail; [baked, to be a ship; Through utter drought all dumb we stood!

At its nearer approach, it seemeth him

I bit my arm, I suck'd the blood,

and at a
ransom he
freeth his
speech from
the bonds of thirst.

And cried, A sail! a sail!

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