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This seraph-band, each waved his hand:
It was a heavenly sight!
They stood as signals to the land,
Each one a lovely light:
This seraph-band, each waved his hand,
No voice; but oh! the silence sank
But soon I heard the dash of oars,
My head was turn'd perforce away,
The Pilot, and the Pilot's boy,
I heard them coming fast:
I saw a third-I heard his voice:
It is the Hermit good!
He singeth loud his godly hymns
He'll shrieve my soul, he'll wash away
This Hermit good lives in that wood
That come from a far countree.
He kneels at morn, and noon, and eve—
He hath a cushion plump:
It is the moss that wholly hides
The rotted old oak stump.
The Hermit of the wood.
The ship suddenly sinketh.
The skiff-boat near'd: I heard them talk,
ApproachethStrange, by my faith!' the Hermit saidthe ship with
wonder. 'And they answer'd not our cheer!
The planks look warp'd! and see those
I never saw aught like to them,
Brown skeletons of leaves that lag
My forest-brook along;
When the ivy-tod is heavy with snow,
'Dear Lord! it hath a fiendish look'—
(The Pilot made reply)
'I am a-fear'd'-'Push on, push on!'
The boat came closer to the ship,
But I nor spake nor stirr'd;
The boat came close beneath the ship,
Under the water it rumbled on,
It reach'd the ship, it split the bay;
Stunn'd by that loud and dreadful sound,
saved in the Which sky and ocean smote,
Like one that hath been seven days drown'd
But swift as dreams, myself I found
Upon the whirl, where sank the ship,
I moved my lips-the Pilot shriek'd
The holy Hermit raised his eyes,
I took the oars: the Pilot's boy,
Laugh'd loud and long, and all the while
'Ha! ha!' quoth he, 'full plain I see
The Devil knows how to row.'
And now, all in my own countree,
I stood on the firm land!
The Hermit stepped forth from the boat,
'O shrieve me, shrieve me, holy man!' The Hermit crossed his brow.
The ancient Mariner earnestly entreateth the Hermit to shrieve him; and the pe
Forthwith this frame of mine was wrench'd nance of life
falls on him.
'Say quick,' quoth he, 'I bid thee say— What manner of man art thou?'
With a woful agony,
Which forced me to begin my tale;
Since then, at an uncertain hour,
That agony returns ;
And till my ghastly tale is told,
I pass, like night, from land to land;
I know the man that must hear me :
What loud uproar bursts from that door!
The wedding-guests are there :
and agony constraineth him to travel from land to land;
And to teach, by his own example, love and reverence to
that God made and loveth.
O Wedding-Guest! this soul hath been
So lonely 'twas, that God himself
O sweeter than the marriage-feast,
To walk together to the kirk
To walk together to the kirk,
While each to his great Father bends,
Farewell, farewell! but this I tell
He prayeth best, who loveth best
The Mariner, whose eye is bright,
He went like one that hath been stunn'd,
[ROBERT SOUTHEY was born at Bristol on Aug. 12, 1774. He was educated at Westminster School and at Balliol College, Oxford; and after some years of wandering and unsettlement he went to live, in 1803, at Greta Hall, near Keswick, which remained his home till his death in 1843. In 1813 he was made poet laureate. Besides his countless prose works, his volumes of verse were very numerous; the chief of them are:-Poems by Robert Lovell and Robert Southey, of Balliol College, Oxford, 2 vols., 1795-9; Joan of Arc, 1796; Poems, 1797; Thalaba the Destroyer, 1801; Madoc, 1805; Metrical Tales and other Poems, 1805; The Curse of Kehama, 1810; Roderick, the last of the Goths, 1814; A Vision of Judgment, 1821.]
In the year 1837, two years before his brain softened and his mind went to ruin, Southey superintended a collective edition of his poems in ten volumes.
Of his five narrative poems, Joan of Arc, written at nineteen years of age (1793-94), was, in his own just estimation, the least worthy to succeed; and yet it gave him what he calls a 'Baxter's shove into his right place in the world.'
Thalaba came next; 'the wild and wondrous song;' delightful in its kind, as a Tale of the Arabian Nights is delightful; but wanting, as all stories in which supernatural agencies play a leading part must be, in one sort of charm,-that which results from a sense of art exercised in the fulfilment of a law. For when the law of Nature is set aside, the poet's fancy may ‘wander at its own sweet will.'
To a poem thus lawless in its incidents and accidents, Southey thought that a rythmic structure of blank verse almost equally lawless was appropriate. He does not deny that regular blank verse is superior; he says of it in one of his prefaces,- Take it in all its gradations, from the elaborate rhythm of Milton, down to its loosest structure in the early dramatists, I believe there is no measure comparable to it, either in our own or in any other