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God save thee, ancient mariner,
From the fiends that plague thee thus !
Why look’st thou so 1' With


cross-bow I shot the albatross.


The sun now rose upon the right,
Out of the sea came he ;
Still hid in mist, and on the left
Went down into the sea.
And the good south-wind still blew behind,
But no sweet bird did follow;
Nor any day for food or play
Came to the mariner's hollo !
And I had done a hellish thing,
And it would work 'em wo;
For all averred I had killed the bird
That made the breeze to blow.
Ah wretch, said they, the bird to slay
That made the breeze to blow!

Nor dim nor red, like God's own head,
The glorious sun uprist;
Then all averred I had killed the bird
That brought the fog and mist.
'Twas right, said they, such birds to slay
That bring the fog and mist.
The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
The furrow followed free;
We were the first that ever burst
Into that silent sea.
Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down,
'Twas sad as sad could be ;
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 everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.
The very deep did rot ; 0 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.
And some in dreams assured were
Of the spirit that plagued us so ;
Nine fathom deep he had followed us
From the land of mist and snow.
And every tongue, through utter drought,
Was withered 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.

There passed a weary time. Each throat
Was parched, 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 seemed a little speck,
And then it seemed 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 neared and neared:
As if it dodged a water-sprite,
It plunged, and tacked, and reered.
With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,
We could nor laugh nor wail;
Through utter drought all dumb we stood;
I bit my arm, I sucked the blood,
And cried, A sail! a sail !
With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,
Agape they heard ine call;
Grainercy they for joy did grin,
And all at once their breath drew in,
As they were drinking all.
See! see! I cried, she tacks no more,
Hither to work us weal;
Without a breeze, without a tide,
She steadies with upright keel.
The western wave was all a-flame,
The day was well nigh done,
Almost upon the western wave
Rested the broad bright sun;
When that strange shape drove suddenly
Betwixt us and the sun.
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.
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
Did peer, as through a grate;
And is that woman all her crew!
Is that a death, and are there to?
Is death that woman's mate?
Her lips were red, her looks were free,
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,
And the twain were casting dice;
* The game is done! I've won, I've won !'
Quoth she, and whistles thrice.
The sun's rim dips, the stars rush out,
At one stride comes the dark;
With far-heard whisper, o'er the sea
Off shot the spectre-bark.
We listened and looked sideways up;
Fear at my heart, as at a cup,
My life-blood seemed to sip.
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
Within the nether tip.

One after one, by the star-dogged moon,
Too quick for groan or sigh,
Each turned his face with a ghastly pang,
And cursed me with his eye.
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-
They fled to bliss or wo !
And every soul it passed me by
Like the whizz of my cross-bow.

Within the shadow of the ship
I watched their rich attire :
Blue, glossy green, and velvet black,
They coiled and swam; and every track
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 :
Sure my kind saint took pity on me,
And I blessed them unaware.
The self-same moment I could pray;
And from my neck so free
The albatross fell off, and sank
Like lead into the sea.



'I fear thee, ancient mariner, I fear thy skinny hand! And thou art long, and lank, and brown, As is the ribbed sea-sand. I fear thee and thy glittering eye, And thy skinny hand so brown.' Fear not, fear not, thou wedding-guest, This body dropped not down. Alone, alone, all, all alone, Alone on a wide wide sea ! And never a saint took pity on My soul in agony. 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, 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 gushed, 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, Lay like a load on my weary eye, And the dead were at my feet. The cold sweat melted from their limbs, Nor rot nor reek did they; The look with which they looked on me Had never passed away. An orphan's curse would drag to hell A spirit from on high ; But oh ! more horrible than that Is a curse in a dead man's eye! 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, And a star or two beside. Her beams bemocked the sultry main, Like April hoarfrost spread ; But where the ship's huge shadow lay The charmed water burnt alway 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 Fell off in hoary flakes.

O 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, 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 woke it rained. 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 : 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; 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 ! 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 The moon was at its side : Like waters shot from some high crag, The lightning fell with never a jag, A river steep and wide. The loud wind never reached the ship, Yet now the ship moved on! Beneath the lightning and the moon The dead men gave a groan. They groaned, they stirred, they all uprose 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, 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.


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The body of my brother's son
Stood by me, knee to knee:
The body and I pulled at one rope,
But he said nought to me.
'I fear thee, ancient mariner!'
Be calm thou wedding-guest!
'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,
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;
Slowly the sounds came back again,
Now mixed, now one by one.
Sometimes, a-dropping from the sky,
I heard the sky-lark sing ;
Sometimes all little birds that are,
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,
That makes the heavens be mute.
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,
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,
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,
And the ship stood still also.
The sun, right up above the mast,
Had fixed her to the ocean;
But in a minute she 'gan stir
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 Aung the blood into my head,
And I fell down in a swound.
How long in that same fit I lay
I have not to declare;
But ere my living life returned,
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
The harmless albatross.
The spirit who bideth by himself
In the land of mist and snow,
He loved the bird that loved the man
Who shot him with his bow.'
The other was a softer voice,
As soft as honey-dew;
Quoth he, * The man hath penance done,
And penance more will do.

First Voice.
But tell me! tell me! speak again,
Thy soft response renewing-
What makes that ship drive on so fast i
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
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
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!
Or we shall be belated;
For slow and slow that ship will go,
When the mariner's trance is abated.
I woke, and we were sailing on
As in a gentle weather;
'Twas night, calm night, the moon was high;
The dead men stood together.
All stood together on the deck,
For a charnel-dungeon fitter;
All fixed on me their stony eyes,
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,
Nor turn them up to pray.
And now this spell was snapt; once more
I viewed the ocean green,
And looked far forth, yet little san
Of what had else been seen-
Like one that on a lonesome road
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
Doth close behind him trend.
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.
It raised my hair, it fanned my cheeks
Like a meadow-gale of spring-
It mingled strangely with my fears,
Yet it felt like a welcoming.
Swiftly, swiftly flew the ship,
Yet she sailëd softly too :
Sweetly, sweetly blew the breeze
On me alone it blew.
Oh! dream of joy ! is this indeed
The lighthouse top I see?
Is this the hill? is this the kirk!
Is this mine own countree !
We drifted o'er the harbour bar,
And I with sobs did pray-
O let me be awake, my God!
Or let me sleep alway.


The harbour-bay was clear as glass,
So smoothly it was strewn !
And on the bay the moonlight lay,
And the shadow of the moon.
The rock shone bright, the kirk no less
That stands above the rock :
The moonlight steeped in silentness
The steady weathercock.
And the bay was white with silent light,
Till rising from the same,
Full many shapes, that shadows were,
In crimson colours came.
A little distance from the prow
Those crimson shadows were :
I turned my eyes upon the deck-
Oh Christ! what saw I there!
Each corse lay flat, lifeless and flat;
And, by the holy rood !
A man all light, a seraph-man,
On every corse there stood.
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 did they impart-
No voice; but oh! the silence sank
Like music on my heart.
But soon I heard the dash of cars,
I heard the pilot's cheer;
My head was turned perforce away,
And I saw a boat appear.
The pilot and the pilot's boy,
I heard them coming fast:
Dear Lord in heaven! it was a joy
The dead men could not blast.
I saw a third-I heard his voice :
It is the hermit good!
He singeth loud his godly hymns
That he makes in the wood.
He'll shrieve my soul, he'll wash away
The albatross's blood.

* Dear Lord ! it hath a fiendish look(The pilot made reply) I am a-feared'—'push on, push on!' Said the hermit cheerily. The boat came closer to the ship, But I nor spake nor stirred; The boat came close beneath the ship, And straight a sound was heard. Under the water it rumbled on, Still louder and more dread: It reached the ship, it split the bay; The ship went down like lead. Stunned by that loud and dreadful sound, Which sky and ocean smote, Like one that hath been seven days drowned My body lay afloat; But swift as dreams, myself I found Within the pilot's boat. Upon the whirl, where sank the ship, The boat spun round and round; And all was still, save that the hill Was telling of the sound. I moved my lips—the pilot shrieked, And fell down in a fit; The holy hermit raised his eyes, And prayed where he did sit. I took the oars; the pilot's boy, Who now doth crazy go, Laughed loud and long, and all the while His eyes went to and fro. • 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, And scarcely he could stand. "O shrieve me, shrieve me, holy manl' The hermit crossed his brow. Say quick,' quoth he, 'I bid thee say What manner of man art thou ?' Forthwith this frame of mine was wrenched With a woful agony, Which forced me to begin my tale; And then it left me free. Since then, at an uncertain hour That agony returns ; And till my ghastly tale is told, This heart within me burns. I pass, like night, from land to land; I have strange power of speech; That moment that his face I see, I know the man that must hear me: To him my tale I teach. What loud uproar bursts from that door! The wedding-guests are there : But in the garden-bower the bride And bridemaids singing are: And hark! the little vesper bell Which biddeth me to prayer. O wedding-guest! this soul hath been Alone on a wide wide sea : So lonely 'twas, that God himself Scarce seemed there to be. O sweetez than the marriage-feast, 'Tis sweeter far to me, To walk together to the kirk With a goodly company!


This hermit good lives in that wood
Which slopes down to the sea.
How loudly his sweet voice he rears!
He loves to talk with marineres
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 skiff-boat neared : I heard them talk,
"Why, this is strange, I trow!
Where are those lights so many and fair
That signal made but now?'
'Strange, by my faith ! the hermit said-
. And they answered not our cheer!
The planks looked warped! and see those saile,
How thin they are and sere!
I never saw aught like to them,
Unless perchance it were
Brown skeletons of leaves that lag
My forest-brook along;
When the ivy-tod is heavy with snow,
And the owlet whoops to the wolf below,
That eats the she-wolf's young.'

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To walk together to the kirk,

Manes of the unnumbered slain! And all together pray,

Ye that gasped on Warsaw's plain! While each to his great Father bends,

Ye that erst at Ismail's tower, Old men, and babes, and loving friends,

When human ruin choked the streams, And youths and maidens gay!

Fell in conquest's glutted hour,

'Mid women's shrieks and infants' screams! Farewell, farewell; but this I tell To thee, thou wedding-guest :

Spirits of the uncotfined slain,

Sudden blasts of triumph swelling, He prayeth well who loveth well

Oft, at night, in misty train, Both man and bird and beast.

Rush around her narrow dwelling! He prayeth best who loveth best

The exterminating fiend is fledAll things both great and small;

(Foul her life, and dark her doom) For the dear God who loveth us,

Mighty armies of the dead He made and loveth all.

Dance like death-fires round her tomb!

Then with prophetic song relate
The mariner, whose eye is bright,
Whose beard with age is hoar,

Each some tyrant-murderer's fate!
Is gone: and now the wedding-guest
Turned from the bridegroom's door.

Departing year! 'twas on no earthly shore
He went like one that hath been stunned,

My soul beheld thy vision! Where alone, And is of sense forlorn :

Voiceless and stern, before the cloudy throne, A sadder and a wiser man

Aye Memory sits: thy robe inscribed with gore, He rose the morrow morn.

With many an unimaginable groan

Thou storied'st thy sad hours ! Silence ensued,
Ode to the Departing Year (1795.]

Deep silence o'er the ethereal multitude,
Whose locks with wreaths, whose wreaths with glories

shone. Spirit who sweepest the wild harp of time!

Then, his eye wild ardours glancing, It is most hard, with an untroubled ear

From the choirëd gods advancing, Thy dark inwoven harmonies to hear !

The Spirit of the earth made reverence meet,
Yet, mine eye fixed on heaven's unchanging clime And stood up, beautiful, before the cloudy seat.
Long when I listened, free from mortal fear,

With inward stillness, and submitted mind;
When lo! its folds far waving on the wind,

Throughout the blissful throng
I saw the train of the departing year!

Hushed were harp and song: Starting from my silent sadness,

Till wheeling round the throne the Lampads seven Then with no unholy madness,

(The mystic words of Heaven) Ere yet the entered cloud foreclosed my sight,

Permissive signal make: I raised the impetuous song, and solemnised his flight. The fervent Spirit bowed, then spread his wings and

spake: Hither, from the recent tomb,

• Thou in stormy blackness throning From the prison's direr gloom,

Love and uncreated Light, From Distemper's midnight anguish;

By the Earth's unsolaced groaning, And thence, where Poverty doth waste and languish;

Seize thy terrors, Arm of might!
Or where, his two bright torches blending,

By Peace with proffered insult scared,
Love illumines manhood's maze;

Maskëd Hate and envying Scorn!
Or where, o'er cradled infants bending,

By years of havoc yet un bom!
Hope has fixed her wishful gaze,

And Hunger's bosom to the frost-winds bared!
Hither, in perplexed dance,

But chief by Afric's wrongs,
Ye Woes ! ye young-eyed Joys! advance !

Strange, horrible, and foul! By Time's wild harp, and by the hand

By what deep guilt belongs
Whose indefatigable sweep

To the deaf Synod, “ full of gifts and lies P
Raises its fateful strings from sleep,

By Wealth's insensate laugh! by Torture's howl!
I bid you haste, a mixed tumultuous band!

Avenger, rise!
From every private bower,

For ever shall the thankless island scowl,
And each doniestic hearth,

Her quiver full, and with unbroken bow1
Haste for one solemn hour;

Speak! from thy storm-black heaven, O speak aloud ! And with a loud and yet a louder voice,

And on the darkling foe O'er Nature struggling in portentous birth

Open thine eye of fire from some uncertain cloud !

O dart the flash ! ( rise and deal the blow!
Weep and rejoice!
Still echoes the dread name that o'er the earth

The past to thee, to thee the future cries !
Let slip the storm, and woke the brood of hell :

Hark! how wide Nature joins her groans below! And now advance in saintly jubilee

Rise, God of Nature ! rise.' Justice and Truth! They, too, have heard thy spell,

VI. They, too, obey thy name, divinest Liberty!

The voice had ceased, the vision fled;

Yet still I gasped and reeled with dread.
I marked Ambition in his war-array!

And ever, when the dream of night
I heard the mailëd monarch's troublous cry- Renews the phantom to my sight,
* Ah! wherefore does the northern conqueress stay! Cold sweat-drops gather on my limbs ;
Groans not her chariot on its onward way!'

My ears throb hot; my eyeballs start;
Fly, mailed monarch, fily!

My brain with horrid tumult swims;
Stunned by Death's twice mortal mace,

Wild is the tempest of my heart; No more on Murder's lurid face

And my thick and struggling breath The insatiate hag shall gloat with drunken eye! Imitates the toil of death!



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