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The ice was here, the ice was there,
At length did cross an Albatross:
It ate the food it ne'er had cat,
And a good south-wind sprung up behind;
The Albatross did follow,
And every day, for food or play,
Came to the Mariner's hollo!
In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,
It perch'd for vespers nine;
Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke
white, Glimmered the white Moon-shine.
God save thee, ancient Mariner!
The Sun now rose upon the right:
And the good south-wind still blew behind,
And I had done an hellish thing,
And it would work 'em woe:
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,
Tli.il bring the fog and mist.
The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down,
AH in a hot and copper sky,
Day after day, day after day,
Water, water, every where,
The very deep did rot: O Christ!
About, about, in reel and rout
And some in dreams assured were
And every tongue, through utter drought.
Ah! well a-day! what evil looks
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 seem'd a little speck,
A speck, a mist, » ihapc, I wist!
With throat unslak'd, with black lips baked,
We conld 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 th mat unslak'd, with black lips baked,
See! see! (I cried) she tacks no more!
The western wave was all a-flame.
The day was well nigh done!
Almost upon the western wave
Rested the broad bright Sim;
When that strange shape drove suddenly
Betwixt us and the Sun.
And straight the Sun was flecked with bars,
Alas! (thought I, and my heart beat loud)
Are those Aer ribs through which the Sun
Her lips were red, her looks were free,
The naked hulk alongside came,
The Sun's rim dips; the stars rush out:
We Iistcn'd and look'd sideways up!
Fear at my heart, as at a cup,
My life-blood seem'd to sip!
The stars were dim, and thick the night,
The steersman's face by bis lamp gleam'd
Four times fifty living men,
The souls did from their bodies fly,—
I Fbar thee, ancient Mariner!
I fear tby skinny hand!
And thou art long, and lank, and brown,
As is the ribbed sea-sand.
I fear thee and thy glittering eye,
Alone, alone, all, all alone,
The many men, so beautiful!
And they all dead did lie:
And a thousand thousand slimy things
Liv'd on; and so did I.
I look'd upon the rotting sea,
I look'd to Heaven, and tried to pray;
1 closed my lids, and kept them close,
The cold sweat melted from their limbs,
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!
Seven days, seven nights, I saw that curse,
And yet I could not die.
The moving Moon went up the sky,
Her beams bemock'd the sultry main,
Like April hoar-frost 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 watch'd the water-snakes:
They moved in tracks of shining white,
And when they reared, the elfish light
Fell ofT in hoary flakes.
Within the shadow of the ship
I watch'd 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 gusht 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;
Oh Slrep! it is a gentle thing,
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.
My lipa were wet, my throat was cold.
I moved, and could not feel my limbs:
And soon I heard a roaring wind:
The upper air burst into life!
And the coming wind did roar more loud.
And the sails did sigh like sedge;
And the rain pour'd down from one black
cloud; The Moon was at its edge.
The thick black cloud was cleft, and still
The loud wind never reached the ship.
They groan'd, they stirr'd, they all np
The helmsman steered, the ship moved on:
Yet never a breeze np blew;
The mariners all 'gan work the rope*.
Where they were wont to do:
They raised their limbs like lifeless
We were a ghastly crew.
The body of my brother's son
I fear thee, ancient Mariner!—
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,
Sometimes a -dropping from the sky
And now 'twas like all instruments,
It ceased; yet still the sails made on
A pleasant noise till noon,
A noise like of a hidden brook x
In the leafy month of June,
That to the sleeping woods all night
Singeth a quiet tune.
Till noon we quietly sailed on,
ruder the keel nine fathom deep,
The Snn, right np above the mast,
With a short uneasy motion
Backwards and forwards half her length,
Then like a pawing horse let go,
How long in that same fit I lay,
Is it he? qnoth one, Is this the man?
The spirit who bideth by himself
The other was a softer voice,
As soft as honey-dew;
Quoth he: The man hath penance done,
And penance more will do.
But tell me, tell me! speak again,
Still as a slave before his lord,
If he may know which way to go;
But why drives on that ship so fast.
The air is cut away before,
Fly, brother, fly! more high, more hiffh!
I woke, and we were sailing on
As in a gentle weather:
"Twos night, calm night, the Moon was high;
The dead men stood together.
All stood together on the deck,
The pang, the curse, with which they died,
And now this spell was snapt: once more
Like one, that on a lonesome road
Doth walk in fear and dread,
And, having once turn'd round, walks on,
And turns no more his head;
Because he knows, a frightful fiend
Doth close behind him tread.
But soon there breathed a wind on me,
It raised my hair, it fanned ray cheek
Swiftly, sM-iftly flew the ship,
Oh! dream of joy! is this indeed
We drifted o'er the harbour-bar,
0 let me be awake, my God!
The harbour-bay was clear ns glass,
The rock shone bright, the kirk no less,
And the bay was white with silent light,
A little distance from the prow
1 turned my eyes upon the deck—
Each corse lay fiat, lifeless and flat.
This seraph-band, each waved his hand:
This seraph-band, each waved his hand,
But soon I heard the dash of oars,
The Pilot, and the Pilot's boy,
I saw a third—I heard his voice:
It is the Hermit good!
He singcth loud his godly hymns
That he makes in the wood.
He'll sbrieve my soul, he'll wash away
The Albatross's blood.
This Hermit good lives in that wood
He kneels at morn, and noon and
The skiff-boat nenr'd: I heard them talk:
Strnnge, by my faith! the Hermit said—
And they answered not our cheer!
The planks look warped! and see those Mils.
How thin they are and sere!
I never snw ought like to them.
Unless perchance it were
Brown skeletons of leaves that lag
My forest-brook along;
When the ivy-tod is heavy with mow.
And the owlet whoops to the wolf below.
That eats the she-wolf's young.
Dear Lord! it hath a fiendish look—