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The ice was here, the ice was there, | Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down, The ice was all around:

"Twas sad as sad could be; It cracked and growled,and roar'd and howl'd, And we did speak only to break Like noises in a swound!

The silence of the sea !

At length did cross an Albatross :
Thorough the fog it came;
As if it had been a Christian soul,
We hailed it in God's name.

All in a hot and copper sky,
The bloody Sun, at noon,
Right up above the mast did stand,
No bigger than the Moon.

It ate the food it ne'er had eat,

Day after day, day after day,
And round and round it flew.

We stuck, nor breath nor motion,
The ice did split with a thunder-fit; As idle as a painted ship
The helmsman steer'd us through!

Upon a painted ocean.
And a good south-wind sprung up behind; Water, water, every where,
The Albatross did follow,

And all the boards did shrink;
And every day, for food or play,

Water water, every where, Came to the Mariner's hollo!

Nor

any drop to drink. In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud, It perch'd for vespers nine;

The very deep did rot: 0 Christ! Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs

That ever this should be!

white, Glimmered the white Moon-shine.

Upon the slimy sea.

God save thee, ancient Mariner!

About, about, in reel and rout From the fiends, that plague thee thus!

The death-fires danced at night; Why lookst thou so?— With my crossbow

The water, like a witch's oils, I shot the ALBATROSS!

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.

II.

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 every tongue, through utter drought,
Was wither'd at the root;
We could not speak, no more than if
We had been choak'd with soot.

And the good south-wind still blew behind, Ah! well a-day! what evil looks
But no sweet bird did follow,

Had I from old and young!
Nor any day for food or play

Instead of the cross, the Albatross
Came to the Mariners' hollo !

About my neck was hung.
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

III.
That made the breeze to blow!
Nor dim nor red, like God's own head,

THERE passed a weary time. Each throat The glorious Sun uprist:

Was parched, and glazed each eye. Then all averred, I had killed the bird

A weary time! a weary time! That brought the fog and mist.

How glazed each weary eye! "Twas right, said they, such birds to slay,

When looking westward, i beheld

A something in the sky.
That bring the fog and mist.
The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew, At first it seem'd a little speck,
The furrow stream'd off' free:

And then it seem'd a mist:
We were the first that ever burst

It moved and moved, and took at last Into that silent sea.

A certain shape, I wist.

A speck, a mist, a shape, I wist! We listen'd and look'd sideways up!
And still it neard and near'd:

Fear at my heart, as at a cup,
And as if it dodged a water-sprite,

My life-blood seem'd to sip!
It plunged and tack' and veer'd.

The stars were dim, and thick the night,
The steersman's face by his lamp gleam'd

white; With throat unslak’d, with black lips baked, From the sails the dewe did dripWe could nor laugh nor wail;

Till clombe above the eastern bar Through utter drought all dumb we stood! The horned Moon, with one bright star I bit my arm, I sucked the blood,

Within the nether tip. And cried: A sail ! a sail !

One after one, by the star-doggd Moon With throat unslak’d, with black lips baked, Too quick for groan or sigh, Agape they heard me call:

Each turnd his face with a ghastly pang, Gramercy! they for joy did grin,

And curs’d me with his eye.
And all at once their breath drew in,
As they were drinking all.

Four times fifty living men,

(And I heard nor sigh nor groan) See! see! (I cried) she tacks no more! With heavy thump, a lifeless lump, Hither to work us weal;

They dropped down one by one.
Without a breeze, without a tide,
She steddies with upright keel!

The souls did from their bodies fly,

They fled to bliss or woe! The western wave was all a-flame.

And every soul, it passed me by,
The day was well nigh done!

Like the whiz of my CROSS-BOW!
Almost npon 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,

IV. (Heaven's Mother send us grace!) As if through a dungeon-grate he peer'd,

I Fear thee, ancient Mariner! With broad and burning face.

I fear thy skinny hand!

And thou art long, and lank, and brown, Alas! (thought I, and my heart beat loud) As is the ribbed sea-sand. How fast she nears and nears! Are those her sails that glance in the Sun, I fear thee and thy glittering eye, Like restless gossameres!

And thy skinny hand, so brown.

Fear not, fear not, thou wedding-guest! Are those her ribs through which the Sun This body dropt not down. Did peer, as through a grate ? And is that Woman all her crew ?

Alone, alone, all, all alone, Is that a Death? and are there two ? Alone on a wide wide sea! Is Death that woman's mate?

And never a saint took pity on

My soul in agony.
Her lips were red, her looks were free,
Her locks were yellow as gold:

The many men, so beautiful!
Her skin was as white as leprosy,

And they all dead did lie: The Night-Mair Lips-in-Death was she, And a thousand thousand slimy things Who thicks man's blood with cold. Livid on; and so did I.

The naked hulk alongside came,
And the twain were casting dice;
The game is done! I've, I've won!
Quoth she, and whistles thrice.

I look’d upon the rotting sea,
And drew my eyes away;
I look'd upon the rotting deck,
And there the dead men lay.

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.

I look’d to Heaven, and tried to pray;
But ere ever a prayer had gusht,
A wicked whisper came, and made
My heart as dry as dust.

I closed my lids, and kept them close, The silly buckets on the deck,
And the balls like pulses beat;

That had so long remained,
For the sky and the sea,and the sea and the sky I dreamt that they were filled with dew;
Lay, like a load, on my weary eye, And when I awoke, it rained.
And the dead were at my feet.

My lips were wet, my throat was cold, The cold sweat melted from their limbs, Nor rot nor reek did they :

My garments all were dank;

Sure I had drunken in my dreams,
The look with which they look'd on me
Had never pass'd away.

And still my body drank.
An orphan's curse would drag to Hell

I moved, and could not feel my limbs : A spirit from on high;

I was so light--almost But oh! more horrible than that

I thought that I had died in sleep,
Is the curse in a dead man's eye!

And was a blessed ghost.
Seven days, seven nights, I saw that curse,
And yet I could not die.

And soon I heard a roaring wind :

It did not come anear;
The moving Moon went up the sky, But with its sound it shook the sails,
And no where did abide:

That were so thin and sere.
Softly she was going up,
And a star or two beside-

The upper air burst into life!

And a hundred fire-flags sheen,
Her beams bemock'd the sultry main,
Like April hoár-frost spread;

To and fro they were hurried about;

And to and fro, and in and out,
But where the ship's huge shadow lay,

The wan stars danced between.
The charmed water burnt alway
A still and awful red.

And the coming wind did roar more lond, Beyond the shadow of the ship,

And the sails did sigh like sedge; I watch'd the water-snakes:

And the rain pour'd down from one black They moved in tracks of shining white,

cloud; And when they reared, the elfish light

The Moon was at its edge. Fell off in hoary flakes.

The thick black cloud was cleft, and still Within the shadow of the ship

The Moon was at its side: I watch'd their rich attire:

Like waters shot from some high crag, Blue, glossy green, and velvet black,

The lightning fell with never a jag,
They coiled and swam; and every track A river steep and wide.
Was a flash of golden fire.
O happy living things! no tongue

The loud wind never reached the ship,
Their beauty might declare:

Yet now the ship moved on! A spring of love gusht from my heart,

Beneath the lightning and the Moon
And I blessed them unaware!

The dead men gave a groan.
Sure my kind saint took pity on me,
And I blessed them unaware.

They groan'd, they stirr'd, they all uprosc,

Nor spake, nor moved their eyes;
The self same moment I could pray; It had been strange, even in a dream,
And from my neck so free

To have seen those dead men rise.
The Albatross fell off, and sank
Like lead into the sea.

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-
V.

We were a ghastly crew.
Ou sleep! it is a gentle thing,
Belov'd from pole to pole!

The body of my brother's son
To Mary Queen the praise be given ! Stood by me, knee to knee:
She sent the gentle sleep from heaven, The body and I pulled at one rope,
That slid into my soul.

But he said nought to me.

I fear thee, ancient Mariner!

Is it he? quoth one, is this the man? Be calm, thou' wedding-guest!

By Him who died on cross, 'Twas not those souls that fled in pain, With his cruel bow he laid full low, Which to their corses came again,

The harmless Albatross. But a troop of spirits blest:

The spirit who bideth by himself For when it dawned—they dropped their In the land of mist and snow,

arms,

He loved the bird that loved the man And clustered round the mast;

Who shot him with his bow. Sweet sounds rose slowly through their

mouths,

The other was a softer voice, And from their bodies passed.

As soft as honey-dew;

Quoth he: The man hath penance done, Around, around, flew each sweet sound, And penance more will do. Then darted to the Sun; Slowly the sounds came back again, Now mixed, now one by one.

[blocks in formation]

SECOND VOICE.

Under the keel nine fathom deep,
From the land of mist and snow,

But why drives on that ship so fast,
The spirit slid; and it was he

Without or wave or wind ?
That made the ship to go.
The sails at noon left off their tune,
And the ship stood still also.

The air is cut away before,
The Sun, right up above the mast, And closes from behind.
Had fixt her to the ocean;
But in a minute she 'gan stir,

Fly, brother, fly! more high, more high!
With a short uneasy motion-
Backwards and forwards half her length, For slow and slow that ship will go,

Or we shall be belated :
With a short uneasy motion.

When the Mariner's trance is abated.
Then like a pawing horse let go,
She made a sudden bound:

I woke, and we were sailing on
It flung the blood into my head,

As in a gentle weather: And I fell down in a swound.

”Twas night, calm night, the Moon was high;

The dead men stood together.
How long in that same fit I lay,
I have not to declare;

All stood together on the deck,
Bat ere my living life returned,

For a charnel-dungeon fitter: I heard and in my soul discerned

All fixed on me their stony eyes, Two Poices in the air.

That in the Moon did glitter.

The pang, the curse, with which they died, This seraph-band, each waved his hand:
Had never passed away:

It was a heavenly sight!
I could not draw my eyes from theirs, They stood as signals to the land,
Nor turn them up to pray.

Each one a lovely light:

And now this spell was snapt: once more This seraph-band, each waved his hand, I viewed the ocean green,

No voice did they impartAnd looked far forth, yet little saw

No voice; but oh! the silence sank
Of what had else been seen-

Like music on my heart.
Like one, that on a lonesome road
Doth walk in fear and dread,

But soon I heard the dash of oars,
And, having once turn'd round, walks on, My head was turn'd perforce away,

I heard the Pilot's cheer;
And turns no more his head;

And I saw a boat appear.
Because he knows, a frightful fiend
Doth close behind him tread.

The Pilot, and the Pilot's boy,
But soon there breathed a wind on me, I heard them coming fast:
Nor sound nor motion made:

Dear Lord in Heaven! it was a joy
Its path was not upon the sea,

The dead men uld not blast.
In ripple or in shade.

I saw a third-I heard his voice :
It raised my hair, it fanned my cheek It is the Hermit good!
Like a meadow-gale of spring-

He singeth loud his godly hymns
It mingled strangely with my fears, That he makes in the wood.
Yet it felt like a welcoming.

He'll shrieve my soul, he'll wash away

The Albatross's blood.
Swiftly, swiftly flew the ship,
Yet she sailed softly too:
Sweetly, sweetly blew the breeze-
On me alone it blew.

Oh! dream of joy! is this indeed

VII.
The light-house-top I see?
Is this the hill? is this the kirk?

This Hermit good lives in that wood
Is this mine own countree ?

Which slopes down to the sea.

How loudly his sweet voice he rears! We drifted o'er the harbour-bar,

He loves to talk with marineres And I with sobs did pray

That come from a far countree. 0 let me be awake, my God! Or let me sleep alway.

He kneels at morn, and noon and eve

He hath a cushion plump:
The harbour-bay was clear as glass, It is the moss that wholly hides
So smoothly it was strewn!

The rotted old vak-stump.
And on the bay the moonlight lay,
And the shadow of the moon.

The skiff-boat near’d: I heard them talk :

Why this is strange, I trow!
The rock shone bright, the kirk no less, Where are those lights so many and fair,
That stands above the rock:

That signal made but now?
The moonlight steeped in silentness
The steady weathercock.

Strange, by my faith! the Hermit said

And they answered not our cheer! And the bay was white with silent light, The planks look warped! and see those sails. Till rising from the same,

How thin they are and sere! Full many shapes, that shadows were, I never saw ought like to them, In crimson colours came.

Unless perchance it were

Brown skeletons of leaves that lag A little distance from the prow

My forest-brook along; Those crimson shadows were:

When the ivy-tod is heavy with snow,
I turned my eyes upon the deck - And the owlet whoops to the wolf below,
Oh, Christ! what saw I there!

That eats the she-wolf's young.
Each corse lay flat, lifeless and flat, Dear Lord! it hath a fiendish look-
And, by the holy rood !

(The Pilot made reply) A man all light, a seraph-man,

I am a-feared-Push on, push on! On every corec there stood.

Said the Hermit cheerily,

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