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47 The Banished Duke living in the Forest speaks to his Retainers

From As You Like It, II. i.

Now, my co-mates, and brothers in exile,
Hath not old custom made this life more sweet
Than that of painted pomp? Are not these woods
More free from peril than the envious court?
Here feel we but the penalty of Adam,
The seasons' difference ;-as the icy fang

And churlish chiding of the winter's wind,
Which, when it bites and blows upon my body,
Even till I shrink with cold, I smile, and say
This is no flattery ;-these are counsellors
That feelingly persuade me what I am.'-
Sweet are the uses of adversity;
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head :

And this our life exempt from public haunt
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones and good in everything.

I would not change it.

Happy is your Grace,
That can translate the stubbornness of fortune

Into so quiet and so sweet a style. . .



The Ancient Mariner


It is an ancient Mariner,

And he stoppeth one of three.

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

a precious jewel] refers to an old popular belief.

'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, gray-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
Went down into the sea.

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

eftsoons] at once.

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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.

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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,

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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.

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And through the drifts the

Did send a dismal sheen :

snowy clifts

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

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'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!

minstrelsy] musicians.

sheen] subst., shining. swound] swoon.

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

'It ate the food it ne'er had eat,
And round and round it flew.

The ice did split with a thunder-fit ;

The helmsman steer'd us through

'And a good south wind sprung up behind;

The Albatross did follow,

And every day, for food or play,

Came to the mariners' hollo!

'In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,

It perch'd for vespers nine;

Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke white,
Glimmer'd the white moon-shine.'

'God save thee, ancient Mariner !

From the fiends, that plague thee thus !—
Why look'st thou so?'-' With
my 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 mariners' hollo!

Albatross] great sea-bird.

the food it ne'er had eat] biscuit-worms.

shroud] rigging.

'And I had done a hellish thing,
And it would work 'em woe :

For all averr'd, I had kill'd 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 averr'd, I had kill'd 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 stream'd off 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.

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