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The very deep did rot: O 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,
and blue and white.
• And some in dreams assured were
Of the Spirit that plagued us so ;
Nine fathom deep he had follow'd us
From the Land of Mist and Snow.
And every tongue, through utter drought, Was wither'd 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 1 from old and young !
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
neck was hung.
PART III 'There pass'd a weary time. Each throat Was parch'd, and glazed each eye. A
A speck, a mist, a shape, I wist !
And still it near'd and near'd :
As if it dodged a water-sprite,
It plunged and tack’d and veer'd.
“With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,
We could not laugh nor wail ;
Through utter drought all dumb we stood !
I bit my arm, I suck'd the blood,
And cried, A sail! a sail !
With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,
Agape they heard me call :
Gramercy! 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 wellnigh 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 fleck'd with bars, (Heaven's Mother send us grace As if through a dungeon-grate he peer'd 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 two ?
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 ;
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 listen'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 his lamp gleam'd white;
From the sails the dew did drip-
Till clomb above the eastern bar
The hornèd Moon, with one bright star
Within the nether tip.
One after one, by the star-dogg’d Moon,
Too quick for groan or sigh,
Each turn’d his face with a ghastly pang,
And cursed me with his
'Four times fifty living men,
(And I heard nor sigh nor groan)
With heavy thump, a lifeless lump,
They dropt down one by one.
* The souls did from their bodies fly,-
They fled to bliss or woe!
And every soul, it pass'd me by
Like the whizz of my cross-bow.'
'I fear thee, ancient Mariner !
I fear thy skinny hand !
And thou art long, and lank, and brown,
As is the ribb'd sea-sand.
'I fear thee and thy glittering eye, And thy skinny hand so brown.'
- Fear not, fear not, thou Wedding-Guest ! This body dropt not down.
many men, so beautiful!
And they all dead did lie :
And a thousand thousand slimy things
Lived on; and so did I.
• 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.
'I look'd to heaven, and tried to pray ;
But or 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,
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 look'd on me
Had never pass'd away.
* 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,
And nowhere did abide :
Softly she was going up,
And a star or two beside-
'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 rear'd, the elfish light
Fell off in hoary flakes.