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'Within the shadow of the ship I watch'd their rich attire :


Blue, glossy green, and velvet black,
They coil'd and swam; and every
Was a flash of golden fire.

'O happy living things! no tongue Their beauty might declare :

A spring of love gush'd from my heart,
And I bless'd them unaware:

Sure my kind saint took pity on me,
And I bless'd them unaware.

'The selfsame moment I could pray;

And from my neck so free

The Albatross fell off, and sank

Like lead into the sea.


'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 remain'd,

I dreamt that they were fill'd with dew; And when I awoke, it rain'd.

'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

I was so light-almost


limbs :

I thought that I had died in sleep,
And was a blessèd 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 pour'd 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 reach'd the ship,

Yet now the ship moved on!

Beneath the lightning and the Moon

The dead men gave a groan.

"They groan'd, they stirr'd, they all uprose
Nor spake, nor moved their eyes;

It had been strange, e'en in a dream,

To have seen those dead men rise.

sere] withered and dry.

sheen] adj., bright.

wan] pale.

'The helmsman steer'd; 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.

[blocks in formation]

Stood by me, knee to knee :

The body and I pull'd 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 dawn'd they dropp'd their arms,

And cluster'd round the mast;

Sweet sounds rose slowly through their mouths,

And from their bodies pass'd.

Around, around, flew each sweet sound,

Then darted to the Sun;

Slowly the sounds came back again,

Now mix'd, now one by one.

'Sometimes a-dropping from the sky

I heard the skylark sing;

Sometimes all little birds that are,

How they seem'd to fill the sea and air
With their sweet jargoning!

corses] corpses.

jargoning] warbling.

'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 sail'd 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 fix'd 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 flung 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 return'd,

I heard, and in my soul discern'd
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?
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

penance] punishment to do away sin.

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