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SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE.
I play'd a soft and doleful air, MAID of my Love, sweet Genevieve!
I sang an old and moving story,– In Beauty's light you glide along:
An old rude song, that suited well Your eye is like the star of eve,
That ruin wild and hoary.
But gaze upon her face.
I told her of the Knight that wore
Upon his shield a burning brand; Fair, as the bosom of the Swan
And that for ten long years he woo'd That rises graceful o'er the wave,
The Lady of the Land. I've seen your breast with pity heave,
I told her how he pined; and, ah! And therefore love I you, sweet Genevieve! The deep, the low, the pleading tone
With which I sang another's love
Interpreted my own.
She listen'd with a flitting blush, Whatever stirs this mortal frame,
With downcast eyes and modest grace; All are but ministers of Love,
And she forgave me, that I gazed And feed his sacred flame.
Too fondly on her face!
But when I told the cruel scorn
That crazed that bold and lovely Knight, When midway on the mount I lay,
And that he cross'd the mountain-woods, Beside the ruin'd tower.
Nor rested day nor night; The moonshine, stealing o'er the scene,
That sometimes from the savage den, Had blended with the lights of eve;
And sometimes from the darksome shade, And she was there, my hope, my joy,
And sometimes starting up at onco My own dear Genevieve!
In green and sunny glade,She lean'd against the armed man, There came and look'd him in the face The statue of the armed knight;
An angel beautiful and bright; She stood and listen'd to my lay,
And that he knew it was a Fiend, Amid the lingering light.
This miserable Knight;
Few sorrows hath she of her own,
The songs that make her grieve.
And that, unknowing what he did,
The Lady of the Land;-
And how she wept, and clasp'd his knees; Spotless Honour's meeker mien,
Love, the sire of pleasing fears,
Sorrow smiling through her tears, That scorn that crazed his brain; - And, conscious of the past employ, And that she nursed him in a cave;
Memory, bosom-spring of joy.
THE ANCIENT MARINER.1
IN SEVEN PARTS. Ilis dying words, – But when I reach'd
PART I. That tenderest strain of all the ditty,
It is an ancient Mariner, My faltering voice and pausing harp
And he stoppeth one of three. [eye, Disturb'd her soul with pity!
* By thy long grey beard and glittering All impulses of soul and sense
Now wherefore stopp'st thou me? Had thrill'd my guileless Genevieve;
The Bridegroom's doors are open'd wide, The music and the doleful tale,
And I am next of kin;
The guests are met, the feast is set:
He holds him with his skinny hand,
“There was a ship," quoth he. [loon!" Subdued and cherish'd long!
“Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard She wept with pity and delight,
Eftsoons his hand dropt he. She blush'd with love and virgin-shame; He holds him with his glittering eye; And, like the murmur of a dream,
The Wedding-Guest stood still,
And listens like a three years child:
The Wedding-Guest sat on a stone:
He cannot choose but hear; She fled to me and wept.
And thus spake on that ancient man, She half enclosed me with her arms, The bright-eyed Mariner: She press'd me with a meek embrace; And, bending back her head, look'd up, 1 The Rev. Alexander Dyce, in a letter And gazed upon my face.
to the poet's nephew, H. N. Coleridge,
says that Wordsworth, dining with him 'Twas partly love, and partly fear, one day in London, told him as follows:
" The Ancient Mariner was founded on a And partly 'twas a bashful art,
strange dream which a friend of Coleridge That I might rather feel than see
had, who fancied that he saw a skeleton The swelling of her heart.
ship, with figures in it. We had both
determined to write some poetry for a I calm'd her fears, and she was calm, monthly magazine, the profits of which And told her love with virgin pride;
were to defray the expenses of a little
excursion we were to make together. The And so I won my Genevieve,
Ancient Mariner was intended for this pe. My bright and beauteous Bride. riodical, but was too long. I had very
little share in the composition of it, for!
soon found that the style ot' Coleridge and DOMESTIC PEACE.
myself would not assimilate.” Then, after TELL me, on what holy ground
remarking that he furnished some ten or
eleven lines of the poem, Wordsworth ad. May Domestic Peace be found?
ded the following: “The idea of shootHalcyon Daughter of the skies!
ing an albatross' was mine; for I had Far on fearful wings she flies,
been reading Shelvocke's Voyuges, which
probably Coleridge never saw. I also From the pomp of scepter'd State,
suggested the reanimation of the dead From the Rebel's noisy hate.
bodies, to work the ship." In a cottaged vale she dwells
2 Wordsworth, in his conversation
with Dyce, stated that this stanza was Listening to the Sabbath bells!
furnished by himself. The other lines of Still around her steps are seen his were in various parts of the poem.
“ The ship was cheer'd, the harbour, The ice did split with a thunder-fit; Merrily did we drop
[clear'd, The helmsman steer'd us through. Below the kirk, below the hill,
And a good south wind sprang up behind; Below the light-house top.
The Albatross did follow, The Sun came up upon the left,
And every day, for food or play, Out of the sea came he!
Came to the mariners' hollo. And he shone bright, and on the right
In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud, Went down into the sea.
It perch'd for vespers nine; [white, Higher and higher every day,
Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke Till over the mast at noon"
Glimmer'd the white moon-shine.” The Wedding-Guest here beat his breast,
“God save thee, ancient Mariner, For he heard the loud bassoon.
From the fiends, that plague thce thus! The bride hath paced into the hall, Why look'st thou so ?”—“With my cross. Red as a rose is she;
I shot the Albatross."
[bow Noiding their heads, before her goes The merry minstrelsy.
“THE Sun now rose upon the right: And thus spake on that ancient man,
Out of the sea came he, The bright-eyed Mariner:
Still hid in mist, and on the lert
Went down into the sea. “And now the Storm-blast came, and he Was tyrannous and strong:
And the good south wind still blew beHe struck with his o’ertaking wings,
But no sweet bird did follow, [hind, And chased us south along.
Nor any day for food or play
Came to the mariners' hollo. With sloping masts and dipping prow,
And I had done an hellish thing, As who pursued with yell and blow
And it would work 'em woe: Still treads the shadow of his foe,
For all averr’d, I had kill'd the bird And forward bends his head,
That made the breeze to Llow. The ship drove fast, loud roard the blast, Ah wretch! said they, the bird to slay, And southward aye we fled.
That made the breeze to blow! And now there came both mist and snow, Nor dim nor red, like God's own head, And it grew wondrous cold;
The glorious Sun uprist: And ice, mast-high, came floating by,
Then all averril, I had kill'd the bird As green as emerald:
That brought the fog and mist. And through the drifts the snowy clifts
'Twas right, said they, such birds to slay, Did send a dismal sheen;
That bring the fog and mist. Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken,
The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew, The ice was all between.
The furrow follow'd free:
(howl'd, Into that silent sea.
Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt
'Twas sad as sad could be: [down, At length did cross an Albatross;
And we did speak only to break Thorough the fog it came :
The silence of the sea! As if it had been a Christian soul,
All in a hot and copper sky, We hail'd it in God's name.
The bloody Sun, at noon, It ate the food it ne'er had eat,
Right up above the mast did stand, And round and round it flew :
No bigger than the Moon.
Day after day, day after day,
With throats unslacked, with black lips We stuck, nor breath Nor motion; We could nor laugh nor wail; [baked, As idle as a painted ship
Through utter drought all (lumb we stood: Upon a painted ocean.
I bit my arm, I suck'd tho 'lood,
And cried, A sail! a sail!
With throats unslacked, with black lips
Agape they heard me call: [baked, Nor any drop to drink.
Gramercy! they for joy did grin,
And all at once their breath (Irew in,
As they were drinking all.
See! see! I cried, she tacks no more,
Hither to work us weal! About, about, in reel and rout
Without a breeze, without a tide, The death-fires danced at night;
She steadies with upright keel! The water, like a witch's oils,
The western waye was all a-flame. Burnt green, and blue, and white.
The day was well-nigh done! And some in dreams assured were Almost upon the western wave Of the spirit that plagued us so:
Rested the broad bright Sun;
When that strange shape drove suddenly
(IIeaven's Mother send us grace!) [bars, We could not speak, no more than if As if through a dungeon-grate he peerd, We had been choked with soot.
With broad and burning face. Ah, well a-day! what evil looks
Alas! thought I, and my heart beat loud, Had I from old and young!
How fast she nears and nears! Instead of the cross, the Albatross
Are those her sails that glance in the Sun, About my neck was hung.”
Like restless gossameres?
Are those her ribs through which the Sun
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; At first it seem'd a little speck,
Her skin was as white as leprosy:
The Night-mare Life-in-Death was she,
The naked hulk alongside came,
And the twain were casting dice; And still it near'd and near'd:
•The game is done! I've won, I've won!' As if it dodged a water-sprite,
Quoth she, and whistles thrice. It plunged and tack'd and veerd.
The Sun's rim dips; the stars rush out; 3 A spirit had followed them; one of the invisible inhabitants of this planet, At one stride comes the dark: neither departed souls nor angels; con With far-heard whisper, o'er the sea, cerning which the learned Jew, Josephus, Off shot the spectre-bark. and the Platonic Constantinopolitan, Mi. chael Psellus, may be consulted. They are very numerous, and there is no clini. We listen’d and look'd sideways up: ate or element without one or more. Fear at my heart, as at a cup,
My life-blood seem'd to sip!
Lay like a load on my weary eye,
The cold sweat melted from their limbs, From the sails the dew did drip,
Nor rot nor reek did they; Till clomb above the eastern bar
The look with which they look'd on me The horned Moon, with one bright star
Had never pass'd away. Within the nether tip.
An orphan's curse would drag to Hell One after one, by the star-dogg'd Moon,
A spirit from on high; Too quick for groan or sigh,
But, 0, more horrible than that Each turn'd his face with a ghastly pang,
Is a curse in a dead man's eye! And cursed me with his eye.
Seven days, seven nights, I saw that curse,
And yet I could not die.
The moving Moon went up the sky,
Softly she was going up,
And a star or two beside : 4
Her beams bemock'd the sultry main, And every soul, it pass'd me by,
Like April hoar-frost spread;
But, where the ship's huge shadow lay,
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 reard, the elfish light As is the ribb'd sea-sand.
Fell off in hoary flakes.
Within the shadow of the ship "Fear not, fear not, thou Wedding-Guest! I watch'd their rich attire; This body dropt not down.
Blue, glossy green, and velvet black,
They coil'd and swam; and every track Alone, alone, all, all alone,
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, The many men, so beautiful!
And I bless'd them unaware:
Sure my kind saint took pity on me,
And I bless'd them unaware. I look'd upon the rotting sea,
The self-same moment I could pray; And drew my eyes away;
And from my neck so free I look'd upon the rotting deck,
The Albatross fell off, and sank
Like lead into the sea.” And there the dead men lay.
I look'd to Heaven, and tried to pray; 4 In loneliness and fixedness he yearn. But, or ever a prayer had gusht,
eth towards the journeying Moon, and the
stars that still sojourn, and still move onA wicked whisper came, and made
ward; and everywhere the blue sky be. My heart as dry as dust.
longs to them, and is their appointert rest,
and their native country, and their own I closed my lids, and kept them close,
natural homes, which they enter unan.
nounced, as lords that are certainly exAnd the balls like pulses beat; (the sky pected, and yet there is a silent joy at For the sky and the sea, and the sea and their arrival.