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| They raised their limbs like lifeless “ O SLEEP ! it is a gentle thing,
We were a ghastly crew. [tools, Beloved 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 pull'd at one rope, That slid into my soul.
But he said nought to me.” — The silly buckets on the deck
"I fear thee, ancient Mariner!" That had so long remain'd,
“ Be calm, thou Wedding-Guest! I dreamt that they were fill'd with dew;
'Twas not those souls that fled in pain, And when I awoke, it rain'd.
Whích to their corses came again,
For, when it dawn'd, they dropp'ıl their Sure I had drunken in my dreains,
And cluster'd round the mast; (arms, And still my body drank.
Sweet sounds rose slowly through their I moved, and could not feel
And from their bodies pass'd. (mouths, limbs:
my I was so light, - almost I thought that I had died in sleep,
Around, around flew each sweet sound,
Then darted to the Sun;
Slowly the sounds came back again,
I heard the sky.lark sing;
Sometimes all little birds that are, The upper air burst into life!
How they seem'd to fill the sea and air And a hundred fire-dags sheen,
With their sweet jargoning!
And now 'twas like all instruments,
Now like a lonely flute;
And now it is an angel's song,
A pleasant noise till noon,
A noise like of a hidden brook
That to the sleeping woods all night
Till noon we quietly sail'd on,
Yet never a breeze did breathe:
Moved onward from beneath.
Under the keel nine fathom deep,
From the land of mist and snow,
The helmsman steer'd, the ship moved on;
5 The lonesome spirit from the south
pole carries on the ship as far as the Line, The mariners all’gan work the ropes,
in obedience to the angelic troop, but still Where they were wont to do:
I'he Sun, right up above the mast,
FIRST VOICE. Had fix'd her to the ocean:
But why drives on that ship so fast,
Without or wave or wind?'
"The air is cut away before,
And closes from behind.7
Fly, brother, fly! more high, more bigh! It flung the blood into my head,
Or we shall be belated: And I fell down in a swound.
For slow and slow that ship will go,
When the Mariner's trance is abated.' How long in that same fit I lay, I have not to delcare;
I woke, and we were sailing on But, ere my living life return'd,
As in a gentle weather: I heard and in my soul discern'd
'Twas night, calm night, the Moon was Two Voices in the air.6
The dead men stood together.8 [high; 'Is it he?' quoth one, 'Is this the man?
All stood together on the deck, By Him who died on cross,
For a charnel-dungeon fitter: With his cruel bow he laid full low
All fix'd on me their stony eyes, The harmless Albatross.
That in the Moon did glitter. The spirit who bideth by himself
The pang, the curse, with which they died, In the land of mist and snow,
Had never pass'd away: IIe loved the bird that loved the man
I could not draw my eyes from theirs, Who shot him with his bow.'
Nor turn them up to pray. The other was a softer voice,
And now this spell was snapt: once more As soft as honey-dew:
I view'd the ocean green, Quoth he, "The man hath penance done,
And look'd far forth, yet little saw And penance more will do.""
Of what had else been seen,
Like one, that on a lonesome road
Doth walk in fear and dread,
And having once turn'd round walks on,
And turns no more his head; W‘BUT tell me, tell me! speak again,
Because he knows, a frightful fiend
Doth close behind him tread.
But soon there breathed a wind on me,
Nor sound nor motion made:
Its path was not upon the sea, 'Still as a slave before his lord,
In ripple or in shade.
Like a meadow.gale of Spring,
It mingled strangely with my fears,
Yet it felt like a welcoming.
Yet she sail'd softly too:
6 The Polar Spirit's fellow-demons, the 7 The Mariner hath been cast into a invisible inhabitants of the element, take trance; for the angelic power causeth the part in his wrong; and two of them re- vessel to drive north ward faster than hu. late, one to the other, that penance long man life could endure. anit heavy for the ancient Mariner hath 8 The supernatural motion is retarded; been, accorded to the Polar Spirit, who and the Mariner awakes, and his penance returneth southward.
He singeth loud his godly hymns
PART VII. “ This Hermit good lives in that wood Which slopes down to the sea. How loudly his sweet voice he rears! He loves to talk with marineres That come from a far countree.
He kneels at morn and noon and eve,
The skiff-boat near'd: I heard them talk,
Why, this is strange, I trow! Where are those lights so many and fair, That signal made but now?' • Strange, by my faith!'the Hermit said, . And they answer'd not our cheer! The planks look'd warp'd! and see those How thin they are and sere! (sails, I never saw aught like to them, Unless perchance it were Brown skeletons of leaves that lag My forest-brook along; When the ivy-tod is heavy with snow, And the owlet whoops to the wolf below, That eats the she-wolf's young.'
Dear Lord I it hath a fiendish look,' The Pilot made reply, • I am afeard,'-Push on, push on!' Said the Hermit cheerily. The boat came closer to the ship, But I nor spake nor stirr'd; The boat came close beneath the ship, And straight a sound was heard. Under the water it rumbled on, Still louder and more dread: It reach'd the ship, it split the bay; The ship went down like lead. Stunn'd by that loud and dreadful sound Which sky and ocean smote, Like one that hath been seren days My body lay afloat;
[drown'd But, swift as dreams, myself I found Within the Pilot's boat.
Sweetly, sweetly blew the brecze,-
0, dream of joy! is this indeed
We drifted o'er the harbour-bar,
The rock shone bright the kirk no less,
And the bay was white with silent light,
A little distance from the prow
Each corse lay flat, lifeless and flat,
ut soon I heard the dash of oars,
Upon the whirl, where sank the ship, The boat spun round and round;
And all was still, save that the hill To walk together to the kirk,
And all together pray,
While each to his great Father bends,
And youths and maidens gay!
Farewell, farewell!but this I tell
To thee, thou Wedding-Guest, I took the oars: the Pilot's boy,
He prayeth well, who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast.
He prayeth best, who loveth best 'Ha, ha!' quoth he ‘full plain l see,
All things both great and small; The Devil knows how to row.'
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all." And now, all in my own countree,
The Mariner, whose eye is bright, I stood on the firm land !
Whose beard with age is hoar, The Hermit stepp'd forth from the boat,
Is gone: and now the Wedding-Guest And scarcely he could stand.
Turn'd from the bridegroom's door. "O, shrive me, shrive me, holy man!'
He went like one that hath been stunn'd, The Hermit cross'd his brow.
And is of sense forlorn: “Say quick,' quoth he, 'I bid thee say,
A sadder and a wiser man, What manner of man art thou?'
He rose the morrow morn..
Forthwith this frame of mine was wrench'd
of 1816.) Since then, at an uncertain hour,
THE first part of the following poem was
written in the year 1797, at Stowey in the That agony returns;
county of Somerset; the second part, afAnd, till my ghastly tale is told,
ter my return from Germany, in the year This heart within me burps.
1800, at Keswick, Cumberland. Since the latter date, my poetic powers have been,
till very lately, in a state of suspended I pass, like night, from land to land; animation. But as, in my very first conI have strange power of speech;
ception of the tale, I had the whole presThat moment that his face I see,
ent to my mind, with the wholeness, no
less than with the loveliness of a vision; I know the man that must hear me: I trust that I shall yet be able to embody To him my tale I teach.
in verse the three parts yet to come
The metre of the Christabel is not, propWhat loud uproar bursts from that door! erly speaking, irregular, though it may
seem so from its being founded on a new The Wedding-Guests are there:
principle; namely, that of counting in But in the garden-bower the bride
each line the accents, not the syllables. And bride-maids singing are:
Though the latter may vary from seven
to twelve, yet in each linė the accents And, hark! the little vesper bell,
will be found to be only four. Neverthe. Which biddeth me to prayer!
less this occasional variation in number
of syllables is not introduced wantonly, O Wedding-Guest! this soul hath been
or for the mere ends of convenience, but
in correspondence with some transition in Alone on a wide wide sea:
the nature of the imagery or passion. So lonely 'twas, that God himself Scarce seemed there to be.
9 The author accompanied the text of
this poem with a running comment in O, sweeter than the marriage-feast, prose, and printed in the margin, intend. 'Tis sweeter far to me,
ed to explain the course of the story. So
much of the comment as seems at all To walk together to the kirk
needful for that purpose is here thrown With a goodly company!
into the preceding notes.
Hanging so light, and hanging high, (sky.
Hush, beating heart of Christabel!
Jesu, Maria, shield her well! How drowsily it crew.
She folded her arms beneath her cloak,
And stole to the other side of the oak.
What sees she there?
And wildly glitter'd here and there
The gems entangled in her hair.
I guess 'twas frightful there to see
A lady so richly clad as she, -
The lady strange made answer meet,
And her voice was faint and sweet:
“ Have pity on my sore distress, Whom her father loves so well,
I scarce can speak for weariness.
Said Christabel, “ How cam'st thou
(sweet, Of her own betrothed knight;
And the lady, whose voice was faint and
“My sire is of a noble line, She stole along, she nothing spoke,
And my name is Geraldine:
Me, even me, a maid forlorn:
They choked my cries with force and She kneels beneath the huge oak tree,
And lied me on a palfrey white: [fright, And in silence prayeth she.
The palfrey was as fleet as wind, The lady sprang up suddenly,
And they rode furiously behind. (white; The lovely lady, Christabel!
They spurr'd amain, their steeds were It moan'd as near as near can be,
And once we cross'd the shade of night. But what it is, she cannot tell. –
As sure as Heaven shall rescue me, On the other side it seems to
I have no thought what men they be;
(For I have lain entranced I wis)
Some mutter'd words his comrades spoke:
He placed me underneath this oak;