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"Within the shadow of the ship
I watch'd their rich attire :
Blue, glossy green, and velvet black,
They coild and swam ; and every track
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 ;
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
* 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 my limbs :
I was so light-almost
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
work the ropes,
Where they were wont to do ;
They raised their limbs like lifeless tools—
We were a ghastly crew.
* The body of my
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.
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
*How long in that same fit I lay,
I have not to declare;
But ere my living life return'd,
I heard, and in
soul discern'd Two voices in the air.
666 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.
66 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.”
"“ But tell me, tell me ! speak again,
Thy soft response renewing-
What makes that ship drive on so fast ?
What is the Ocean doing ?"