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THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER.

IN SEVEN PARTS.

PART I.

It is an ancient Mariner,
And he stoppeth one of three.
“By thy long grey beard and glittering eye,
Now wherefore stopp'st thou me?
The bridegroom's doors are open’d wide,
And I am next of kin;
The guests are met, the feast is set:
May'st hear the merry din."
He holds him with his skinny hand,
“ There was a ship," quoth he.
“ Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon !"
Eftsoons his hand dropt he.
He holds him with his glittering eye-
The wedding-guest stood still,
And listens like a three year's child:
The Mariner hath his will.

With sloping masts and dipping prow, As who pursued with yell and blow Still treads the shadow of his foe, And forward bends his head, The ship drove fast, loud roar'd the blast, And southward aye we fled. And now there came both mist and snow, And it grew wonderous cold: And ice, mast-high, came floating by, As green as emerald. And through the drifts the snowy clift Did send a dismal sheen : Nor shapes of men nor beasts we kenThe ice was all between. The ice was here, the ice was there, The ice was all around: It cracked and growled, and roar'd and howld, Like noises in a swound! At length did cross an Albatross : Thorough the fog it came; As if it had been a christian soul, We hailed it in God's name. It ate the food it ne'er had eat, And round and round it flew. The ice did split with a thunder-fit; The helmsman steer'd us through! And a good south wind sprung up behind; The Albatross did follow, And every day, for food or play, Came to the Mariner's hollo!

The wedding-guest sat on a stone:
He cannot chuse but hear;
And thus spake on that ancient man,
The bright-eyed Mariner.
“ The ship was cheer'd, the harbour clear'd,
Merrily did we drop
Below the kirk, below the hill,
Below the light-house top.
The sun came up upon the left,
Out of the sea came he;
And he shone bright, and on the right
Went down into the sea.

In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,
It perch'd for vespers nine ;
Whilst all the night, through fog-smoke white,
Glimmered the white moon-shine.

“ God save thee, ancient Mariner!
From the fiends, that plague thee thus!--
Why look'st thou so?"-With my cross-bow
I shot the Albatross!

Higher and higher every day, Till over the mast at noon”The wedding-guest here beat his breast, For he heard the loud bassoon. The bride hath paced into the hall, Red as a rose is she; Nodding their heads before her goes The merry minstrelsy. The wedding-guest he beat his breast, Yet he can not chuse but hear; And thus spake on that ancient man, The bright-eyed Mariner. “And now the storm-blast came, and he Was tyrannous and strong: He struck with his o'ertaking wings, And chased us south along.

PART II. The sun now rose upon the right: Out of the sea came he, Still hid in mist, and on the left Went down into the sea.

And the good south wind still blew behind,
But no sweet bird did follow,
Nor any day for food or play
Came to the Mariners' hollo!

There passed a weary time. Each throat

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And I had done an hellish thing,

A weary time! a weary time! And it would work 'em woe:

How glazed each weary eye! For all averred, I had killed the bird

When looking westward, I beheld
That made the breeze to blow.

A something in the sky.
Ah wretch! said they, the bird to slay,
That made the breeze to blow!

At first it seem'd a little speck,

And then it seem'd a mist: Nor dim nor red, like God's own head,

It moved and moved, and took at last
The glorious sun uprist:

A certain shape, I wist.
Then all averred, I had killed the bird
That brought the fog and mist.

A speck, a mist, a shape, I wist! 'Twas right, said they, such birds to slay,

And still it near'd and near'd: That bring the fog and mist.

And as if it dodged a water-sprite,

It plunged and tack'd and veer’d.
The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
The furrow stream'd off free:

With throat unslack’d, with black lips baked,
We were the first that ever burst

We could nor laugh nor wail ; Into that silent sea.

Through utter drought all dumb we stood! Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down,

I bit my arm, I sucked the blood, 'Twas sad as sad could be;

And cried, A sail! a sail! And we did speak only to break

With throat unslacked, with black lips baked, The silence of the sea !

Agape they heard me call: All in a hot and copper sky,

Gramercy! they for joy did grin, The bloody sun, at noon,

And all at once their breath drew in, Right up above the mast did stand,

As they were drinking all. No bigger than the moon.

See! see! (I cried) she tacks no more! Day after day, day after day,

Hither to work us weal; We stuck, nor breath nor motion,

Without a breeze, without a tide, As idle as a painted ship

She steddies with upright keel! Upon a painted ocean.

The western wave was all a-flame. Water, water, every where,

The day was well nigh done! And all the boards did shrink;

Almost upon the western wave
Water, water, every where,

Rested the broad bright sun ;
When that strange shape drove suddenly
Betwixt us and the sun.

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And straight the sun was flecked 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!

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Nor any drop to drink.
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,
Burnt green, and blue and white.
And some in dreams assured were
Of the spirit that plagued us so :
Nine fathom deep he had followed 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 choak’d with soot.
Ah! well a-day! what evil looks
Had I from old and young!
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.

PART III.

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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 Night-mair Life-in-Death was she,
Who thicks man's blood with cold,

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Was parched, and glazed each cye.

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I closed my lids, and kept them close,
A gust of wind sterte up behind
And whistled through his bones; [mouth, And the balls like pulses beat;
Through the holes of his eyes and the hole of his For the sky and the sea, and the sea and the sky
Half whistles and half groans.

Lay, like a cloud, on my weary eye,

And the dead were at my feet.
The sun's rim dips; the stars rush out:

The cold sweat melted from their limbs,
At one stride comes the dark;
With far-heard whisper, o'er the sea,

Nor rot nor reek did they:

The look with which they look'd on me
Off shot the spectre-bark.

Had never pass'd away.
We listen’d and look'd sideways up!

An orphan's curse would drag to hell
Fear at my heart, as at a cup,

A spirit from on high:
My life-blood seem'd to sip!

But oh! more horrible than that
The stars were dim, and thick the night,

Is the curse in a dead man's eye!
The steersman's face by his lamp gleam'd white;

Seven days, seven nights, I saw that curse,
From the sails the dews did drip-

And yet I could not die.
Till clombe above the eastern bar
The horned moon, with one bright star

The moving moon went up the sky,
Within the nether tip.

And no where did abide:

Softly she was going up,
One after one, by the star-dogg'd moon

And a star or two beside
Too quick for groan or sigh,
Each turn’d his face with a ghastly pang,

Her beams bemock'd the sultry main,
And curs'd me with his eye.

Like April hoar-frost spread;
Four times fifty living men,

But where the ship's huge shadow lay,

The charmed water burnt alway
(And I heard nor sigh nor groan)

A still and awful red.
With heavy thump, a lifeless lump,
They dropped down one by one.

Beyond the shadow of the ship,
The souls did from their bodies fly,

I watch'd the water-snakes:

They moved in tracks of shining white,
They fled to bliss or woe!

And when they reared, the elfish light
And every soul, it passed me by,

Fell off in hoary flakes.
Like the whiz of my cross-bow!
PART IV.

Within the shadow of the ship

I watch'd their rich attire:
“ I fear thee, ancient Mariner!

Blue, glossy green, and velvet black,
I fear thy skinny hand!

They coiled and swam; and every track
And thou art long, and lauk, and brown,

Was a flash of golden fire.
As is the ribbed sea-sand.
I fear thee and thy glittering eye,

O happy living things! no tongue
And thy skinny hand, so brown."-

Their beauty might declare:
Fear not, fear not, thou wedding-guest!

A spring of love gusht from my heart,

And I blessed them unaware!
This body dropt not down.

Sure my kind saint took pity on me,
Alone, alone, all, all alone,

And I blessed them unaware.
Alone on a wide wide sea!
And never a saint took pity on

The self same moment I could pray;
My soul in agony

And from my neck so free

The Albatross fell off, and sank
The many men, so beautiful!

Like lead into the sea.
And they all dead did lie:
And a thousand thousand slimy things

PART V.
Liv'd on; and so did I.

O sleep! it is a gentle thing,
I look'd
upon the rotting sea,

Belov'd from pole to pole!
And drew my eyes away ;.

To Mary Queen the praise be given!
I look'd upon the rotting deck,

She sent the gentle sleep from Heaven,
And there the dead men lay.

That slid into my soul.
I look'd to Heaven, and tried to pray;

The silly buckets on the deck,
But or ever a prayer had gusht,

That had so long remained,
A wicked whisper came, and made

I dreamt that they were filled with dew;
My heart as dry as dust.

And when I awoke, it rained.

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'Twas not those souls that fled in pain,

For when it dawned-they dropped their arms,

My lips were wet, my throat was cold,

Around, around, flew each sweet sound, My garments all were dank;

Then darted to the sun; Sure I had drunken in my dreams,

Slowly the sounds came back again, And still my body drank.

Now mixed, now one by one. I moved, and could not feel my limbs :

Sometimes a-dropping from the sky I was so light--almost

I heard the sky-lark sing; I thought that I had died in sleep,

Sometimes all little birds that are, And was a blessed ghost.

How they seem'd to fill the sea and air

With their sweet jargoning! And soon I heard a roaring wind:

And now 'twas like all instruments,
It did not come anear;

Now like a lonely flute;
But with its sound it shook the sails,
That were so thin and sere.

And now it is an angel's song,

That makes the Heavens be mute. The upper air burst into life!

It ceased; yet still the sails made on And a hundred fire-flags sheen,

A pleasant noise till noon, To and fro they were hurried about;

A noise like of a hidden brook And to and fro, and in and out,

In the leafy month of June, The wan stars danced between.

That to the sleeping woods all night

Singeth a quiet tune.
And the coming wind did roar more loud,
And the sails did sigh like sedge;

Till noon we quietly sailed on,
And the rain pour'd down from one black cloud; Yet never a breeze did breathe:
The moon was at its edge.

Slowly and smoothly went the ship,

Moved onward from beneath. The thick black cloud was cleft, and still

Under the keel nine fathom deep, The moon was at its side:

From the land of mist and snow, Like waters shot from some high crag,

The spirit slid: and it was he The lightning fell with never a jag,

That made the ship to go. A river steep and wide.

The sails at noon left off their tune, The loud wind never reached the ship,

And the ship stood still also. Yet now the ship moved on!

The sun, right up above the mast, Beneath the lightning and the moon

Had fixt her to the ocean; The dead men gave a groan.

But in a minute she 'gan stir,

With a short uneasy motionThey groan'd, they stirr'd, they all uprose,

Backwards and forwards half her length,
Nor spake, nor moved their eyes;

With a short uneasy motion.
It had been strange, even in a dream,
To have seen those dead men rise.

Then like a pawing horse let go,

She made a sudden bound: The helmsman steered, the ship moved on;

It fung the blood into my head, Yet never a breeze up blew;

And I fell down in a swound. The mariners all 'gan work the ropes,

How long in that same fit I lay,
Where they were wont to do:

I have not to declare;
They raised their limbs like lifeless tools
We were a ghastly crew.

But ere my living life returned,

I heard and in my soul discerned
The body of my brother's son

Two voices in the air.
Stood by me, knee to knee:
The body and I pulled at one rope,

“Is it he?" quoth one, " Is this the man?

By him who died on cross, But he said nought to me.

With his cruel bow he laid full low,

The harmless Albatross. “ I fear thee, ancient Mariner!" Be calm thou wedding-guest !

The spirit who bideth by himself
Which to their corses came again,

He loved the bird that loved the man
Who shot him with his bow."

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In the land of mist and snow,

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The other was a softer voice,
As soft as honey-dew:
Quoth he, “ The man hath penance done,
And penance more will do."

And clustered round the mast;
Sweet sounds rose slowly through their mouthis,
And from their bodies passed.

FIRST VOICE.

PART VI.

It mingled strangely with my fears,

Yet it felt like a welcoming. But tell me, tell me! speak again,

Swiftly, swiftly, flew the ship, Thy soft response renewing

Yet she sailed softly too: What makes that ship drive on so fast?

Sweetly, sweetly, blew the breezeWhat is the ocean doing?

On me alone it blew.

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A little distance from the prow
Those crimson shadows were:
I turned my eyes upon the deck-
Oh, Christ! what saw I there!

I woke, and we were sailing on
As in a gentle weather:
'Twas night, calm night, the moon was high ;
The dead men stood together.
All stood together on the deck,
For a charnel-dungeon fitter:
All fixed on me their stony eyes,
That in the moon did glitter.
The pang, the curse, with which they died,
Had never passed away:
I could not draw my eyes from theirs,
Nor turn them up to pray.
And now this spell was snapt : once more
I viewed the ocean green,
And looked far forth, yet little saw
Of what had else been seen

Each corse lay flat, lifeless and flat,
And, by the holy rood!
A man all light, a seraph-man,
On every corse there stood.
This seraph-band, each waved his hand:
It was a heavenly sight!
They stood as signals to the land,
Each one a lovely light:
This seraph-band, each waved his hand,
No voice did they impart-
No voice; but oh! the silence sank
Like music on my heart.
But soon I heard the dash of oars,
I heard the pilot's cheer;
My head was turn'd perforce away,
And I saw a boat appear.
The pilot, and the pilot's boy,
I heard them coming fast:
Dear Lord in Heaven! it was a joy
The dead men could not blast.

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;
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,
In ripple or in shade.
It raised my hair, it fanned my cheek
Like a meadow-gale of spring-

I saw a third-I heard his voice:
It is the hermit good!
He singeth loud his godly hymns

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