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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 peered
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 ?
“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?
“ The naked hull alongside came,
And the twain were casting dice ;
is done! I've won, I've won ! Quoth she, and whistles thrice.
“ The Sun's rim dips; the stars rush out :
At one stride comes the dark ;
With far-heard whisper o'er the sea,
Off shot the spectre-bark.
“ The stars were dim and thick the night,
The steersman's face by his lamp gleamed white ;
From the sails the dew did drip-
Till clomb above the eastern bar
The horned Moon, with one bright star
Within the nether tip.
* Four times fifty living men,
"And I heard nor sigh nor groan,)
With heavy thump, a lifeless lump,
They dropped down one by one.
“ The souls did from their bodies fly,-
They fled to bliss or woe!
And every soul, it passed me by,
Like the whizz of my cross-bow !
“ The many men, so beautiful !
And they all dead did lie:
And a thousand thousand slimy things
Lived on; and so did I.
“I looked upon the rotting sea,
And drew my eyes away ;
I looked upon the rotting deck,
And there the dead men lay.
“ I looked to heaven, and tried to pray
But or ever a prayer had gusht,
A wicked whisper came, and made
My heart as dry as dust.
“ The moving Moon went up the sky,
And nowhere did abide :
Softly she was going up,
And a star or two beside.
“Beyond the shadow of the ship, I watched the water-snakes : They moved in tracks of shining white, And when they reared, the elfish light Fell off in hoary flakes. “ Within the shadow of the ship I watched their rich attire :
Blue, glossy green, and velvet black,
They coiled and swam ;
track Was a flash of golden fire.
“O happy living things ! no tongue
Their beauty might declare :
A spring of love gushed from my heart,
And I blessed them unaware :
Sure my kind Saint took pity on me,
And I blessed 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.
“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 loud wind never reached the ship,
Yet now the ship moved on!
Beneath the lightning and the moon
The dead men gave a groan.
“They groaned, they stirred, they all uprose.
Nor spake, nor moved their eyes ;
It had been strange, even in a dream,
To have seen those dead men rise.
“ The helmsman steered, 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."
“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.
“Swiftly, swiftly flew the ship,
Yet she sailed softly too:
Sweetly, sweetly blew the breeze-
On me alone it blew.
“Oh! dream of joy! is this indeed
The light-house top I see?
Is this the hill ? is this the kirk ?
Is this mine own countree ?
“Since then, at an uncertain hour,
My agony returns :
And till my ghastly tale is told,
This heart within me burns.
“I pass, like night, from land to land ;
I have strange power of speech;
That moment that his face I see,
I know the man that must hear me :
To him my tale I teach.
“What loud uproar bursts from that door: The wedding-guests are there : But in the garden-bower the bride
And bride-maids singing are :
And hark the little vesper bell,
Which biddeth me to prayer !
“O sweeter than the marriage-feast,
'Tis sweeter far to me,
To walk together to the kirk
With a goodly company !
“To walk together to the kirk,
And altogether pray,
While each to his great Father bends,
Old men, and babes, and loving friends.
And youths and maidens gay!
“Farewell, farewell ! but this I tell
To thee, thou Wedding-Guest !
He prayeth well, who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast.
“He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.”
S. T. Coleridge
Come unto these yellow sands,
And then take hands-
Curtsied when you have and kiss'd ;
(The wild waves whist)-