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S. T. COLERIDGE.

THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER.

IN SEVEN PARTS.

PART I.

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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 ken-
The 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 howl'd,
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!

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 eyeThe wedding-guest stood still, And listens like a three year's child: The Mariner hath his will. 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. 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.

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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!

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!

bit my arm,

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, The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,

It plunged and tack'd and veer'd. 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 stoo!! Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down,

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 baied, 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; Nor any drop to drink.

When that strange shape drove suddenly

Betwixt us and the sun.
The very deep did rot: O Christ!
That ever this should be!

And straight the sun was flecked with bars, Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs

(Heaven's mother send us grace!) Upon the slimy sea.

As if through a dungeon-grate he peerd, About, about, in reel and rout

With broad and burning face. The death-fires danced at night;

Alas! (thought I, and my heart beat lood) The water, like a witch's oils,

How fast she nears and nears! Burnt green, and blue and white.

Are those her sails that glance in the sun, And some in dreams assured were

Like restless gossameres ! Of the spirit that plagued us so:

Are those her ribs through which the sun Nine fathom deep he had followed us

Did peer, as through a grate? From the land of mist and snow.

And is that woman all her crew? And every tongue, through utter drought,

Is that a Death ? and are there two?
Was wither'd at the root;

Is Death that woman's mate?
We could not speak, no more than if
We had been choak'd with soot.

Her lips were red, her looks were free,

Her locks were yellow as gold: Ah! well a-day! what evil looks

Her skin was as white as leprosy, Had I from old and young!

The Night-mair Life-in-Death was she, Instead of the cross, the Albatross

Who thicks man's blood with cold.
About my neck was hung.

The naked hulk alongside came,
PART III.

And the twain were casting dice;
There passed a weary time. Each throat

“The game is done! I've won, I've won!" Was parched, and glazed each eye.

Quoth she, and whistles thrice.

A gust of wind sterte up behind

I closed my lids, and kept them close, 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:
At one stride comes the dark ;

The cold sweat melted from their limbs,
With far-heard whisper, o'er the sea,

Nor rot nor reek did they: Off shot the spectre-bark.

The look with which they look'd on me

Had never pass'd away.
We listen'd and look'd sideways up!
Fear at my heart, as at a cup,

An orphan's curse would drag to hell
My life-blood seem'd to sip!

A spirit from on high: The stars were dim, and thick the night,

But oh! more horrible than that The steersman's face by his lamp gleam'd white;

Is the curse in a dead man's eye! From the sails the dews did drip

Seven days, seven nights, I saw that curse, Till clombe above the eastern bar

And yet I could not die. The horned moon, with one bright star

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

And no where did abide : One after one, by the star-dogg'd moon

Softly she was going up, Too quick for groan or sigh,

And a star or two beside 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, (And I heard nor sigh nor groan)

The charmed water burnt alway With heavy thump, a lifeless lump,

A still and awful red. They dropped down one by one.

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

I watch'd the water-snakes: They fled to bliss or woe!

They moved in tracks of shining white, And every soul, it passed me by,

And when they reared, the elfish light
Like the whiz of my cross-bow!

Fell off in hoary flakes.
PART IV.

Within the shadow of the ship

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

Blue, glossy green, and velvet black, And thou art long, and lank, and brown,

They coiled and swam; and every track As is the ribbed sea-sand.

Was a flash of golden fire. 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, This body dropt not down.

And I blessed them unaware!

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;
But or ever a prayer had gusht,
A wicked whisper came, and made
My heart as dry as dust.

The silly buckets on the deck,
That had so long remained,
I dreamt that they were filled with dew;
And when I awoke, it rained.

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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,

And now it is an angel's song, That were so thin and sere.

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:
Like waters shot from some high crag,

From the land of mist and snow,
The lightning fell with never a jag,

The spirit slid: and it was he

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, They groan'd, they stirr'd, they all uprose,

With a short uneasy motionNor spake, nor moved their eyes;

Backwards and forwards half her length,

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,
Where they were wont to do:

How long in that same fit I lay,
They raised their limbs like lifeless tools

I have not to declare; 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? But he said nought to me.

By him who died on cross,

With his cruel bow he laid full low, “ I fear thee, ancient Mariner !"

The harmless Albatross. Be calm thou wedding-guest!

The spirit who bideth by himself 'Twas not those souls that fled in pain,

In the land of mist and snow, Which to their corses came again,

He loved the bird that loved the man But a troop of spirits blest:

Who shot him with his bow."

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For when it dawned-they dropped their arms,
And clustered round the mast;
Sweet sounds rose slowly through their mouths,
And from their bodies passed.

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

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FIRST VOICE.

SECOND VOICE.

PART VI.

It mingled strangely with my fears,

Yet it felt like a welcoming.
FIRST VOICE.
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 breeze, What is the ocean doing?

On me alone it blew.
SECOND VOICE.

Oh! dream of joy! is this indeed
Still as a slave before his lord,

The light-house top I see? The ocean hath no blast;

Is this the hill? is this the kirk? His great bright eye most silently

Is this mine own countree? Up to the moon is cast

We drifted o’er the harbour-bar, If he may know which way to go ;

And I with sobs did prayFor she guides him smooth or grim.

O let me be awake, my God! See, brother, see! how graciously

Or let me sleep alway. She looketh down on him.

The harbour-bay was clear as glass,

So smoothly it was strewn! But why drives on that ship so fast,

And on the bay the moonlight lay, Without or wave or wind?

And the shadow of the moon.

The rock shone bright, the kirk no less, The air is cut away before,

That stands above the rock: And closes from behind.

The moonlight steeped in silentness

The steady weathercock.
Fly, brother, fly! more high, more high!
Or we shall be belated :

And the bay was white with silent light, For slow and slow that ship will go,

Till rising from the same, When the Mariner's trance is abated.”

Full many shapes, that shadows were,

In crimson colours came.
I woke, and we were sailing on
As in a gentle weather:

A little distance from the prow 'Twas night, calm night, the moon was high;

Those crimson shadows were: The dead men stood together.

I turned my eyes upon the deck

Oh, Christ! what saw I there!
All stood together on the deck,
For a charnel-dungeon fitter:

Each corse lay flat, lifeless and flat, All fixed on me their stony eyes,

And, by the holy rood! That in the moon did glitter.

A mau all light, a seraph-man,

On every corse there stood.
The pang, the curse, with which they died,
Had never passed away:

This seraph-band, each waved his hand: I could not draw my eyes from theirs,

It was a heavenly sight! Nor turn them up to pray.

They stood as signals to the land,

Each one a lovely light:
And now this spell was snapt: once more
I viewed the ocean green,

This seraph-band, each waved his hand, And looked far forth, yet little saw

No voice did they impart Of what had else been seen

No voice; but oh! the silence sank

Like music on my heart. that on a lonesome road Doth walk in fear and dread,

But soon I heard the dash of oars, And having once turn'd round, walks on,

I heard the pilot's cheer; And turns no more his head;

My head was turn'd perforce away, Because he knows, a frightful fiend

And I saw a boat appear. Doth close behind him tread.

The pilot, and the pilot's boy, But soon there breathed a wind on me,

I heard them coming fast: Nor sound nor motion made :

Dear Lord in Heaven! it was a joy Its path was not upon the sea,

The dead men could not blast. In ripple or in shade.

I saw a third-I heard his voice : It raised my hair, it fanned my cheek

It is the hermit good! Like a meadow-gale of spring

He singeth loud his godly hymns

Like one,

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