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THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER

PART I

An ancient Mar. It is an ancient Mariner,
iner meeteth
three gallants And he stoppeth one of three.
bidden to a wed-
ding feast, and

By thy long gray beard and glittering eye, detaineth one. Now wherefore stopp'st thou me?

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The bridegroom's doors are opened wide, 5 And I am next of kin ; The guests are met, the feast is set : Mayst hear the merry din.” He holds him with his skinny hand, " There was a ship," quoth he. “ Hold off ! unhand me, graybeard loon !”

Eftsoons his hand dropt he. The Wedding He holds him with his glittering eye — Guest is spellbound by the The Wedding Guest stood still, eye of the old

15 seafaring man, And listens like a three-years' child : and constrained to hear his tale. The Mariner hath his will.

The Wedding Guest sat on a stone :
He cannot choose but hear ;
And thus spake on that ancient man,
The bright-eyed Mariner :

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“ The ship was cheered, the harbor cleared,
Merrily did we drop
Below the kirk, below the hill,
Below the lighthouse top.

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“ 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.

25 The Mariner

tells how the ship sailed southward with a good wind and fair weather, till it reached the Line.

66

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* Higher and higher every day,
Till over the mast at noon
The Wedding Guest here beat his breast,
For he heard the loud bassoon.

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The bride hath paced into the hall,
Red as a rose is she ;
Nodding their heads before her, goes
The merry minst relsy.
The Wedding Guest he beat his breast,
Yet he cannot choose 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 us with his o’ertaking wings,
And chased us south along.
“ 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 roared the blast,
And southward aye we fled.

The ship drawn by a storm towards the south pole.

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And now there came both mist and snow,
And it grew wondrous cold :
And ice, mast-high, came floating by,
As green as emerald.

The land of ice “And through the drifts, the snowy clifts 55
and of fearful
sounds, where Did send a dismal sheen :
no living thing

Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken
The ice was all between.

was to be seen.

60

“ The ice was here, the ice was there,
The ice was all around :
It cracked and growled, and roared and howled,
Like noises in a swound !

Till a great sea bird, called the Albatross, came through the snow-fog, and was received with great joy and hospitality

* 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.

65

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 steered us through!

70

“ And a good south wind sprung up behind ; And lo! the Albatross proveth The Albatross did follow, omen, and fol. And every day, for food or play, loweth the ship as it returned

Came to the mariners' hollo !
northward
through fog and
floating ice. " In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,

It perched for vespers nine ;
Whiles all the night, through fog smoke white,
Glimmered the white moonshine."

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The ancient Mariner inhospitably killeth

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“ God save thee, ancient Mariner,

From the fiends that plague thee thus! The bird of good whylook'st thou so?”—“With my cross-bow

I shot the Albatross.

PART II

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“ 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.

85

“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 !

90

“And I had done a hellish thing,
And it would work 'em woe :
For all averred I had killed the bird
That made the breeze to blow.
“Ah, wretch!' said they, the bird to slay, 95
That made the breeze to blow !

His shipmates cry out against the ancient Mariner for killing the bird of good luck.

"Nor dim, nor red, like God's own head,
The glorious Sun uprist :
Then all averred I had killed the bird
That brought the fog and mist.
“'Twas right,' said they, “such birds to slay,
That bring the fog and mist.'

But when the fog cleared off, they justify the ame, and thus make themselves accomplices in the crime.

100

“ The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
The furrow followed free ;
We were the first that ever burst

105 Into that silent sea.

The fair breeze continues; the ship enters the Pacific Ocean, and sails northward, even till it reaches the Line.

"Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down, The ship hath

been suddenly 'Twas sad as sad could be ;

becalmed. And we did speak only to break The silence of the sea !

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“About, about, in reel and rout

The death fires danced at night; A spirit had followed them :one The water, like a witch's oils, of the invisible inhabitants of Burnt green and blue and white.

130 this planet, neither departed souls nor 66 And some in dreams assured were angels; concerning whom the Of the spirit that plagued us so : learned Jew Josephus, and

Nine fathom deep he had followed us the Platonic

From the land of mist and snow. Constantinopolitan, Michael consulted. They “And every tongue, through utter drought, 133 are very numer- Was withered at the root ; ous, and there is no climate or

We could not speak, no more than if element without

We had been choked with soot.

one or more.

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