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And lo the Albatross proveth

a bird of good

omen, and follow

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

The Albatross did follow,

eth the ship as it And every day, for food or play, Came to the mariner's hollo!

returned north

ward through fog and floating ice.

Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.

Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink:
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.

The very deep did rot: O Christ!
That ever this should be!
Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs

In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,
It perch'd for vespers nine;
Whiles all the night, through fog. Upon the slimy sea.

smoke white,

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His shipmates cry

out against the

ancient Mariner, for killing the bird of good-luck.

But when the fog

cleared off, they

justify the same,

and thus make themselves ac

Why look'st thou so?"-With my

I shot the ALBATROSS.


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 follow'd us
From the land of mist and snow.

And the Albatross begins to be avenged.

A spirit had followed them: one of the invisible in

habitants of this planet,-neither departed souls nor angels; con

THE Sun now rose upon the right: cerning whom the learned Jew, Josephus, and the Platonic
Out of the sea came he,

Still hid in mist, and on the left
Went down into the sea.

Constantinopolitan, Michael Psellus, may be consulted. They are very numerous, and there is no climate or element without

one or more.

And the good south-wind still blew And every tongue, through utter

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Then all averr'd, I had kill'd the bird complices in the That brought the fog and mist. "T was right, said they, such birds to slay


The fair breeze

continues; the

ship enters the

That bring the fog and mist.


Was parch'd, and glazed each eye.
A weary time! a weary time!
How glazed each weary eye,
When looking westward, I beheld
A something in the sky.

At first it seem'd a little speck,

The fair breeze blew, the white foam And then it seem'd a mist;


Pacific Ocean and The furrow follow'd free;

sails northward, We were the first that ever burst

even till it reach

Into that silent sea.

es the Line.

The ship hath been suddenly

It moved and moved, and took at last
A certain shape, I wist.

A speck, a mist, a shape, I wist!
And still it near'd and near'd:

Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt As if it dodged a water-sprite,


"T was sad as sad could be;

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

All in a hot and copper sky,

The bloody Sun, at noon,
Right up above the mast did stand,
No bigger than the Moon.

It plunged and tack'd and veer'd.

The shipmates,
their sore distre
would fain thro
the whole guilt on
the ancient Mar-
iner :-in sign
whereof they
hang the dead
sea-bird round
his neck.

The ancient Mariner beholdeth a sign in the element afar off

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With throats unslaked, with black One after one, by the star-dogged One after au lips baked,

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It seemeth him but the skeleton of a ship.

And its ribs are

seen as bars on the face of the setting Sun.

The spectrewoman and her death-mate, and

no other on board

the skeleton-ship. Like vessel, like crew!

in-Death have

The western wave was all a flame,
The day was well-nigh done,
Almost upon the western wave
Rested the broad bright Sun;
When that strange shape drove sud-


Betwixt us and the Sun.


Too quick for groan or sigh,
Each turn'd his face with a ghastly


And cursed me with his eye.

Four times fifty living men

(And I heard nor sigh nor groan), With heavy thump, a lifeless lump, They dropp'd down one by one.


His shipmates

drop down dead

The souls did from their bodies fly, But Life-in-
They fled to bliss or woe!
And every soul, it pass'd me by
Like the whizz of my CROSS-BOW!


"I FEAR thee, ancient Mariner!

And straight the Sun was fleck'd I fear thy skinny hand!

with bars,

(Heaven's Mother send us grace!)

As if through a dungeon-grate he


With broad and burning face.

Death begins her work on the ancient Mariner.

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Alas! (thought I, and my heart beat Fear not, fear not, thou Wedding- But the ancient

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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

Her locks were yellow as gold:
Her skin was as white as leprosy,
The Night-Mare LIFE-IN-DEATH was

Who thicks man's blood with cold.

Death, and Life- The naked hulk alongside came, And the twain were casting dice; “The game is done! I've won, I've

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The many men, so beautiful!
And they all dead did lie:
And a thousand thousand slimy

Lived on; and so did I.

I look'd upon the rotting sea,
And drew my eyes away;
I look'd upon the rotting deck,
And there the dead men lay.

I look'd to Heaven, and tried to pray;
But or ever a prayer had gush'd,
A wicked whisper came, and made
My heart as dry as dust.

I closed my lids, and kept them close,
And the balls like pulses beat;
For the sky and the sea, and the sea
and the sky,

Lay like a load on my weary eye
And the dead were at my feet.

The cold sweat melted from their limbs,

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Mariner assureth him of his bodily life, and proceedeth to relate his horrible penance.

He despiseth the creatures of the calm.

And envieth tha: they should live, and so many lie dead.

But the curse liv eth for him in the eye of the dead


For the two last lines of this stanza, I am indebted to Mr. Wordsworth. It was on a delightful walk from Nether Stowey

to Dulverton, with him and his sister, in the Autumn of 1797 that this Poem was planned, and in part composed.

But oh more horrible than that
Is a curse in a dead man's eye!
Seven days, seven nights, I saw that


And yet I could not die.

And soon I heard a roaring wind:
It did not come ancar;
But with its sound it shook the sails,
That were so thin and sere.

The upper air burst into life!

n his loneliness The moving Moon went up the sky, And a hundred fire-flags sheen,

and fixedness he

yearneth towards the journeying Moon, and the

stars that still so

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journ, yet still move onward; and everywhere the blue sky belongs to them, and is their appointed rest, and their native country and their own natural homes, which they enter unan

Bounced, as lords that are certainly expected, and yet there is a silent joy at their arrival.

By the light of

the Moon he beholdeth God's creatures of the

great calm.

Their beauty and their happiness.

Her beams bemock'd the sultry main,
Like April hoar-frost spread;
But where the ship's huge shadow

The charmed water burnt alway
A still and awful red.

Beyond the shadow of the ship
I watch'd the water-snakes:
They moved in tracks of shining

And when they rear'd, the elfish light
Fell off in hoary flakes.

Within the shadow of the ship
I watch'd their rich attire:
Blue, glossy green, and velvet black,
They coil'd and swam; and every

Was a flash of golden fire.

O happy living things! no tongue
Their beauty might declare :

A spring of love gush'd from my

He blesseth them And I bless'd them unaware:

in his heart.

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

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


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.

He heareth sounds and seeth strange sights and commotious

in the sky and the element.

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The helmsman steer'd, the ship
moved on,

Yet never a breeze up blew;
The mariners all 'gan work the ropes,

Sure my kind saint took pity on me, Where they were wont to do;
And I bless'd them unaware.

The spell begins The self-same moment I could pray ;|
And from my neck so free

to break.

By grace of the

The Albatross fell off, and sank
Like lead into the sea.


On Sleep! it is a gentle thing,
Beloved from pole to pole!

They raised their limbs like lifeless

-We were a ghastly crew.

The body of my brother's son
Stood by me, knee to knee:
The body and I pull'd at one rope,
But he said nought to me.

To Mary Queen the praise be given!" I fear thee, ancient Mariner!"
She sent the gentle sleep from Be calm, thou Wedding-guest!


That slid into my soul.

The silly buckets on the deck,

holy Mother, the ancient Mariner is refreshed with

That had so long remain'd,


I dreamt that they were fill'd with
And when I awoke, it rain'd.

"T was not those souls that filed in

Which to their corses came again,
But a troop of spirits blest:

ship's crew are inspired, and the ship moves on.

But not by the souls of the men, nor by dæmons of earth or middle air, but by a blessed troop of angelic spirits, sent down by the invocation of the

For when it dawn'd-they dropp'd guardian saint.

their arms,

My lips were wet, my throat was cold, And cluster'd round the mast;

My garments all were dank;

Sure I had drunken in my dreams,

And still my body drank.

Sweet sounds rose slowly through

their mouths,

And from their bodies pass'd. ·

I moved, and could not feel my Around, around, flew each sweet

limbs :

I was so light-almost

I thought that I had died in sleep,
And was a blessed ghost.


Then darted to the Sun;

Slowly the sounds came back again,
Now mix'd, now one by one.


spirit from the south-pole carries

on the ship as far as the line, in obedience to the angelic troop, but still requireth vengeance.

The Polar Spirit's fellow dæmons, the invisible inhabitants of the

Sometimes, a-drooping from the sky,
I heard the sky-lark sing;
Sometimes all little birds that are,
How they seem'd to fill the sea and

With their sweet jargoning!

And now 't was like all instruments,
Now like a lonely flute;

And now it is an angel's song,
That makes the Heavens be mute.

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Still as a slave before his lord,
The OCEAN hath no blast;
His great bright eye most silently

It ceased; yet still the sails made on Up to the Moon is cast

A pleasant noise till noon,

A noise like of a hidden brook

In the leafy month of June,

If he may know which way to go;
For she guides him smooth or grim.

That to the sleeping woods all night See, brother, see! how graciously

Singeth a quiet tune.

Till noon we quietly sailed 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

With a short uneasy motion.

Then like a pawing horse let go,
She made a sudden bound:
It flung the blood into my head,
And I fell down in a swound.

How long in that same fit I lay,
I have not to declare;

But ere my living life return'd,

element, take part I heard and in my soul discern'd Two VOICES in the air.

in his wrong;

and two of them

relate, one to the

other, that penance long and heavy for the an

cient Mariner bath been accorded to the Polar Spirit, who returneth southward.


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

By him who died on cross,

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I view'd the ocean green,
And look'd far forth, yet little saw

With his cruel bow he laid full low Of what had else been seen-
The harmless Albatross.

"The spirit who bideth by himself
In the land of mist and snow,

He loved the bird that loved the


Who shot him with his bow."

The other was a softer voice,
As soft as honey-dew:

Quoth he, "The man hath penance

And penance more will do."

Like one, that on a lonesome road
Doth walk in fear and dread,
And having once turn'd round walks


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.

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That stands above the rock:

The moonlight steep'd in silentness
The steady weathercock.

And the bay was white with silent

The angelic spir- Till, rising from the same,

its leave the

dead bodies,

And appear in their own forms of light.

"Strange, by my faith!" the Hermit Approacheth the ship with wonder


"And they answer not our cheer!
The planks look warp'd! and see
those sails,

How thin they are and sere!
I never saw aught like to them,

Full many shapes that shadows were, Unless perchance it were
In crimson colors came.

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

Each corse lay flat, lifeless and flat;
And, by the holy rood!

A man all light, a seraph-man,
On every corse there stood.

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Brown skeletons of leaves that lag
My forest-brook along;

When the ivy-tod is heavy with snow,
And the owlet whoops to the wolf

That eats the she-wolf's young."

"Dear Lord! it hath a fiendish look-
(The Pilot made reply,)

I am a-fear'd"—"Push on, push on!"

This seraph band, each waved his Said the Hermit cheerily.


It was a heavenly sight!

They stood as signals to the land
Each one a lovely light;

This seraph band, each waved his

The boat came closer to the ship,
But I nor spake nor stirr'd;

The boat came close beneath the ship,
And straight a sound was heard.

Under the water it rumbled on,
Still louder and more dread:

No voice did they impart-
No voice; but oh! the silence sank It reach'd the ship, it split the bay;
Like music on my heart.
The ship went down like lead.

But soon I heard the dash of oars,

I heard the Pilot's cheer;

The ship suddenly sinketh

Stunn'd by that loud and dreadful The ancient Ma


Which sky and ocean smote,

My head was turn'd perforce away, Like one that hath been seven days

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.

I saw a third-I heard his voice :
It is the Hermit good!


My body lay afloat;

But swift as dreams, myself I found
Within the Pilot's boat.

Upon the whirl, where sank the ship,
The boat spun round and round;
And all was still, save that the hill
Was telling of the sound.

riner is saved in

the Pilot's boat

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