« AnteriorContinuar »
With throats unslaked, with black lips | One after one, by the star-dogged Moon, One after an-
Each turn'd his face with a ghastly pang,
drop dowu dead; And horror fol- See! see! (I cried) she tacks no more! With heavy thump, a lifeless lump, lows: for can it be Hither to work us weal;
They dropp'd down one by one. a ship, that comes onward without Without a breeze, without a tide, wind or tide ? She steadies with upright keel! The souls did from their bodies fly,- But LIFE-11They tled to bliss or woe!
Det begins her
work on the w11-
Like the whizz of my Cross-Bow !
ques: feareth that I fear thy skinny hand !
a spirit is talking It seemeth him And straight the Sun was fleck'd with And thou art long, and lank, and brown, to him; bars,
As is the ribb'd sea-sand." of a ship
(Heaven's Mother send us grace!)
And thy skinny hand, so brown.»-
hivn of his bodily
life, and procee!
eth to relate his
And never a saint took pity on
My soul in agony.
but the skeleton
And its ribs are
He despiseth the
creatures of the seen as bars on Sun And they all dead did lie :
calin. the face of the
And a thousand thousand slimy ibings setting Sun.
And is that Woman all her crow? Lived on ; and so did I.
And envieth that
And drew my eyes away;
they should live,
and so many lie theskoleton-ship
I look'd upon the rotting deck,
dead. Like vessel, like Her lips were red, her looks were free,
And there the dead men lay. crew!
Her locks were yellow as gold:
A wicked whisper came, and made
And the twain were casting dice;
And the balls like pulses beat; winneth the aucient Mariner. Quoth she, and whistles thrice.
For the sky and the sea, and the sea and
And the dead were al my feet.
ett for bim in the
cye of the dead
Had never pass'd away.
1 For the two last lines of this stanza, I am indebted to Me
Wordsworth. It was on a delightful walk from Nether Stowey 10
this l'oem was planned, and in part composed.
The bodies of the strip's crew are inspired, and the ship mores on;
But oh ! more horrible than that
And soon I heard a roaring wind :
It did not come anear;
That were so thin and sere.
The upper air burst into life!
And a hundred fire-flags sheen,
To and fro they were hurried about !
And to and fro, and in and oul,
The wan stars danced between.
And the sails did sich like sedge;
Aud the rain pour'd down from one
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,
And when they rear'd, the elfislı liglit
The loud wind never reach'd the ship,
Yet now the ship moved on!
Beneath the lightning and the moon
The dead men gave a groan.
They groan'd, they stirr'd, they all up-
Nor spake, nor moved their eyes;
It had been strange, even in a dream,
To have seen those dead men rise.
A spring of love gusli'd from
The helmsman steer'd, the ship moved in his heart.
Yel pever a breeze
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.
The body of my brother's son
Stood by mne, knee to knee :
The body and I pull'd at one rope,
But he said nought to me.
« I fear thee, ancient Mariner!,
Be calm, thou Wedding-guest!
'T was not those souls that fled in pain,
Which to their corses came again,
But a troop of spirits blest :
I dreamt that they were fill'd with dew;
For when it dawn'd-they dropp'd their
Sweet sounds rose slowly through their
And from their bodies pass'd.
Around, around, flew each sweet sound,
Then darted to the Sun;
Now inix'd, now one by one.
Sometimes, a-dropping from the sky,
Thy soft response renewing
What makes that ship drive on so fast?
The OCEAN hath no blast;
Up to the Moon is cast-
If he may know which way to go;
See, brother, sce! how graciously
She looketh down on him.
been cast into a
traure; for the angelic power
causoth the ves The lonesome Under the keel nine fathom deep,
sel to drive northspirit from the From the land of mist and snow, The air is cut away before,
ward faster than south-polecarries on the ship as far The spirit slid: and it was he
And closes from behind.
human lifo could
endure. as the line, in
That made the ship to go. obedience to the angelic troop, but The sails at noon left off their tune, Fly, brother, fly! more high, more high! still requireth And the ship stood still also.
Or we shall be belated : vengeance.
For slow and slow that ship will go,
ed; the Mariner Backwards and forwards half her length 'T was night, calm night, the Moon was awakes, and his With a short uneasy motion.
All stood together on the deck,
All fix'd on me their story eyes,
That in the Moon did glitter.
with which they
died, of the element, I heard and in my soul discern'd
Had never pass'd away: take part in his wrong; and to Two yoices in the air.
I could not draw my eyes from theirs, of the relate,
Nor turn them up to pray. one to the other, that penance long and heavy for the
. Is it he ?» quoth one, « Is this the | And now this spell was snapt: once The curse is 6 man ?
nally espiated. bath been accord, od to the Polar By him who died on cross,
I view'd the ocean green,
And look'd far forth, yet little saw
Of what bad else been seen
motion is retard
. The spirit who bideth by himself Like one, that on a lonesome road
Doth walk in fear and dread,
And turns no more his head ;
Because he knows, a frigbiful fiend
Doth close behind him tread.
Nor sound nor motion made:
Jis path was not upon the sea,
It raised my hair, it fann'd my clicek
He singeth loud his godly hymns
The Hormitor ibe Wood,
rits leave the
Swiftly, swiftly flew the ship,
Tops Hermit good lives in that wood
Which slopes down to the sea.
How loudly his sweet voice he rears !
He loves to talk with marineres Mariner behold
That come from a far countree. eth his nativo
The light-house top I see !
He kneels at morn, and noon and eve-
He hath a cushion plump:
It is the moss that wholly hides
| The rotted old oak-stump.
The skiff-boat neard : I heard them
talk, The harbour-bay was clear as glass,
- Why this is strange, I trow !
Where are those lights so many and fair,
That signal made but now ?»
« Strange, by my faith!, the Hermit Approached the
ship with The rock shone bright, the kirk no less
wonder. That stands above the rock:
• And they answer'd not our cheer! The moonlight steep'd in silentness
The planks look'd warp'd! and see those
How thin they are and sere!
Unless perchance it were
* Brown skeletons of leaves that lag dead bodies,
My forest-brook along;
When the ivy-lod is heavy with snow,
And the owlet whoops to the wolf below,
That eats the she-wolfs young.»
« Dear Lord ! it hath a fiendish look-
I am a-fear'dı- Push on, push on!»
The boat came closer to the ship,
The boat came close bencath the ship,
And straight a sound was heard.
The ship rulden
It reach'd the ship, it split the bay;
The ship went down like lead.
Stupn'd by that loud and dreadful sound, The ancient Ma
Which sky and ocean smote,
The Pilot's boat.
My body lay afloat;
Dut swift as dreams, myself I found
Within the Pilot's boat.
Upon the wbirl, where sank the ship,
The boat spun round and round;
Was telling of the sound.
riner is saved in
I moved my lips--the Pilot shriek'd,
But in the garden-bower the bride
I took the oars : the Pilot's boy,
O Wedding-Guest! this soul hath been
Alone on a wide wide sea :
So lonely 't was, that God himself
Scarce seemed there to be.
O sweeter than the marriage-feast,
'T is sweeter far to me,
To walk together to the kirk
To walk together to the kirk,
And all together pray, riger earnestly
The Hermit cross'd his brow. entreateth the
While each to his great Father bends, Herinit to shrieve Say quick," quoth he, «I bid thee say old men, and babes, and loving friends, him; and the pe- What inanner of man art thou ?, nance of life falls
And youths and maidens gay! on him. Forthwith this frame of mine was
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 anon throughout That agony returns :
All things both great and small; bis future life au
For the dear God wlio loveth ils, And till my ghastly tale is told, a pony constraineth him to travel This heart within me burns.
He made and loveth all.
The Mariner, whose eye is bright,
Whose beard with age is hoar,
Is gone: and now the Wedding-Guest
Turn'd from the bridegroom's door.
He went like one that liath been stunn’d,
A sadder and a wiser man
He rose the morrow morn.
And to tearh. by
second part had been published in the year 1800, the
greater than I dare at present expect. But for this, I The first part of the following poem was written in the have only my own indolence to blame. The dates year one thousand seven hundred and ninety seven, at are mentioned for the exclusive purpose of precluding Stowey in the county of Somerset. The second part, charges of plagiarism or servile imitation from myself. after my return from Germany, in the year one thou- For there is amongst us a set of critics, who seem to sand eight hundred, at Keswick, Cumberland. Since hold, that every possible thought and image is tradithe latter date, my poetic powers have been, till very tional; who have no rotion that there are such things lately, in a state of suspended animation. But as, in as fountains in the world, small as well as great; aud my very first conception of the tale, I had the whole who would therefore charitably derive every rill they present to my mind, with the wholeness, no less than behold flowing, from a perforation made in some other with the loveliness of a vision, I trust that I shall yet be man's tank. I am confident, however, that as far as the able to embody in verse the three parts yet to come. present poem is concerned, the celebrated poets whose
It is probable, that if the poem had been finished at writings I might be suspected of having imitated, either either of the former periods, or if even the first and in particular passages, or in the tone and the spirit of
the whole, would be among the first to vindicate me
1 To the edition of 1816.