A spirit had followed

And some in dreams assured were them; one of Of the spirit that plagued us so : Nine fathom deep he had followed us

the invisible


of this planet, From the land of mist and snow.

neither de

parted souls nor angels; concerning whom the learned Jew, Josephus, and the Platonic Constantinopolitan, Michael Psellus, may be consulted. They are very numerous, and there is no climate or element without one or more.

The shipmates, in their sore distress, would fain

throw the whole guilt on the ancient Mariner; in

And every tongue, through utter drouth,
Was wither'd at the root;

We could not speak, no more than if
We had been choked with soot.

Ah! we'l a-day! what evil looks
Had I from old and young!

Instead of the Cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.


sign whereof they hang the

dead sea-bird There pass'd a weary time. Each throat

round his

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.

The ancient holdeth a sign

Mariner be

in the ele

ment afar off. At first it seem'd a little speck,

And then it seem'd a mist;

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:
And as if it dodged a water-sprite,
It plunged and tack'd and veer'd.

At its nearer seemeth him

approach, it

With throats unslaked, with black lips
We could nor laugh nor wail; [baked,

to be a ship; Through utter drought all dumb we stood!

and at a dear

ransom he
freeth his
speech from
the bonds of thirst.

I bit my arm, I suck'd the blood,

And cried, A sail! a sail!

With throats unslaked, with black lips
Agape they heard me call:


Gramercy! they for joy did grin,
And all at once their breath drew in,
As they were drinking all.

See! see! (I cried) she tacks no more!
Hither to work us weal;
Without a breeze, without a tide,
She steadies with upright keel!

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 suddenly

Betwixt us and the Sun.

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?

And straight the Sun was fleck'd with bars, It seemeth (Heaven's Mother send us grace!)

him but the skeleton of a


As if through a dungeon-grate he peer'd,
With broad and burning face.

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?

A flash of joy;

Are those her ribs through which the Sun And its ribs

are seen as

bars on the face of the setting Sun. The spectrewoman and her deathmate, and no other on board the skeleton ship. Like vessel, like crew!

Her lips were red, her looks were free,
Her locks were yellow as gold:
Her skin was as white as leprosy,
The Night-mare Life-in-Death was she,
Who thicks man's blood with cold.

And horror follows. For can it be a ship that

comes on

ward without wind or tide?

Death and
Death have

diced for the
ship's crew,
and she (the
latter) win-
neth the



No twilight

within the

courts of the


At the rising of the Moon,

One after another,

The naked hulk alongside came,
And the twain were casting dice;

'The game 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.

We listen'd and look'd sideways up!

Fear at my heart, as at a cup,

My life-blood seem'd to sip!

The stars were dim, and thick the night,
The steersman's face by his lamp gleam'd


From the sails the dew did drip-
Till clomb above the eastern bar
The horned Moon, with one bright star

Within the nether tip.impossible acc, to astr.

One after one, by the star-dogg'd Moon,
Too quick for groan or sigh,

Each turn'd his face with a ghastly pang,
And cursed me with his eye.

His shipmates drop

Four times fifty living men,

down dead. (And I heard nor sigh nor groan)

With heavy thump, a lifeless lump,

They dropp'd down one by one.

But Life-in- The souls did from their bodies fly,

Death begins They fled to bliss or woe!

her on

the ancient Mariner.

And every soul, it pass'd me by,

Like the whizz of my cross-bow!


'I fear thee, ancient Mariner!

The Wedding-Guest feareth that a

I fear thy skinny hand!
And thou art long, and lank, and brown, spirit is talk-
ing to him;
As is the ribb'd sea-sand.

I fear thee and thy glittering eye,

And thy skinny hand, so brown.'—

Fear not, fear not, thou Wedding-Guest!
This body dropt not down.

Alone, alone, all all alone,
Alone on a wide wide sea!
And never a saint took pity on
My soul in agony.

The many men, so beautiful!

And they all dead did lie:

And a thousand thousand slimy things
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 gusht,

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,
Nor rot nor reek did they:.

The look with which they look'd on me
Had never pass'd away.

But the ancient Mariner assureth him of his bodily life, and proceedeth to

relate his horrible penance.

He despiseth the creatures of the calm.

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

But the curse liveth for him in the eye of

the dead


In his loneli

ness and

fixedness yearneth


towards the journeying Moon, and

By the light

of the Moon he beholdeth God's creatures of the great calm.

He blesseth them in his heart.

An orphan's curse would drag to Hell

A spirit from on high;

But oh! more horrible than that

The spell begins to break.

Is the curse in a dead man's eye!

Seven days, seven nights, I saw that curse,
And yet I could not die.

the stars
that still
sojourn, yet
still move
onward; and
the blue sky
belongs to
them, and is

their appointed rest, and their native country and their own natural homes, which they enter unannounced, as lords that are certainly expected, and yet there is a silent joy at their arrival.

The moving Moon went up the sky,
And no where did abide :

Softly she was going up,

And a star or two beside

Her beams bemock'd the sultry main,

Like April hoar-frost spread;

But where the ship's huge shadow lay,
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 white,
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:

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

and their

Blue, glossy green, and velvet black,
They coil'd and swam; and every track
Was a flash of golden fire.

A spring of love gush'd from my heart,
And I bless'd them unaware!

Sure my kind saint took pity on me,
And I bless'd them unaware!

The self-same moment I could pray;

And from my neck so free

The Albatross fell off, and sank

Like lead into the sea.

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