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The ice was here, the ice was there,
The ice was all around:

Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down,
"Twas sad as sad could be;

It cracked and growled, and roar'd and howl'd, | And we did speak only to break
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!

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.

Day after day, day after day,

We stuck, nor breath nor motion,
As idle as a painted ship

Upon a painted ocean.

And a good south-wind sprung up behind; Water, water, every where,

The Albatross did follow,

And every day, for food or play,
Came to the Mariner's hollo!

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And all the boards did shrink;
Water water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.

The very deep did rot: O Christ!
That ever this should be!

Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs
Upon the slimy sea.

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 followed us
From the land of mist and snow.

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

We could not speak, no more than if
We had been choak'd with soot.

And the good south-wind still blew behind, Ah! well a-day! what evil looks

But no sweet bird did follow,

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Had I from old and young!

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

And I had done an 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
That made the breeze to blow!

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.


THERE passed a weary time. Each throat
Was parched, and glazed each eye.

A weary time! a weary time!
How glazed each weary eye!
When looking westward, I beheld

"Twas right, said they, such birds to slay, A something in the sky.

That bring the fog and mist.

The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew, At first it seem'd a little speck,

The furrow stream'd off free:

We were the first that ever burst

Into that silent sea.

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.

With throat unslak'd, with black lips baked,
We could nor laugh nor wail;
Through utter drought all dumb we stood!
I bit my arm, I sucked the blood,
And cried: A sail! a sail!

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 dews did drip-
Till clombe above the eastern bar

The horned Moon, with one bright star
Within the nether tip.

One after one, by the star-dogg'd Moon

With throat unslak'd, with black lips baked, Too quick for groan or sigh,
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 steddies 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.

And straight the Sun was flecked with bars,
(Heaven's Mother send us grace!)
As if through a dungeon-grate he peer'd,
With broad and burning face.

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!

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

Four times fifty living men,
(And I heard nor sigh nor groan)
With heavy thump, a lifeless lump,
They dropped down one by one.

The souls did from their bodies fly,--
They fled to bliss or woe!
And every soul, it passed me by,
Like the whiz of my CROSS-BOW!


I FEAR thee, ancient Mariner!
I fear thy skinny hand!

And thou art long, and lank, and brown,
As is the ribbed sea-sand.

I fear thee and thy glittering eye,
And thy skinny hand, so brown.-
Fear not, fear not, thou wedding-guest!

Are those her ribs through which the Sun This body dropt not down.

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 free,
Her locks were yellow as gold:
Her skin was as white as leprosy,
The Night-Mair LIFE-IN-DEATH was she,
Who thicks man's blood with cold.

The naked hulk alongside came,
And the twain were casting dice;
The game is done! I've, 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.

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
Liv'd 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 ere ever a prayer had gusht,
A wicked whisper came, and made
My heart as dry as dust.

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I fear thee, ancient Mariner!-
Be calm, thou wedding-guest!
'Twas not those souls that fled in pain,
Which to their corses came again,
But a troop of spirits blest:

Is it he? quoth one, is this the man?
By Him who died on cross,

With his cruel bow he laid full low,
The harmless Albatross.

The spirit who bideth by himself

For when it dawned-they dropped their In the land of mist and snow,

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Sometimes a-dropping from the sky
I heard the sky-lark sing;
Sometimes all little birds that are,

How they seem'd to fill the sea and air
With their sweet jargoning!

And now 'twas like all instruments,
Now like a lonely flute;

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

It ceased; yet still the sails made on
A pleasant noise till noon,
A noise like of a hidden brook
In the leafy month of June,
That to the sleeping woods all night
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 fixt her to the ocean;

But in a minute she 'gan stir,
With a short uneasy motion—

He loved the bird that loved the man
Who shot him with his bow.

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Fly, brother, fly! more high, more high!
Or we shall be belated:

Backwards and forwards half her length, For slow and slow that ship will go,

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 returned,
I heard and in my soul discerned
TWO VOICES in the air.

When the Mariner's trance is abated.

I woke, and we were sailing on
As in a gentle weather:

"Twas night, calm night, the Moon was high;
The dead men stood together.

All stood together on the deck,
For a charnel-dungeon fitter:
All fixed on me their stony eyes,
That in the Moon did glitter.

The pang, the curse, with which they died,
Had never passed away:

I could not draw my eyes from theirs,
Nor turn them up to pray.

And now this spell was snapt: once more

I viewed the ocean green,

And looked far forth, yet little saw
Of what had else been seen-

Like one, that on a lonesome road
Doth walk in fear and dread,

And, having once turn'd round, walks on,
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.

It raised my hair, it fanned my cheek
Like a meadow-gale of spring-
It mingled strangely with my fears,
Yet it felt like a welcoming.

Swiftly, swiftly flew the ship,
Yet she sailed softly too:
Sweetly, sweetly blew the breeze-
On me alone it blew.

Oh! dream of joy! is this indeed The light-house-top I see?

Is this the hill? is this the kirk? Is this mine own countree?

We drifted o'er the harbour-bar,
And I with sobs did pray-
O let me be awake, my God!
Or let me sleep alway.

The harbour-bay was clear as glass, So smoothly it was strewn!

And on the bay the moonlight lay, And the shadow of the moon.

The rock shone bright, the kirk no less,
That stands above the rock:

The moonlight steeped in silentness
The steady weathercock.

And the bay was white with silent light,
Till rising from the same,

Full many shapes, that shadows were,
In crimson colours came.

A little distance from the prow
Those crimson shadows were:
I turned 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.

This seraph-band, each waved his hand :
It was a heavenly sight!

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

This seraph-band, each waved his hand,
No voice did they impart-

No voice; but oh! the silence sank
Like music on my heart.

But soon I heard the dash of oars,
I heard the Pilot's cheer;
My head was turn'd perforce away,
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!

He singeth loud his godly hymns
That he makes in the wood.

He'll shrieve my soul, he'll wash away
The Albatross's blood.


THIS 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
That come from a far countree.

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 near'd: I heard them talk : 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 said-
And they answered not our cheer!
The planks look warped! and see those sails,
How thin they are and sere!

I never saw ought like to them,
Unless perchance it were

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 below.
That eats the she-wolf's young.

Dear Lord! it hath a fiendish look—
(The Pilot made reply)

I am a-feared-Push on, push on!
Said the Hermit cheerily.

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