Images de page
[blocks in formation]

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!

[blocks in formation]

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; Burnt green, and blue and white. The water, like a witch's oils,

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,

[blocks in formation]

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.

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

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!

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.

The silly buckets on the deck, That had so long remained,

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 I dreamt that they were filled with dew;

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.

An orphan's curse would drag to Hell
A spirit from on high;

But oh! more horrible than that
Is the curse in a dead man's eye!
Seven days, seven nights, I saw that curse,
And yet I could not die.

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 reared, 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 coiled and swam; and every track
Was a flash of golden fire.

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

A spring of love gusht from my heart,
And I blessed them unaware!
Sure my kind saint took pity on me,
And I blessed 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.


OH SLEEP! it is a gentle thing,
Belov'd from pole to pole!

To Mary Queen the praise be given!
She sent the gentle sleep from heaven,
That slid into my soul.

And when I awoke, it rained.

My lips were wet, my throat was cold,
My garments all were dank;

Sure I had drunken in my dreams,
And still my body drank.

I moved, and could not feel my limbs :
I was so light-almost

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

And soon I heard a roaring wind:
It did not come anear;

But with its sound it shook the sails,
That were so thin and serc.

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 out,
The wan stars danced between.

And the coming wind did roar more loud,
And the sails did sigh like sedge;
And the rain pour'd down from one black

The Moon was at its edge.

The thick black cloud was cleft, and still
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.

The loud wind never reached 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 uprose,
Nor spake, nor moved their eyes;
It had been strange, even in a dream,
To have seen those dead men rise.

The helmsman steered, the ship moved on;
Yet never a breeze up blew;

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 me, knee to knee:

The body and I pulled at one rope,
But he said nought to me.

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,

[blocks in formation]

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.

[blocks in formation]

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-
The planks look warped! and see those sails.
And they answered not our cheer!
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.

« PrécédentContinuer »