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"In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,
It perched for vespers nine;
Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke white,
Glimmered the white moon-shine."

"God save thee, Ancient Mariner ! From the fiends that plague thee thus! Why look'st thou so?"-" With my cross- pious bird of good

The Ancient Mariner inhospitably killeth the



I shot the Albatross !"


"THE sun now rose upon the right

Out of the sea came he,

Still hid in mist, and on the left

Went down into the sea.


And the good south wind still blew behind;

But no sweet bird did follow,

Nor any day for food or play
Came to the mariners' hollo.

"And I had done a 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

His ship-mates

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 accomplices in the crime.

The fair breeze continues; the ship enters the Pacific Ocean, and sails northward, even till it reached the Line.

The ship hath been suddenly becalmed;

That brought the fog and mist:

''Twas right,' said they, such birds to slay, That bring the fog and mist.'

"The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew, The furrow followed free;

We were the first that ever burst

Into that silent sea.

"Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down

"Twas 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.

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

And the Alba

"Water, water everywhere,

tross begins to be And all the boards did shrink; avenged.

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
Upon the slimy sea!

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About, about, in reel and rout,

The death-fires danced at night;
The water, like a witch's oils,
Burnt 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.


Was withered at the root;

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

ed Jew, Josephus, and the Platonic Constantinopolitan, Michael Psellus, may be

every tongue, through utter drought, consulted. They

"Ah! well-a-day! what evil looks
Had I from old and young!
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.


"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
A something in the sky.

A Spirit had followed them— one of the invisible inhabitants of this planet, neither departed souls nor angels; concerning whom the learn

"At first it seemed a little speck,
And then it seemed a mist;

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

are very numerous, and there is no climate or elcment without one or more.

The ship-mates, in their sore distress, would fain throw the whole guilt on the Ancient Mariner : in sign whereof they hang the dead sea-bird round his neck.

The Ancient Mariner beholdeth a sign in the element afar off.

“A speck, a mist, a shape, I wist!
And still it neared and neared;

As if it dodged a water-sprite,
It plunged and tacked and veered.


With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,

At its nearer approach, it seemeth him to be a ship: and at a

We could nor laugh nor wail;

dear ransom he Through utter drought all dumb we stood! freeth his speech from the bonds I bit my arm, I sucked the blood, of thirst. And cried, 'A sail! a sail!'

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


A flash of joy. 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

And horror fol

lows. For can it be a ship that comes onward

Without a breeze, without a tide,

without wind or 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.

It seemeth him "And straight the sun was flecked with bars,

but the skeleton of a ship.

(Heaven's mother send us grace!)

As if through a dungeon-grate he peered
With broad and burning face.

"Alas!' thought I-and my heart beat


'How fast she nears and nears!

Are those her sails that glance in the sun,
Like restless gossameres ?

“Are those her ribs through which the sun And its ribs are

Did peer as through a grate?

And is that woman all her crew?

seen as bars on the face of the setting sun. The spectre-woman and her deathmate, and no other on board the skeleton ship.

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-mare, Life-in-Death, was she,
Who thicks man's blood with cold.

"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.

Death and Lifein-Death have diced for the

"The naked hulk alongside came, And the twain were casting dice: 'The game is done! I've won! I've won !' ship's crew, and Quoth she, and whistles thrice.

she (the latter) winneth the Ancient Mariner.

"We listened, and looked sideways up; Fear at my heart, as at a cup,

My life-blood seemed to sip;

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


Like vessel, like crew!

No twilight within the courts of the Sun.

At the rising of

the moon.

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