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The angelic spirits leave the dead bodies,

And appear in their own forms of light.

"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-
O 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 hana

It was a heavenly sight!

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

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"This seraph-band, each waved his hand;

No voice did they impart―

No voice; but O! 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 turned 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.

66 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 Hermit of the wood

Approacheth the ship with wonder.

The ship suddenly


"The skiff-boat neared-I heard them talk:

Why, this is strange, I trow!

Where are those lights, so many and fair,
That signal made but now?

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'Strange, by my faith!' the hermit said— And they answered not our cheer!

The planks looked warped! and see those


66 6

How thin they are and sere!

I never saw aught 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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"The boat came closer to the ship,
But I nor spake nor stirred;
The boat came close beneath the ship,
And straight a sound was heard:

"Under the water it rumbled on,
Still louder and more dread;

It reached the ship, it split the bay—
The ship went down like lead.

"Stunned by that loud and dreadful sound, The Ancient

Mariner is

Which sky and ocean smote,

saved in the

Like one that hath been seven days drowned pilot's boat.

My body lay afloat;

But, swift as dreams, myself I found
Within the pilot's boat.

"Upon the whirl where sank the ship
The boat span round and round;
And all was still, save that the hill
Was telling of the sound.

"I moved my lips—the pilot shrieked And fell down in a fit;

The holy hermit raised his eyes,

And prayed where he did sit.

"I took the oars; the pilot's boy,

Who now doth crazy go,

Laughed loud and long; and all the while
His eyes went to and fro:


'Ha! ha!' quoth he, full plain I see, The devil knows how to row.'

"And now, all in my own countree,

I stood on the firm land!

The hermit stepped forth from the boat,
And scarcely he could stand.

"O shrieve me, shrieve me, holy man!'- The Ancient

Mariner ear

The hermit crossed his brow:

nestly entreateth the Hermit

to shrieve him;

'Say quick,' quoth he, 'I bid thee say— What manner of man art thou?'

and the penance of life falls on him.

And ever and anon throughout his future

life an agony constraineth him to travel from land to land.

"Forthwith this frame of mine was wrenched
With a woful

Which forced me to begin my tale-
And then it left me free.

"Since then, at an uncertain hour,
agony returns;

And till my ghastly tale is told
This heart within me burns.


I pass,
like night, from land to land;
I have strange power of speech;
That moment that his face I see
I know the man that must hear me-
To him my tale I teach.

"What loud uproar bursts from that door!
The wedding-guests are there;
But in the garden-bower the bride
And bride-maids singing are;
And hark the little vesper-bell,
Which biddeth me to prayer!

"O Wedding-Guest! this soul hath been

Alone on a wide, wide sea

So lonely 'twas, that God himself

Scarce seemed there to be.

"O sweeter than the marriage-feast,
"Tis sweeter far to me,

To walk together to the kirk
With a goodly company!—

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