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“But tell me, tell me! speak again,

Thy soft response renewingWhat makes that ship drive on so fast ?

What is the ocean doing ?


Still as a slave before his lord,

The ocean hath no blast:
His great bright eye most silently

Up to the moon is cast

If he may know which way to go,

For she guides him smooth or grim. See, brother, see! how graciously

She looketh down on him.'



But why drives on that ship so fast
Without or wave or wind?'


• The air is cut away before,

And closes from behind.

Fly, brother, fly! more high, more high,

Or we shall be belated :

For slow and slow that ship will go,

When the Mariner's trace 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,


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 snap'd : once more

I viewed the ocean green,
And look'd 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 roud, 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.

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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.

O dream of joy! is this indeed

The light-house top I see?
Is this the hill? Is this the kirk ?

Is this mine own countrée ?

We drifted o'er the Harbour-bar,

And I with sobs did prayO 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

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 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 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.

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 Mariners

That come from a far countrée.

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 ner'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 aught like to them

Unless perchance it were

The 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.'

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