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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:
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
• 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.
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,
Of what had else been seen
Like one, that on a lonesome road
Doth walk in fear and dread,
And turns no more his head ;
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-
Yet it felt like a welcoming.
Swiftly, swiftly flew the ship,
Yet she sailed softly too :
On me alone it blew.
O dream of joy! is this indeed
The light-house top I see?
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 !
The rock shone bright, the kirk no less
That stands above the rock:
The steady weathercock.
And the bay was white with silent light,
Till rising from the same
In crimson colours came.
A little distance from the prow
Those crimson shadows were:
O Christ! what saw I there?
Each corse lay flat, lifeless and flat;
And by the holy rood
On every corse there stood.
This seraph-band, each waved his hand;
It was a heavenly sight:
Each one a lovely light.
This seraph-band, each waved his hand,
No voice did they impart-
Like music on my heart.
But soon I heard the dash of oars,
I heard the pilot's cheer :
And I saw a boat appear.
The pilot, and the pilot's boy,
I heard them coming fast :
The dead men could not blast.
I saw a third-I heard his voice;
It is the hermit good!
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:
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 :
That eats the she-wolf's young.'