‘At first it seem'd a little speck,
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 neard and near'd :
As if it dodged a water-sprite,
It plunged and tack'd and veered.

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With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,
We could nor laugh nor wail ;
Through utter drought all dumb we stood !
I bit my arm, I suck'd the blood,
And cried, “ A sail ! a sail !”

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With throats unslaked, with black lips baked, Agape they heard me call : 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; Without a breeze, without a tide, 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. "And straight the Sun was fleck'd with bars, (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 loud) How fast she nears and nears ! Are those her sails that glance in the Sun, Like restless gossameres ?

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‘Are those her ribs through which the Sun 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-mare 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 won, 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. "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 white ; From the sails the dew did dripTill clomb above the eastern bar The horned Moon, with one bright star Within the nether tip. "One after one, by the star-dogg'd Moon, Too quick for groan or sigh, Each turn'd his face with a ghastly pang, And cursed me with his eye. "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 pass'd me by, Like the whizz of my cross-bow !'

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PART IV '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 ! This body dropt not down. * 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 Lived 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 or ever a prayer had gusht, A wicked whisper came, and made My heart as dry as dust. '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 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 nowhere 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 watched the water-snakes :
They moved in tracks of shining white,
And when they reard, the elfish light
Fell off in hoary flakes.

Within the shadow of the ship
I watched their rich attire :
Blue, glossy green, and velvet black,
They coild 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 gush'd from my heart,
And I bless'd them unaware !
Sure my kind saint took pity on me,
And I bless'd 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,
Beloved from pole to pole !
To Mary Queen the praise be given !
She sent the gentle sleep from Heaven,
That slid into my soul.


‘The silly buckets on the deck,
That had so long remain’d,
I dreamt that they were fill’d with dew ;
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 sere.
' 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 cloud,
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 stirred, they all uprose,
Nor spake, nor moved their eyes ;
It had been strange, even in a dream,
To have seen those dead men rise.

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