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'And now the storm-blast came, and he
He struck with his o'ertaking wings,
'With sloping masts and dipping prow,
The ship drove fast, loud roar'd the blast,
'And now there came both mist and snow,
And it grew wondrous cold:
And ice, mast high, came floating by,
'And through the drifts the snowy clifts
Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken-
'The ice was here, the ice was there,
The ice was all around :
It crack'd and growl'd, and roar'd and howl'd, Like noises in a swound!
'At length did cross an Albatross,
Thorough the fog it came;
As if it had been a Christian soul
'It ate the food it ne'er had eat,
And round and round it flew.
The ice did split with a thunder-fit ;
The helmsman steer'd us through.
'And a good south wind sprung up behind;
The Albatross did follow,
And every day, for food or play,
Came to the mariners' hollo!
In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,
It perch'd for vespers
Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke white, Glimmer'd the white moon-shine.'
'God save thee, ancient Mariner !
From the fiends, that plague thee thus !—
I shot the Albatross !'
With my cross-bow
'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
'And I had done a hellish thing,
Ah wretch! said they, the bird to slay,
'Nor dim nor red, like God's own head,
Then all averr'd, I had kill'd the bird
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 stream'd off 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,
Upon a painted ocean.
'Water, water, everywhere, And all the boards did shrink;
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
'About, about, in reel and rout
'And some in dreams assured were
'And every tongue, through utter drought, Was wither'd at the root;
We could not speak, no more than if
'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 pass'd a weary time. Each throat Was parch'd, and glazed each eye.
A weary time! A weary time!
'At first it seem'd a little speck,
It moved and moved, and took at last
'A speck, a mist, a shape, I wist!
'With throats unslaked, with black lips baked, We could nor laugh nor wail;
Through utter drought all dumb we stood !
And cried, "A sail! a sail!"
'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,
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,
When that strange shape drove suddenly
'And straight the Sun was fleck'd with bars, (Heaven's Mother send us grace !)
As if through a dungeon-grate he peered,
'Alas! (thought I, and my heart beat loud)
Are those her sails that glance in the Sun,
'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,
'The naked hulk alongside came,
"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 drip
Till 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,
'Four times fifty living men,
With heavy thump, a lifeless lump,
'The souls did from their bodies fly,-