'And now the storm-blast came, and he
Was tyrannous and strong:

He struck with his o'ertaking wings,
And chased us south along.

'With sloping masts and dipping prow,
As who pursued with yell and blow
Still treads the shadow of his foe,
And forward bends his head,

The ship drove fast, loud roar'd the blast,
And southward aye we fled.

'And now there came both mist and snow,

And it grew wondrous cold:

And ice, mast high, came floating by,
As green as emerald.

'And through the drifts the snowy clifts
Did send a dismal sheen :

Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken-
The ice was all between.

'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
We hail'd it in God's name.

'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 !—
Why look'st thou so?'-

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
Came to the mariners' hollo!

'And I had done a hellish thing,
And it would work 'em woe :
For all averr'd, I had kill'd the bird
That made the breeze to blow.

Ah wretch! said they, the bird to slay,
That made the breeze to blow!

'Nor dim nor red, like God's own head,
The glorious Sun uprist:

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,
We struck, nor breath nor motion :
As idle as a painted ship

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
Upon the slimy sea.

'About, about, in reel and rout
The death-fires danced at night;
The water, like a witch's oils,
Burnt green and blue, and white.

'And some in dreams assured were
Of the spirit that plagued us so;
Nine fathom deep he had followed us
From the land of mist and snow.

'And every tongue, through utter drought, Was wither'd at the root;

We could not speak, no more than if
We had been choked with soot.

'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!
How glazed each weary eye!
When looking westward, I beheld
A something in the sky.

'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 near'd and near'd:
As if it dodged a water-sprite,
It plunged and tack'd and veered.

'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!"

'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?

'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 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,
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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