'The helmsman steered, the ship moved on; Yet never a breeze up blew ;

The mariners all 'gan work the ropes

Where they were wont to do ;

They raised their limbs like lifeless tools--
We were a ghastly crew.

'The body of my brother's son

Stood by me, knee to knee :

The body and I pull'd at one rope,

But he said nought to me.'

'I fear thee, ancient Mariner !'

'Be calm, thou Wedding-Guest !

'Twas not those souls that fled in pain, Which to their corses came again,

But a troop of spirits blest :

For when it dawn'd-they dropp'd their arms,

And cluster'd round the mast;

Sweet sounds rose slowly through their mouths,

And from their bodies passed.

'Around, around, flew each sweet sound,

Then darted to the Sun;

Slowly the sounds came back again,

Now mixed, now one by one.

'Sometimes a-dropping from the sky
I heard the sky-lark sing;

Sometimes all little birds that are,
How they seem'd to fill the sea and air

With their sweet jargoning!

'And now 'twas like all instruments,

Now like a lonely flute;

And now it is an angel's song,

That makes the heavens be mute.

'It ceased; yet still the sails made on

A pleasant noise till noon,

A noise like of a hidden brook

In the leafy month of June,

That to the sleeping woods all night
Singeth a quiet tune.

'Till noon we quietly sailed on,
Yet never a breeze did breathe:
Slowly and smoothly went the ship,
Moved onward from beneath.

'Under the keel nine fathom deep,
From the land of mist and snow,
The spirit slid and it was he
That made the ship to go.

The sails at noon left off their tune,
And the ship stood still also.

'The Sun, right up above the mast
Had fixed her to the ocean;

But in a minute she 'gan stir,
With a short uneasy motion-

Backwards and forwards half her length
With a short uneasy motion.

'Then like a pawing horse let go,
She made a sudden bound:
It flung the blood into my head,
And I fell down in a swound.

'How long in that same fit I lay,
I have not to declare ;

But ere my living life returned,
I heard, and in my soul discerned
Two voices in the air.

""Is it he?" quoth one, "Is this the man?

By Him who died on cross,

With his cruel bow he laid full low

The harmless Albatross.

""The spirit who bideth by himself

In the land of mist and snow,

He loved the bird that loved the man

Who shot him with his bow."

'The other was a softer voice, As soft as honey-dew;

Quoth he, "The man hath penance done, And penance more will do.""


First Voice

"But tell me, tell me! speak again, Thy soft response renewing

What makes that ship drive on so fast?
What is the Ocean doing?"

Second Voice

""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."

First Voice

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

Second Voice

"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 trance 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, the 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 snapt : once more I view'd 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 turned round 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.

‘It raised my hair, it fann'd 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 sail'd softly too :

Sweetly, sweetly blew the breeze-
On me alone it blew.

'Oh! dream of joy! is this indeed The light-house top I see?

Is this the hill? is this the kirk?

Is this mine own countree?

'We drifted o'er the harbour-bar,

And I with sobs did pray

"O 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 of 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-
Oh, 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 oh! the silence sank

Like music on my


'But soon I heard the dash of oars,
I heard the Pilot's cheer;

My head was turn'd 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.'

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