Page images

Chrouzh the As if it had been a Christian soul, soow.los.. We hailed it in God's name.

[ocr errors]


albatross proveth a bird of good

Lad hoopi. 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 steered us through.
And not the And a good south wind sprung up behind;

The albatross did follow,
conten, und And every day, for food or play,
the shipCame to the mariner's hollo.
and reading In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,

It perched for vespers nine ;
Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke white,
Glimmered the white moonshine.


it returned northward


The ancient “God save thee, ancient mariner, hospitably From the fiends that plague thee thus! pious bird of Why look'st thou so?” — With my crossbow

I shot the albatross.

killeth the

good or en.


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 mariner's hollo.
His ship. And I had done a hellish thing,
out against And it would work 'em woe;

mates cry

the ancient



For all averred, I had killed the bird
That made the breeze to blow :
Ah, wretch! said they, the bird to slay
That made the breeze to blow !

mariner for killing the bird of good luck.

Nor dim nor red, like God's own head,
The glorious sun uprist;
Then all averred, I had killed the bird
That brought the fog and mist:
'T was right, said they, such birds to slay,
That bring the fog and mist.

But when the fog cleared off, they justify the same, and thus make themselves accomplices in the crime.

The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
The furrow followed free ;
We were the first that ever burst
Into that silent sea.

The fair breeze continues; the ship enters the Pacific Ocean, and sails northward even till it reaches the line.

Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down,
'T was sad as sad could be;
And we did speak only to break
The silence of the sea !

The ship bath been suddenly becalmed.

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 stuck, 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.

And the al. batross be. gins to be avenged.

The very deep did rot: 0 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.

A spirit bad And some in dreams assured were
them, one or of the spirit that plagued us so ;

ante Nine fathom deep he had followed us
ther From the land of mist and snow.

followed them, one of the invisible inhabitants of this plan.

departed souls nor angels : concerning whom the learned Jew, Josephus, and the Platonic Constantinopolitan, Michael Psellus, may be consulted. They are very numerous, and there is no climate or element without one or more.

And every tongue, through utter drought,
Was withered at the root;
We could not speak, no more than if
We had been choked with soot.

their sore distress,

The ship- Ah! well-a-day! what evil looks
their dore Had I from old and young !
would sain Instead of the cross, the albatross
whole guilt About my neck was hung.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

whole guilt
on the an
cient mari.
ner; in sign
they hang
the dead
round his


THERE passed a weary time. Each throat
Was parched, and glazed each eye.

A weary time! a weary time!
The an. How glazed each weary eye,
iner behold. When, looking westward, I beheld

eth a sign in


o bine in the sky

afar off.



At first it seemed a little speck,
And then it seemed 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 neared and neared :
As if it dodged a water-sprite,
It plunged, and tacked, and veered.

With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,
We could not laugh nor wail;
Through utter drought all dumb we stood;
I bit my arm, I sucked the blood,
And cried, A sail ! a sail !

At its near-
er ap-
proach, it
see meth
him to be a
ship, and at
a dear ran.
som he
freeth his
speech from
the bonds
of thirst.

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.

A flash of joy.

See! see! I cried, she tacks no more!
Hither, to work us weal,
Without a breeze, without a tide,
She steadies with upright keel!

And horror follows; for can it be a ship that comes onward with out wind or tide ?

The western wave was all a-flame,
The day was wellnigh 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 flecked with bars, (Heaven's mother send us grace !)

It seemeth him but the skeleton of a ship.

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 seen as

And ite ribe Are those her ribs through which the sun bara or the Did peer, as through a grate ?

: And is that woman all her crew ?

Is that a Death ? and are there two ? mate, and Is Death that woman's mate?

face of tbe setting sun. The spectre woman and her death

no other, on board the skeleton abip.

Her lips were red, her looks were free,
Like vessel, Her locks were yellow as gold;

Her skin was as white as leprosy,
The Nightmare Life-in-Death was she,
Who thicks man's blood with cold.

Life-inDeath have diced for the ship's crew, and she (the latter) win. neth the ancient mariner.

Death and The naked hulk alongside came,
Death have And the twain were casting dice ;

“ The game is done! I've won, I've won ! ”
in. Quoth she, and whistles thrice.

No twilight within the courts of the sun.

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.

At the rising We listened and looked sideways up!

Fear at-my heart, as at a cup,
My life-blood seemed to sip !
The stars were dim, and thick the night;
The steersman's face by his lamp gleamed white;

« PreviousContinue »