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THE ANCIENT MARINER.

151

From the sails the dew did drip ;
Till clomb above the eastern bar
The hornèd moon, with one bright star
Within the nether tip.

One after another,

His shipmates drop down dead;

One after one, by the star-dogged moon,
Too quick for groan or sigh,
Each turned 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 passed me by,
Like the whizz of my crossbow !

But Life-in. Death begins her work on the ancient mariner.

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 !

The wedding-guest feareth that a spirit is talking to

*

him ;

" I fear thee and thy glittering eye, And thy skinny hand, so brown."

* For the last two lines of this stanza, I am indebted to Mr. Wordsworth. It was on a delightful walk from Nether Stowey to Dulverton, with him and his sister, in the autumn of 1797, that this poem was planned, and in part composed.

But the an. Fear not, fear not, thou wedding-guest ! podem correth This body dropt not down.

bodily life,

and pro

relate his horrible penance.

ceedeth to Alone, alone, all, all alone,

Alone on a wide, wide sea !
And never a saint took pity on

My soul in agony.
He dospis The many men, so beautiful !
creatures of And they all dead did lie !
the calm; And a thousand thousand slimy things

Lived on : and so did I.

live, and so many lie dead.

And envi. I looked upon the rotting sea,
they should And drew my eyes away ;

I looked upon the rotting deck,
And there the dead men lay.
I looked 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, for him in Nor rot nor reek did they ;

The look with which they looked on me
Had never passed away.
An orphan's curse would drag to hell
A spirit from on high;

But the curse liveth

the eye of the dead mea.

THE ANCIENT MARINER.

153

But, Q, 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,

In his lone

liness and And nowhere did abide ;

fixedness,

he yearneth Softly she was going up,

towards the

journeying And a star or two beside.

moon, and the stars

that still sojourn yet still move onward, and everywhere the blue sky belongs to them, and is their appointed rest, and their native country, and their own natural homes, which they enter unannounced, as lords that are certainly expected, and yet there is a silent joy at their arrival.

Her beams bemocked 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 reared, the elfish light
Fell off in hoary flakes.

By the light of the moon be behold. eth God's creatures of the great calm.

Within the shadow of the ship
I watched their rich attire ;
Blue, glossy green, and velvet black,
They coiled and swam ; and every

track Was a flash of golden fire.

Their beau. ty and their happiness.

O happy living things ! no tongue
Their beauty might declare :
A spring of love gushed from my heart,
And I blessed them unaware :
Sure, my kind saint took pity on me,
And I blessed them unaware.

He blesseth them in his heart.

begins to break.

The ope!! The selfsame moment I could pray ;

And from my neck so free
The albatross fell off, and sank
Like lead into the sea.

PART V.

O 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.

By race of The silly buckets on the deck, Mother, the That had so long remained, motringede I dreamt that they were filled with dew, with rain. And when I woke 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.

He heareth And soon I heard a roaring wind;

It did not come a-near ; sights and But with its sound it shook the sails, in the sky That were so thin and sere.

sounds and seeth strange

and the ele. ment.

The upper air burst into life,
And a hundred fire-flags sheen ;

155

THE ANCIENT MARINER.

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 poured 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.

The bodies of the ship's crew are in spired, and the ship moves on.

They groaned, 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.

The helmsman steered, the ship moved on,
Yet never a breeze upblew;
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 pulled at one rope,
But he said naught to me.

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