THE FIRST. It is an ancient mariner...
PART THE SECOND. The Sun now rose upon the right...
PART THE THIRD. There passed a weary time. Each throat...
PART THE FOURTH. I fear thee, ancient mariner!
PART THE FIFTH. Oh sleep! it is a gentle thing,...
PART THE SIXTH. But tell me, tell me! Speak again,...
PART THE SEVENTH. This hermit good lives in that wood...
Click an albatross to get back to the top.
PART THE FIRST
is an ancient mariner,
And he stoppeth one of three.
"By thy long grey beard and glittering eye,
Now wherefore stopp'st thou me?
Bridegroom's doors are opened wide,
And I am next of kin;
The guests are met, the feast is set:
May'st hear the merry din."
holds him with his skinny hand,
"There was a ship," quoth he.
"Hold off! unhand me, greybeard loon!"
Eftsoons his hand dropt he.
holds him with his glittering eye -
The wedding-guest stood still,
And listens like a three years' child:
The Mariner hath his will.
wedding-guest sat on a stone:
He cannot chose but hear;
And thus spake on that ancient man,
The bright-eyed mariner.
ship was cheered, the harbour cleared,
Merrily did we drop
Below the kirk, below the hill,
Below the lighthouse top.
sun came up upon the left,
Out of the sea came he!
And he shone bright, and on the right
Went down into the sea.
and higher every day,
Till over the mast at noon-"
The Wedding-guest here beat his breast,
For he heard the loud bassoon.
bride hath paced into the hall,
Red as a rose is she;
Nodding their heads before her goes
The merry minstrelsy.
Wedding-Guest he beat his breast.
Yet he cannot choose but hear:
And thus spake on that ancient man,
The bright-eyed Mariner.
now the Storm-blast came, and he
Was tyrannous and strong:
He struck with his o'ertaking wings,
And chased us south along.
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 roared the blast,
And southward aye we fled.
now there came both mist and snow
And it grew wondrous cold:
And ice, mast-high, came floating by,
As green as emerald.
through the drifts the snowy clifts
Did send a dismal sheen:
Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken -
The ice was all between.
ice was here, the ice was there,
The ice was all around:
It cracked and growled, and roared and howled,
Like noises in a swound!
length did cross and Albatross,
Thorough the fog it came;
As if it had been a Christian soul,
We hailed it in God's name.
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!
a good south wind sprung up behind;
The albatross did follow,
And every day, for food or play,
Came to the mariner's hollo!
mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,
It perched for vespers nine;
Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke white,
Glimmered the white moonshine."
save thee, ancient Mariner:
From the fiends, that plague thee thus! -
Why look'st thou so?" - "With my cross-bow
I shot the Albatross."
PART THE SECOND
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.
the good south wind still blew behind,
But no sweet bird did follow,
Not any day for food or play
Came to the mariner's hollo!
I had done an hellish thing,
And it would work 'em woe:
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!'
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.
'Twas right', said they, 'such birds to slay,
That bring the fog and mist.'
fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
The furrow followed free;
We were the first that ever burst
Into that silent sea.
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!
in a hot and copper sky,
The bloody Sun, at noon,
Right up above the mast did stand,
No bigger than the Moon.
after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.
very deep did rot: O Christ!
That ever this should be!
Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs
Upon the slimy sea.
about in reel and rout
The death-fires danced at night;
The water, like a witch's oils,
Burnt green, and blue and white.
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.
every tongue, through utter drought,
Was withered at the root;
We could not speak, no more than if
We had been choked with soot.
well-a-day! what evil looks
Had I from old and young!
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung."
PART THE THIRD
passed a weary time. Each throat
Was parched, 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.
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.
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.
throats unslacked, 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!'
throats unslacked, 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! (I cried) she tacks no more!
Hither to work us weal;
Without a breeze, without a tide,
She steadies with upright keel!
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.
straight the Sun was flecked with bars,
(Heaven's Mother send us grace!)
As if through a dungeon-grate he peered
With broad and burning face.
(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!
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?
lips were red, her looks were free,
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.
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.
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.
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;
From the sails the dew did drip -
Till clomb above the eastern bar
The hornèd Moon, with one bright star
Within the nether tip.
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.
times fifty living men,
(And I heard nor sigh nor groan)
With heavy thump, a lifeless lump,
They dropped down one by one.
souls did from their bodies fly, -
They fled to bliss or woe!
And every soul, it passed me by,
Like the whizz of my cross-bow!"
PART THE FOURTH
fear thee, ancient mariner!
I fear thy skinny hand!
And thou art long, and lank, and brown,
As is the ribbed sea-sand.
fear thee and thy glittering eye,
And thy skinny hand, so brown." -
Fear not, fear not, thou Wedding-Guest!
This body dropt not down.
alone, all, all alone,
Alone on a wide wide sea!
And never a saint took pity on
My soul in agony.
many men, so beautiful!
And they all dead did lie:
And a thousand thousand slimy things
Lived on; and so did I.
looked upon the rotting sea,
And drew my eyes away;
I looked upon the rotting deck,
And there the dead men lay.
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.
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.
cold sweat melted from their limbs,
Nor rot nor reek did they;
The look with which they looked on me
Had never passed away.
orphan's curse would drag to hell
A spirit from on high;
But oh! more horrible than that
Is a curse in a dead man's eye!
Seven days, seven nights, I saw that curse,
And yet I could not die.
moving Moon went up the sky,
And nowhere did abide:
Softly she was going up,
And a star or two beside -
beams bemocked the sultry main,
Like April hoar-frost spread;
But where the ship's huge shadow lay,
The charmèd water burnt alway
A still and awful red.
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.
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.
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.
selfsame moment I could pray;
And from my neck so free
The Albatross fell off, and sank
Like lead into the sea."
PART THE FIFTH
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.
silly buckets on the deck,
That had so long remained,
I dreamt that they were filled with dew;
And when I awoke, it rained.
lips were wet, my throat was cold,
My garments all were dank;
Sure I had drunken in my dreams,
And still my body drank.
moved, and could not feel my limbs:
I was so light - almost
I thought that I had died in sleep,
And was a blessèd ghost.
soon I heard a roaring wind:
It did not come anear;
But with its sound it shook the sails,
That were so thin and sere.
upper air burst into life!
And a hundred fire-flags sheen,
To and fro they were hurried about!
And to and fro, and in and out,
The wan stars danced between.
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.
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.
loud wind never reached the ship,
Yet now the ship moved on!
Beneath the lightning and the Moon
The dead men gave a groan.
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.
helmsman steered, the ship moved on;
Yet never a breeze up blew;
The mariners all 'gan to work the ropes,
Where they were wont to do;
They raised their limbs like lifeless tools -
We were a ghastly crew.
body of my brother's son
Stood by me, knee to knee:
The body and I pulled at a rope,
But he said nought to me."
fear thee ancient Mariner!"
"Be calm, thou Wedding-Guest!
'Twas not these souls that fled in pain,
Which to their corses came again,
But a troop of spirits blest:
when it dawned - they dropt their arms,
And clustered round the mast;
Sweet sounds rose slowly through their mouths,
And from their bodies passed.
around, flew each sweet sound.
Then darted to the Sun;
Slowly the sounds came back again
Now mixed, now one by one.
a-dropping from the sky
I heard the skylark sing;
Sometimes all little birds that are,
How they seemed to fill the sea and air
With their sweet jargoning!
now 'twas like all instruments,
Now like a lonely flute;
And now it is an angel's song,
That makes the heavens be mute.
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.
noon we quietly sailed on,
Yet never a breeze did breathe:
Slowly and smoothly went the ship,
Moved onward from beneath.
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 rune,
And the ship stood still also.
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.
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.
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.
it he?' quoth one, 'Is this the man?
By him who died on the cross,
Which his cruel bow he laid full low
The harmless Albatross."
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.'
other was a softer voice,
As soft as honeydew:
Quoth he, 'The man hath penance done,
And penance more will do.' "
PART THE SIXTH
tell me, tell me! Speak again,
Thy soft response renewing -
What makes that ship drive on so fast?
What is the ocean doing?'
as a slave before his lord,
The ocean hath no blast;
His great bright eye most silently
Up to the Moon is cast -
he may know which way to go;
For she guides him smooth or grim.
See, brother, see! how graciously
She looketh down on him.'
why drives on that ship so fast,
Without or wave or wind?'
air is cut away before,
And closes from behind.
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.'
woke, and we were sailing on
As in a gentle weather:
'Twas night, calm night, the Moon was high;
The dead men stood together.
stood together on the deck,
For a charnel-dungeon fitter:
All fized on me their stony eyes,
That in the Moon did glitter.
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.
now this spell was snapt: once more
I viewed the ocean green,
And looked far forth, yet little saw
Of what had else been seen -
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.
soon there breathed a wind on me,
Nor sound nor motion made:
Its path was not upon the sea,
In ripple or in shade.
raised my hair, it fanned my cheek
Like a meadow-gale of spring -
It mingled strangely with my fears,
Yet it felt like a welcoming.
swiftly flew the ship,
Yet she sailed softly too:
Sweetly, sweetly blew the breeze -
On me alone it blew.
dream of joy! is this indeed
The lighthouse top I see?
Is this the hill? is this the kirk?
Is this mine own countree?
drifted o'er the harbour-bar,
And I with sobs did pray -
O let me be awake, my God!
Or let me sleep alway.
harbour-bay was clear as glass,
So smoothly it was strewn!
And on the bay the moonlight lay,
And the shadow of the Moon.
rock shone bright, the kirk no less,
That stands above the rock:
The moonlight steeped in silentness
The steady weathercock.
the bay was white with silent light,
Till rising from the same,
Full many shapes, that shadows were,
In crimson colours came.
little distance from the prow
Those crimson shadows were:
I turned my eyes upon the deck -
Oh, Christ! what saw I there!
corse lay flat, lifeless and flat,
And, by the holy rood!
A man all light, a seraph-man,
On every corse there stood.
seraph-band, each waved his hand:
It was a heavenly sight!
They stood as signals to the land,
Each one a lovely light;
seraph-band, each waved his hand,
No voice did they impart -
No voice; but oh! the silence sank
Like music on my heart.
soon I heard the dash of oars,
I heard the Pilot's cheer;
My head was turned perforce away,
And I saw a boat appear.
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.
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."
PART THE SEVENTH
hermit good lives in that wood
Which slopes down to the sea.
How loudly his sweet voice he rears!
He loves to talk with mariners
That come from a far countree.
kneels at morn, and noon, and eve -
He hath a cushion plump:
It is the moss that wholly hides
The rotted old oak-stump.
skiff-boat neared: I heard them talk,
'Why this is strange, I trow!
Where are those lights to many and fair,
That signal made but now?'
by my faith!' the Hermit said -
'And they answered not our cheer!
The planks look warped! and see those sails,
How thin they are and sere!
I never saw aught like to them,
Unless perchance it were
skeletons of leaves that lag
My forest-brook along;
When the ivy-tod is heavy with snow,
And the owlet whoops to the wolf below,
That eats the she-wolf's young.'
Lord! it hath a fiendish look -
(The Pilot made reply)
I am a-feared' - 'Push on, push on!'
Said the Hermit cheerily.
boat came closer to the ship,
But I nor spake nor stirred;
The boat came close beneath the ship,
And straight a sound was heard.
the water it rumbled on,
Still louder and more dread:
It reached the ship, it split the bay;
The ship went down like lead.
by that loud and dreadful sound,
Which sky and ocean smote,
Like one that hath been seven days drowned
My body lay afloat;
But swift as dreams, myself I found
Within the Pilot's boat.
the whirl, where sank the ship,
The boat spun round and round;
And all was still, save that the hill
Was telling of the sound.
moved my lips - the Pilot shrieked
And fell down in a fit;
The holy Hermit raised his eyes,
And prayed where he did sit.
took the oars: the Pilot's boy,
Who now doth crazy go,
Laughed loud and long, and all the while
His eyes went to and fro.
'Ha! ha!' quoth he, 'full plain I see,
The Devil knows how to row.'
now, all in my own countree,
I stood on the firm land!
The Hermit stepped forth from the boat,
And scarcely he could stand.
shrieve me, shrieve me, holy man!'
The Hermit crossed his brow.
'Say quick,' quoth he, 'I bid thee say -
What manner of man art thou?'
this frame of mine was wrenched
With a woeful agony,
Which forced me to begin my tale;
And then it left me free.
then, at an uncertain hour,
That agony returns:
And till my ghastly tale is told,
This heart within me burns.
pass, like night, from land to land;
I have strange power of speech;
That moment that his face I see,
I know the man that must hear me:
To him my tale I teach.
loud uproar bursts from that door!
The wedding-guests are there:
But in the garden-bower the bride
And bride-maids singing are:
And hark the little vesper bell,
Which biddeth me to prayer!
Wedding-Guest! this soul hath been
Alone on a wide wide sea:
So lonely 'twas, that God Himself
Scarce seemed there to be.
sweeter than the marriage-feast,
'Tis sweeter far to me,
To walk together to the kirk
With a goodly company! -
walk together to the kirk,
And all together pray,
While each to his great Father bends,
Old men, and babes, and loving friends,
And youths and maidens gay!
farewell! but this I tell
To thee, thou Wedding-Guest!
He prayeth well, who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast.
prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.
Mariner, whose eye is bright,
Whose beard with age is hoar,
Is gone: and now the Wedding-Guest
Turned from the bridegroom's door.
went like one that hath been stunned,
And is of sense forlorn:
A sadder and a wiser man,
He rose the morrow morn.