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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

A spirit had

followed Of the spirit that plagued us so;

them; one of

the invisible Nine fathom deep he had followed us


of this planet, From the land of mist and snow.

neither 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 135
Was withered 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.

The shipmates, in their sore

distress, 140 would fain

throw the
whole guilt
on the
Mariner: in
sign whereof
they hang
the dead sea-
bird round
his neck.



THERE 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.

The ancient Mariner beholdeth a sign in the element 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.


At its nearer With throats unslaked, with black lips baked, to be a ship; We could nor laugh nor wail;

Through utter drought all dumb we stood ! freeth his speech from I bit my arm, I sucked the blood, thirst. And cried, A sail! a sail !

and at a dear ransom he


the bonds of

With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,
Agape they heard me call :

A flash of joy;

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 !

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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 175
Betwixt us and the sun.

And 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.

It seemeth him but the skeleton of a ship.


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 ?

And its ribs
are seen as

bars on the Are those her ribs through which the sun 185 face of the

setting sun. Did peer, as through a grate?

The spectre

woman and And is that woman all her crew ?

her deathmate, and no

other on Is that a Death ? and are there two ?

board the

skeletonIs Death that woman's mate?


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FACILE credo, plures esse Naturas invisibiles quam visibiles in rerum universitate. Sed horum omnium familiam quis nobis enarrabit, et gradus et cognationes et discrimina et singulorum munera ? Quid agunt ? quæ loca habitant ? Harum rerum notitiam semper ambivit ingenium humanum, nunquam attigit. Juvat, interea, non diffiteor, quandoque in animo, tanquam in tabulâ, majoris et melioris mundi imaginem contemplari: ne mens assuefacta hodiernæ vitæ minutiis se contrahat nimis, et tota subsidat in pusillas cogitationes. Sed veritati interea invigilandum est, modusque servandus, ut certa ab incertis, diem a nocte, distinguamus.-T. BURNET. ARCHÆOL. PHIL. p. 68.


It is an ancient Mariner,

An ancient

Mariner And he stoppeth one of three.

meeteth three gal

lants bidden "By thy long gray beard and glittering eye, to a wedding

feast, and Now wherefore stopp'st thou me?




The 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.”

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