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About, about, in reel and rout
The death-fires danced at night;
The water, like a witch's oils,

nd blue and white:

Burnt green

130

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

inhabitants

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

neither de parted 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

ancient
Mariner: in
sign whereof
they hang
the dead sea-
bird round
his neck.

PART III.

145

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,

150

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.

155

At its nearer With throats unslaked, with black lips baked, seemeth

him We could nor laugh nor wail ; to be a ship;

Through utter drought all dumb we stood ! freeth his speech from I bit my arm, I sucked the blood, the bonds of

And cried, A sail! a sail !

and at a dear ransom he

160

thirst.

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.

165

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
Betwixt us and the sun.

175

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.

180

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?

ship.

Like vessel, like crew!

190

Her lips were red, her looks were free,
Her locks were yellow as gold:
Her skin was as white as leprosy,
The Night-mare Life-in-Death was she,
Who thicks man's blood with cold.

195

Death and Life-inDeath have diced for the ship's crew and she (the latter) winneth the ancient Mariner.

The 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.

No twilight within the courts of the sun.

200

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.

205

At the rising We listened and looked sideways up!
of the moon.

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

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

210

One after another,

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.

215

His shipmates drop down dead.

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 cross-bow!'

220 But Life-in

Death begins her work on the ancient Mariner.

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PART IV.

"I FEAR thee, ancient Mariner !
I fear thy skinny hand !
And thou are long, and lank, and brown,
As is the ribbed sea-sand. 1

The wed

ding guest 225 feareth that

a spirit is talking to him.

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

But the anFear not, fear not, thou wedding-guest!

230 cient Mari

ner assureth This body dropt not down.

him of his bodily life, and proceed

eth to relate 1 For the last two lines of this stanza, I am indebted his horrible to Mr. Wordsworth. It was on a delightful walk from penance. Nether Stowey to Dulverton, with him and his sister, in the autumn of 1797, that this poem was planned, and in part composed.”

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