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A flash of joy;

165

And horror follows. For can it be a ship that comes onward without wind or tide ?

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 !
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.

170

175

It seemeth him but the skeleton of a

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.

ship.

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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 death

mate, and no Is that a Death ? and are there two ?

other on board the

skeletonIs Death that woman's mate?

ship.

190

like crew!

Like vessel, 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 The naked hulk alongside came,
Life-in-
Death have
diced for the

And the twain were casting dice; . ship's crew, and she the “The game is done! I've won! I've won!” latter) winneth the Quoth she, and whistles thrice. ancient Mariner. No twilight The sun's rim dips; the stars rush out; within the courts of the At one stride comes the dark;

With far-heard whisper, o'er the sea,
Off shot the spectre-bark.

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sun.

of the moon.

205

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 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 210
Within the nether tip.

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.

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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.

PART IV.

225

“I FEAR thee, ancient Mariner !
I fear thy skinny hand!
And thou are 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."-

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.”

Alone, alone, all, all alone,
Alone on a wide wide sea !
And never a saint took pity on
My soul in agony.

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the creatures of the calm.

He despiseth The many men, so beautiful!

And they all dead did lie:
And a thousand thousand slimy things
Lived on; and so did I.

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And envieth should live,

that they

and so many lie dead.

I looked upon the rotting sea,
And drew my eyes away ;
I looked upon the rotting deck,
And there the dead men lay.

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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

250
Lay like a load on my weary eye,
And the dead were at my feet.

But the curse liveth for him in

The cold sweat melted from their limbs,
Nor rot nor reek did they :

255 the eye of

The look with which they looked on me
Had never passed away.

the dead
men.

An orphan's curse would drag to hell
A spirit from on high ;
But oh! more horrible than that
Is the curse in a dead man's eye ! 260
Seven days, seven nights, I saw that curse,
And yet I could not die.

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The moving moon went up the sky,

In his loneli. And no where did abide :

ness and

fixedness he Softly she was going up,

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yearneth to

wards the And a star or two beside

journeying
moon, and
the stars that

still sojourn, yet still move onward; and every where the blue sky belongs to them, and is their appointed rest, and 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 burned alway
A still and awful red.

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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 he beholdeth God's creatures of the great calm.

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