Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

The rock shone bright, the kirk no less,
That stands above the rock:
The moonlight steeped in silentness
The steady weathercock.

480

And the bay was white with silent light
Till rising from the same,
Full many shapes, that shadows were,
In crimson colours came.

The angelic spirits leave the dead bodies,

And appear in their own forms of light.

A little distance from the prow
Those crimson shadows were:

485

I turned my eyes upon the deck-
Oh, Christ! what saw I there!

Each corse lay flat, lifeless and flat,
And, by the holy rood !
A man all light, a seraph-man,
On every corse there stood.

490

This seraph-band, each waved his hand,
It was a heavenly sight!
They stood as signals to the land
Each one a lovely light;

495

This seraph-band, each waved his hand,
No voice did they impart-
No voice; but oh! the silence sank
Like music on my heart.

500

But 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.

505

The 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.

I saw a third-I heard his voice:
It is the hermit good !

510

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 VII.

The hermit of the wood,

515

This hermit good lives in that wood
Which slopes down to the sea.
How loudly his sweet voice he rears !
He loves to talk with marineres
That come from a far countree.

520

He kneels at morn, and noon,

and eve-
He hath a cushion plump:
It is the moss that wholly hides
The rotted old oak-stump.

The skiff-boat neared : I heard them talk,
"Why, this is strange, I trow!
Where are those lights so many and fair,
That signal made but now ?

525

Approacheth
the ship
with wonder.

“Strange, 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!

530

I never saw aught like to them,
Unless perchance it were

Brown 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.”

535

“Dear Lord ! it hath a fiendish look-
(The pilot made reply)
I am a-feared ”—“Push on, push on!”
Said the hermit cheerily.

540

The 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.

545

The ship suddenly sinketh

Under the water it rumbled on,
Still louder and more dread:
It reached the ship, it split the bay ;
The ship went down like lead.

Stunned by that loud and dreadful sound, 550 The ancient

Mariner is Which sky and ocean smote,

saved in the

pilot's boat. Like one that hath been seven days drowned My body lay afloat; But swift as dreams, myself I found Within the pilot's boat.

555

Upon 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.

560

I moved my lips—the pilot shrieked
And fell down in a fit;
The holy hermit raised his eyes,
And prayed where he did sit.

565

I 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."

570

And now, all in my own countree,
I stood on the firm land !
The hermit stepped forth from the boat,
And scarcely he could stand.

575

The ancient Mariner earnestly entreateth the hermit to shrieve him; and the penance of life falls on him.

“O 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?"

Forthwith this frame of mine was wrenched
With a woful agony,

« PreviousContinue »