Page images
PDF
EPUB

The pang, the curse, with which they died,
Had never passed away :
I could not draw my eyes from theirs, 440
Nor turn them up to pray.

The curse is finally expi. ated.

And 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-

445

Like 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.

450

But soon there breathed a wind on me,
Nor sound nor motion made:
Its path was not upon the sea,
In ripple or in shade.

455

It 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.

460

Swiftly, swiftly flew the ship,
Yet she sailed softly too :

[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.

[blocks in formation]

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;

[blocks in formation]

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.

[blocks in formation]

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.

[blocks in formation]

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,
66 Why, this is strange, I trow !
Where are those lights so many and fair, 525
That signal made but now ? "

the ship

Approacheth “Strange, by my faith !" the hermit saidwith wonder. " 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

« PreviousContinue »