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His great bright eye most silently
Up to the Moon is cast.
If he may know which way to go;
For she guides him smooth or grim.
See, brother, see! how graciously
She looketh down on him.
First Voice. But why drives on that ship so fast, Without or wave or wind ?
The mariner hath been cast into a trance; for the angelic power causeth the vessel to drive northward, faster than human life could endure.
The air is cut away before,
And closes from behind.
Fly, brother, fly! more high, more high!
Or we shall be belated:
For slow and slow that ship will go,
When the mariner's trance is abated.
The supernatural motion is retarded; the mariner awakes, and his penance begins anew.
I woke, and we were sailing on
As in a gentle weather:
*Twas night, calm night, the moon was high;
The dead men stood together,
All stood together on the deck,
For a charnel-dungeon fitter:
All fixed on me their stony eyes
That in the Moon did glitter.
The pang, the curse, with which they died,
Had never passed away :
I could not draw my eyes from theirs,
Nor turn them up to pray.
And now this spell was snapt: once more
I viewed the ocean green,
And looked far north, yet little saw
Of what had else been seen
Like one, that on a lonesome road
Doth walk in fear and dread,
The curse is finally expiated;
And having once turned round walks on,
And turns no more his head;
Because he knows a frightful fiend
Doth close behind him tread.
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.
It raised my hair, it fanned my
Like a meadow-gale of spring-
It mingled strangely with my fears,
Yet it felt like a welcoming.
Swiftly, swiftly flew the ship,
Yet she sailed softly too :
Sweetly, sweetly blew the breeze-
On me alone it blew.
Oh! dream of joy! is this indeed
The light-house top I see?
Is this the hill ? is this the kirk ?
Is this mine own countree?
We drifted o'er the harbour-bar,
And I with sobs did
O let me be awake, my God!
Or let me sleep alway.
The harbour-bay was clear as glass,
So smoothly it was strewn !
And on the bay the moonlight lay,
And the shadow of the moon.
The rock shone bright, the kirk no less,
That stands above the rock:
The moonlight steeped in silentness
The steady weathercock.
And the bay was white with silent light,
Till rising from the same,
Full many shapes, that shadows were,
In crimson colours came.
And the ancient mariner beholdeth his native country.
The angelic spirits leave the dead bodies,
A little distance from the
Those crimson shadows were:
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,
every corse there stood.
This seraph-band, each waved his hand :
It was a heavenly sight!
They stood as signals to the land,
Each one a lovely light;
This seraph-band, each waved his hand,
No voice did they impart-
No voice; but oh! the silence sank
Like music on my
heart. 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. 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! 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.
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 mariners
That come from a far countree.
Approacheth the ship with wonder.
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 ?”
Strange, by my faith!" the hermit said
“ And they answered not our cheer!
The planks looked warped! and see those sails,
How thin they are and sere !
I never saw aught like to them,
Unless perchance it were
Brown skeletons of leaves that lay
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."
“ Dear Lord ! it hath a fiendish look-
(The pilot made reply)
I am a-feared ”—“ Push on, push on!”
Said the hermit cheerily.
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.
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,
Which sky and ocean smote,
Like one that hath been seven days drowned
My body lay afloat;
The ship suddenly sinketh.
The ancient mariner is saved in the pilot's boat.