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“And the good south wind still blew behind,
But no sweet bird did follow,
Nor any day, for food or play
Came to the mariners' hollo !
“And I had done a hellish thing,
And it would work 'em woe;
For all averred, I had killed the bird
That made the breeze to blow.
Ah, wretch ! said they, the bird to slay,
That made the breeze to blow !
“Nor dim nor red, like God's own head,
The glorious sun uprist;
Then all averred, I had killed the bird
That brought the fog and mist.
'Twas right, said they, such birds to slay,
That bring the fog and mist.
“ The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
The furrow followed free:
We were the first that ever burst
Into that silent sea.
“Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down, 'Twas sad as sad could be; And we did speak only to break The silence of the sea !
“All in a hot and copper sky,
The bloody sun, at noon,
Right up above the mast did stand,
No bigger than the moon.
“Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.
“Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.
“About, about, in reel and rout
The death-fires danced at night;
The water, like a witch's oils,
Burnt green, and blue, and white.
“And some in dreams assured were
Of the spirit that plagued us so:
Nine fathom deep he had followed us
From the land of mist and snow.
“And every tongue, through utter drouth,
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.
“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.
“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.
“With throats unslaked, with black lips baked, We could not laugh nor wail; Through utter
drouth all dumb we stood ! I bit my arm, I sucked the blood, And cried, 'A sail ! a sail !'
“With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,
Agape they heard me call:
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 aflame,
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.
“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.
“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 !
“Are those her ribs through which the sun
Did peer, as through a grate?
And is that Woman all her crew ?
Is that a Death ? and are there two?
Is Death that Woman's mate?
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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 steersman'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.
“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.
"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."
“I fear thee, ancient Mariner !
I fear thy skinny hand !
And thou art long, and lank, and brown,
As is the ribbed sea-sand.
“I fear thee, and thy glittering eye,
And thy skinny hand, so brown.”
Fear not, fear not, thou Wedding-Guest !
This body dropt not down. “Alone, alone, all, all alone,
Alone on a wide, wide sea !
And never a saint took pity on
My soul in agony.
“The many men, so beautiful!
And they all dead did lie;
And a thousand thousand slimy things
Lived on; and so did I.
“I looked upon the rotting sea,
And drew my eyes away;
I looked upon the rotting deck,
And there the dead men lay.
“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,
Lay like a load on my weary eye,
And the dead were at my feet.
“ The cold sweat melted from their limbs,
Nor rot nor reek did they:
The look with which they looked on me
Had never passed away.
“An orphan's curse would drag to Hell
A spirit from on high;
But, oh! more horrible than that
Is a curse in a dead man's eye !
Seven days, seven nights, I saw that curse,
And yet I could not die.
'The moving moon went up the sky,
And nowhere did abide:
Softly she was going up,
And a star or two beside-
“ Her beams bemocked the sultry main,
Like April hoar-frost spread;
But where the ship's huge shadow lay,
The charmed water burnt alway
A still and awful red,