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40. “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 !
41. • The many men so beautiful !
And they all dead did lie : And a thousand thousand slimy things
Lived on; and so did I.
And drew my eyes away ;
And there the dead men lay.
43. "I looked to heaven, and tried to pray ;
But or ever a prayer had gushed, A wicked whisper came, and made My heart as dry as dust.
44. The moving moon went up the sky,
And nowhere did abide : Softly she was going up,
And a star or two beside.
45. 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.
I watched their rich attire :
Their beauty might declare :
And I blessed them unaware :
kind saint took pity on me, And I blessed them unaware.
48. The self-same moment I could pray ;
And from my neck so free The albatross fell off, and sank
Like lead into the sea.
It did not come a-near;
Yet now the ship moved on ! Beneath the lightning and the moon
The dead men gave a groan.
They groaned, they stirred, they all uprose,
Nor spake nor moved their eyes ;
To have seen these dead men rise.
52. “The helmsman steered, the ship moved on,
Yet never a breeze upblew;
Where they were wont to do;
We were a ghastly crew.'
'I fear thee, ancient Mariner !'
• Be calm, thou wedding-guest ! 'Twas not those souls that fled in pain, Which to their corses came again, But a troop of spirits blest.
54. 'Swiftly, swiftly flew the ship,
Yet she sailëd softly too : Sweetly, sweetly blew the breeze On me alone it blew.
The light-house top I see !
That agony returns :
I have strange power of speech; That moment that his face I
see, I know the man that must hear me :
To him my tale I teach.
58. What loud uproar bursts from that door!
The wedding-guests are there : But in the garden-bower the bride
And bridemaids singing are : And, hark! the little vesper-bell,
Which biddeth me to prayer!
And altogether pray,
And youths and maidens gay!
61. Farewell, farewell ! but this I tell
To thee, thou Wedding-Guest : He prayeth well who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast.
62. He prayeth best who loveth best
All things both great and small; For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.'
THE WIDOW AND HER SON.
The parents of the deceased had resided in the village from childhood. They had inhabited one of the neatest cottages, and by various rural occupations and the assistance of a small garden, had supported themselves creditably and comfortably, and led a happy and blameless life. They had one son, who had grown up to be the staff and pride of their age. “Oh, sir,' said the good woman, ‘he was such a comely lad, so sweet-tempered, so kind to every one around him, so dutiful to his parents ! It did one's heart good to see him of a Sunday, dressed out in his best, so tall, so straight, so cheery, supporting his old mother to church, for she was always fonder of leaning on George's arm than on her goodman's, and, poor soul, she might well be proud of him, for a finer lad there was not in the country round.'
Unfortunately, the son was tempted, during a year of scarcity and agricultural hardship, to enter into the service of one of the small-craft that plied on a neighbouring river. He had not been long in this employ when he was entrapped by a press-gang, and carried off to sea. His parents received tidings of his seizure, but beyond that they could learn nothing. It was the loss of their main prop. The father, who was already infirm, grew heartless and melancholy, and sunk into his grave. The widow, left alone in her age and feebleness, could no longer support herself, and came upon the parish. Still, there was a kind feeling toward her throughout the village, and a certain respect as being one of the oldest inhabitants. As no one applied for the cottage in which she had passed so many happy days, she was permitted