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* It ate the food it ne'er had ate,

And round and round it flew,
The ice did split with a thunder-fit;
The helmsman steered us through !

* And a good south wind sprung up behind;

The albatross did follow,
And every day, for food or play,
Came to the mariners' hollo !

'In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,

It perched for vespers nine; Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke white, Glimmered the white moonshine.'

19. *God save thee, ancient Mariner,

From the fiends that plague thee thus ! Why look’st thou so ?' With


cross-bow I shot the albatross.

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.”




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*Down dropped the breeze, the sails dropped down,

'Twas sad as sad could be; And we did speak only to break

The silence of the sea.

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25. About, about, in reel and rout,

The death-fires danced at night; The water, like a witch's oils,

Burned green, and blue, and white.


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And every tongue, through utter drought,

Was withered at the root;
We could not speak, no more than if

We had been choked with soot.

27. Ah, well-a-day! what evil looks

Had I from old and young ! Instead of the cross the albatross

About my neck was hung.



28. “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.

“See ! see !' I cried, 'she tacks no more

Hither to work us weal, Without a breeze, without a tide, She steadies with upright keel !

32. The western wave was all a-flame,

The day was well-nigh done, Almost


the western wave
Rested the broad, bright sun :
When that strange shape drove suddenly
Betwixt us and the sun.

33. * 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.

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66 The game

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?

The naked hulk alongside came,
And the twain were casting dice;

is done! I've won, I've won !" Quoth she, and whistles thrice.

37. • 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.

38. • 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.

· Four times fifty living men

(And I heard nor sigh nor groan), With heavy thump, a lifeless lump,

They dropped down one by one.


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.



• I looked upon the rotting sea,

And drew my eyes away ;
I looked upon the rotting deck,

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.

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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.

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