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For when it dawned—they dropped their arms,
And clustered round the mast;
Sweet sounds rose slowly through their mouths,
And from their bodies passed.
Around, around, flew each sweet sound,
Then darted to the sun ;
Slowly the sounds came back again,
Now mixed, now one by one.
Sometimes a-dropping from the sky
I heard the sky-lark sing ;
Sometimes all little birds that are,
How they seemed to fill the sea and air
With their sweet jargoning!
And now 'twas like all instruments,
Now like a lonely flute;
And now it is an angel's song,
That makes the heavens be mute.
It ceased; yet still the sails made on
A pleasant noise till noon,
(A noise like of a hidden brook
In the leafy month of June,
That to the sleeping woods all night
Singeth a quiet tune.
Till noon we quietly sailed on,
Yet never a breeze did breathe :
Slowly and smoothly went the ship,
Moved onward from beneath.
Under the keel nine fathom deep,
From the land of mist and snow,
The spirit slid : and it was he
That made the ship to go.
The sails at noon left off their tune,
And the ship stood still also.
The lonesome spirit from the south pole carries on the ship as far as the ne, in obedience to the angelic troop, but still requireth vengeance.
The sun, right up above the mast,
Had fixed her to the ocean :
But in a minute she 'gan stir,
With a short uneasy motion-
Backwards and forwards half her length
With a short uneasy motion.
Then like a pawing horse let go,
She made a sudden bound;
It flung the blood into my head,
And I fell down in a swound.
How long in that same fit I lay,
I have not to declare ;
But ere my living life returned,
I heard, and in my soul discerned
Two voices in the air.
The Polar spirit's fellow demons, the invisible inhabitants of the element, take part in his wrong i and two of them relate, one to the other, that penance long and heavy for
“ Is it he ?” quoth one, “Is this the man? By him who died on cross,
With his cruel bow he laid full low
The harmless Albatross.
the ancient Mariner hath been accorded to the Polar spirit, who returneth southward.
“The spirit who bideth by himself
In the land of mist and snow,
He loved the bird that loved the man
Who shot him with his bow."
The other was a softer voice,
As soft as honey-dew:
Quoth he, “ The man hath penance done,
And penance more will do."
But tell me, tell me! speak again,
Thy soft response renewing-
What makes that ship drive on so fast ?
What is the ocean doing ?
Still as a slave before his lord,
The ocean hath no blast;
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.
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 en dure.
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.
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.
The supernatural motion is retarded
; the Mariner awakes, and his
penance begins anew,
All stood together on the deck,
For a charnel-dungeon fitter:
Al 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 their.;""
Nor turn them up to pray.
The curse is finally expiated.
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-
Like one, thiw 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.
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 cheek
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.