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The Her mit of the wood.
Which slopes down to the sea.
He kneels at morn,
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 — Approach“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
eth the ship with wonder,
“ Brown skeletons of leaves that lag
“ Dear Lord ! it hath a fiendish look-
The boat came closer to the ship,
The ship suddenly sinketh.
Under the water it rumbled on,
Which sky and ocean smote, the Pilot's Like one that hath been seven days
But swift as dreams, myself I found
The an. cient Mariner is saved in
Upon the whirl, where sank the ship,
I moved my lips—the Pilot shrieked
I took the oars : the Pilot's boy,
And now, all in my own countree,
The Hermit stepped forth from the boat,
The ancient Mariner ear
“O shrieve me, shrieve me, holy man!"
I bid thee say, entreateth What manner of man art thou ?"
the Hermit to shrieve him; and
Forth with this frame of mine was wrenched life falls on
Since then, at an uncertain hour,
And ever and anon throughout his future life an agony constraineth him to travel from land to land;
I pass, like night, from land to land ;
What loud uproar bursts from that door!
O Wedding-Guest ! this soul hath been
So lonely 'twas, that God himself
O sweeter than the marriage-feast,
To walk together to the kirk,
And to Farewell, farewell! but this I tell
He prayeth well, who loveth well
He prayeth best, who loveth best
The Mariner, whose eye is bright,
He went like one that hath been stunned,
The first part of the following poem was written in the year 1797, at Stowey, in the county of Somerset. The second part, after my return from Germany, in the year 1800, at Keswick, Cumberland. It is probable, that if the poem had been finished at either of the former periods, or if even the first and second part had been published in the year 1800, the impression of its originality would have been much greater than I dare at present expect. But for this, I have only my own indolence to blame. The dates are mentioned for the exclusive purpose of precluding charges of plagiarism or servile imitation from myself. For there is amongst us a set of critics, who seem to hold, that every possible thought and image is traditional ; who have no notion that there are such things as fountains in the world, small as well as great; and who would there. fore charitably derive every rill they behold flowing, from a perforation made in some other man's tank. I am confident, however, that as far as the present poem is concerned, the celebrated poets whose writings I might be suspected of having imitated, either in particular passages, or in the lone and the spirit of the whole, would be the first to vindicate me from the charge, and who, on any striking coincidence, would permit me to address them in this doggrel version of two monkish Latin hexameters.
'Tis mine and it is likewise yours;
* To the edition of 1816.