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And now all in mine own countrée
I stood on the firm land!
The Hermit stepped forth from the boat,
And scarcely he could stand.
'O shrieve me, shrieve me, holy Man !
The Hermit crossed his brow.
Say quick,' quoth he, 'I bid thee say
Forthwith this frame of mind was wrenched
With a woeful agony,
And then it left me free.
Since then, at an uncertain hour
That agony returns ;
This heart within me burns.
I pass, like night, from land to land;
I have strange power of speech ; The moment that his face I see
I know the man that must hear me;
To him my tale I teach.
What loud uproar bursts from that door!
The wedding-guests are there; But in the garden-bower the bride
And bride-maids singing are ; And hark the little vesper-bell
Which biddeth me to prayer.
O wedding-guest! this soul hath been
Alone on a wide wide sea :
Scarce seemed there to be.
O sweeter than the marriage-feast,
'Tis sweeter far to me To walk together to the Kirk
With a goodly company:
To walk together to the Kirk
And all together pray, While each to his great Father bends, Old men, and babes, and loving friends,
And youths, and maidens gay.
Farewell, farewell! But this I tell
To thee, thou wedding-guest ! He prayeth well who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast.
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 Mariner, whose eye is bright,
Whose beard with age is hoar,
Turned from the bridegroom's door.
He went, like one that hath been stunned
And is of sense forlorn :
A sadder and a wiser man
He rose the morrow morn.