== I == II == III == IV == V == VI == VII ==


               FIRST VOICE.
"But tell me, tell me! speak again,
     "Thy soft response renewing—
"What makes that ship drive on so fast?
     "What is the Ocean doing?

               SECOND VOICE.
"Still as a Slave before his Lord,
     "The Ocean hath no blast: 420
"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.

               FIRST VOICE.
"But why drives on that ship so fast
     "Withouten wave or wind?
               SECOND VOICE.
"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 Marinere'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.

All stood together on the deck,
     For a charnel-dungeon fitter: 440
All fix'd on me their stony eyes
     That in the moon did glitter.

The pang, the curse, with which they died,
     Had never pass'd away:
I could not draw my een from theirs
     Ne turn them up to pray.

And in its time the spell was snapt,
     And I could move my een:
I look'd far-forth, but little saw
     Of what might else be seen.

Like one, that on a lonely road
     Doth walk in fear and dread,
And having once turn'd round, walks on
     And turns no more his head:
Because he knows, a frightful fiend
     Doth close behind him tread.

But soon there breath'd a wind on me,
     Ne sound ne motion made:
Its path was not upon the sea
     In ripple or in shade.

It rais'd my hair, it fann'd 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 sail'd softly too:
Sweetly, sweetly blew the breeze—
     On me alone it blew.

O dream of joy! is this indeed
     The light-house top I see? 470
Is this the Hill? Is this the Kirk?
     Is this mine own countrée?

We drifted o'er the Harbour-bar,
     And I with sobs did pray—
"O let me be awake, my God!
     "Or let me sleep alway!"

The harbour-bay was clear as glass,
     So smoothly it was strewn!
And on the bay the moon light lay,
     And the shadow of the moon.

.The moonlight bay was white all o'er,
     Till rising from the same,
Full many shapes, that shadows were,
     Like as of torches came.

A little distance from the prow
     Those dark-red shadows were;
But soon I saw that my own flesh
     Was red as in a glare.

I turn'd my head in fear and dread,
     And by the holy rood, 490
The bodies had advanc'd, and now
     Before the mast they stood.

They lifted up their stiff right arms,
     They held them strait and tight;
And each right-arm burnt like a torch,
     A torch that's borne upright.
Their stony eye-balls glitter'd on
     In the red and smoky light.

I pray'd and turn'd my head away
     Forth looking as before. 500
There was no breeze upon the bay,
     No wave against the shore.

The rock shone bright, the kirk no less
     That stands above the rock:
The moonlight steep'd in silentness
     The steady weathercock.

And the bay was white with silent light,
     Till rising from the same
Full many shapes, that shadows were,
     In crimson colours came.

A little distance from the prow
     Those crimson shadows were:
I turn'd my eyes upon the deck—
     O Christ! what saw I there?

Each corse lay flat, lifeless and flat;
     And by the Holy rood
A man all light, a seraph-man,
     On every corse there stood.

This seraph-band, each wav'd his hand:
     It was a heavenly sight: 520
They stood as signals to the land,
     Each one a lovely light:

This seraph-band, each wav'd his hand,
     No voice did they impart—
No voice; but O! the silence sank,
     Like music on my heart.

Eftsones I heard the dash of oars,
      I heard the pilot's cheer:
My head was turn'd perforce away
     And I saw a boat appear.

Then vanish'd all the lovely lights;
     The bodies rose anew:
With silent pace, each to his place,
     Came back the ghastly crew.
The wind, that shade nor motion made,
     On me alone it blew.

The pilot, and the pilot's boy
     I heard them coming fast:
Dear Lord in Heaven! it was a joy
     The dead men could not blast.

I saw a third—I heard his voice:
     It is the Hermit good!
He singeth loud his godly hymns
     That he makes in the wood.
He'll shrieve my soul, he'll wash away
     The Albatross's blood.


== I == II == III == IV == V == VI == VII ==