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


This Hermit good lives in that wood
     Which slopes down to the Sea.
How loudly his sweet voice he rears!
He loves to talk with Marineres 550
     That come from a far Contrée.

He kneels at morn and noon and eve—
     He hath a cushion plump:
It is the moss, that wholly hides
     The rotted old Oak-stump.

The Skiff-boat ne'rd: 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— 560
     "And they answer'd not our cheer.
"The planks look warp'd, and see those sails     
     "How thin they are and sere!
"I never saw aught like to them
     "Unless perchance it were

"The skeletons of leaves that lag
     "My forest brook along:
"When the Ivy-tod is heavy with snow,
"And the Owlet whoops to the wolf below
     "That eats the she-wolf's young.

"Dear Lord! it has a fiendish look—
     (The Pilot made reply)
"I am a-fear'd.—"Push on, push on!
     "Said the Hermit cheerily.

The Boat came closer to the Ship,
     But I ne spake ne stirr'd!
The Boat came close beneath the Ship,
     And strait a sound was heard!

Under the water it rumbled on,
     Still louder and more dread: 580
It reach'd the Ship, it split the bay;
     The Ship went down like lead.

Stunn'd by that loud and dreadful sound,
     Which sky and ocean smote:
Like one that hath been seven days drown'd
     My body lay afloat:
But, swift as dreams, myself I found
     Within the Pilot's boat.

Upon the whirl, where sank the Ship,
     The boat spun round and round: 590
And all was still, save that the hill
     Was telling of the sound.

I mov'd my lips: the Pilot shriek'd
     And fell down in a fit.
The Holy Hermit rais'd his eyes
     And pray'd where he did sit.

I took the oars: the Pilot's boy,
     Who now doth crazy go,
Laugh'd loud and long, and all the while
     His eyes went to and fro, 600
"Ha! ha!" quoth he—"full plain I see,
     "The devil knows how to row."

And now all in my own Countrée
     I stood on the firm land!
The Hermit stepp'd forth from the boat,
     And scarcely he could stand.

"O shrieve me, shrieve me, holy Man!
     The Hermit cross'd his brow—
"Say quick," quoth he, "I bid thee say
     "What manner man art thou?

Forthwith this frame of mine was wrench'd
     With a woeful agony,
Which forc'd me to begin my tale
     And then it left me free.

Since then at an uncertain hour,
     Now oftimes and now fewer,
That anguish comes and makes me tell
     My ghastly aventure.

I pass, like night, from land to land;
     I have strange power of speech; 620
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 630
     Alone on a wide wide sea:
So lonely 'twas, that God himself
     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, 640
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 Marinere, whose eye is bright,
     Whose beard with age is hoar,
Is gone; and now the wedding-guest
     Turn'd from the bridegroom's door.

He went, like one that hath been stunn'd
     And is of sense forlorn:
A sadder and a wiser man
     He rose the morrow morn.


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