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And soon I heard a roaring wind: It did not come anear:
But with its sound it shook the sails,
The upper air burst into life!
To and fro they were hurried about!
And the coming wind did roar more loud.
And the sails did sigh like sedge; And the rain poured down from one black cloud;
The Moon was at its edge.
The thick black cloud was cleft, and still
Like waters shot frem some high crag,
2 The loud wind never reached the ship,
Yet now the ship moved on !
They groaned, they stirred, they all up
Nor spake, nor moved their eyes;
The helmsman steered, the ship moved
Yet never a breeze up blew;
The mariners all 'gan work the ropes,
They raised their limbs like lifeless tools
We were a ghastly crew.
The body of my brother's son
"I fear thee, ancient Mariner!""Be calm, thou Wedding-Guest!
He heareth sounds and seeth strange sights and commotions in the sky and the element.
The bodies of the ship's crew are inspired, and the ship moves on;
3 But not by the souls of the men, nor by demons of earth or middle air, but by a blessed froop of angelie spirits, sent down by the invocation of the guardian saint.
"Twas not those souls that fled in pain, Which to their corses came again, But a troop of spirits blest :
For when it dawned-they dropped their
And clustered round the mast;
Sweet sounds rose slowly through their mouths.
And from their bodies passed.
Around, around, flew each sweet sound,
Slowly the sounds came back again,
And now 'twas like all instruments,
And now it is an angel's song,
It ceased; yet still the sails made on
A noise like of a hidden brook
Till noon we quietly sailed on,
1 Under the keel nine fathom deep,
The Sun, right up above the mast,
But in a minute she 'gan stir,
Backwards and forwards half her lengt!
Then like a pawing horse let go,
1 The lonesome Spirit from the south-pole carries on the ship as far as the Line, in obedi ence to the angelic troop, but still requireth
1 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.
Is it he?' quoth one, 'Is this the man? By him who died on cross.
With his cruel bow he laid full low
The spirit who bideth by himself
He loved the bird that loved the man
The other was a softer voice,
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 drie on so fast? What is the ocean doing?
'Still as a slave before his lord,
If he may know which way to gọ;
2. But why drives on that ship so fast, Without or wave or wind?'
The air is cut away before, And closes from behind.
The Polar Spirit's fellow-demons, the invisible inhabitants of the element, take part in his wrong; and two of them relate one to the other, that penance long and heavy for the ancient Mariner hath been accorded to the Polar Spirit, who returneth southward.
The Mariner hath been cast into a trance; for the angelic power causeth the vessel to drive northward faster than human life could endure.
Fly, brother, fly! more high, more high!
For slow and slow that ship will go,
1 I woke, and we were sailing on
'Twas night, calm night, the Moon was high,
The dead men stood together.
All stood together on the deck,
The pang, the curse, with which they died,
Had never passed away:
I could not draw my eyes from theirs, Nor turn them up to pray.
2 And now this spell was snapt: once
I viewed the ocean green.
And looked far forth, yet little saw Of what had else been seen
Like one, that on a lonesome road
And having once turned round walks
And turns no more his head;
Because he knows, a frightful fiend
But soon there breathed a wind on me,
Its path was not upon the sea,
It raised my hair, it fanned my cheek
Swiftly, swiftly flew the ship,
3 Oh! dream of joy! is this indeed
Is this the hill? is this the kirk?
1The supernatural motion is retarded; the Mariner awakes, and his penance begins anew. The curse is finally expiated.
3 And the ancient Mariner beholdeth his native country.
We drifted o'er the harbor-bar, And I with sobs did pray
O let me be awake, my God! Or let me sleep alway.'
The harbor-bay was clear as glass, So smoothly it was strewn !
And on the bay the moonlight lay, And the shadow of the Moon.
The rock shone bright, the kirk no less,
The moonlight steeped in silentness
And the bay was white with silent light
1 Full many shapes, that shadows were, In crimson colors came.
2 A little distance from the prow
Each corse lay flat, lifeless and flat,
A man all light, a seraph-man,
This seraph-band, each waved his hand :
They stood as signals to the land,
This seraph-band, each waved his hand,
No voice; but oh! the silence sank
But soon I heard the dash of oars,
I heard the Pilot's cheer;
My head was turned perforce away,
The Pilot and the Pilot's boy,
I saw a third-I heard his voice :
He singeth loud his godly hymns
He'll shrieve my soul, he'll wash away
1 The angelic spirits leave the dead bodies, And appear in their own forms of light.
1" This Hermit good lives in that wood Which slopes down to the sea.
How loudly his sweet voice he rears!
He kneels at morn, and noon, and eve—
It is the moss that wholly hides
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?'
2'Strange, by my faith!' the Hermit said
And they answered not our cheer! The planks look warped and see those sails,
How thin they are and sere!
I never saw aught like to them,
Like one that hath been seven days
My body lay afloat;
But swift as dreams, myself I found
Upon the whirl, where sank the ship,
I moved my lips-the Pilot shrieked
The Holy Hermit raised his eyes,
I took the oars: The Pilot's boy
Ha ha!' quoth he, 'full plain I see,
And now, all in my own countree,
The Hermit stepped forth from the boat,
1. O shrieve me, shrieve me, holy man!' The Hermit crossed his brow.
'Say quick,' quoth he, 'I bid thee sayWhat manner of man art thou?'.
Forthwith this frame of mine was wrenched
With a woful agony,
Which forced me to begin my tale;
2 Since then, at an uncertain hour,
And till my ghastly tale is told,
I pass, like night, from land to land ;
What loud uproar bursts from that door!
1 The ancient Mariner earnestly entreateth the Hermit to shrieve him; and the penance of life falls on him,
And ever and anon throughout his future life an agony constraineth him to travel from land to land,
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,
To walk together to the kirk,
'Farewell, farewell! but this I tell
He prayeth best, who loveth best
The Mariner, whose eye is bright,
He went like one that hath been stunned,
And is of sense forlorn :
The first part of the following poem was writ ten in the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety-seven, at Stowey, in the county of Somerset. The second part, after my return from Germany, in the year one thousand eight hundred, at Keswick, Cumberland. Since the latter date, my poetic powers have been, till very lately, in a state of suspended animation. But as, in my very first conception of the tale, I had the whole present to my mind, with the wholeness, no less than with the liveliness of a vision; I trust that I shall be able to embody in verse the three parts yet to come, in the course of the present year...
I have only to add, that the metre of the Christabel is not, properly speaking, irregular, though it may seem so from its being founded on a new principle: namely, that of counting in each line the accents, not the syllables. Though the latter may vary from seven to twelve, yet in each line the accents will be found
to be only four. Nevertheless this occasional variation in number of syllables is not introduced wantonly, or for the mere ends of convenience, but in correspondence with some tran. sition in the nature of the imagery or passion. (From Coleridge's Preface to the first edition.)
PART THE FIRST
"TIS the middle of night by the castle clock,
And the owls have awakened the crowing cock,
Sir Leoline, the Baron rich,
From her kennel beneath the rock
Four for the quarters, and twelve for the hour;
Ever and aye, by shine and shower,
Is the night chilly and dark?
The lovely lady, Christabel,
And she in the midnight wood will pray
She stole along, she nothing spoke,
She kneels beneath the huge oak tree,
The lady sprang up suddenly,
Of the huge, broad-breasted, old oak
The night is chill; the forest bare;
Hush, beating heart of Christabel !
She folded her arms beneath her cloak,
There she sees a damsel bright,
Her stately neck, and arms were bare;
Mary mother, save me now!
I scarce can speak for weariness: Stretch forth thy hand, and have no fear!
Said Christabel, How camest thou here? And the lady, whose voice was faint and sweet,
Did thus pursue her answer meet:
My sire is of a noble line,
And tied me on a palfrey white.
And once we crossed the shade of night.
I have no thought what men they be; Nor do I know how long it is