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But why drives on that ship so fast,
Without or wave or wind?
The air is cut away before,
And closes from behind.
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!
Or we shall be belated : ''
For slow and slow that ship will go,
When the Mariner's trance is abated.” :
I woke, and we were sailing on
As in a gentle weather :
'Twas night, calm night, the Moon was
The dead men stood together.
The supernatural motion is retard. ed; the Mariner awakes, and his penance begins anew.
All stood together on the deck,
For a charnel-dungeon fitter:
All fixed on me their stony eyes,
That in the Moon did glitter.
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,
The curse is finally expiated.
And now this spell was snapt: once more
I viewed the ocean green,
And looked far forth, yet littlę saw
Of what had else been seen-
Like one, that on a lonesome 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 breathed a wind on me,
Nor sound nor motion made :
Its path was not upon the sea,
In ripple or in shade.
It raised my hair, it fanned 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 sailed softly too :
Sweetly, sweetly blew the breeze
On me alone it blew.
Oh! dream of joy! is this indeed
The light-house top I see ?
Is this the hill? is this the kirk?
Is this mine own countree?
And the ancient Mariner beholdeth his native country. ..
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 moonlight lay,
And the shadow of the moon.
The rock shone bright, the kirk no less,
That stands above the rock :
The moonlight steeped in silentness
The steady weathercock.
The angelic spirits leave the dead bodies,
And the bay was white with silent light,
Till rising from the same,
Full many shapes, that shadows were,
In crimson colours came.
And appear. in their own forms of light.
A little distance from the prow
Those crimson shadows were :
I turned my eyes upon the deck-
Oh, 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 waved his hand :
It was a heavenly sight!
They stood as signals to the land,
Each one a lovely light :
This seraph-band, each waved his hand,
No voice did they impart-
No voice; but oh! the silence sank
Like music on my heart.
But soon 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.
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.