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• The skiff-boat ner'd, I heard them talk;
Why, this is strange, I trow!
Strange, hy my faith!" the Hermit said.
" 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 perçhance 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 afear'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: • 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: • 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;
" The Devil knows how to row.”
6 And now all in mine own countrée
I stood on the firm land! • The Hermit stepp'd forth from the boat,
. And scarcely he could stand.
· shrieve me, shrieve me, Holy Man!
• The Hermit cross'd his brow Say quick," quoth he, “ I bid thee say 166 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 specch; 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: • So lonely 'twas, that God himself
• Scarce seemed there to be.
• 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 altogether 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 Marinere, whose eye is bright,
Whose beard with age is hoar,
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.