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pusillas cogitationes. Sed veritati interea invia gilandum est, modusque servandus, ut certa ab incertis, diem a nocte, distinguamus. T. BURNET Archæol. Phil. p. 68.


A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw :
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight 'twould win

That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice !
And all who heard should see them

there, And all should cry, Beware! Beware! His flashing eyes, his floating hair ! Weave a circle round him thrice, And close your eyes with holy dread, For he on honey-dew hath fed, And drunk the milk of Paradise.

1797. 1816.

How a Ship having passed the Line was driven by storms to the cold Country towards the South Pole ; and how from thence she made her course to the tropical Latitude of the Great Pacific. Ocean; and of the strange things that befell; and in what manner the Ancyent Marinere came back to his own Country.


HEAR, sweet spirit, hear the spell,
Lest a blacker charm compel !
So shall the midnight breezes swell
With thy deep long-lingering knell.
And at evening evermore,
In a Chapel on the shore,
Shall the Chaunters sad and saintly,
Yellow tapers burning faintly,
Doleful Masses chaunt for thee,

Miserere Domine!
Hark! the cadence dies away

On the quiet moonlight sea :
The boatmen rest their oars and say,

Miserere Domine! 1797. 1813.

? It is an ancient Mariner, And he stoppeth one of three. · By thy long gray beard and glittering

eye, Now wherefore stopp'st thou me ? The Bridegroom's doors are opened

wide, And I am next of kin; The guests are met, the feast is set: May'st hear the merry din.” He holds him with his skinny hand, “ There was a ship,” quoth he. “ Hold off ! unhand me, gray-beard

loon!" Eftsoons his hand dropt he. 3 He holds him with his glittering eyeThe Wedding-Guest stood still, And listens like a three years' child : The Mariner hath his will.




Facile credo, plures esse Naturas invisibiles quam visibiles in rerum universitate. Sed horum omnium familiam quis nobis enarrabit ? et gradus et cognationes et discrimina et singulorum Irunera ? Quid agunt ? quæ loca habitant ! Harum rerum notitiam semper ambivit ingenium humanum, nunquam attigit. Juvat, interea, non diffiteor, quandoque in animo, tanquam in tabulâ, majoris et melioris mundi imaginem contemplari: ne mens assuefacta hodiernæ vitæ minutiis se contrahat nimis, et tota subsidat in

third stanza, for instance, the original text has the two following: But still he holds the wedding-guest

“There was a Ship," quoth he-
"Nay, if thou'st got a laughsome tale,

Marinere I come with me."
He holds him with his skinny hand,

Quoth he, " There was a Ship--" “Now get thee hence, thou gray-beard Loon !

Or my Staff shall make thee skip." For a full study of the different texts, see Prof. F. H. Sykes Select Poems of Coleridge and Wordsworth, edited from Authors' Edition, Toronto, 1899. On the origin of the poem, see Biographia Literaria, Chap XIV, and Words: worthi's account of it, quoted and discusserl in H. D. Traill's Life of Coleridge, pp. 47-50.

1 In the editions of 1798 and 1800 only.

? An ancient Mariner meeteth three Gallants bidden to a wedding-feast, and detaineth one. [This and the folloiring notes, except those in brackets, are Coleridge's running Sinimary of the story, first printed in Sybilline Leaves, 1817.]

3 The Wedding Guest is spell-bound by the eye of the old seafaring man, and constrained to hear his tale.

1 The poem is here given in the text of 1829 which is Coleridge's final version, the result of several revisions, most of which are improve. ments over the first text of 1798. Instead of the

The Wedding-Guest sat on a stone:
He cannot choose but hear ;
And thus spake on that ancient man,
The bright-eyed Mariner.
"The ship was cheered, the harbor

Merrily did we drop
Below the kirk, below the hill,
Below the lighthouse top.
i The sun came up upon the left,
Out of the sea came he!
And he shone bright, and on the right
Went down into the sea.

Higher and higher every day,
Till over the mast at noon-
The Wedding-Guest

, here beat his breast, For he heard the loud bassoon.

And through the drifts the snowy clifts
Did send a dismal sheen:
Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken-
The ice was all between.
The ice was, here, the ice was there,
The ice was all around:
It cracked and growled, and roared and

howled, Like voices in a swound ! 1 At length did cross an Albatross, Thorough the fog it came; As if it had been a Christian soul, We hailed it in God's name. It ate the sood it ne'er had eat, And round and round it few. The ice did split with a thunder-fit ; The helmsman steered us through! 2 And a good south wind sprung up be

hind; The Albatross did follow, And every day, for food or play, Came to the mariner's hollo ! In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud, It perched for vespers nine; While all the night, through fog-smoke

white, Glimmered the white moon-shine." 8 “God save thee, ancient Mariner ! From the fiends, that plague thee

thus !-Why look'st thou so ?”

" With my cross-bow I shot the Albatross,

2 The bride hath paced into the hall,
Red as a rose is she;
Nodding their heads before her goes
The merry minstrelsy.
The Wedding-Guest he beat his breast,
Yet he cannot choose but hear ;
And thus spake on that ancient man,
The bright-eyed Mariner.

3 “ And now the Storm-blast came, and

Was tyrannous and strong:
He struck with his o’ertaking wings,
And chased us south along.


With sloping masts and dipping prow,
As who pursued with yell and blow
Still treads the shadow of his foe,
And forward beuds his head,
The ship drove fast, loud roared the

And southward aye we fled.

The Sun now rose upon the right: Out of the sea came he, Still hid in mist, and on the lef Went down into the sea.

And now there came both mist and

Snow, Audit grew wondrous cold : And ice, mast-high, came floating by, As green as emerald.

And the good south wind still blew be

But no sweet bird did follow,
Nor any day for food or play
Came to the mariners' hollo !

$ The Mariner tells how the ship sailed southward with a good wind and fair weather, till it reached the line.

2. The Wedding Guest heareth the bridal music ; but the Mariner continueth his tale.

3 The ship drawn by a storm toward the south pole.

• The land of ice, and of fearful sounds, where no living thing was to be seen.

1 Till a great sea bird, called the Acatross, came through the snow-fog, and was received with great joy and hospitality.

2 And lo! the Albatross proveth a bird of good omen, and followeth the ship as it returned northward through fog and floating ice.

3 The ancient Mariner inhospitably killeth the pious bird of good omen.

TAnd I had done an hellish thing,
And it would work 'em woe :
For all averred, I had killed the bird,
That made the breeze to blow.
Al wretch! said they, the bird to slay,
That made the breeze to blow !
2 Nor dim nor red, like God's own head,
The glorious Sun uprist :
Then all averred, I had killed the bird
That brought the fog and mist.
'Twas right, said they, such birds to

1 And some in dreams assured were
Of the Spirit that plagued us so;
Nine fathom deep he had followed us
From the land of mist and snow.
And every tongue, through utter

Was withered at the root;
We could not speak, no more than if
We had been choked with soot.


2 Ah! well a-day! what evil looks Had I from old and young! Instead of the cross, the Albatross About my neck was hung.


That bring the fog and mist. 3 'The fair breeze blew, the white foam

flew, The furrow followed free ; We were the first that ever burst Into that silent sea. 4 Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt

down, 'Twas sad as sad could be ; And we did speak only to break The silence of the sea ! All in a hot and copper sky, The bloody Sun, at noon, Right up above the mast did stand, No bigger than the Moon. Day after day, day after day, We stuck, nor breath nor motion ; As idle as a painted ship Upon a painted ocean. 5 Water, water, everywhere, And all the boards did shrink; Water, water, everywhere Nor any drop to drink. The very deep did rot: 0 Christ! That ever this should be ! Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs Upon the slimy sea. About, about, in reel and rout The death-fires danced at night; The water, like a witch's oils, Burnt green, and blue and white.

“ There passed a weary time. Each

throat Was parched, and glazed each eye. A weary time! a weary time! How glazed each weary eye! 3 When looking westward, I beheld A something in the sky. At first it seemed a little speck, And then it seemed a mist; It moved and moved, and took at last A certain shape, I wist. A speck, a mist, a shape, I wist ! And still it neared and neared : As if it elodged a water-sprite, It plunged and tacked and veered. 4 With throats vinslaked, with black lips

baked, We could nor laugh nor wail ; Through utter drouglit all dumb we

stood ! I bit my arm, I sucked the blood, And cried, A sail ! a sail! With throats unslaked, with black lips

baked, Agape they heard me call :

" His shipmates cry out against the ancient Mariner, for killing the bird of good luck.

? But when the fog cleared off, they justify the

1 A Spirit had followed them ; one of the in visible inhabitants of this planet, neither de. parted souls nor angels; concerning whom the learned Jew, Josephus, and the Platonic Con. stantinopolitan, Michael Psellus, may be con. sulted. They are very numerous, and there is no climate or element without one or more.

· The shipmates, in their sore distress, would fain throw the whole guilt on the ancient Mari. ner: in sign whereof they hang the dead sea. bird round his neck.

3 The ancient Mariner beholdeth a sign in the element afar off.

• At its nearer approach, it seemeth him to be a ship ; and at a dear ransom he freeth his speech from the bonds of thirst.

the crime.

& The fair breeze continues ; the ship enters the Pacific Ocean, and sails northward, even till it reaches the Line. * The ship hath been suddenly becalmed. And the Albatross begins to be avenged.

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1 The Sun's rim dips ; the stars rush out.
At one stride comes the dark ;
With far-heard whisper, o'er the sea,
Off shot the spectre-bark.
2 We listened and looked sideways up!
Fear at my heart, as at a cup,
My life-blood seemed to sip!
The stars were dim, and thick the night,

steersman's face by his lamp

gleamed white ; From the sails the dew did dripTill clomb above the eastern bar Thie horned Moon, with one bright star Within the nether tip. 8 One after one, by the star-dogged Moon, Too quick for groan or sigh, Each' turned his face with a ghastly

pang, And cursed me with his eye. 4 Four times fifty living men, (And I heard nor sigh nor groan) With heavy thump, a lifeless lump, They dropped down one by one. 5 The souls did from their bodies fly, They fled to bliss or woe! And every soul, it passed me by, Like the whizz of my cross-bow !"

3 And straight the Sun was flecked with

bars, (Heaven's Mother send us grace!) As if through a dungeon-grate he peered With broad and burning face. Alas! (thought I, and my heart beat

loud) How fast she nears and nears ! Are those her sails that glance in the

Like restless gossameres?


4 Are those her ribs though which the Sun Did peer, as through a grate ? And is that Woman all her crew ? Is that a Deatlı ? and are there two? 6 Is Death that woman's mate?

6 ler lips were rell, her looks were free, Her locks were yellow as gold : Her skin was as white as leprosy, The Night-mare Life-in-Death was she, Who thicks man's blood with cold. ? The naked hulk alongside came, And the twain were casting dice; • The game is done! I've won! I've won!' Quoth she, and whistles thrice.

6“I fear thee, ancient Mariner!
I fear thy skinny hand
And thou art long, and lank, and brown,
As is the ribbed sea-sand.7
I fear thee and thy glittering eye.
And thy skinny hand, so brown.'
8 * Fear not, fear not, thou Wedding-

This body dropt not down.

"A flash of joy.

* And horror follows. For can it be a ship that comes onward without wind or tide ?

8 It seemeth him but the skeleton of a ship.

• And its ribs are seen as bars on the face of the setting Sun.

8 The Spectre-Woman and her Death-mate, and no other on board the skeleton-ship.

& Like vessel, like crew ! F Death and Life-in-Death bare diced for the ship's crew, and she (the latier) winneth the ancient Mariner.

I No twilight within the courts of the Sun : At the rising of the Moon,

One after another • His shipmates drop down dead.

$ But Life-in-Death begins her work on the ancient Mariner.

& The Wedding-Guest feareth that a Spirit is talking to him.

(For the last two lines of this stanza, I am in. debted to Mr. Wordsworth. It was on a delight. ful walk from Nether Stowey to Dulverton, with him and his sister, in the autumn of 1797, that this poem was planned, and in part composed. (Note of Coleridge, first printed in Sibylline Leuves, 1817) )

& But the ancient Mariner assureth him of his boilily life, and proceedeth to relate his horrible penance.

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8 The cold sweat melted from their

limbs, Nor rot nor reek did they : The look with which they looked on me Had never passed away.


An orphan's curse would drag to hell
A spirit from on high ;
But oh! more horrible than that
Is a curse in a dead man's eye!
Seven days, seven nights, I saw that

And yet I could not die.

4 The moving Moon went up the sky,
And nowhere did abide :
Softly she was going up,
And a star or two beside-

“Oh sleep! it is a gentle thing,
Beloved from pole to pole!
To Mary Queen the praise be given !
She sent the gentle sleep from Heaven,
That slit into my soul.
5 The silly buckets on the deck,
That had so long remained.
I dreamt that they were filled with dew;
And when I awoke, it rained.
My lips were wet, my throat was cold,
My garments all were dank;
Sure I had drunken in my dreams,
And still my body drank
I moved, and could not feel my limbs :
I was so light-almost
I thought that I had died in sleep,
And was a blessed ghost.

1 By the light of the Moon he behoideth God's creatures of the great calm. 2 Their beauty and their happiness. 3 He blesseth them in his heart. • The spell begins to break. * By grace of the holy Mother, the ancient Mariner is refreshed with rain.

'He despiseth the creatures of the calm.

? And envieth that they should live, and so may lie dead.

* But the curse liveth for him in the eye of the dead men.

• In his loneliness and fixedness he yearneth to. wards the journeying Moon, and the stars that still sojourn, yet still move onward ; and every. where the blue sky belongs to hem, and is their appointed rest, and their native country and their own natural homes, which they enter un. announced, as lords that are certainly expected, and yet there is a silent joy at their arrival.

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