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Coleridge's Poetry

Full Text

Part the Fourth

Full Text Part the Fourth

"I fear thee, ancient Mariner!
     I fear thy skinny hand!
     And thou art long, and lank, and brown,
     As is the ribbed sea-sand.

     "I fear thee and thy glittering eye,
     And thy skinny hand, so brown."—
     Fear not, fear not, thou Wedding-Guest!
     This body dropt not down.

     Alone, alone, all, all alone,
     Alone on a wide wide sea!
     And never a saint took pity on
     My soul in agony.

     The many men, so beautiful!
     And they all dead did lie:
     And a thousand thousand slimy things
     Lived on; and so did I.

     I looked upon the rotting sea,
     And drew my eyes away;
     I looked upon the rotting deck,
     And there the dead men lay.

     I looked to Heaven, and tried to pray:
     But or ever a prayer had gusht,
     A wicked whisper came, and made
     my heart as dry as dust.

     I closed my lids, and kept them close,
     And the balls like pulses beat;
     For the sky and the sea, and the sea and the sky
     Lay like a load on my weary eye,
     And the dead were at my feet.

     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 curse,
     And yet I could not die.

     The moving Moon went up the sky,
     And no where did abide:
     Softly she was going up,
     And a star or two beside.

     Her beams bemocked the sultry main,
     Like April hoar-frost spread;
     But where the ship's huge shadow lay,
     The charmed water burnt alway
     A still and awful red.

     Beyond the shadow of the ship,
     I watched the water-snakes:
     They moved in tracks of shining white,
     And when they reared, the elfish light
     Fell off in hoary flakes.

     Within the shadow of the ship
     I watched their rich attire:
     Blue, glossy green, and velvet black,
     They coiled and swam; and every track
     Was a flash of golden fire.

     O happy living things! no tongue
     Their beauty might declare:
     A spring of love gushed from my heart,
     And I blessed them unaware:
     Sure my kind saint took pity on me,
     And I blessed them unaware.

     The self same moment I could pray;
     And from my neck so free
     The Albatross fell off, and sank
     Like lead into the sea.

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