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And he has leaped into the waves, and crossed the shining
stream, And he has clambered up the bank, all in the moonlight gleam; Oh, there are kisses sweet as dew, and words as soft as rain — But they have heard her father's steps, and in he leaps again!
Out spoke the ancient fisherman: “Oh, what was that, my
daughter?” “ 'Twas nothing but a pebble, sir, I threw into the water.” “And what is that, pray tell me, love, that paddles off so
fast?” “It's nothing but a porpoise, sir, that's been a-swimming
Out spoke the ancient fisherman: “Now bring me my har
poon ! I'll get into my fishing boat, and fix the fellow soon.” Down fell the pretty innocent, as falls a snow-white lamb; Her hair drooped round her pallid cheeks, like seaweed on a
clam. Alas for those two loving ones ! she waked not from her
swound, And he was taken with the cramp, and in the waves was
drowned; But Fate has metamorphosed 1 them, in pity of their woe, And now they keep an oyster shop for mermaids down below.
SUGGESTIONS FOR ADDITIONAL READINGS
THREE SEA PICTURES AND A MORAL
SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) was born in Devonshire, England. He was a daydreamer from early childhood. For many years Coleridge lived in the Lake Country and he is known as one of the Lake Poets. The Ancient Mariner, from which these selections are taken, was composed while the poet was on a walking tour with his friends, Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy. It is his poetical masterpiece. See also:
Halleck's New English Literature, pp. 398-406.
The Antarctic Ocean and the Albatross
And through the drifts the snowy clifts
The ice was here, the ice was there,
At length did cross an Albatross,
It ate the food it ne'er had eat,
And a good south wind sprung up behind;
In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,
“God save thee, ancient Mariner !
1 A large sea bird.
Daytime on the Tropical Ocean 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. Water, water, everywhere, And all the boards did shrink; Water, water, everywhere Nor any drop to drink.
Within the shadow of the ship
The Moral O Wedding-Guest ! this soul hath been Alone on a wide wide sea : So lonely, 'twas, that God himself Scarce seemed there to be. O 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 all together pray, While each to his great Father bends, Old men, and babes, and loving friends And youths and maidens gay!