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I could not draw my eyes from theirs,
Nor turn them
The curse 18 finally expiated.
And now this spell was snapt : once more
I viewed the ocean green,
And looked far forth, yet little saw
Of what had else been seen-
Like one, that on a lonesome road
Doth walk in fear and dread,
And having once turned 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
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 an cient Marine 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.
And the bay was white with silent light
Till rising from the same,
Full many shapes, that shadows were,
In crimson colours came.
The angelic spirits leave the dead bodies,
And appear in their own forms oflight.
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,
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 turned 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.
This Hermit good lives in that wood
Which slopes down to the sea.
How loudly his sweet voice he rears !
He loves to talk with marineres
That come from a far countree.
He kneels at morn, and noon, and eve-
He hath a cushion plump :
It is the moss that wholly hides
The rotted old oak-stump.
The skiff-boat neared : I heard them talk,
Why, this is strange, I trow!
Where are those lights so many and fair,
That signal made but now ?”
Strange, by my faith !" the Hermit said
“ And they answered not our cheer!
The planks looked warped ! and see those sails,
How thin they are and sere !
I never saw aught like to them,
Unless perchance it were
Approacheth the ship with wonder.
“ Brown 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 hath a fiendish look--
(The Pilot made reply)
I am a-feared”_" Push on, push on!”
Said the Hermit cheerily.
The boat came closer to the ship,
But I nor spake nor stirred ;
The boat came close beneath the ship,
And straight a sound was heard.
The ship suddenly sinketh.
Under the water it rumbled on,
Still louder and more dread :
It reached the ship, it split the bay;
The ship went down like lead.
savent in the
Stunned by that loud and dreadful sound,
Which sky and ocean smote,
Like one that hath been seven days drowned
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 moved my lips--the Pilot shrieked
And fell down in a fit;
The holy Hermit raised his eyes,
And prayed where he did sit.