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Part 4




'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 the 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 benocked the sultry main,
Like April hoar-frost spread;
But where the ship's huge shadow lay,
The charm-ed 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.




Where You Were

Mariner Index