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The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

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PART THE FIRST. It is an ancient Mariner,And he stoppeth one of three."By thy long grey 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, grey-beard loon!"Eftsoons his hand dropt he.He holds him with his glittering eye—The Wedding-Guest stood still,And listens like a three years child:The Mariner hath his will.The Wedding-Guest sat on a stone:He cannot chuse but hear;And thus spake on that ancient man,The bright-eyed Mariner.The ship was cheered, the harbour cleared,Merrily did we dropBelow the kirk, below the hill,Below the light-house top.The Sun came up upon the left,Out of the sea came he!And he shone bright, and on the rightWent 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.The bride hath paced into the hall,Red as a rose is she;Nodding their heads before her goesThe merry minstrelsy.The Wedding-Guest he beat his breast,Yet he cannot chuse but hear;And thus spake on that ancient man,The bright-eyed Mariner.And now the STORM-BLAST came, and heWas tyrannous and strong:He struck with his o'ertaking wings,And chased south along.With sloping masts and dipping prow,As who pursued with yell and blowStill treads the shadow of his foeAnd forward bends his head,The ship drove fast, loud roared the blast,And southward aye we fled.And now there came both mist and snow,And it grew wondrous cold:And ice, mast-high, came floating by,As green as emerald.And through the drifts the snowy cliftsDid 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 noises in a swound!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 food it ne'er had eat,And round and round it flew.The ice did split with a thunder-fit;The helmsman steered us through!And a good south wind sprung up behind;The Albatross did follow,And every day, for food or play,Came to the mariners' hollo!In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,It perched for vespers nine;Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke white,Glimmered the white Moon-shine."God save thee, ancient Mariner!From the fiends, that plague thee thus!—Why look'st thou so?"—With my cross-bowI shot the ALBATROSS.

PART THE SECOND. The Sun now rose upon the right:Out of the sea came he,Still hid in mist, and on the leftWent down into the sea.And the good south wind still blew behindBut no sweet bird did follow,Nor any day for food or playCame to the mariners' hollo!And I had done an hellish thing,And it would work 'em woe:For all averred, I had killed the birdThat made the breeze to blow....