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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, O, 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 ?”
Approach. eth the ship with won der.
Strange, by my faith!” the hermit said, -
“ And they answered not our cheer!
The planks look warped ! and see those sails,
How thin they are and sere !
I never saw aught like to them,
Unless perchance it were
6. 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."
!” 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 ginketb.
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.
The ancient mariner is saved in the pilot's boat.
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.
I took the oars : the pilot's boy,
Who now doth crazy go,
Laughed loud and long, and all the while
His eyes went to and fro.
“ Ha! ha!” quoth he, “ full plain I see,
The Devil knows how to row."
And now, all in my own countree,
I stood on the firm land ;
The hermit stepped forth from the boat,
And scarcely he could stand.
6. O, shrieve me, shrieve me, holy man!”
The hermit crossed his brow.
“ Say quick,” quoth he, “ I bid thee say
What manner of man art thou ?
The ancient mariner earnestly entreateth the hermit to shrieve him ; and the penance of life falls on him :
Forthwith this frame of mine was wrenched
With a woful agony,
Which forced me to begin my tale ;
And then it left me free.
Since then, at an uncertain hour, throughout That agony returns : lifecom. ago. And till my ghastly tale is told,
This heart within me burns.
straineth bim to trav. el from land to land,
I pass like night from land to land;
I have strange power of speech;
That moment that his face I see,
I know the man that must hear me :
To him my tale I teach.
What loud uproar bursts from that door!
The wedding-guests are there :
But in the garden bower the bride
And bridemaids singing are :
And hark the little vesper bell
Which biddeth me to prayer !
O wedding-guest! this soul hath been
Alone on a wide, wide
So lonely 't was, that God himself
Scarce seemed there to be.
O, sweeter than the marriage-feast,
'T is sweeter far to me
To walk together to the kirk
With a goodly company ! -
To walk together to the kirk, -
And all together pray,
his great Father bends, Old men, and babes, and loving friends, And youths and maidens gay!
Farewell, farewell ! but this I tell
To thee, thou wedding-guest !
He prayeth well who loveth well
Both man, and bird, and beast.
He prayeth best who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.
And to teach, by his own exam. ple, love and reverence to all things that God made and lovetb.
The mariner, whose eye is bright,
Whose beard with age is hoar,
Is gone : and now the wedding-guest
Turned from the bridegroom's door.
He went like one that hath been stunned
And is of sense forlorn :
A sadder and a wiser man
He rose the morrow morn.
Not oft has peopled Earth sent up
So deep and wide a groan before,
As when the word astounded France,-
The life of Mirabeau is o'er!”
From its one heart a nation wailed ;
For well the startled sense divined
A greater power had fled away
Than aught that now remained behind.
The scathed and haggard face of will,
And look so strong with weaponed thought,
Had been to many million hearts
The All between themselves and naught;