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Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (verses 14-21) (1798)

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

 

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 clifts
Did 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 mariner’s 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-bow
I shot the ALBATROSS.

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