Billeder på siden
[blocks in formation]

The upper air burst into life!

n his loneliness The moving Moon went up the sky, And a hundred fire-flags sheen,

and fixedness he yearneth towards the journeying Moon, and the

stars that still so

And nowhere did abide.

Softly she was going up,

And a star or two beside

journ, yet still move onward; and everywhere the blue sky belongs to them, and is their appointed rest, and their native country and their own natural homes, which they enter unannounced, as lords that are certainly expected, and yet there is a silent joy at their arrival.

By the light of the Moon he beholdeth God's

creatures of the

great calm.

Their Deauty and their happiness.

He blesseth them in his heart.

The spell begins

to break.

By grace of the holy Mother, the

ancient Mariner

is refreshed with


Her beams bemock'd the sultry main,
Like April hoar-frost spread;

But where the ship's huge shadow

The charmed water burnt alway
A still and awful red.

Beyond the shadow of the ship
I watch'd the water-snakes:
They moved in tracks of shining

And when they rear'd, the elfish light
Fell off in hoary flakes.

Within the shadow of the ship
I watch'd their rich attire:
Blue, glossy green, and velvet black,
They coil'd and swam; and every

Was a flash of golden fire.

O happy living things! no tongue
Their beauty might declare :

A spring of love gush'd from my

And I bless'd them unaware:

To and fro they were hurried about!
And to and fro, and in and out,
The wan stars danced between.

And the coming wind did roar more

And the sails did sigh like sedge;
And the rain pour'd down from one
The Moon was at its edge.
black cloud;

The thick black cloud was cleft, and

The Moon was at its side:

Like waters shot from some high crag,
The lightning fell with never a jag,
A river steep and wide.

strange sights

in the sky and

the element.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

The helmsman steer'd, the ship
moved on,

Yet never a breeze up blew;
The mariners all 'gan work the ropes,

Sure my kind saint took pity on me, Where they were wont to do;
And I bless'd 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.

Oн Sleep! it is a gentle thing,
Beloved from pole to pole!

To Mary Queen the praise be given!
She sent the gentle sleep from

That slid into my soul.

The silly buckets on the deck,
That had so long remain'd,


[blocks in formation]

They raised their limbs like lifeless

-We were a ghastly crew.

The body of my brother's son
Stood by me, knee to knee:
The body and I pull'd at one rope,
But he said nought to me.

ship's crew are inspired, and the ship moves on.

[blocks in formation]

My lips were wet, my throat was cold, And cluster'd round the mast;

My garments all were dank;

Sure I had drunken in my dreams,

And still my body drank.

Sweet sounds rose slowly through

their mouths,

And from their bodies pass'd.

I moved, and could not feel my Around, around, flew each sweet

limbs :

I was so light-almost

I thought that I had died in sleep,
And was a blessed ghost.


Then darted to the Sun;

Slowly the sounds came back again,
Now mix'd, now one by one.

earth or middle air, but by a blessed troop of angelic spirits, sent down by the invocation of the guardian saint.

The lonesome spirit from the south-pole carries

on the ship as far as the line, in

obedience to the angelic troop, but still requireth vengeance.

Sometimes, a-drooping from the sky,
I heard the sky-lark sing;
Sometimes all little birds that are,
How they seem'd to fill the sea and

With their sweet jargoning!

And now 't was like all instruments,
Now like a lonely flute;
And now it is an angel's song,
That makes the Heavens be mute.



BUT tell me, tell me! speak again,
Thy soft response renewing-
What makes that ship drive on so

What is the OCEAN doing?


Still as a slave before his lord,
The OCEAN hath no blast;
His great bright eye most silently

It ceased; yet still the sails made on Up to the Moon is cast

A pleasant noise till noon,

A noise like of a hidden brook

In the leafy month of June,

If he may know which way to go;
For she guides him smooth or grim.

That to the sleeping woods all night See, brother, see! how graciously
Singeth a quiet tune.

Till noon we quietly sailed on,
Yet never a breeze did breathe:

Slowly and smoothly went the ship,

Moved onward from beneath.

Under the keel nine fathom deep,
From the land of mist and snow,
The spirit slid: and it was he
That made the ship to go.

The sails at noon left off their tune,
And the ship stood still also.

The Sun, right up above the mast,
Had fix'd her to the ocean:
But in a minute she 'gan stir,
With a short uneasy motion-
Backwards and forwards half

With a short uneasy motion.

Then like a pawing horse let go,
She made a sudden bound:
It flung the blood into my head,
And I fell down in a swound.

[blocks in formation]


"Is this the

heavy for the an- By him who died on cross,

cient Mariner

[blocks in formation]

I view'd the ocean green,
And look'd far forth, yet little saw

hath been accord- With his cruel bow he laid full low Of what had else been seen

[blocks in formation]

And the ancient
Mariner behold-

eth his native

The angelic spir-
its leave the
dead bodies,

And appear in their own forms of light.

It raised my hair, it fann'd my cheek
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 sail'd 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 countrée ?

We drifted o'er the harbor bar,
And I with sobs did pray-
O let me be awake, my God!
Or let me sleep alway.

The harbor-bay was clear as glass,
So smoothly it was strewn!

And on the bay the moonlight lay,
And the shadow of the moon.

He singeth loud his godly hymns
That he makes in the wood.
He'll shrive my soul, he'll wash


The Albatross's blood.


THIS Hermit good lives in that wood The Hermit of
Which slopes down to the sea the Wood,

How loudly his sweet voice he rears!
He loves to talk with marineres
That come from a far countrée.

He kneels at morn, and noon, and


He hath a cushion plump:
It is the moss that wholly hides
The rotted old oak-stump.

The skiff-boat near'd: I heard them

"Why this is strange, I trow!
Where are those lights so many and

The rock shone bright, the kirk no That signal made but now?"


That stands above the rock:

The moonlight steep'd in silentness
The steady weathercock.

And the bay was white with silent

Till, rising from the same,

"Strange, by my faith!" the Hermit Apprcachetn the ship with wonder


"And they answer not our cheer!
The planks look warp'd! and see
those sails,

How thin they are and sere!
I never saw aught like to them,

Full many shapes that shadows were, Unless perchance it were

[blocks in formation]

No voice did they impart-
No voice; but oh! the silence sank It reach'd the ship, it split the bay;
Like music on my heart.

But soon I heard the dash of oars,

I heard the Pilot's cheer;

The ship went down like lead.

The ship suddenly sinketh

Stunn'd by that loud and dreadful The ancient Ma

Which sky and ocean smote,

My head was turn'd perforce away, Like one that hath been seven days

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!


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.

riner is saved in

the Pilot's boat

The ancient MaEiner earnestly enreateth the Hermit to shrive him; and the penance of life falls on him.

And ever and anon throughout his future life an agony constraineth him to travel from land to land,

I moved my lips-the Pilot shriek'd, But in the garden-bower the bride
And fell down in a fit;

The holy Hermit raised his eyes,
And pray'd where he did sit.

I took the oars: the Pilot's boy,
Who now doth crazy go,

And bride-maids 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 sea:

Laugh'd loud and long, and all the So lonely 'twas, that God himself


[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

-What manner of man art thou?"

Forthwith this frame of mine was

With a woful agony,

Scarce seemed there to be.

sweeter than the marriage-feast,
"Tis sweeter far to me,
To walk together to the kirk,
With a goodly company!—

To walk together to the kirk,
And all together pray,

While each to his great Father bends,
Old men, and babes, and loving

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.

Which forced me to begin my tale; He prayeth best, who loveth best

And then it left me free.

Since then, at an uncertain hour,
That agony returns:

And till my ghastly tale is told,
This heart within me burns.


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.

All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.

[blocks in formation]

He went like one that hath been

What loud uproar bursts from that And is of sense forlorn,

[blocks in formation]

And to teach, by his own example, love and reverence to all things that God made and loveth.



at either of the former periods, or if even the first and second part had been published in the year 1800, the impression of its originality would have been much greater than I dare at present expect. But THE first part of the following poem was written in for this, I have only my own indolence to blame. the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety- The dates are mentioned for the exclusive purpose seven, at Stowey in the county of Somerset. The of precl ding charges of plagiarism or servile imiecond part, after my return from Germany, in the tation from myself. For there is amongst us a set of year one thousand eight hundred, at Keswick, Cum-critics, who seem to hold, that every possible thought berland. Since the latter date, my poetic powers have been, till very lately, in a state of suspended animation. But as, in my very first conception of the tale, I had the whole present to my mind, with the wholeness, no less than with the loveliness of a vision, I trust that I shall yet be able to embody in verse the three parts yet to come.

It is probable, that if the poem had been finished

To the edition of 1816

and image is traditional; who have no notion that there are such things as fountains in the world, small as well as great; and who would therefore charitably derive every rill they behold flowing, from a perforation made in some other man's tank. I am confident, however, that as far as the present poem is concerned, the celebrated poets whose writings I might be suspected of having imitated, either in particular passages, or in the tone and the spirit of the whole would be among the first to vindicate me from th

charge, and who, on any striking coincidence, would permit me to address them in this doggrel version of two monkish Latin hexameters.

'Tis mine and it is likewise yours;
But an' if this will not do,

Let it be mine, good friend! for I
Am the poorer of the two.

I have only to add that the metre of the Christabel is not, properly speaking, irregular, though it may seem so from its being founded on a new principle: namely, that of counting in each line the accents, not the syllables. Though the latter may vary from seven to twelve, yet in each line the accents will be found to be only four. Nevertheless this occasional variation in number of syllables is not introduced wantonly, or for the mere ends of convenience, but in correspondence with some transition, in the nature of the imagery or passion.



"Tis the middle of night by the castle clock, And the owls have awaken'd the crowing cock; Tu-whit!-Tu-whoo!

And hark, again! the crowing cock,
How drowsily it crew.

Sir Leoline, the Baron rich,

Hath a toothless mastiff, which

From her kennel beneath the rock

Maketh answer to the clock,

Four for the quarters, and twelve for the hour;
Ever and aye, by shine and shower,
Sixteen short howls, not over-loud;
Some say, she sees my lady's shroud.

Is the night chilly and dark?
The night is chilly, but not dark.
The thin gray cloud is spread on high,
It covers but not hides the sky.
The moon is behind, and at the full;
And yet she looks both small and dull.
The night is chill, the cloud is gray:
"Tis a month before the month of May,
And the Spring comes slowly up this way.

The lovely lady, Christabel,
Whom her father loves so well,

What makes her in the wood so late,

A furlong from the castle gate?
She had dreams all yesternight
Of her own betrothed knight;

And she in the midnight wood will pray
For the weal of her lover that's far away

She stole along, she nothing spoke,
The sighs she heaved were soft and low,
And naught was green upon the oak,
But moss and rarest misletoe:

She kneels beneath the huge oak-tree,
And in silence prayeth she.

The lady sprang up suddenly,
The lovely lady, Christabel

It moan'd as near, as near can be,
But what it is, she cannot tell.-
On the other side it seems to be,
Of the huge, broad-breasted, old oak-tree.

The night is chill; the forest bare;
Is it the wind that moaneth bleak?
There is not wind enough in the air
To move away the ringlet curl
From the lovely lady's cheek—
There is not wind enough to twirl
The one red leaf, the last of its clan,
That dances as often as dance it can,
Hanging so light, and hanging so high,
On the topmost twig that looks up at the sky.

Hush, beating heart of Christabel !
Jesu, Maria, shield her well!

She folded her arms beneath her cloak,
And stole to the other side of the oak.
What sees she there?

There she sees a damsel bright,
Drest in a silken robe of white,

That shadowy in the moonlight shone:
The neck that made that white robe wan,
Her stately neck, and arms, were bare;
Her blue-vein'd feet unsandall'd were,
And wildly glitter'd here and there
The gems entangled in her hair.
I guess, 'twas frightful there to see
A lady so richly clad as she-
Beautiful exceedingly!

Mary mother, save me now!

(Said Christabel), And who art thou?
The lady strange made answer meet,
And her voice was faint and sweet:-
Have pity on my sore distress,

I scarce can speak for weariness:
Stretch forth thy hand, and have no fear!

Said Christabel, How camest thou here?
And the lady, whose voice was faint and sweet,
Did thus pursue her answer meet-

My sire is of a noble line,

And my name is Geraldine :

Five warriors seized me yestermorn,

Me, even me, a maid forlorn :

They choked my cries with force and fright,

And tied me on a palfrey white.

The palfrey was as fleet as wind,

And they rode furiously behind.

They spurr'd amain, their steeds were white;
And once we cross'd the shade of night.
As sure as Heaven shall rescue me,

I have no thought what men they be;
Nor do I know how long it is
(For I have lain entranced I wis)
Since one, the tallest of the five,
Took me from the palfrey's back,
A weary woman, scarce alive.

Some mutter'd words his comrades spoke
He placed me underneath this oak,

« ForrigeFortsæt »