The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Facile credo, plures esse Naturas invisibiles quam visibiles in rerum universitate. Sed horum omnium familiam quis nobis enarrabit, et gradus et cognationes et discrimina et singulorum munera? Quid agunt? quae loca habitant? Harum rerum notitiam semper ambivit ingenium humanum, nunquam attigit. Juvat, interea, non diffiteor, quandoque in animo, tanquam in tabulâ, majoris et melioris mundi imaginem contemplari: ne mens assuefacta hodiernae vitae minutiis se contrahat nimis, et tota subsidat in pusillas cogitationes. Sed veritati interea invigilandum est, modusque servandus, ut certa ab incertis, diem a nocte, distinguamus.




It is an ancient Mariner, 1 ¤

And he stoppeth one of three.

“By thy long grey beard and glittering eye ¤

Now wherefore stopp’st thou me?


An ancient Mariner meeteth three Galants bidden to a wedding-feast, and detaineth one.


“The Bridegroom’s doors are opened wide, 5 ¤

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, 9

“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— 13 ¤ *

The Wedding-Guest stood still,

And listens like a three years’ child: *

The Mariner hath his will.


The wedding-guest is spell-bound by the eye of the old sea-faring man, and constrained to hear his tale.


The wedding-guest sat on a stone: 17 ¤

He cannot choose but hear;

And thus spake on that ancient man,

The bright-eyed Mariner.




The ship was cheered, the harbour cleared, 21 ¤

Merrily did we drop

Below the kirk, below the hill,

Below the light house top.




The sun came up upon the left, 25

Out of the sea came he!

And he shone bright, and on the right

Went down into the sea.


The Mariner tells how the ship sailed southward with a good wind and fair weather, till it reached the line.


Higher and higher every day, 29

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, 33 ¤

Red as a rose is she;

Nodding their heads before her goes ¤

The merry minstrelsy.


The wedding-guest heareth the bridal music; but the Mariner continueth his tale.


The Wedding-Guest he beat his breast, 37

Yet he cannot choose but hear;

And thus spake on that ancient man,

The bright-eyed Mariner.




And now the storm-blast came, and he 41 *

Was tyrannous and strong:

He struck with his o’ertaking wings,

And chased us south along.


The ship drawn by a storm toward the south pole.


With sloping masts and dipping prow, 45

As who pursued with yell and blow

Still treads the shadow of his foe,{047)

And 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, 51 ¤

And it grew wondrous cold:

And ice, mast-high, came floating by, ¤

As green as emerald.




And through the drifts the snowy clifts 55

Did send a dismal sheen:

Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken— *

The ice was all between.


The land of ice, and of fearful sounds where no living thing was to be seen.


The ice was here, the ice was there, 59 ¤

The ice was all around:

It cracked and growled, and roared and howled,

Like noises in a swound! *




At length did cross an Albatross,63 ¤ *

Thorough the fog it came;

As if it had been a Christian soul,

We hailed it in God’s name.


Till a great sea-bird, called the Albatross, came through the snow-fog, and was received with great joy and hospitality.


It ate the food it ne’er had eat, 67 ¤ *

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; 71 ¤

The Albatross did follow,

And every day, for food or play, ¤

Came to the mariner’s hollo!


And lo! the Albatross proveth a bird of good omen, and followeth the ship as it returned northward through fog and floating ice.


In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud, 75 *

It perched for vespers nine; *

Whiles all the night, through fog smoke-white,

Glimmered the white Moon-shine.




“God save thee, ancient Mariner! 79

From the fiends, that plague thee thus!—

Why look’st thou so?”— With my cross-bow ¤ *

I shot the Albatross.


The ancient Mariner inhospitably killeth the pious bird of good omen.



The Sun now rose upon the right: 83

Out of the sea came he,

Still hid in mist, and on the left

Went down into the sea.




And the good south wind still blew behind, 87

But no sweet bird did follow,

Nor any day for food or play

Came to the mariners’ hollo!




And I had done an hellish thing, 91 ¤

And it would work ’em woe: *

For all averred, I had killed the bird ¤

That made the breeze to blow.

Ah wretch! said they, the bird to slay,

That made the breeze to blow!


His shipmates cry out against the ancient Mariner, for killing the bird of good luck.


Nor dim nor red, like God’s own head, 97 *

The glorious Sun uprist:

Then all averred, I had killed the bird ¤

That brought the fog and mist.

’Twas right, said they, such birds to slay, ¤

That bring the fog and mist.


But when the fog cleared off, they justify the same, and thus make themselves accomplices in the crime.


The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew, 103 ¤ *

The furrow followed free; *

We were the first that ever burst

Into that silent sea.


The fair breeze continues; the ship enters the Pacific Ocean, and sails northward, even till it reaches the Line.


Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down, 107

’Twas sad as sad could be;

And we did speak only to break *

The silence of the sea!


The ship hath been suddenly becalmed.


All in a hot and copper sky, 111

The bloody Sun, at noon, *

Right up above the mast did stand,

No bigger than the Moon.




Day after day, day after day, 115 ¤

We stuck, nor breath nor motion;

As idle as a painted ship ¤

Upon a painted ocean.




Water, water, every where, 119

And all the boards did shrink;

Water, water, every where, ¤

Nor any drop to drink.


And the Albatross begins to be avenged.


The very deep did rot: O Christ! 123 ¤

That ever this should be!

Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs ¤

Upon the slimy sea.




About, about, in reel and rout 127 ¤ *

The death-fires danced at night; *

The water, like a witch’s oils, *

Burnt green, and blue and white. *




And some in dreams assured were 131 ¤ *

Of the Spirit that plagued us so;

Nine fathom deep he had followed us ¤ *

From the land of mist and snow.


A Spirit had followed them; one of the invisible inhabitants of this planet, neither departed souls nor angels; concerning whom the learned Jew, Josephus, and the Platonic Constantinopolitan, Michael Psellus, may be consulted. They are very numerous, and there is no climate or element without one or more.


And every tongue, through utter drought, 135 ¤

Was withered at the root;

We could not speak, no more than if

We had been choked with soot.




Ah! well a-day! what evil looks 139 ¤

Had I from old and young!

Instead of the cross, the Albatross ¤ *

About my neck was hung.


The shipmates, in their sore distress, would fain throw the whole guilt on the ancient Mariner: in sign whereof they hang the dead sea-bird round his neck.



There passed a weary time. Each throat 143 *

Was parched, and glazed each eye.

A weary time! a weary time!

How glazed each weary eye,

When looking westward, I beheld ¤

A something in the sky.


The ancient Mariner beholdeth a sign in the element afar off.


At first it seemed a little speck, 149 ¤

And then it seemed a mist;

It moved and moved, and took at last

A certain shape, I wist. *




A speck, a mist, a shape, I wist! 153 ¤

And still it neared and neared:

As if it dodged a water-sprite,

It plunged and tacked and veered. *

With throats unslaked, with black lips baked, 157 ¤

We could nor laugh nor wail;

Through utter drought all dumb we stood!

I bit my arm, I sucked the blood,

And cried, A sail! a sail!


At its nearer approach, it seemeth him to be a ship; and at a dear ransom he freeth his speech from the bonds of thirst.


With throats unslaked, with black lips baked, 162 ¤

Agape they heard me call:

Gramercy! they for joy did grin, *

And all at once their breath drew in,

As they were drinking all. *


A flash of joy;


See! see! (I cried) she tacks no more! 167

Hither to work us weal; *

Without a breeze, without a tide, *

She steadies with upright keel!


And horror follows. For can it be a ship that comes onward without wind or tide?


The western wave was all a-flame. 171

The day was well nigh done!

Almost upon the western wave

Rested the broad bright Sun; *

When that strange shape drove suddenly ¤

Betwixt us and the Sun.




And straight the Sun was flecked with bars, 177 *

(Heaven’s Mother send us grace!)

As if through a dungeon-grate he peered

With broad and burning face.


It seemeth him but the skeleton of a ship.


Alas! (thought I, and my heart beat loud) 181

How fast she nears and nears!

Are those her sails that glance in the Sun,

Like restless gossameres? *




Are those her ribs through which the Sun 185

Did peer, as through a grate?

And is that Woman all her crew?

Is that a Death? and are there two? *

Is Death that woman’s mate? *


And its ribs are seen as bars on the face of the setting Sun.


The spectre-woman and her death-mate, and no other on board the skeleton-ship.


Her lips were red, her looks were free, 190 ¤

Her locks were yellow as gold:

Her skin was as white as leprosy,

The Night-mare Life-in-Death was she, ¤ *

Who thicks man’s blood with cold.


Like vessel, like crew!


The naked hulk alongside came, 195 ¤ *

And the twain were casting dice; *

“The game is done! I’ve won! I’ve won!” ¤*

Quoth she, and whistles thrice.


Death and Life-in-Death have diced for the ships crew, and she (the latter) winneth the ancient Mariner.


The Sun’s rim dips; the stars rush out: 199

At one stride comes the dark; *

With far-heard whisper, o’er the sea,

Off shot the spectre-bark. ¤


No twilight within the courts of the sun.


We listened and looked sideways up! 203

Fear at my heart, as at a cup,

My life-blood seemed to sip!

The stars were dim, and thick the night,

The steerman’s face by his lamp gleamed white;

From the sails the dew did drip—

Till clomb above the eastern bar *

The horned Moon, with one bright star *

Within the nether tip. *


At the rising of the Moon,


One after one, by the star-dogged Moon, 212

Too quick for groan or sigh,

Each turned his face with a ghastly pang, ¤

And cursed me with his eye.


One after another,


Four times fifty living men, 216

(And I heard nor sigh nor groan)

With heavy thump, a lifeless lump,

They dropped down one by one.


His ship-mates drop down dead.


The souls did from their bodies fly,— 220 ¤

They fled to bliss or woe!

And every soul, it passed me by,

Like the whizz of my cross-bow!


But Life-in-Death begins her work on the ancient Mariner.



“I fear thee, ancient Mariner! 224 ¤

I fear thy skinny hand!

And thou art long, and lank, and brown,

As is the ribbed sea-sand.* ¤ *


The wedding-guest feareth that a Spirit is talking to him;


* For the last two lines of this stanza, I am indebted to Mr. Wordsworth. It was on a delightful walk from Nether Stowey to Dulverton, with him and his sister, in the autumn of 1797, that this poem was planned, and in part composed.




I fear thee and thy glittering eye, 228

And thy skinny hand, so brown.”—

Fear not, fear not, thou wedding-guest!

This body dropt not down.


But the ancient Mariner assureth him of his bodily life, and proceedeth to relate his horrible penance.


Alone, alone, all, all alone, 232 ¤

Alone on a wide wide sea!

And never a saint took pity on

My soul in agony.




The many men, so beautiful! 236

And they all dead did lie:

And a thousand thousand slimy things

Lived on; and so did I.


He despiseth the creatures of the calm,


I looked upon the rotting sea, 240 ¤

And drew my eyes away;

I looked upon the rotting deck,

And there the dead men lay.


And envieth that they should live, and so many lie dead.


I looked to heaven, and tried to pray; 244

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, 248

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, 253

Nor rot nor reek did they:

The look with which they looked on me

Had never passed away.


But the curse liveth for him in the eye of the dead men.


An orphan’s curse would drag to hell 257

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, 263 ¤

And no where did abide:

Softly she was going up,

And a star or two beside—


In his loneliness and fixedness he yearneth towards the journeying Moon, and the stars that still sojourn, 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.


Her beams bemocked the sultry main, 267 *

Like April hoar-frost spread;

But where the ship’s huge shadow lay,

The charmed water burnt alway ¤

A still and awful red. *




Beyond the shadow of the ship, 272 ¤

I watched the water-snakes: *

They moved in tracks of shining white,

And when they reared, the elfish light

Fell off in hoary flakes.


By the light of the Moon he beholdeth God’s creatures of the great calm.


Within the shadow of the ship 277

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 282

Their beauty might declare:


Their beauty and their happiness.


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.


He blesseth them in his heart.


The self-same moment I could pray; 288 ¤

And from my neck so free

The Albatross fell off, and sank

Like lead into the sea.


The spell begins to break.



Oh sleep! it is a gentle thing, 292 ¤

Beloved from pole to pole!

To Mary Queen the praise be given!

She sent the gentle sleep from Heaven, ¤

That slid into my soul.




The silly buckets on the deck, 297

That had so long remained,

I dreamt that they were filled with dew;

And when I awoke, it rained.


By grace of the holy Mother, the ancient Mariner is refreshed with rain.


My lips were wet, my throat was cold, 301

My garments all were dank;

Sure I had drunken in my dreams,

And still my body drank.




I moved, and could not feel my limbs: 305

I was so light—almost

I thought that I had died in sleep,

And was a blessed ghost.




And soon I heard a roaring wind: 309 *

It did not come anear; *

But with its sound it shook the sails,

That were so thin and sere. *


He heareth sounds and seeth strange sights and commotions in the sky and the element.


The upper air burst into life! 313

And a hundred fire-flags sheen, *

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 loud, 318

And the sails did sigh like sedge; *

And the rain poured down from one black cloud; ¤

The Moon was at its edge.




The thick black cloud was cleft, and still 322

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.




The loud wind never reached the ship, 327

Yet now the ship moved on! *

Beneath the lightning and the Moon

The dead men gave a groan.


The bodies of the ship’s crew are inspired, and the ship moves on;


They groaned, they stirred, they all uprose, 331 ¤

Nor spake, nor moved their eyes;

It had been strange, even in a dream,

To have seen those dead men rise.




The helmsman steered, the ship moved on; 335

Yet never a breeze up blew;

The mariners all ’gan work the ropes, ¤

Where they were wont to do;

They raised their limbs like lifeless tools—

We were a ghastly crew. *




The body of my brother’s son 341

Stood by me, knee to knee:

The body and I pulled at one rope, ¤

But he said nought to me.




“I fear thee, ancient Mariner!” 345

Be calm, thou Wedding-Guest!

’Twas not those souls that fled in pain,

Which to their corses came again, *

But a troop of spirits blest:


But not by the souls of the men, nor by demons of earth or middle air, but by a blessed troop of angelic spirits, sent down by the invocation of the guardian saint.


For when it dawned—they dropped their arms, 350 ¤

And clustered round the mast;

Sweet sounds rose slowly through their mouths,

And from their bodies passed.




Around, around, flew each sweet sound, 354

Then darted to the Sun;

Slowly the sounds came back again,

Now mixed, now one by one.




Sometimes a-dropping from the sky 358

I heard the sky-lark sing;

Sometimes all little birds that are,

How they seemed to fill the sea and air

With their sweet jargoning!




And now ’twas like all instruments, 363

Now like a lonely flute;

And now it is an angels song,

That makes the heavens be mute.




It ceased; yet still the sails made on 367 ¤

A pleasant noise till noon, *

A noise like of a hidden brook

In the leafy month of June,

That to the sleeping woods all night

Singeth a quiet tune.




Till noon we quietly sailed on, 373 ¤

Yet never a breeze did breathe:

Slowly and smoothly went the ship,

Moved onward from beneath.




Under the keel nine fathom deep, 377 *

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 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.


The Sun, right up above the mast, 383

Had fixed her to the ocean:

But in a minute she ’gan stir,

With a short uneasy motion—

Backwards and forwards half her length

With a short uneasy motion.




Then like a pawing horse let go, 389

She made a sudden bound:

It flung the blood into my head, ¤

And I fell down in a swound.




How long in that same fit I lay, 393

I have not to declare; *

But ere my living life returned,

I heard and in my soul discerned ¤

Two voices in the air.


The Polar Spirits fellow-demons, the invisible inhabitants of the element, take part in his wrong; and two of them relate, one to the other, that penance long and heavy for the ancient Mariner hath been accorded to the Polar Spirit, who returneth southward.


“Is it he?” quoth one, “Is this the man? 398 ¤

By him who died on cross,

With his cruel bow he laid full low

The harmless Albatross.




“The spirit who bideth by himself 402 ¤

In the land of mist and snow,

He loved the bird that loved the man

Who shot him with his bow.”




The other was a softer voice, 406 ¤

As soft as honey-dew: *

Quoth he, “The man hath penance done,

And penance more will do.”






But tell me, tell me! speak again, 410

Thy soft response renewing—

What makes that ship drive on so fast?

What is the ocean doing?





Still as a slave before his lord, 414

The ocean hath no blast; *

His great bright eye most silently

Up to the Moon is cast— *




If he may know which way to go; 418

For she guides him smooth or grim.

See, brother, see! how graciously

She looketh down on him.





But why drives on that ship so fast, 422 ¤

Without or wave or wind?


The air is cut away before, *

And closes from behind.


The Mariner hath been cast into a trance; for the angelic power causeth the vessel to drive northward faster than human life could endure.


Fly, brother, fly! more high, more high! 426 ¤

Or we shall be belated:

For slow and slow that ship will go,

When the Mariner’s trance is abated.




I woke, and we were sailing on 430

As in a gentle weather:

’Twas night, calm night, the moon was high; ¤

The dead men stood together.


The supernatural motion is retarded; the Mariner awakes, and his penance begins anew.


All stood together on the deck, 434

For a charnel-dungeon fitter: *

All fixed on me their stony eyes, ¤

That in the Moon did glitter.




The pang, the curse, with which they died, 438

Had never passed away:

I could not draw my eyes from theirs,

Nor turn them up to pray.




And now this spell was snapt: once more 442

I viewed the ocean green,

And looked far forth, yet little saw

Of what had else been seen— *


The curse is finally expiated.


Like one, that on a lonesome road 446 *

Doth walk in fear and dread,

And having once turned round walks on,

And turns no more his head;

Because he knows, a frightful fiend

Doth close behind him tread.




But soon there breathed a wind on me, 452

Nor sound nor motion made:

Its path was not upon the sea,

In ripple or in shade. *




It raised my hair, it fanned my cheek 456

Like a meadow-gale of spring—

It mingled strangely with my fears,

Yet it felt like a welcoming.




Swiftly, swiftly flew the ship, 460 *

Yet she sailed softly too:

Sweetly, sweetly blew the breeze—

On me alone it blew.




Oh! dream of joy! is this indeed 464

The light-house top I see?

Is this the hill? is this the kirk?

Is this mine own countree? ¤ *


And the ancient Mariner beholdeth his native country.


We drifted o’er the harbour-bar, 468 *

And I with sobs did pray—

O let me be awake, my God!

Or let me sleep alway.




The harbour-bay was clear as glass, 472

So smoothly it was strewn! *

And on the bay the moonlight lay, ¤

And the shadow of the Moon. *




The rock shone bright, the kirk no less, 476

That stands above the rock:

The moonlight steeped in silentness

The steady weathercock.




And the bay was white with silent light, 480

Till rising from the same,

Full many shapes, that shadows were, ¤

In crimson colours came. *


The angelic spirits leave the dead bodies,


A little distance from the prow 484

Those crimson shadows were: *

I turned my eyes upon the deck—

Oh, Christ! what saw I there!


And appear in their own forms of light.


Each corse lay flat, lifeless and flat, 488

And, by the holy rood! *

A man all light, a seraph-man, ¤ *

On every corse there stood.




This seraph-band, each waved his hand: 492 ¤

It was a heavenly sight!

They stood as signals to the land,

Each one a lovely light;




This seraph-band, each waved his hand, 496

No voice did they impart—

No voice; but oh! the silence sank

Like music on my heart.




But soon I heard the dash of oars, 500

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, 504

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: 508

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 514

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.


The Hermit of the wood,


He kneels at morn, and noon, and eve— 519

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, 523 ¤

“Why, this is strange, I trow! *

Where are those lights so many and fair,

That signal made but now?”




“Strange, by my faith!” the Hermit said— 527

“And they answered not our cheer!

The planks looked warped! and see those sails,

How thin they are and sere!

I never saw aught like to them,

Unless perchance it were


Approacheth the ship with wonder.


“Brown skeletons of leaves that lag 533

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— 538 ¤

(The Pilot made reply)

I am a-feared”—“Push on, push on!”

Said the Hermit cheerily.




The boat came closer to the ship, 542 ¤

But I nor spake nor stirred;

The boat came close beneath the ship,

And straight a sound was heard. *




Under the water it rumbled on, 546 ¤

Still louder and more dread:

It reached the ship, it split the bay;

The ship went down like lead.


The ship suddenly sinketh.


Stunned by that loud and dreadful sound, 550

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.


The ancient Mariner is saved in the Pilot’s boat.


Upon the whirl, where sank the ship, 556 ¤

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 560 ¤

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, 564 ¤

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, 570

I stood on the firm land!

The Hermit stepped forth from the boat,

And scarcely he could stand.




“O shrieve me, shrieve me, holy man!” 574 ¤

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 578

With a woful agony,

Which forced me to begin my tale;

And then it left me free.




Since then, at an uncertain hour, 582

That agony returns:

And till my ghastly tale is told,

This heart within me burns.


And ever and anon through out his future life an agony constraineth him to travel from land to land;


I pass, like night, from land to land; 586 ¤

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! 591 ¤

The wedding-guests are there:

But in the garden-bower the bride ¤

And bride-maids singing are:

And hark the little vesper bell, *

Which biddeth me to prayer!




O Wedding-Guest! this soul hath been 597

Alone on a wide wide sea:

So lonely ’twas, that God himself ¤

Scarce seemed there to be.




O sweeter than the marriage-feast, 601

’Tis sweeter far to me,

To walk together to the kirk

With a goodly company!—




To walk together to the kirk, 605 ¤

And all together pray,

While each to his great Father bends,

Old men, and babes, and loving friends, ¤

And youths and maidens gay!




Farewell, farewell! but this I tell 610

To thee, thou Wedding-Guest!

He prayeth well, who loveth well ¤

Both man and bird and beast.


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


He prayeth best, who loveth best 614

All things both great and small; ¤

For the dear God who loveth us,

He made and loveth all.”




The Mariner, whose eye is bright, 618 ¤

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, 622 ¤

And is of sense forlorn: *

A sadder and a wiser man,

He rose the morrow morn.