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The rime of the ancient Mariner - Samuel Taylor Coleridge


The rime of the ancient Mariner

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

An ancient mariner meets three Gallants bidding to a wedding-feast, and detains one.

The Wedding-Guest is spellbound by the eye of the old seafaring man, and constrained to hear his tale.

The Mariner tells  how the ship sailed south-ward 919h76j whit a good wind and fire weather, till it reached the


The Wedding-Guest hears the bridal music; but the mariner continued his tale.

The ship driven by a storm towards the south pole.

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

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


And lo! The Albatross prevents a bird of good omen, and follows the ship as it returned northward through

fog and floating ice.

The ancient mariner inhospitably kills the pious bird of good omen.

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

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

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

The ship hat been suddenly becalmed.

And the Albatross begins to be avenged.

A spirit had followed them; one of the invisibles 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.

The shipmates, in their some distress, would fain through the whole guilt on the ancient mariner: in sign

whereof  guilt they hang the dead sea-bird round his neck.

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

At its nearer approach, it seems him to be a ship; and at a dear ransom he frees his speech from the bonds of


A flash of joy;

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

It seems him but the skeleton of a ship.

And its ribs are seen as bars on the face of the sitting Sun. The Spectre-Woman and her Death mate, and no

other on board the  skeleton ship. Like vessel, like crew!

Death and Life-in-Death have diced for the ship's crew, and she (the latter) wins the ancient Mariner.

No twilight within the courts of the Sun.

At the rising of the Moon, One after another, His shipmates drop down dead.

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

The Wedding-Guest fears that a Spirit is talking to him;

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

He despises the creatures of the calm,

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

But the curse lives from him in the eye of the dead men.

In his loneliness and fixedness he yearns towards the journeying Moon, ant 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

end yet there is a silent at their arrival.

By the light of the Moon he beholds God's creatures of the great calm.

Their beauty and their happiness.

He blesses them in his heart

The spell begins to break

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

He hears sounds and sees strange sights and commotions in the sky and the element.

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

But not by the  souls of the men, nor by daemons of 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 requires vengeance.

The polar Spirit's fellow-daemons, the invisible inhabitants of the element, take part in this 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 returns south-ward.

The Mariner hath been cast into a trance; for the angelic power causes the vessel to drive northward faster

then human life could endure.

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

The curse in finally expiated.

And the ancient mariner beholds his native country.

The angelic spirits leave the dead bodies, And appear in their own forms of light.

The Hermit of the Wood. Approaches the ship with wonder.

The ship suddenly sinks.

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

The ancient Mariner earnestly entreats the hermit to shrive him; and the penance of life falls to him.

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

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


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