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Collected Poems

VIEWS: 402 PAGES: 47

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									THE MOWER'S SONG. Andrew Marvell

I.
MY mind was once the true survey
Of all these meadows fresh and gay,
And in the greenness of the grass
Did see its hopes as in a glass ;
When JULIANA came, and she,
What I do to the grass, does to my thoughts and me.
II.
But these, while I with sorrow pine,
Grew more luxuriant still and fine,
That not one blade of grass you spied,
But had a flower on either side ;                 10
When JULIANA came, and she,
What I do to the grass, does to my thoughts and me.
III.
Unthankful meadows, could you so
A fellowship so true forego,
And in your gaudy May-games meet,
While I lay trodden under feet?
When JULIANA came, and she,
What I do to the grass, does to my thoughts and me ?
IV.
But what you in compassion ought,
Shall now by my revenge be wrought ;              20
And flowers, and grass, and I, and all,
Will in one common ruin fall ;
For JULIANA comes, and she,
What I do to the grass, does to my thoughts and me.
V.
And thus, ye meadows, which have been
Companions of my thoughts more green,
Shall now the heraldry become
With which I shall adorn my tomb ;
For JULIANA came, and she,                       [30
What I do to the grass, does to my thoughts and me.




                                                       1
The Mower to the Glow-Worms
by Andrew Marvell

  1.   Ye living lamps, by whose dear light
  2.   The nightingale does sit so late,
  3.   And studying all the summer night,
  4.   Her matchless songs does meditate;

  5.   Ye county comets, that portend
  6.   No war nor prince’s funeral,
  7.   Shining unto no higher end
  8.   Than to presage the grass’s fall;

  9. Ye glow-worms, whose officious flame
  10. To wand’ring mowers shows the way,
  11. That in the night have lost their aim,
  12. And after foolish fires do stray;

  13. Your courteous lights in vain you waste,
  14. Since Juliana here is come,
  15. For she my mind hath so displac’d
  16. That I shall never find my home.




                                                 2
The Garden

       1     How vainly men themselves amaze
       2     To win the palm, the oak, or bays,
       3     And their uncessant labours see
       4     Crown'd from some single herb or tree,
       5     Whose short and narrow verged shade
       6     Does prudently their toils upbraid;
       7     While all flow'rs and all trees do close
       8     To weave the garlands of repose.

       9     Fair Quiet, have I found thee here,
      10     And Innocence, thy sister dear!
      11     Mistaken long, I sought you then
      12     In busy companies of men;
      13     Your sacred plants, if here below,
      14     Only among the plants will grow.
      15     Society is all but rude,
      16     To this delicious solitude.

      17     No white nor red was ever seen
      18     So am'rous as this lovely green.
      19     Fond lovers, cruel as their flame,
      20     Cut in these trees their mistress' name;
      21     Little, alas, they know or heed
      22     How far these beauties hers exceed!
      23     Fair trees! wheres'e'er your barks I wound,
      24     No name shall but your own be found.

      25     When we have run our passion's heat,
      26     Love hither makes his best retreat.
      27     The gods, that mortal beauty chase,
      28     Still in a tree did end their race:
      29     Apollo hunted Daphne so,
      30     Only that she might laurel grow;
      31     And Pan did after Syrinx speed,
      32     Not as a nymph, but for a reed.

      33     What wond'rous life in this I lead!
      34     Ripe apples drop about my head;
      35     The luscious clusters of the vine
      36     Upon my mouth do crush their wine;
                                                           3
37   The nectarine and curious peach
38   Into my hands themselves do reach;
39   Stumbling on melons as I pass,
40   Ensnar'd with flow'rs, I fall on grass.

41   Meanwhile the mind, from pleasure less,
42   Withdraws into its happiness;
43   The mind, that ocean where each kind
44   Does straight its own resemblance find,
45   Yet it creates, transcending these,
46   Far other worlds, and other seas;
47   Annihilating all that's made
48   To a green thought in a green shade.

49   Here at the fountain's sliding foot,
50   Or at some fruit tree's mossy root,
51   Casting the body's vest aside,
52   My soul into the boughs does glide;
53   There like a bird it sits and sings,
54   Then whets, and combs its silver wings;
55   And, till prepar'd for longer flight,
56   Waves in its plumes the various light.

57   Such was that happy garden-state,
58   While man there walk'd without a mate;
59   After a place so pure and sweet,
60    What other help could yet be meet!
61   But 'twas beyond a mortal's share
62   To wander solitary there:
63   Two paradises 'twere in one
64   To live in paradise alone.

65   How well the skillful gard'ner drew
66   Of flow'rs and herbs this dial new,
67   Where from above the milder sun
68   Does through a fragrant zodiac run;
69   And as it works, th' industrious bee
70   Computes its time as well as we.
71   How could such sweet and wholesome hours
72   Be reckon'd but with herbs and flow'rs!


                                                4
The Mower, Against Gardens

LUXURIOUS man, to bring his vice in use,
   Did after him the world seduce,
And from the fields the flowers and plants allure,
   Where Nature was most plain and pure.
He first inclosed within the gardens square
   A dead and standing pool of air,
And a more luscious earth for them did knead,
   Which stupefied them while it fed.
The pink grew then as double as his mind ;
   The nutriment did change the kind.               10
With strange perfumes he did the roses taint ;
   And flowers themselves were taught to paint.
The tulip white did for complexion seek,
   And learned to interline its cheek ;
Its onion root they then so high did hold,
   That one was for a meadow sold :
Another world was searched through oceans new,
   To find the marvel of Peru ;
And yet these rarities might be allowed
   To man, that sovereign thing and proud,          20
Had he not dealt between the bark and tree,
   Forbidden mixtures there to see.
No plant now knew the stock from which it came ;
   He grafts upon the wild the tame,
That the uncertain and adulterate fruit
   Might put the palate in dispute.
His green seraglio has its eunuchs too,
   Lest any tyrant him outdo ;
And in the cherry he does Nature vex,
   To procreate without a sex.                     30
'Tis all enforced, the fountain and the grot,
   While the sweet fields do lie forgot,
Where willing Nature does to all dispense
   A wild and fragrant innocence ;
And fauns and fairies do the meadows till
   More by their presence than their skill.
Their statues polished by some ancient hand,
   May to adorn the gardens stand ;
But, howsoe'er the figures do excel,
   The Gods themselves with us do dwell.
                                                         5
The Coronet by Andrew Marvell
WHEN for the thorns with which I long, too long,
 With many a piercing wound,
 My Saviour’s head have crown’d,
I seek with garlands to redress that wrong;
 Through every garden, every mead,                       5
I gather flow’rs (my fruits are only flow’rs),
 Dismantling all the fragrant towers
That once adorn’d my shepherdesse’s head:
And now, when I have summ’d up all my store,
 Thinking (so I my self deceive)                         10
 So rich a chaplet thence to weave
As never yet the King of Glory wore,
 Alas! I find the Serpent old,
 That, twining in his speckled breast
 About the flowers disguis’d, does fold,                 15
 With wreaths of fame and interest.
Ah, foolish man, that would’st debase with them
And mortal glory, Heaven’s diadem!
But Thou who only could’st the Serpent tame,
Either his slipp’ry knots at once untie,                 20
And disintangle all his winding snare;
Or shatter too with him my curious frame,
And let these wither—so that he may die—
Though set with skill, and chosen out with care;
That they, while Thou on both their spoils dost tread,   25
May crown Thy feet, that could not crown Thy head.

                                                              6
To his Coy Mistress
by Andrew Marvell (published in 1681)

  1.    Had we but world enough, and time,
  2.    This coyness, lady, were no crime.
  3.    We would sit down and think which way
  4.    To walk, and pass our long love's day;
  5.    Thou by the Indian Ganges' side
  6.    Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide
  7.    Of Humber would complain. I would
  8.    Love you ten years before the Flood;
  9.    And you should, if you please, refuse
  10.   Till the conversion of the Jews.
  11.   My vegetable love should grow
  12.   Vaster than empires, and more slow.
  13.   An hundred years should go to praise
  14.   Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze;
  15.   Two hundred to adore each breast,
  16.   But thirty thousand to the rest;
  17.   An age at least to every part,
  18.   And the last age should show your heart.
  19.   For, lady, you deserve this state,
  20.   Nor would I love at lower rate.

  21.   But at my back I always hear
  22.   Time's winged chariot hurrying near;
  23.   And yonder all before us lie
  24.   Deserts of vast eternity.
  25.   Thy beauty shall no more be found,
  26.   Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
  27.   My echoing song; then worms shall try
  28.   That long preserv'd virginity,
  29.   And your quaint honour turn to dust,
  30.   And into ashes all my lust.
  31.   The grave's a fine and private place,
  32.   But none I think do there embrace.




                                                   7
   33.   Now therefore, while the youthful hue
   34.   Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
   35.   And while thy willing soul transpires
   36.   At every pore with instant fires,
   37.   Now let us sport us while we may;
   38.   And now, like am'rous birds of prey,
   39.   Rather at once our time devour,
   40.   Than languish in his slow-chapp'd power.
   41.   Let us roll all our strength, and all
   42.   Our sweetness, up into one ball;
   43.   And tear our pleasures with rough strife
   44.   Thorough the iron gates of life.
   45.   Thus, though we cannot make our sun
   46.   Stand still, yet we will make him run.


1. Explain the appropriateness of “vegetable love.” What simile in the third section
contrasts with it and how? What image in the third section contrasts with the distance
between the Ganges and the Humber? O f what would the speaker by “complaining”
by the Humber?
2. Explain the figures in lines 22, 24, and 40 and their implications.
3. Explain the last two lines. For what is “sun” a metonymy?
4. Is this poem principally about love or about time? If about the latter, what might
making love represent? What philosophy is the poet advancing here?
5. In a typed, one-page, double-spaced essay, explain how figurative language and
imagery contribute to the poet’s tone and how his tone communicates the theme you
mention in #4 above. Use language precisely and concisely.




                                                                                     8
                                        Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Frost at Midnight

The Frost performs its secret ministry,
Unhelped by any wind. The owlet's cry
Came loud--and hark, again ! loud as before.
The inmates of my cottage, all at rest,
Have left me to that solitude, which suits
Abstruser musings : save that at my side
My cradled infant slumbers peacefully.
'Tis calm indeed ! so calm, that it disturbs
And vexes meditation with its strange
And extreme silentness. Sea, hill, and wood,
This populous village ! Sea, and hill, and wood,
With all the numberless goings-on of life,
Inaudible as dreams ! the thin blue flame
Lies on my low-burnt fire, and quivers not ;
Only that film, which fluttered on the grate,
Still flutters there, the sole unquiet thing.
Methinks, its motion in this hush of nature
Gives it dim sympathies with me who live,
Making it a companionable form,
Whose puny flaps and freaks the idling Spirit
By its own moods interprets, every where
Echo or mirror seeking of itself,
And makes a toy of Thought.
But O ! how oft,
How oft, at school, with most believing mind,
Presageful, have I gazed upon the bars,
To watch that fluttering stranger ! and as oft
With unclosed lids, already had I dreamt
Of my sweet birth-place, and the old church-tower,
Whose bells, the poor man's only music, rang
From morn to evening, all the hot Fair-day,
So sweetly, that they stirred and haunted me
With a wild pleasure, falling on mine ear
Most like articulate sounds of things to come !
So gazed I, till the soothing things, I dreamt,
Lulled me to sleep, and sleep prolonged my dreams !
And so I brooded all the following morn,
Awed by the stern preceptor's face, mine eye
Fixed with mock study on my swimming book :
Save if the door half opened, and I snatched
                                                                  9
A hasty glance, and still my heart leaped up,
For still I hoped to see the stranger's face,
Townsman, or aunt, or sister more beloved,
My play-mate when we both were clothed alike !
Dear Babe, that sleepest cradled by my side,
Whose gentle breathings, heard in this deep calm,
Fill up the intersperséd vacancies
And momentary pauses of the thought !
My babe so beautiful ! it thrills my heart
With tender gladness, thus to look at thee,
And think that thou shalt learn far other lore,
And in far other scenes ! For I was reared
In the great city, pent 'mid cloisters dim,
And saw nought lovely but the sky and stars.
But thou, my babe ! shalt wander like a breeze
By lakes and sandy shores, beneath the crags
Of ancient mountain, and beneath the clouds,
Which image in their bulk both lakes and shores
And mountain crags : so shalt thou see and hear
The lovely shapes and sounds intelligible
Of that eternal language, which thy God
Utters, who from eternity doth teach
Himself in all, and all things in himself.
Great universal Teacher ! he shall mould
Thy spirit, and by giving make it ask.
Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether the summer clothe the general earth
With greenness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw ; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1798




                                                       10
Khubla Khan        by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1797)

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
   Down to a sunless sea.

So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced:
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail:
And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean:
And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!




                                                        11
    The shadow of the dome of pleasure
    Floated midway on the waves;
    Where was heard the mingled measure
    From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!

   A damsel with a dulcimer
   In a vision once I saw:
   It was an Abyssinian maid,
   And on her dulcimer she played,
   Singing of Mount Abora.
   Could I revive within me
   Her symphony and song,
   To such a deep delight 'twould win me,
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

1. Write your first impressions of the poem.
2. Make a T-chart listing positive and negative aspects of the place. Use only
language from the poem, not interpretive language. Contrast positive and negative
aspects within (1-11): landscape: pleasure dome, gardens bright, sinuous rills,
blossomed, many an incense-bearing tree, sunny spots, greenery (brightness etc.)
versus Alph, the sacred river, caverns, sunless sea (darkness etc.); stately versus
sacred (earthly vs. unearthly powers).
3. Note the narrative point of view in each of the five divisions. Discuss the effect of
what you see on your interpretation of the poem.
4. What does the poem say about creativity? Or read for another idea, but write
exactly one typed page for Monday on this poem. Write well and not too loosely; we
will work with this piece further, but do good work writing this page.




                                                                                       12
                                 The Aeolian Harp

My pensive SARA ! thy soft cheek reclined
Thus on mine arm, most soothing sweet it is
To sit beside our Cot, our Cot o'ergrown
With white-flower'd Jasmin, and the broad-leav'd Myrtle,
(Meet emblems they of Innocence and Love !)
And watch the clouds, that late were rich with light,
Slow saddenning round, and mark the star of eve
Serenely brilliant (such should Wisdom be)
Shine opposite ! How exquisite the scents
Snatch'd from yon bean-field ! and the world so hush'd !
The stilly murmur of the distant Sea
Tells us of silence.

                    And that simplest Lute,
Plac'd length-ways in the clasping casement, hark !
How by the desultory breeze caress'd,
Like some coy maid half-yielding to her lover,
It pours such sweet upbraiding, as must needs
Tempt to repeat the wrong ! And now, its strings
Boldlier swept, the long sequacious notes
Over delicious surges sink and rise,
Such a soft floating witchery of sound
As twilight Elfins make, when they at eve
Voyage on gentle gales from Faery-Land,
Where Melodies round honey-dropping flowers,
Footless and wild, like birds of Paradise,
Nor pause, nor perch, hovering on untam'd wing !
O ! the one Life within us and abroad,
Which meets all motion and becomes its soul,
A light in sound, a sound-like power in light,
Rhythm in all thought, and joyance every where--
Methinks, it should have been impossible
Not to love all things in a world so fill'd ;
Where the breeze warbles, and the mute still air
Is Music slumbering on her instrument.
       And thus, my Love ! as on the midway slope
Of yonder hill I stretch my limbs at noon,
Whilst thro' my half-clos'd eye-lids I behold
The sunbeams dance, like diamonds, on the main,
And tranquil muse upon tranquility ;
                                                           13
Full many a thought uncall'd and undetain'd,
And many idle flitting phantasies,
Traverse my indolent and passive brain,
As wild and various, as the random gales
That swell and flutter on this subject Lute !
       And what if all of animated nature
Be but organic Harps diversly fram'd,
That tremble into thought, as o'er them sweeps
Plastic and vast, one intellectual breeze,
At once the Soul of each, and God of all ?
       But thy more serious eye a mild reproof
Darts, O belovéd Woman ! nor such thoughts
Dim and unhallow'd dost thou not reject,
And biddest me walk humbly with my God.
Meek Daughter in the Family of Christ !
Well hast thou said and holily disprais'd
These shapings of the unregenerate mind ;
Bubbles that glitter as they rise and break
On vain Philosophy's aye-babbling spring.
For never guiltless may I speak of him,
The Incomprehensible ! save when with awe
I praise him, and with Faith that inly feels ;
Who with his saving mercies healéd me,
A sinful and most miserable man,
Wilder'd and dark, and gave me to possess
Peace, and this Cot, and thee, heart-honour'd Maid !


                                      (1795) Samuel Taylor Coleridge




                                                                       14
421. Dejection: an Ode. Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 1909-14. English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald. The Harvard Classics




                                                       Harvard Classics



 Verse > Anthologies > Harvard Classics > English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald

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                                    CONTENTS · BOOK CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
                                                  English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald.
                                                       The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

                                                              421. Dejection: an Ode

                                                 Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834)


  Late, late yestreen I saw the new Moon,
  With the old Moon in her arms;
  And I fear, I fear, my master dear!
  We shall have a deadly storm.
                                                                                                                         Ballad of Sir Patrick Spence



                                                                             I

                                WELL! If the Bard was weather-wise, who made
                                  The grand old ballad of Sir Patrick Spence,
                                  This night, so tranquil now, will not go hence
                                Unroused by winds, that ply a busier trade
                                Than those which mould yon cloud in lazy flakes,                                                 5
                                Or the dull sobbing draft, that moans and rakes
                                   Upon the strings of this Æolian lute,
                                   Which better far were mute.
                                  For lo! the New-moon winter-bright!
                                  And overspread with phantom light,                                                            10
                                  (With swimming phantom light o’erspread
                                  But rimmed and circled by a silver thread)
                                I see the old Moon in her lap, foretelling
                                  The coming-on of rain and squally blast,
                                And oh! that even now the gust were swelling,                                                   15
                                  And the slant night-shower driving loud and fast!
                                Those sounds which oft have raised me, whilst they awed
                                   And sent my soul abroad,
                                Might now perhaps their wonted impulse give,
                                Might startle this dull pain, and make it move and live!                                        20




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421. Dejection: an Ode. Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 1909-14. English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald. The Harvard Classics


                                                                             II

                                A grief without a pang, void, dark, and drear,
                                  A stifled, drowsy, unimpassioned grief,
                                  Which finds no natural outlet, no relief,
                                   In word, or sigh, or tear—
                                O Lady! in this wan and heartless mood,                                                         25
                                To other thoughts by yonder throstle woo’d,
                                  All this long eve, so balmy and serene,
                                Have I been gazing on the western sky,
                                  And its peculiar tint of yellow green;
                                And still I gaze—and with how blank an eye!                                                     30
                                And those thin clouds above, in flakes and bars,
                                That give away their motion to the stars:
                                Those stars, that glide behind them or between,
                                Now sparkling, now bedimmed, but always seen;
                                Yon crescent Moon, as fixed as if it grew                                                       35
                                In its own cloudless, starless lake of blue;
                                I see them all so excellently fair,
                                I see, not feel, how beautiful they are!

                                                                            III

                                   My genial spirits fail;
                                   And what can these avail                                                                     40
                                To lift the smothering weight from off my breast?
                                   It were a vain endeavour,
                                   Though I should gaze for ever
                                On that green light that lingers in the west;
                                I may not hope from outward forms to win                                                        45
                                The passion and the life, whose fountains are within.

                                                                            IV

                                O Lady! we receive but what we give,
                                And in our life alone does Nature live;
                                Ours is her wedding-garment, ours her shroud!
                                 And would we aught behold, of higher worth,                                                    50
                                Than that inanimate cold world allowed
                                To the poor loveless ever-anxious crowd,
                                 Ah! from the soul itself must issue forth
                                A light, a glory, a fair luminous cloud
                                  Enveloping the Earth—                                                                         55
                                And from the soul itself must there be sent
                                 A sweet and potent voice, of its own birth,
                                Of all sweet sounds the life and element!

                                                                            V

                                O pure of heart! thou need’st not ask of me
                                What this strong music in the soul may be!                                                      60
                                What, and wherein it doth exist,
                                This light, this glory, this fair luminous mist,
                                This beautiful and beauty-making power.
                                 Joy, virtuous Lady! Joy that ne’er was given,
                                Save to the pure, and in their purest hour,                                                     65
                                Life, and life’s effluence, cloud at once and shower,


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421. Dejection: an Ode. Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 1909-14. English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald. The Harvard Classics


                                Joy, Lady! is the spirit and the power,
                                Which wedding Nature to us gives in dower,
                                 A new Earth and new Heaven,
                                Undreamt of by the sensual and the proud—                                                        70
                                Joy is the sweet voice, Joy the luminous cloud—
                                  We in ourselves rejoice!
                                And thence flows all that charms or ear or sight,
                                 All melodies the echoes of that voice,
                                All colours a suffusion from that light.                                                         75


                                                                            VI

                                There was a time when, though my path was rough,
                                 This joy within me dallied with distress,
                                And all misfortunes were but as the stuff
                                 Whence Fancy made me dreams of happiness:
                                For hope grew round me, like the twining vine,                                                   80
                                And fruits, and foliage, not my own, seemed mine.
                                But now afflictions bow me down to earth:
                                Nor care I that they rob me of my mirth;
                                  But oh! each visitation
                                Suspends what nature gave me at my birth,                                                        85
                                 My shaping spirit of Imagination.
                                For not to think of what I needs must feel
                                 But to be still and patient, all I can;
                                And haply by abstruse research to steal
                                 From my own nature all the natural man—                                                         90
                                 This was my sole resource, my only plan;
                                Till that which suits a part infects the whole,
                                And now is almost grown the habit of my soul.

                                                                           VII

                                Hence, viper thoughts, that coil around my mind,
                                    Reality’s dark dream!                                                                        95
                                I turn from you, and listen to the wind,
                                  Which long has raved unnoticed. What a scream
                                Of agony by torture lengthened out
                                That lute sent forth! Thou Wind, that rav’st without,
                                  Bare crag, or mountain-tairn, or blasted tree,                                                100
                                Or pine-grove whither woodman never clomb,
                                Or lonely house, long held the witches’ home,
                                  Methinks were fitter instruments for thee,
                                Mad Lutanist! who in this month of showers,
                                Of dark-brown gardens, and of peeping flowers,                                                  105
                                Mak’st Devils’ yule, with worse than wintry song,
                                The blossoms, buds, and timorous leaves among.
                                  Thou Actor, perfect in all tragic sounds!
                                Thou mighty Poet, even to frenzy bold!
                                    What tell’st thou now about?                                                                110
                                    ’Tis of the rushing of an host in rout,
                                  With groans of trampled men, with smarting wounds—
                                At once they groan with pain and shudder with the cold!
                                But hush! there is a pause of deepest silence!
                                  And all that noise, as of a rushing crowd,                                                    115
                                With groans, and tremulous shudderings—all is over—
                                  It tells another tale, with sounds less deep and loud!

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421. Dejection: an Ode. Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 1909-14. English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald. The Harvard Classics


                                 A tale of less affright,
                                 And tempered with delight,
                                As Otway’s self had framed the tender lay.                                                      120
                                 ’Tis of a little child,
                                 Upon a lonesome wild,
                                Not far from home, but she hath lost her way;
                                And now moans low in bitter grief and fear,
                                And now screams loud, and hopes to make her mother hear.                                        125


                                                                           VIII

                                ’Tis midnight, but small thoughts have I of sleep:
                                Full seldom may my friend such vigils keep!
                                Visit her, gentle Sleep! with wings of healing,
                                 And may this storm be but a mountain-birth,
                                May all the stars hang bright above her dwelling,                                               130
                                 Silent as though they watched the sleeping Earth!
                                  With light heart may she rise,
                                  Gay fancy, cheerful eyes.
                                 Joy lift her spirit, joy attune her voice;
                                To her may all things live, from pole to pole,                                                  135
                                Their life the eddying of her living soul!
                                 O simple spirit, guided from above,
                                Dear Lady! friend devoutest of my choice,
                                Thus may’st thou ever, evermore rejoice.


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645. The Charge of the Light Brigade. Alfred, Lord Tennyson. 1909-14. English Poetry III: From Tennyson to Whitman. The Harvard Classics




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                                              English Poetry III: From Tennyson to Whitman.
                                                     The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

                                               645. The Charge of the Light Brigade

                                                  Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892)


                                                     HALF a league, half a league,
                                                     Half a league onward,
                                                     All in the valley of Death
                                                      Rode the six hundred.
                                                     “Forward the Light Brigade!                          5
                                                     Charge for the guns!” he said.
                                                     Into the valley of Death
                                                      Rode the six hundred.

                                                     “Forward, the Light Brigade!”
                                                     Was there a man dismay’d?                           10
                                                     Not tho’ the soldier knew
                                                      Some one had blunder’d.
                                                     Theirs not to make reply,
                                                     Theirs not to reason why,
                                                     Theirs but to do and die.                           15
                                                     Into the valley of Death
                                                      Rode the six hundred.

                                                     Cannon to right of them,
                                                     Cannon to left of them,
                                                     Cannon in front of them                             20
                                                      Volley’d and thunder’d;
                                                     Storm’d at with shot and shell,
                                                     Boldly they rode and well,
                                                     Into the jaws of Death,
                                                     Into the mouth of hell                              25
                                                      Rode the six hundred.

                                                     Flash’d all their sabres bare,
                                                     Flash’d as they turn’d in air
                                                     Sabring the gunners there,
                                                     Charging an army, while                             30
                                                      All the world wonder’d.
                                                     Plunged in the battery-smoke


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645. The Charge of the Light Brigade. Alfred, Lord Tennyson. 1909-14. English Poetry III: From Tennyson to Whitman. The Harvard Classics


                                                     Right thro’ the line they broke;
                                                     Cossack and Russian
                                                     Reel’d from the sabre-stroke                        35
                                                      Shatter’d and sunder’d.
                                                     Then they rode back, but not,
                                                      Not the six hundred.

                                                     Cannon to right of them,
                                                     Cannon to left of them,                             40
                                                     Cannon behind them
                                                      Volley’d and thunder’d;
                                                     Storm’d at with shot and shell,
                                                     While horse and hero fell,
                                                     They that had fought so well                        45
                                                     Came thro’ the jaws of Death,
                                                     Back from the mouth of hell,
                                                     All that was left of them,
                                                      Left of six hundred.

                                                     When can their glory fade?                          50
                                                     O the wild charge they made!
                                                      All the world wonder’d.
                                                     Honor the charge they made!
                                                     Honor the Light Brigade,
                                                      Noble six hundred!                                 55



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650. Crossing the Bar. Alfred, Lord Tennyson. 1909-14. English Poetry III: From Tennyson to Whitman. The Harvard Classics




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                  Verse > Anthologies > Harvard Classics > English Poetry III: From Tennyson to Whitman

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                                                                      The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

                                                                              650. Crossing the Bar

                                                                   Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892)


                                                       SUNSET and evening star,
                                                        And one clear call for me!
                                                       And may there be no moaning of the bar,
                                                        When I put out to sea,

                                                       But such a tide as moving seems asleep,                                    5
                                                        Too full for sound and foam,
                                                       When that which drew from out the boundless deep
                                                        Turns again home.

                                                       Twilight and evening bell,
                                                        And after that the dark!                                                 10
                                                       And may there be no sadness of farewell,
                                                        When I embark;

                                                       For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
                                                         The flood may bear me far,
                                                       I hope to see my Pilot face to face                                       15
                                                         When I have crossed the bar.


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638. The Lotos-Eaters. Alfred, Lord Tennyson. 1909-14. English Poetry III: From Tennyson to Whitman. The Harvard Classics




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 Verse > Anthologies > Harvard Classics > English Poetry III: From Tennyson to Whitman

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                                              English Poetry III: From Tennyson to Whitman.
                                                     The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

                                                            638. The Lotos-Eaters

                                                 Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892)


                     “COURAGE!” he said, and pointed toward the land,
                     “This mounting wave will roll us shoreward soon.”
                     In the afternoon they came unto a land
                     In which it seemed always afternoon.
                     All round the coast the languid air did swoon,                                                          5
                     Breathing like one that hath a weary dream.
                     Full-faced above the valley stood the moon;
                     And, like a downward smoke, the slender stream
                     Along the cliff to fall and pause and fall did seem.

                     A land of streams! some, like a downward smoke,                                                        10
                     Slow-dropping veils of thinnest lawn, did go;
                     And some thro’ wavering lights and shadows broke,
                     Rolling a slumbrous sheet of foam below.
                     They saw the gleaming river seaward flow
                     From the inner land; far off, three mountain-tops,                                                     15
                     Three silent pinnacles of aged snow,
                     Stood sunset-flush’d; and, dew’d with showery drops,
                     Up-clomb the shadowy pine above the woven copse.

                     The charmed sunset linger’d low adown
                     In the red West; thro’ mountain clefts the dale                                                        20
                     Was seen far inland, and the yellow down
                     Border’d with palm, and many a winding vale
                     And meadow, set with slender galingale;
                     A land where all things always seem’d the same!
                     And round about the keel with faces pale,                                                              25
                     Dark faces pale against that rosy flame,
                     The mild-eyed melancholy Lotos-eaters came.



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638. The Lotos-Eaters. Alfred, Lord Tennyson. 1909-14. English Poetry III: From Tennyson to Whitman. The Harvard Classics


                     Branches they bore of that enchanted stem,
                     Laden with flower and fruit, whereof they gave
                     To each, but whoso did receive of them                                                                 30
                     And taste, to him the gushing of the wave
                     Far far away did seem to mourn and rave
                     On alien shores; and if his fellow spake,
                     His voice was thin, as voices from the grave;
                     And deep-asleep he seem’d, yet all awake,                                                              35
                     And music in his ears his beating heart did make.

                     They sat them down upon the yellow sand,
                     Between the sun and moon upon the shore;
                     And sweet it was to dream of Fatherland,
                     Of child, and wife, and slave; but evermore                                                            40
                     Most weary seem’d the sea, weary the oar,
                     Weary the wandering fields of barren foam.
                     Then some one said, “We will return no more;”
                     And all at once they sang, “Our island home
                     Is far beyond the wave; we will no longer roam.”                                                       45


                                                                CHORIC SONG
                                                                     I

                     There is sweet music here that softer falls
                     Than petals from blown roses on the grass,
                     Or night-dews on still waters between walls
                     Of shadowy granite, in a gleaming pass;
                     Music that gentlier on the spirit lies,                                                                50
                     Than tir’d eyelids upon tir’d eyes;
                     Music that brings sweet sleep down from the blissful skies.
                     Here are cool mosses deep,
                     And thro’ the moss the ivies creep,
                     And in the stream the long-leaved flowers weep,                                                        55
                     And from the craggy ledge the poppy hangs in sleep.

                                                                          II

                     Why are we weigh’d upon with heaviness,
                     And utterly consumed with sharp distress,
                     While all things else have rest from weariness?
                     All things have rest: why should we toil alone,                                                        60
                     We only toil, who are the first of things,
                     And make perpetual moan,
                     Still from one sorrow to another thrown;
                     Nor ever fold our wings,
                     And cease from wanderings,                                                                             65
                     Nor steep our brows in slumber’s holy balm;
                     Nor harken what the inner spirit sings,
                     “There is no joy but calm!”—
                     Why should we only toil, the roof and crown of things?

                                                                          III                                               70

                     Lo! in the middle of the wood,
                     The folded leaf is woo’d from out the bud
                     With winds upon the branch, and there
                     Grows green and broad, and takes no care,

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638. The Lotos-Eaters. Alfred, Lord Tennyson. 1909-14. English Poetry III: From Tennyson to Whitman. The Harvard Classics


                     Sun-steep’d at noon, and in the moon
                     Nightly dew-fed; and turning yellow                                                                     75
                     Falls, and floats adown the air.
                     Lo! sweeten’d with the summer light,
                     The full-juiced apple, waxing over-mellow,
                     Drops in a silent autumn night.
                     All its allotted length of days                                                                         80
                     The flower ripens in its place,
                     Ripens and fades, and falls, and hath no toil,
                     Fast-rooted in the fruitful soil.

                                                                          IV

                     Hateful is the dark-blue sky,
                     Vaulted o’er the dark-blue sea.                                                                         85
                     Death is the end of life; ah, why
                     Should life all labor be?
                     Let us alone. Time driveth onward fast,
                     And in a little while our lips are dumb.
                     Let us alone. What is it that will last?                                                                90
                     All things are taken from us, and become
                     Portions and parcels of the dreadful past.
                     Let us alone. What pleasure can we have
                     To war with evil? Is there any peace
                     In ever climbing up the climbing wave?                                                                  95
                     All things have rest, and ripen toward the grave
                     In silence—ripen, fall, and cease:
                     Give us long rest or death, dark death, or dreamful ease.

                                                                          V

                     How sweet it were, hearing the downward stream,
                     With half-shut eyes ever to seem                                                                       100
                     Falling asleep in a half-dream!
                     To dream and dream, like yonder amber light,
                     Which will not leave the myrrh-bush on the height;
                     To hear each other’s whisper’d speech;
                     Eating the Lotos day by day,                                                                           105
                     To watch the crisping ripples on the beach,
                     And tender curving lines of creamy spray;
                     To lend our hearts and spirits wholly
                     To the influence of mild-minded melancholy;
                     To muse and brood and live again in memory,                                                            110
                     With those old faces of our infancy
                     Heap’d over with a mound of grass,
                     Two handfuls of white dust, shut in an urn of brass!

                                                                          VI

                     Dear is the memory of our wedded lives,
                     And dear the last embraces of our wives                                                                115
                     And their warm tears; but all hath suffer’d change;
                     For surely now our household hearths are cold,
                     Our sons inherit us, our looks are strange,
                     And we should come like ghosts to trouble joy.
                     Or else the island princes over-bold                                                                   120
                     Have eat our substance, and the minstrel sings

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638. The Lotos-Eaters. Alfred, Lord Tennyson. 1909-14. English Poetry III: From Tennyson to Whitman. The Harvard Classics


                     Before them of the ten years’ war in Troy,
                     And our great deeds, as half-forgotten things.
                     Is there confusion in the little isle?
                     Let what is broken so remain.                                                                          125
                     The Gods are hard to reconcile;
                     ’Tis hard to settle order once again.
                     There is confusion worse than death,
                     Trouble on trouble, pain on pain,
                     Long labor unto aged breath,                                                                           130
                     Sore task to hearts worn out by many wars
                     And eyes grown dim with gazing on the pilot-stars.

                                                                         VII

                     But, propped on beds of amaranth and moly,
                     How sweet—while warm airs lull us, blowing lowly—
                     With half-dropped eyelids still,                                                                       135
                     Beneath a heaven dark and holy,
                     To watch the long bright river drawing slowly
                     His waters from the purple hill—
                     To hear the dewy echoes calling
                     From cave to cave thro’ the thick-twined vine—                                                         140
                     To watch the emerald-color’d water falling
                     Thro’ many a woven acanthus-wreath divine!
                     Only to hear and see the far-off sparkling brine,
                     Only to hear were sweet, stretch’d out beneath the pine.

                                                                         VIII                                               145

                     The Lotos blooms below the barren peak,
                     The Lotos blows by every winding creek;
                     All day the wind breathes low with mellower tone;
                     Thro’ every hollow cave and alley lone
                     Round and round the spicy downs the yellow Lotos-dust is blown.
                     We have had enough of action, and of motion we,                                                        150
                     Roll’d to starboard, roll’d to larboard, when the surge was seething free,
                     Where the wallowing monster spouted his foam-fountains in the sea.
                     Let us swear an oath, and keep it with an equal mind,
                     In the hollow Lotos-land to live and lie reclined
                     On the hills like Gods together, careless of mankind.                                                  155
                     For they lie beside their nectar, and the bolts are hurl’d
                     Far below them in the valleys, and the clouds are lightly curl’d
                     Round their golden houses, girdled with the gleaming world;
                     Where they smile in secret, looking over wasted lands,
                     Blight and famine, plague and earthquake, roaring deeps and fiery sands,                               160
                     Clanging fights, and flaming towns, and sinking ships, and praying hands.
                     But they smile, they find a music centred in a doleful song
                     Steaming up, a lamentation and an ancient tale of wrong,
                     Like a tale of little meaning tho’ the words are strong;
                     Chanted from an ill-used race of men that cleave the soil,                                             165
                     Sow the seed, and reap the harvest with enduring toil,
                     Storing yearly little dues of wheat, and wine and oil;
                     Till they perish and they suffer—some, ’tis whisper’d—down in hell
                     Suffer endless anguish, others in Elysian valleys dwell,
                     Resting weary limbs at last on beds of asphodel.                                                       170
                     Surely, surely, slumber is more sweet than toil, the shore
                     Than labor in the deep mid-ocean, wind and wave and oar;
                       O, rest ye, brother mariners, we will not wander more.
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                                      The Kraken


Below the thunders of the upper deep,
Far far beneath in the abysmal sea,
His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
About his shadowy sides: above him swell
Huge sponges of millennial growth and height;
And far away into the sickly light,
From many a wondrous grot and secret cell
Unnumbered and enormous polypi
Winnow with giant fins the slumbering green.
There hath he lain for ages and will lie
Battering upon huge seaworms in his sleep,
Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
Then once by men and angels to be seen,
In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.

      By Alfred, Lord Tennyson
ULYSSES                                            There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail:
                                                   There gloom the dark broad seas. My mariners,
 It little profits that an idle king,              Souls that have toil’d, and wrought, and thought
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,        with me–
Match’d with an aged wife, I mete and dole         That ever with a frolic welcome took
Unequal laws unto a savage race,                   The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not      Free hearts, free foreheads–you and I are old;
     me.                                           Old age hath yet his honour and his toil;
I cannot rest from travel: I will drink            Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Life to the lees: all times I have enjoy’d         Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Greatly, have suffer’d greatly, both with those    Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
That loved me, and alone; on shore, and when       The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
Thro’ scudding drifts the rainy Hyades             The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the
Vext the dim sea: I am become a name;                  deep
For always roaming with a hungry heart             Moans round with many voices. Come, my
Much have I seen and known; cities of men              friends,
And manners, climates, councils, governments,      ’Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Myself not least, but honour’d of them all;        Push off, and sitting well in order smite
And drunk delight of battle with my peers,         The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.           To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
I am a part of all that I have met;                Of all the western stars, until I die.
Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’           It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
Gleams that untravell’d world, whose margin        It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
    fades                                          And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
For ever and for ever when I move.                 Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,           We are not now that strength which in old days
To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use!          Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we
As tho’ to breathe were life. Life piled on life       are;
Were all too little, and of one to me              One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Little remains: but every hour is saved            Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
From that eternal silence, something more,         To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,     Alfred, Lord Tennyson (published in 1833,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire            1842)
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.

 This is my son, mine own Telemachus,
To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle–
Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil
This labour, by slow prudence to make mild
A rugged people, and thro’ soft degrees
Subdue them to the useful and the good.
Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere
Of common duties, decent not to fail
In offices of tenderness, and pay
Meet adoration to my household gods,
When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.
1. Vocabulary: lees (7), Hyades (10), meet (42). (This question, of course, concerns
diction.)

2. Locate Ithaca, Ulysses’ home, on a map. Where exactly, in geographical terms, does
Ulysses intend to sail? (The Happy Isles were the Elysian fields, or Greek paradise;
Achilles, who was killed at Troy, was another Greek prince. This question concerns
setting, not a specifically poetic term.)

3.Ulysses’ speech is divided into three sections. What is the topic or purpose of each
section? To whom, specifically, is the third section addressed? To whom, would you infer,
are sections 1 and 2 addressed? Where do you visualize Ulysses as standing during his
speech? (These questions are mostly about structure.)

4. Characterize Ulysses. What kind of person is he as Tennyson represents him? (This
question concerns characterization!)

5. What does Ulysses symbolize? What way of life is being recommended? Find as many
evidences as you can that Ulysses’ desire for travel represents something more than mere
wanderlust and wish for adventure.

6. Give two symbolical implications of the westward direction of Ulysses’ journey.

7. Interpret lines 18-21 and 26-29. What is symbolized by “the thunder and the sunshine”
(48)? What do the two metonymies in line 49 stand for? What metaphor is implied in line
23?
8. Is this poem an allegory? Explain.

9. Incorporate, in logical, coherent fashion, as many specific references as you can into a
one-page interpretation of some aspect of the poem. I suggest figurative language (image,
metaphor, symbol – each clearly defined) to communicate a theme. (Generally: an image
means only what it is; a metaphor means something other than what it is; and a symbol
means what it is and something more too. Imagery can be incorporated into metaphors or
symbols.)
700. Lady of Shalott. Alfred Tennyson, Lord Tennyson. The Oxford Book of English Verse




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                     Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.


                                          Alfred Tennyson, Lord Tennyson. 1809–1892


                                                      700. The Lady of Shalott

                                                                      PART I


                                            ON either side the river lie
                                            Long fields of barley and of rye,
                                            That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
                                            And thro' the field the road runs by
                                                  To many-tower'd Camelot;               5
                                            And up and down the people go,
                                            Gazing where the lilies blow
                                            Round an island there below,
                                                  The island of Shalott.

                                            Willows whiten, aspens quiver,               10
                                            Little breezes dusk and shiver
                                            Thro' the wave that runs for ever
                                            By the island in the river
                                                   Flowing down to Camelot.
                                            Four gray walls, and four gray towers,       15
                                            Overlook a space of flowers,
                                            And the silent isle imbowers
                                                   The Lady of Shalott.

                                            By the margin, willow-veil'd,
                                            Slide the heavy barges trail'd               20
                                            By slow horses; and unhail'd
                                            The shallop flitteth silken-sail'd
                                                   Skimming down to Camelot:
                                            But who hath seen her wave her hand?
                                            Or at the casement seen her stand?           25
                                            Or is she known in all the land,
                                                   The Lady of Shalott?

                                            Only reapers, reaping early
                                            In among the bearded barley,
                                            Hear a song that echoes cheerly              30



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700. Lady of Shalott. Alfred Tennyson, Lord Tennyson. The Oxford Book of English Verse


                                            From the river winding clearly,
                                                  Down to tower'd Camelot:
                                            And by the moon the reaper weary,
                                            Piling sheaves in uplands airy,
                                            Listening, whispers ''Tis the fairy          35
                                                  Lady of Shalott.'

                                                                      PART II


                                            There she weaves by night and day
                                            A magic web with colours gay.
                                            She has heard a whisper say,
                                            A curse is on her if she stay                40
                                                  To look down to Camelot.
                                            She knows not what the curse may be,
                                            And so she weaveth steadily,
                                            And little other care hath she,
                                                  The Lady of Shalott.                   45


                                            And moving thro' a mirror clear
                                            That hangs before her all the year,
                                            Shadows of the world appear.
                                            There she sees the highway near
                                                  Winding down to Camelot:               50
                                            There the river eddy whirls,
                                            And there the surly village-churls,
                                            And the red cloaks of market girls,
                                                  Pass onward from Shalott.

                                            Sometimes a troop of damsels glad,           55
                                            An abbot on an ambling pad,
                                            Sometimes a curly shepherd-lad,
                                            Or long-hair'd page in crimson clad,
                                                  Goes by to tower'd Camelot;
                                            And sometimes thro' the mirror blue          60
                                            The knights come riding two and two:
                                            She hath no loyal knight and true,
                                                  The Lady of Shalott.

                                            But in her web she still delights
                                            To weave the mirror's magic sights,          65
                                            For often thro' the silent nights
                                            A funeral, with plumes and lights,
                                                   And music, went to Camelot:
                                            Or when the moon was overhead,
                                            Came two young lovers lately wed;            70
                                            'I am half sick of shadows,' said
                                                   The Lady of Shalott.

                                                                     PART III


                                            A bow-shot from her bower-eaves,
                                            He rode between the barley-sheaves,
                                            The sun came dazzling thro' the leaves,      75
                                            And flamed upon the brazen greaves

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700. Lady of Shalott. Alfred Tennyson, Lord Tennyson. The Oxford Book of English Verse


                                                  Of bold Sir Lancelot.
                                            A red-cross knight for ever kneel'd
                                            To a lady in his shield,
                                            That sparkled on the yellow field,            80
                                                  Beside remote Shalott.

                                            The gemmy bridle glitter'd free,
                                            Like to some branch of stars we see
                                            Hung in the golden Galaxy.
                                            The bridle bells rang merrily                 85
                                                  As he rode down to Camelot:
                                            And from his blazon'd baldric slung
                                            A mighty silver bugle hung,
                                            And as he rode his armour rung,
                                                  Beside remote Shalott.                  90


                                            All in the blue unclouded weather
                                            Thick-jewell'd shone the saddle-leather,
                                            The helmet and the helmet-feather
                                            Burn'd like one burning flame together,
                                                   As he rode down to Camelot.            95
                                            As often thro' the purple night,
                                            Below the starry clusters bright,
                                            Some bearded meteor, trailing light,
                                                   Moves over still Shalott.

                                            His broad clear brow in sunlight glow'd;     100
                                            On burnish'd hooves his war-horse trode;
                                            From underneath his helmet flow'd
                                            His coal-black curls as on he rode,
                                                   As he rode down to Camelot.
                                            From the bank and from the river             105
                                            He flash'd into the crystal mirror,
                                            'Tirra lirra,' by the river
                                                   Sang Sir Lancelot.

                                            She left the web, she left the loom,
                                            She made three paces thro' the room,         110
                                            She saw the water-lily bloom,
                                            She saw the helmet and the plume,
                                                  She look'd down to Camelot.
                                            Out flew the web and floated wide;
                                            The mirror crack'd from side to side;        115
                                            'The curse is come upon me!' cried
                                                  The Lady of Shalott.

                                                                     PART IV


                                            In the stormy east-wind straining,
                                            The pale yellow woods were waning,
                                            The broad stream in his banks complaining,   120
                                            Heavily the low sky raining
                                                   Over tower'd Camelot;

                                            Down she came and found a boat


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700. Lady of Shalott. Alfred Tennyson, Lord Tennyson. The Oxford Book of English Verse


                                            Beneath a willow left afloat,
                                            And round about the prow she wrote           125
                                                 The Lady of Shalott.

                                            And down the river's dim expanse—
                                            Like some bold seer in a trance,
                                            Seeing all his own mischance—
                                            With a glassy countenance                    130
                                                  Did she look to Camelot.
                                            And at the closing of the day
                                            She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
                                            The broad stream bore her far away,
                                                  The Lady of Shalott.                   135


                                            Lying, robed in snowy white
                                            That loosely flew to left and right—
                                            The leaves upon her falling light—
                                            Thro' the noises of the night
                                                  She floated down to Camelot:           140
                                            And as the boat-head wound along
                                            The willowy hills and fields among,
                                            They heard her singing her last song,
                                                  The Lady of Shalott.

                                            Heard a carol, mournful, holy,               145
                                            Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,
                                            Till her blood was frozen slowly,
                                            And her eyes were darken'd wholly,
                                                   Turn'd to tower'd Camelot;
                                            For ere she reach'd upon the tide            150
                                            The first house by the water-side,
                                            Singing in her song she died,
                                                   The Lady of Shalott.

                                            Under tower and balcony,
                                            By garden-wall and gallery,                  155
                                            A gleaming shape she floated by,
                                            Dead-pale between the houses high,
                                                  Silent into Camelot.
                                            Out upon the wharfs they came,
                                            Knight and burgher, lord and dame,           160
                                            And round the prow they read her name,
                                                  The Lady of Shalott.

                                            Who is this? and what is here?
                                            And in the lighted palace near
                                            Died the sound of royal cheer;               165
                                            And they cross'd themselves for fear,
                                                  All the knights at Camelot:
                                            But Lancelot mused a little space;
                                            He said, 'She has a lovely face;
                                            God in His mercy lend her grace,             170
                                                  The Lady of Shalott.'


                                                 CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD


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549. Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The Oxford Book of English Verse




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                                                 CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
                     Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.


                                                 Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 1772–1834


                                       549. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

                                                                     PART I
                   An ancient Mariner meeteth                 IT is an ancient Mariner,
                   three gallants bidden to a                 And he stoppeth one of three.
                   wedding feast, and detaineth               'By thy long beard and glittering eye,
                   one.                                       Now wherefore stopp'st thou me?

                                                              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,
                                                              'There was a ship,' quoth he.                 10
                                                              'Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!'
                                                              Eftsoons his hand dropt he.

                   The Wedding-Guest is spell-                He holds him with his glittering eye—
                   bound by the eye of the old                The Wedding-Guest stood still,
                   seafaring man, and                         And listens like a three years' child:        15
                   constrained to hear his tale.              The Mariner hath his will.

                                                              The Wedding-Guest sat on a stone:
                                                              He cannot choose but hear;
                                                              And thus spake on that ancient man,
                                                              The bright-eyed Mariner.                      20


                                                              'The ship was cheer'd, the harbour clear'd,
                                                              Merrily did we drop
                                                              Below the kirk, below the hill,
                                                              Below the lighthouse top.


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549. Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The Oxford Book of English Verse


                   The Mariner tells how the                  The Sun came up upon the left,                   25
                   ship sailed southward with a               Out of the sea came he!
                   good wind and fair weather,                And he shone bright, and on the right
                   till it reached the Line.                  Went down into the sea.

                                                              Higher and higher every day,
                                                              Till over the mast at noon——'                    30
                                                              The Wedding-Guest here beat his breast,
                                                              For he heard the loud bassoon.

                   The Wedding-Guest heareth                  The bride hath paced into the hall,
                   the bridal music; but the                  Red as a rose is she;
                   Mariner continueth his tale.               Nodding their heads before her goes              35
                                                              The merry minstrelsy.

                                                              The Wedding-Guest he beat his breast,
                                                              Yet he cannot choose but hear;
                                                              And thus spake on that ancient man,
                                                              The bright-eyed Mariner.                         40


                   The ship drawn by a storm                  'And now the Storm-blast came, and he
                   toward the South Pole.                     Was tyrannous and strong:
                                                              He struck with his o'ertaking wings,
                                                              And chased us south along.

                                                              With sloping masts and dipping prow,             45
                                                              As who pursued with yell and blow
                                                              Still treads the shadow of his foe,
                                                              And forward bends his head,
                                                              The ship drove fast, loud roar'd the blast,
                                                              The southward aye we fled.                       50


                                                              And now there came both mist and snow,
                                                              And it grew wondrous cold:
                                                              And ice, mast-high, came floating by,
                                                              As green as emerald.

                   The land of ice, and of fearful And through the drifts the snowy clifts                     55
                   sounds, where no living thing Did send a dismal sheen:
                   was to be seen.                 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:                          60
                                                              It crack'd and growl'd, and roar'd and howl'd,
                                                              Like noises in a swound!

                   Till a great sea-bird, called              At length did cross an Albatross,
                   the Albatross, came through                Thorough the fog it came;
                   the snow-fog, and was                      As if it had been a Christian soul,              65
                   received with great joy and                We hail'd it in God's name.
                   hospitality.
                                                              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 steer'd us through!                 70



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549. Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The Oxford Book of English Verse




                   And lo! the Albatross proveth              And a good south wind sprung up behind;
                   a bird of good omen, and                   The Albatross did follow,
                   followeth the ship as it                   And every day, for food or play,
                   returned northward through                 Came to the mariners' hollo!
                   fog and floating ice.
                                                              In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,              75
                                                              It perch'd for vespers nine;
                                                              Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke white,
                                                              Glimmer'd the white moonshine.'

                   The ancient Mariner                        'God save thee, ancient Mariner!
                   inhospitably killeth the pious             From the fiends, that plague thee thus!—          80
                   bird of good omen.                         Why look'st thou so?'—'With my crossbow
                                                              I shot the Albatross.

                                                                                    PART II
                                                              'The Sun now rose upon the right:
                                                              Out of the sea came he,
                                                              Still hid in mist, and on the left                85
                                                              Went down into the sea.

                                                              And the good south wind still blew behind,
                                                              But no sweet bird did follow,
                                                              Nor any day for food or play
                                                              Came to the mariners' hollo!                      90


                   His shipmates cry out against And I had done an hellish thing,
                   the ancient Mariner for killing And it would work 'em woe:
                   the bird of good luck.          For all averr'd, I had kill'd the bird
                                                              That made the breeze to blow.
                                                              Ah wretch! said they, the bird to slay,           95
                                                              That made the breeze to blow!

                   But when the fog cleared off,              Nor dim nor red, like God's own head,
                   they justify the same, and thus            The glorious Sun uprist:
                   make themselves accomplices                Then all averr'd, I had kill'd the bird
                   in the crime.                              That brought the fog and mist.                   100
                                                              'Twas right, said they, such birds to slay,
                                                              That bring the fog and mist.

                   The fair breeze continues; the             The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
                   ship enters the Pacific Ocean,             The furrow follow'd free;
                   and sails northward, even till             We were the first that ever burst                105
                   it reaches the Line.                       Into that silent sea.

                   The ship hath been suddenly                Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down,
                   becalmed.                                  'Twas sad as sad could be;
                                                              And we did speak only to break
                                                              The silence of the sea!                          110


                                                              All in a hot and copper sky,
                                                              The bloody Sun, at noon,
                                                              Right up above the mast did stand,
                                                              No bigger than the Moon.



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549. Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The Oxford Book of English Verse


                                                              Day after day, day after day,              115
                                                              We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
                                                              As idle as a painted ship
                                                              Upon a painted ocean.

                   And the Albatross begins to                Water, water, everywhere,
                   be avenged.                                And all the boards did shrink;             120
                                                              Water, water, everywhere,
                                                              Nor any drop to drink.

                                                              The very deep did rot: O Christ!
                                                              That ever this should be!
                                                              Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs      125
                                                              Upon the slimy sea.

                                                              About, about, in reel and rout
                                                              The death-fires danced at night;
                                                              The water, like a witch's oils,
                                                              Burnt green, and blue, and white.          130


                   A Spirit had followed them;                And some in dreams assuréd were
                   one of the invisible                       Of the Spirit that plagued us so;
                   inhabitants of this planet,
                                                              Nine fathom deep he had followed us
                   neither departed souls nor
                   angels; concerning whom the                From the land of mist and snow.
                   learned Jew, Josephus, and
                   the Platonic                               And every tongue, through utter drought,   135
                   Constantinopolitan, Michael                Was wither'd at the root;
                   Psellus, may be consulted.
                                                              We could not speak, no more than if
                   They are very numerous, and
                   there is no climate or element             We had been choked with soot.
                   without one or more.
                   The shipmates in their sore                Ah! well a-day! what evil looks
                   distress, would fain throw the             Had I from old and young!                  140
                   whole guilt on the ancient                 Instead of the cross, the Albatross
                   Mariner: in sign whereof they              About my neck was hung.
                   hang the dead sea-bird round
                   his neck.
                                                                                 PART III
                                                              'There passed a weary time. Each throat
                                                              Was parch'd, and glazed each eye.
                                                              A weary time! a weary time!                145
                                                              How glazed each weary eye!
                   The ancient Mariner                        When looking westward, I beheld
                   beholdeth a sign in the                    A something in the sky.
                   element afar off.
                                                              At first it seem'd a little speck,
                                                              And then it seem'd a mist;                 150
                                                              It moved and moved, and took at last
                                                              A certain shape, I wist.

                                                              A speck, a mist, a shape, I wist!
                                                              And still it near'd and near'd:
                                                              As if it dodged a water-sprite,            155
                                                              It plunged, and tack'd, and veer'd.

                   At its nearer approach, it    With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,
                   seemeth him to be a ship; and We could nor laugh nor wail;


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549. Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The Oxford Book of English Verse


                   at a dear ransom he freeth his Through utter drought all dumb we stood!
                   speech from the bonds of       I bit my arm, I suck'd the blood,                           160
                   thirst.                        And cried, A sail! a sail!

                                                              With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,
                                                              Agape they heard me call:
                   A flash of joy;                            Gramercy! they for joy did grin,
                                                              And all at once their breath drew in,           165
                                                              As they were drinking all.

                   And horror follows. For can it See! see! (I cried) she tacks no more!
                   be a ship that comes onward Hither to work us weal—
                   without wind or tide?          Without a breeze, without a tide,
                                                              She steadies with upright keel!                 170


                                                              The western wave was all aflame,
                                                              The day was wellnigh done!
                                                              Almost upon the western wave
                                                              Rested the broad, bright Sun;
                                                              When that strange shape drove suddenly          175
                                                              Betwixt us and the Sun.

                   It seemeth him but the                     And straight the Sun was fleck'd with bars
                   skeleton of a ship.                        (Heaven's Mother send us grace!),
                                                              As if through a dungeon-grate he peer'd
                                                              With broad and burning face.                    180


                                                              Alas! (thought I, and my heart beat loud)
                                                              How fast she nears and nears!
                                                              Are those her sails that glance in the Sun,
                                                              Like restless gossameres?

                   And its ribs are seen as bars              Are those her ribs through which the Sun        185
                   on the face of the setting Sun.            Did peer, as through a grate?
                   The Spectre-Woman and her                  And is that Woman all her crew?
                   Death-mate, and no other on                Is that a Death? and are there two?
                   board the skeleton ship. Like              Is Death that Woman's mate?
                   vessel, like crew!
                                                              Her lips were red, her looks were free,         190
                                                              Her locks were yellow as gold:
                                                              Her skin was as white as leprosy,
                                                              The Nightmare Life-in-Death was she,
                                                              Who thicks man's blood with cold.

                   Death and Life-in-Death have               The naked hulk alongside came,                  195
                   diced for the ship's crew, and             And the twain were casting dice;
                   she (the latter) winneth the               "The game is done! I've won! I've won!"
                   ancient Mariner.                           Quoth she, and whistles thrice.

                   No twilight within the courts              The Sun's rim dips; the stars rush out:         200
                   of the Sun.                                At one stride comes the dark;
                                                              With far-heard whisper, o'er the sea,
                                                              Off shot the spectre-bark.

                                                              We listen'd and look'd sideways up!
                                                              Fear at my heart, as at a cup,                  205



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549. Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The Oxford Book of English Verse


                                                              My life-blood seem'd to sip!
                                                              The stars were dim, and thick the night,
                                                              The steersman's face by his lamp gleam'd white;
                                                              From the sails the dew did drip—
                   At the rising of the Moon,                 Till clomb above the eastern bar                  210
                                                              The hornéd Moon, with one bright star
                                                              Within the nether tip.

                   One after another,                         One after one, by the star-dogg'd Moon,
                                                              Too quick for groan or sigh,
                                                              Each turn'd his face with a ghastly pang,         215
                                                              And cursed me with his eye.

                   His shipmates drop down                    Four times fifty living men
                   dead.                                      (And I heard nor sigh nor groan),
                                                              With heavy thump, a lifeless lump,
                                                              They dropp'd down one by one.                     220


                   But Life-in-Death begins her               The souls did from their bodies fly—
                   work on the ancient Mariner.               They fled to bliss or woe!
                                                              And every soul, it pass'd me by
                                                              Like the whizz of my crossbow!'

                                                                    PART IV
                   The Wedding-Guest feareth                  'I fear thee, ancient Mariner!                    225
                   that a spirit is talking to him;           I fear thy skinny hand!
                                                              And thou art long, and lank, and brown,
                                                              As is the ribb'd sea-sand.

                                                              I fear thee and thy glittering eye,
                                                              And thy skinny hand so brown.'—                   230
                   But the ancient Mariner                    'Fear not, fear not, thou Wedding-Guest!
                   assureth him of his bodily                 This body dropt not down.
                   life, and proceedeth to relate
                   his horrible penance.                      Alone, alone, all, all alone,
                                                              Alone on a wide, wide sea!
                                                              And never a saint took pity on                    235
                                                              My soul in agony.

                   He despiseth the creatures of              The many men, so beautiful!
                   the calm.                                  And they all dead did lie:
                                                              And a thousand thousand slimy things
                                                              Lived on; and so did I.                           240


                   And envieth that they should               I look'd upon the rotting sea,
                   live, and so many lie dead.                And drew my eyes away;
                                                              I look'd upon the rotting deck,
                                                              And there the dead men lay.

                                                              I look'd to heaven, and tried to pray;            245
                                                              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,
                                                              And the balls like pulses beat;                   250



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549. Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The Oxford Book of English Verse


                                                              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.

                   But the curse liveth for him in The cold sweat melted from their limbs,
                   the eye of the dead men.        Nor rot nor reek did they:                                     255
                                                              The look with which they look'd on me
                                                              Had never pass'd away.

                                                              An orphan's curse would drag to hell
                                                              A spirit from on high;
                                                              But oh! more horrible than that                     260
                                                              Is the curse in a dead man's eye!
                                                              Seven days, seven nights, I saw that curse,
                                                              And yet I could not die.

                   In his loneliness and                      The moving Moon went up the sky,
                   fixedness he yearneth towards                                                                  265
                                                              And nowhere did abide;
                   the journeying Moon, and the
                   stars that still sojourn, yet still        Softly she was going up,
                   move onward; and                           And a star or two beside—
                   everywhere the blue sky
                   belongs to them, and is their
                                                              Her beams bemock'd the sultry main,
                   appointed rest and their native
                   country and their own natural              Like April hoar-frost spread;
                   homes, which they enter                    But where the ship's huge shadow lay,               270
                   unannounced, as lords that are             The charméd water burnt alway
                   certainly expected, and yet
                   there is a silent joy at their             A still and awful red.
                   arrival.
                   By the light of the Moon he                Beyond the shadow of the ship,
                   beholdeth God's creatures of               I watch'd the water-snakes:
                   the great calm.                            They moved in tracks of shining white,              275
                                                              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,               280
                                                              They coil'd and swam; and every track
                                                              Was a flash of golden fire.

                   Their beauty and their         O happy living things! no tongue
                   happiness.                     Their beauty might declare:
                                                  A spring of love gush'd from my heart,                          285
                   He blesseth them in his heart. And I bless'd them unaware:
                                                  Sure my kind saint took pity on me,
                                                  And I bless'd them unaware.

                   The spell begins to break.                 The selfsame moment I could pray;
                                                              And from my neck so free                            290
                                                              The Albatross fell off, and sank
                                                              Like lead into the sea.

                                                                                    PART V
                                                              'O sleep! it is a gentle thing,
                                                              Beloved from pole to pole!


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549. Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The Oxford Book of English Verse


                                                              To Mary Queen the praise be given!               295
                                                              She sent the gentle sleep from Heaven,
                                                              That slid into my soul.

                   By grace of the holy Mother,               The silly buckets on the deck,
                   the ancient Mariner is                     That had so long remain'd,
                   refreshed with rain.                       I dreamt that they were fill'd with dew;         300
                                                              And when I awoke, it rain'd.

                                                              My lips were wet, my throat was cold,
                                                              My garments all were dank;
                                                              Sure I had drunken in my dreams,
                                                              And still my body drank.                         305


                                                              I moved, and could not feel my limbs:
                                                              I was so light—almost
                                                              I thought that I had died in sleep,
                                                              And was a blesséd ghost.

                   He heareth sounds and seeth                And soon I heard a roaring wind:                 310
                   strange sights and                         It did not come anear;
                   commotions in the sky and                  But with its sound it shook the sails,
                   the element.                               That were so thin and sere.

                                                              The upper air burst into life;
                                                              And a hundred fire-flags sheen;                  315
                                                              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,
                                                              And the sails did sigh like sedge;               320
                                                              And the rain pour'd down from one black cloud;
                                                              The Moon was at its edge.

                                                              The thick black cloud was cleft, and still
                                                              The Moon was at its side;
                                                              Like waters shot from some high crag,            325
                                                              The lightning fell with never a jag,
                                                              A river steep and wide.

                   The bodies of the ship's crew              The loud wind never reach'd the ship,
                   are inspired, and the ship                 Yet now the ship moved on!
                   moves on;                                  Beneath the lightning and the Moon               330
                                                              The dead men gave a groan.

                                                              They groan'd, they stirr'd, they all uprose,
                                                              Nor spake, nor moved their eyes;
                                                              It had been strange, even in a dream,
                                                              To have seen those dead men rise.                335


                                                              The helmsman steer'd, the ship moved on;
                                                              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—     340



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549. Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The Oxford Book of English Verse


                                                              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 naught to me.'                       345


                   But not by the souls of the                'I fear thee, ancient Mariner!'
                   men, nor by demons of earth                Be calm, thou Wedding-Guest:
                   or middle air, but by a blessed            'Twas not those souls that fled in pain,
                   troop of angelic spirits, sent             Which to their corses came again,
                   down by the invocation of the              But a troop of spirits blest:                    350
                   guardian saint.
                                                              For when it dawn'd—they dropp'd their arms,
                                                              And cluster'd round the mast;
                                                              Sweet sounds rose slowly through their mouths,
                                                              And from their bodies pass'd.

                                                              Around, around, flew each sweet sound,           355
                                                              Then darted to the Sun;
                                                              Slowly the sounds came back again,
                                                              Now mix'd, now one by one.

                                                              Sometimes a-dropping from the sky
                                                              I heard the skylark sing;                        360
                                                              Sometimes all little birds that are,
                                                              How they seem'd to fill the sea and air
                                                              With their sweet jargoning!

                                                              And now 'twas like all instruments,
                                                              Now like a lonely flute;                         365
                                                              And now it is an angel's song,
                                                              That makes the Heavens be mute.

                                                              It ceased; yet still the sails made on
                                                              A pleasant noise till noon,
                                                              A noise like of a hidden brook                   370
                                                              In the leafy month of June,
                                                              That to the sleeping woods all night
                                                              Singeth a quiet tune.

                                                              Till noon we quietly sail'd on,
                                                              Yet never a breeze did breathe:                  375
                                                              Slowly and smoothly went the ship,
                                                              Moved onward from beneath.

                   The lonesome Spirit from the               Under the keel nine fathom deep,
                   South Pole carries on the ship             From the land of mist and snow,
                   as far as the Line, in                     The Spirit slid: and it was he                   380
                   obedience to the angelic                   That made the ship to go.
                   troop, but still requireth                 The sails at noon left off their tune,
                   vengeance.
                                                              And the ship stood still also.

                                                              The Sun, right up above the mast,
                                                              Had fix'd her to the ocean:                      385
                                                              But in a minute she 'gan stir,


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549. Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The Oxford Book of English Verse


                                                              With a short uneasy motion—
                                                              Backwards and forwards half her length
                                                              With a short uneasy motion.

                                                              Then like a pawing horse let go,                     390
                                                              She made a sudden bound:
                                                              It flung the blood into my head,
                                                              And I fell down in a swound.

                   The Polar Spirit's fellow-                 How long in that same fit I lay,
                   demons, the invisible                      I have not to declare;                               395
                   inhabitants of the element,                But ere my living life return'd,
                   take part in his wrong; and                I heard, and in my soul discern'd
                   two of them relate, one to the             Two voices in the air.
                   other, that penance long and
                   heavy for the ancient Mariner
                   hath been accorded to the
                                                              "Is it he?" quoth one, "is this the man?
                                                              By Him who died on cross,                            400
                   Polar Spirit, who returneth
                   southward.                                 With his cruel bow he laid full low
                                                              The harmless Albatross.

                                                              The Spirit who bideth by himself
                                                              In the land of mist and snow,
                                                              He loved the bird that loved the man                 405
                                                              Who shot him with his bow."

                                                              The other was a softer voice,
                                                              As soft as honey-dew:
                                                              Quoth he, "The man hath penance done,
                                                              And penance more will do."                           410


                                                                                  PART VI
                                                              First Voice: '"But tell me, tell me! speak again,
                                                              Thy soft response renewing—
                                                              What makes that ship drive on so fast?
                                                              What is the Ocean doing?"

                                                              Second Voice: "Still as a slave before his lord,     415
                                                              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;
                                                              For she guides him smooth or grim.                   420
                                                              See, brother, see! how graciously
                                                              She looketh down on him."

                   The Mariner hath been cast                 First Voice: "But why drives on that ship so fast,
                   into a trance; for the angelic             Without or wave or wind?"
                   power causeth the vessel to
                   drive northward faster than                Second Voice: "The air is cut away before,           425
                   human life could endure.                   And closes from behind.

                                                              Fly, brother, fly! more high, more high!
                                                              Or we shall be belated:
                                                              For slow and slow that ship will go,
                                                              When the Mariner's trance is abated.'                430



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549. Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The Oxford Book of English Verse




                   The supernatural motion is    I woke, and we were sailing on
                   retarded; the Mariner awakes, As in a gentle weather:
                   and his penance begins anew. 'Twas night, calm night, the Moon was high;
                                                              The dead men stood together.

                                                              All stood together on the deck,              435
                                                              For a charnel-dungeon fitter:
                                                              All fix'd on me their stony eyes,
                                                              That in the Moon did glitter.

                                                              The pang, the curse, with which they died,
                                                              Had never pass'd away:                       440
                                                              I could not draw my eyes from theirs,
                                                              Nor turn them up to pray.

                   The curse is finally expiated.             And now this spell was snapt: once more
                                                              I viewed the ocean green,
                                                              And look'd far forth, yet little saw         445
                                                              Of what had else been seen—

                                                              Like one that on a lonesome road
                                                              Doth walk in fear and dread,
                                                              And having once turn'd round, walks on,
                                                              And turns no more his head;                  450
                                                              Because he knows a frightful fiend
                                                              Doth close behind him tread.

                                                              But soon there breathed a wind on me,
                                                              Nor sound nor motion made:
                                                              Its path was not upon the sea,               455
                                                              In ripple or in shade.

                                                              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.                460


                                                              Swiftly, swiftly flew the ship,
                                                              Yet she sail'd softly too:
                                                              Sweetly, sweetly blew the breeze—
                                                              On me alone it blew.

                   And the ancient Mariner                    O dream of joy! is this indeed               465
                   beholdeth his native country.              The lighthouse top I see?
                                                              Is this the hill? is this the kirk?
                                                              Is this mine own countree?

                                                              We drifted o'er the harbour-bar,
                                                              And I with sobs did pray—                    470
                                                              O let me be awake, my God!
                                                              Or let me sleep alway.

                                                              The harbour-bay was clear as glass,
                                                              So smoothly it was strewn!
                                                              And on the bay the moonlight lay,            475



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549. Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The Oxford Book of English Verse


                                                              And the shadow of the Moon.

                                                              The rock shone bright, the kirk no less
                                                              That stands above the rock:
                                                              The moonlight steep'd in silentness
                                                              The steady weathercock.                   480


                   The angelic spirits leave the              And the bay was white with silent light
                   dead bodies,                               Till rising from the same,
                                                              Full many shapes, that shadows were,
                                                              In crimson colours came.

                   And appear in their own                    A little distance from the prow           485
                   forms of light.                            Those crimson shadows were:
                                                              I turn'd my eyes upon the deck—
                                                              O Christ! what saw I there!

                                                              Each corse lay flat, lifeless and flat,
                                                              And, by the holy rood!                    490
                                                              A man all light, a seraph-man,
                                                              On every corse there stood.

                                                              This seraph-band, each waved his hand:
                                                              It was a heavenly sight!
                                                              They stood as signals to the land,        495
                                                              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.                   500


                                                              But soon I heard the dash of oars,
                                                              I heard the Pilot's cheer;
                                                              My head was turn'd perforce away,
                                                              And I saw a boat appear.

                                                              The Pilot and the Pilot's boy,            505
                                                              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!                    510
                                                              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.

                                                                                 PART VII
                   The Hermit of the Wood.                    'This Hermit good lives in that wood      515
                                                              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.



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549. Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The Oxford Book of English Verse


                                                              He kneels at morn, and noon, and eve—            520
                                                              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 talk,
                                                              "Why, this is strange, I trow!                   525
                                                              Where are those lights so many and fair,
                                                              That signal made but now?"

                   Approacheth the ship with                  "Strange, by my faith!" the Hermit said—
                   wonder.                                    "And they answer'd not our cheer!
                                                              The planks looked warp'd! and see those sails,   530
                                                              How thin they are and sere!
                                                              I never saw aught like to them,
                                                              Unless perchance it were

                                                              Brown skeletons of leaves that lag
                                                              My forest-brook along;                           535
                                                              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)                           540
                                                              I am a-fear'd"—"Push on, push on!"
                                                              Said the Hermit cheerily.

                                                              The boat came closer to the ship,
                                                              But I nor spake nor stirr'd;
                                                              The boat came close beneath the ship,            545
                                                              And straight a sound was heard.

                   The ship suddenly sinketh.                 Under the water it rumbled on,
                                                              Still louder and more dread:
                                                              It reach'd the ship, it split the bay;
                                                              The ship went down like lead.                    550


                   The ancient Mariner is saved               Stunn'd by that loud and dreadful sound,
                   in the Pilot's boat.                       Which sky and ocean smote,
                                                              Like one that hath been seven days drown'd
                                                              My body lay afloat;
                                                              But swift as dreams, myself I found              555
                                                              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.                        560


                                                              I moved my lips—the Pilot shriek'd
                                                              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,                565



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549. Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The Oxford Book of English Verse


                                                              Who now doth crazy go,
                                                              Laugh'd 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."                570


                                                              And now, all in my own countree,
                                                              I stood on the firm land!
                                                              The Hermit stepp'd forth from the boat,
                                                              And scarcely he could stand.

                   The ancient Mariner earnestly              "O shrieve me, shrieve me, holy man!"       575
                   entreateth the Hermit to                   The Hermit cross'd his brow.
                   shrieve him; and the penance               "Say quick," quoth he, "I bid thee say—
                   of life falls on him.                      What manner of man art thou?"

                                                              Forthwith this frame of mine was wrench'd
                                                              With a woful agony,                         580
                                                              Which forced me to begin my tale;
                                                              And then it left me free.

                   And ever and anon                          Since then, at an uncertain hour,
                   throughout his future life an              That agony returns:
                   agony constraineth him to                  And till my ghastly tale is told,           585
                   travel from land to land;                  This heart within me burns.

                                                              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:           590
                                                              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 bride-maids singing are:                595
                                                              And hark the little vesper bell,
                                                              Which biddeth me to prayer!

                                                              O Wedding-Guest! this soul hath been
                                                              Alone on a wide, wide sea:
                                                              So lonely 'twas, that God Himself           600
                                                              Scarce seeméd there to be.

                                                              O sweeter than the marriage-feast,
                                                              'Tis sweeter far to me,
                                                              To walk together to the kirk
                                                              With a goodly company!—                     605


                                                              To walk together to the kirk,
                                                              And all together pray,
                                                              While each to his great Father bends,
                                                              Old men, and babes, and loving friends,
                                                              And youths and maidens gay!                 610


                   And to teach, by his own                   Farewell, farewell! but this I tell


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549. Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The Oxford Book of English Verse


                   example, love and reverence                To thee, thou Wedding-Guest!
                   to all things that God made                He prayeth well, who loveth well
                   and loveth.                                Both man and bird and beast.

                                                              He prayeth best, who loveth best                615
                                                              All things both great and small;
                                                              For the dear God who loveth us,
                                                              He made and loveth all.'

                                                              The Mariner, whose eye is bright,
                                                              Whose beard with age is hoar,                   620
                                                              Is gone: and now the Wedding-Guest
                                                              Turn'd from the bridegroom's door.

                                                              He went like one that hath been stunn'd,
                                                              And is of sense forlorn:
                                                              A sadder and a wiser man                        625
                                                              He rose the morrow morn.


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