The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner
Part VII. (This Hermit good lives in that wood...)
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
|This Hermit good lives in that wood
Which slopes down to the sea.
How loudly his sweet voice he rears!
He loves to talk with marineres
That come from a far countree.
|The Hermit of the Wood
|He kneels at morn, and noon, and eve --
He hath a cushion plump:
It is the moss that wholly hides
The rotted old oak-stump.
|The skiff-boat neared: I heard them talk,
Why, this is strange, I trow!
Strange, by my faith!the Hermit said --
"And they answered not our cheer!
The planks looked warped! and see those sails,
How thin they are and sere!
I never saw aught like to them,
Unless perchance it were
|Approacheth the ship with wonder.
|Brown skeletons of leaves that lag
My forest-brook along;
When the ivy-tod is heavy with snow,
And the owlet whoops to the wolf below,
That eats the she-wolf's young."
Dear Lord! it hath a fiendish look ----
Push on, push on!
Said the Hermit cheerily.
|The boat came closer to the ship,
But I nor spake nor stirred;
The boat came close beneath the ship,
And straight a sound was heard.
|Under the water it rumbled on,
Still louder and more dread:
It reached the ship, it split the bay;
The ship went down like lead.
|The ship suddenly sinketh.
|Stunned by that loud and dreadful sound,
Which sky and ocean smote,
Like one that hath been seven days drowned
My body lay afloat;
But swift as dreams, myself I found
Within the Pilot's boat.
|The ancient Mariner is saved in the Pilot's boat.
|Upon the whirl, where sank the ship,
The boat spun round and round;
And all was still, save that the hill
Was telling of the sound.
|I moved my lips -- the Pilot shrieked
And fell down in a fit;
The holy Hermit raised his eyes,
And prayed where he did sit.
|I took the oars: the Pilot's boy,
Who now doth crazy go,
Laughed loud and long, and all the while
His eyes went to and fro.
Ha! ha!quoth he,
full plain I see,
|And now, all in my own countree,
I stood on the firm land!
The Hermit stepped forth from the boat,
And scarcely he could stand.
O shrieve me, shrieve me, holy man!
The Hermit crossed his brow.
Say quick,quoth he,
I bid thee say --
|The ancient Mariner earnestly entreateth the Hermit to shrieve him; and the penance of life falls on him.
|Forthwith this frame of mine was wrenched
With a woful agony,
Which forced me to begin my tale;
And then it left me free.
|Since then, at an uncertain hour,
That agony returns:
And till my ghastly tale is told,
This heart within me burns.
|And ever and anon throughout his future life an agony constraineth him to travel from land to land.
|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:
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:
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
Scarce seemed there to be.
|O sweeter than the marriage-feast,
'Tis sweeter far to me,
To walk together to the kirk
With a goodly company! --
|To walk together to the kirk,
And all together pray,
While each to his great Father bends,
Old men, and babes, and loving friends
And youths and maidens gay!
|Farewell, farewell! but this I tell
To thee, thou Wedding-Guest!
He prayeth well, who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast.
|And to teach, by his own example, love and reverence to all things that God made and loveth.
|He prayeth best, who loveth best
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,
Is gone: and now the Wedding-Guest
Turned from the bridegroom's door.
|He went like one that hath been stunned,
And is of sense forlorn:
A sadder and a wiser man,
He rose the morrow morn.
Source:The Golden Book Of Coleridge
London: J.M. Dent & Sons, Ltd.
New York: E. P. Dutton & Co.