The Rime of the Ancient Mariner – Part the Second
by SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE (1772-1834)
Read by David Barnes for Librivox
The Sun now rose upon the right:
Out of the sea came he,
Still hid in mist, and on the left
Went down into the sea.
And the good south wind still blew behind
But no sweet bird did follow,
Nor any day for food or play
Came to the mariners’ hollo!
And I had done an hellish thing,
And it would work ’em woe:
For all averred, I had killed the bird
That made the breeze to blow.
Ah wretch! said they, the bird to slay
That made the breeze to blow!
Nor dim nor red, like God’s own head,
The glorious Sun uprist:
Then all averred, I had killed the bird
That brought the fog and mist.
‘Twas right, said they, such birds to slay,
That bring the fog and mist.
The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
The furrow followed free:
We were the first that ever burst
Into that silent sea.
Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down,
‘Twas sad as sad could be;
And we did speak only to break
The silence of the sea!
All in a hot and copper sky,
The bloody Sun, at noon,
Right up above the mast did stand,
No bigger than the Moon.
Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.
Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.
The very deep did rot: O Christ!
That ever this should be!
Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs
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.
And some in dreams assured were
Of the spirit that plagued us so:
Nine fathom deep he had followed us
From the land of mist and snow.
And every tongue, through utter drought,
Was withered at the root;
We could not speak, no more than if
We had been choked with soot.
Ah! well a-day! what evil looks
Had I from old and young!
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.
"… As to Coleridge, the moralizers have been even more offensive about him than about Byron or Shelley. The life of every famous man is a lesson to the world, but the lesson is spoilt when it is made, as Thackeray did in his distressing fashion, the text of moral blame. Of course, there should be no concealment of the facts of a great man’s life. But these should be stated, when they are bad, without note or comment. Then every man can apply their lesson to himself, and with a great deal more force than when they are loaded with preachments, and lectured on as if they were anatomical preparations. …"The Golden Book of Coleridge" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Stopford Augustus Brooke, Published by Dent, 1906 read or download on Google Books