The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
- Year Published: 1798
- Language: English
- Country of Origin: England
- Source: Coleridge, S.T. (1798) The Rime of Ancient Mariner London, England: J. & A. Arch, Gracechurch Street
- Flesch–Kincaid Level: 9.0
- Word Count: 424
- Genre: Poetry
- Keywords: 18th century literature, british literature, poetry
- ✎ Cite This
Coleridge, S. (1798). Part the Fourth. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (Lit2Go Edition). Retrieved June 09, 2023, from https://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/181/the-rime-of-the-ancient-mariner/4306/part-the-fourth/
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. "Part the Fourth." The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Lit2Go Edition. 1798. Web. <https://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/181/the-rime-of-the-ancient-mariner/4306/part-the-fourth/>. June 09, 2023.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "Part the Fourth," The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Lit2Go Edition, (1798), accessed June 09, 2023, https://etc.usf.edu/lit2go/181/the-rime-of-the-ancient-mariner/4306/part-the-fourth/.
"I fear thee, ancient Mariner!
I fear thy skinny hand!
And thou art long, and lank, and brown,
As is the ribbed sea-sand.
"I fear thee and thy glittering eye,
And thy skinny hand, so brown."—
Fear not, fear not, thou Wedding-Guest!
This body dropt not down.
Alone, alone, all, all alone,
Alone on a wide wide sea!
And never a saint took pity on
My soul in agony.
The many men, so beautiful!
And they all dead did lie:
And a thousand thousand slimy things
Lived on; and so did I.
I looked upon the rotting sea,
And drew my eyes away;
I looked upon the rotting deck,
And there the dead men lay.
I looked to Heaven, and tried to pray:
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;
For the sky and the sea, and the sea and the sky
Lay like a load on my weary eye,
And the dead were at my feet.
The cold sweat melted from their limbs,
Nor rot nor reek did they:
The look with which they looked on me
Had never passed away.
An orphan's curse would drag to Hell
A spirit from on high;
But oh! more horrible than that
Is a curse in a dead man's eye!
Seven days, seven nights, I saw that curse,
And yet I could not die.
The moving Moon went up the sky,
And no where did abide:
Softly she was going up,
And a star or two beside.
Her beams bemocked the sultry main,
Like April hoar-frost spread;
But where the ship's huge shadow lay,
The charmed water burnt alway
A still and awful red.
Beyond the shadow of the ship,
I watched the water-snakes:
They moved in tracks of shining white,
And when they reared, the elfish light
Fell off in hoary flakes.
Within the shadow of the ship
I watched their rich attire:
Blue, glossy green, and velvet black,
They coiled and swam; and every track
Was a flash of golden fire.
O happy living things! no tongue
Their beauty might declare:
A spring of love gushed from my heart,
And I blessed them unaware:
Sure my kind saint took pity on me,
And I blessed them unaware.
The self same moment I could pray;
And from my neck so free
The Albatross fell off, and sank
Like lead into the sea.