Selections from Five English Poets eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 100 pages of information about Selections from Five English Poets.

  “And every tongue, through utter drought, 135
  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! 140
  Instead of the cross, the Albatross
  About my neck was hung.”


  “There passed a weary time.  Each throat
  Was parched, and glazed each eye. 
  A weary time! a weary time! 145
  How glazed each weary eye,
  When, looking westward, I beheld
  A something in the sky.

  “At first it seemed a little speck,
  And then it seemed a mist; 150
  It moved and moved, and took at last
  A certain shape, I wist.[23]

  “A speck, a mist, a shape, I wist! 
  And still it neared and neared;
  As if it dodged a water-sprite, 155
  It plunged and tacked and veered,

  “With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,
  We could nor laugh nor wail;
  Through utter drought all dumb we stood! 
  I bit my arm, I sucked the blood, 160
  And cried, ‘A sail! a sail!’

  “With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,
  Agape[24] they heard me call: 
  Gramercy![25] they for joy did grin,
  And all at once their breath drew in, 165
  As they were drinking all.

  “See! see! (I cried) she tacks no more! 
  Hither to work us weal,[26]
  Without a breeze, without a tide,
  She steadies with upright keel! 170

  “The western wave was all a-flame,
  The day was well-nigh done! 
  Almost upon the western wave
  Rested the broad bright Sun;
  When that strange shape drove suddenly 175
  Betwixt us and the Sun.

  “And straight[27] the Sun was flecked with bars,[28]
  (Heaven’s Mother[29] send us grace!)
  As if through a dungeon grate he peered
  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?[30]

  “Are those her ribs through which the Sun 185
  Did peer, as through a grate? 
  And is that Woman all her crew? 
  Is that a Death? and are there two? 
  Is Death that woman’s mate?

  “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[31] was she
  Who thicks man’s blood with cold.

  “The naked hulk alongside came, 195
  And the twain were casting dice;
  ‘The game is done!  I’ve won, I’ve won!’
  Quoth she, and whistles thrice.

Project Gutenberg
Selections from Five English Poets from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.