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.

  “The Sun’s rim dips; the stars rush out;
  At one stride comes the dark;[32] 200
  With far-heard whisper o’er the sea
  Off shot the spectre-bark.

  “We listened and looked sideways up! 
  Fear at my heart, as at a cup,
  My life-blood seemed to sip! 205
  The stars were dim, and thick the night,
  The steersman’s face by his lamp gleamed white;
  From the sails the dew did drip—­
  Till clomb[33] above the eastern bar
  The horned Moon, with one bright star 210
  Within the nether tip.[34]

  “One after one, by the star-dogged Moon,
  Too quick for groan or sigh,
  Each turned his face with a ghastly pang,
  And cursed me with his eye. 215

  “Four times fifty living men,
  (And I heard nor sigh nor groan)
  With heavy thump, a lifeless lump,
  They dropped down one by one.

  “The souls did from their bodies fly,—­ 220
  They fled to bliss or woe! 
  And every soul, it passed me by,
  Like the whizz of my cross-bow!”

PART IV

  “I fear thee,[35] ancient Mariner! 
  I fear thy skinny hand! 225
  And thou art long, and lank, and brown,[36]
  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! 230
  This body dropped not down.

  “Alone, alone, all, all alone,
  Alone on a wide, wide sea! 
  And never a saint took pity on
  My soul in agony. 235

  “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, 240
  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, 245
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,[37] 250
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 255
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! 260
Seven days, seven nights, I saw that curse,
And yet I could not die.

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