“The moving Moon went up the sky,
And nowhere did abide:
Softly she was going up, 265
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 270
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 275
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 280
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: 285
Sure my kind saint took pity on me,
And I blessed them unaware.
“The selfsame moment I could pray;
And from my neck so free
The Albatross fell off, and sank 290
Like lead into the sea.”
“O sleep! it is a gentle thing,
Beloved from pole to pole!
To Mary Queen the praise be given!
She sent the gentle sleep from heaven, 295
That slid into my soul.
“The silly buckets on the deck,
That had so long remained,
I dreamt that they were filled with dew;
And when I awoke, it rained. 300
“My lips were wet, my throat was
My garments all were dank;
Sure I had drunken in my dreams,
And still my body drank.
“I moved, and could not feel my
I was so light—almost
I thought that I had died in sleep,
And was a blessed ghost.
“And soon I heard a roaring wind:
It did not come anear; 310
But with its sound it shook the sails,
That were so thin and sere.
“The upper air burst into life!
And a hundred fire-flags sheen,
To and fro they were hurried about! 315
And to and fro, and in and out,
The wan stars danced between.
“And the coming wind did roar more
And the sails did sigh like sedge;
And the rain poured down from one black cloud, 320
The Moon was at its edge.
“The thick black cloud was cleft,
The Moon was at its side:
Like waters shot from some high crag,
The lightning fell with never a jag, 325
A river steep and wide.
“The loud wind never reached the
Yet now the ship moved on!
Beneath the lightning and the Moon
The dead men gave a groan. 330