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.

  “‘Is it he?’ quoth one, ’Is this the man? 
  By Him who died on cross,
  With his cruel bow he laid full low 400
  The harmless Albatross.

  “’The spirit who bideth by himself
  In the land of mist and snow,
  He loved the bird that loved the man
  Who shot him with his bow.’ 405

  “The other was a softer voice,
  As soft as honey-dew;[49]
  Quoth he, ’The man hath penance done,
  And penance more will do.’”


  First Voice

  “’But tell me, tell me! speak again, 410
  Thy soft response renewing—­
  What makes that ship drive on so fast? 
  What is the ocean doing?’”

  Second Voice

  “’Still as a slave before his lord,
  The ocean hath no blast; 415
  His great bright eye most silently
  Up to the Moon is cast—­

  “’If he may know[50] which way to go;
  For she guides him smooth or grim.[51]
  See, brother, see! how graciously 420
  She looketh down on him.’”

  First Voice

  “’But why drives on that ship so fast,
  Without or wave or wind?’”

  Second Voice

  “’The air is cut away before,
  And closes from behind. 425

  “’Fly, brother, fly! more high, more high! 
  Or we shall be belated: 
  For slow and slow that ship will go,
  When the Mariner’s trance is abated.’

  “I woke, and we were sailing on 430
  As in a gentle weather: 
  ’T was night, calm night, the moon was high;
  The dead men stood together.

  “All stood together on the deck,
  For a charnel-dungeon[52] fitter:  435
  All fixed on me their stony eyes,
  That in the Moon did glitter.

  “The pang, the curse, with which they died,
  Had never passed away;
  I could not draw my eyes from theirs, 440
  Nor turn them up to pray.

  “And now this spell was snapped:  once more
  I viewed the ocean green,
  And looked far forth, yet little saw
  Of what had else been seen—­ 445

  “Like one that on a lonesome road
  Doth walk in fear and dread,
  And having once turned round walks on,
  And turns no more his head;
  Because he knows, a frightful fiend 450
  Doth close behind him tread.

  “But soon there breathed a wind on me,
  Nor sound nor motion made;
  Its path was not upon the sea,
  In ripple or in shade. 455

  “It raised my hair, it fanned my cheek,
  Like a meadow-gale of spring—­
  It mingled strangely with my fears,
  Yet it felt like a welcoming.

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