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.

  “Swiftly, swiftly flew the ship, 460
  Yet she sailed softly too: 
  Sweetly, sweetly blew the breeze—­
  On me alone it blew.

  “Oh! dream of joy! is this indeed
  The light-house top I see? 465
  Is this the hill? is this the kirk? 
  Is this mine own countree?[53]

  “We drifted o’er the harbor bar,[54]
  And I with sobs did pray—­
  O let me be awake, my God! 470
  Or let me sleep alway.

  “The harbor bay was clear as glass,[55]
  So smoothly it was strewn! 
  And on the bay the moonlight lay,
  And the shadow of the Moon. 475

  “The rock shone bright, the kirk no less,
  That stands above the rock: 
  The moonlight steeped in silentness
  The steady weathercock.

  “And the bay was white with silent light, 480
  Till, rising from the same,
  Full many shapes, that shadows were,
  In crimson colors came.

  “A little distance from the prow
  Those crimson shadows were:  485
  I turned my eyes upon the deck—­
  Oh, Christ! what saw I there!

  “Each corse lay flat, lifeless and flat,
  And by the holy rood![56]
  A man all light, a seraph-man, 490
  On every corse there stood.

  “This seraph-band, each waved his hand: 
  It was a heavenly sight! 
  They stood as signals to the land,
  Each one a lovely light; 495

  “This seraph-band, each waved his hand,
  No voice did they impart[57]—­
  No voice; but oh! the silence sank
  Like music on my heart.

  “But soon I heard the dash of oars, 500
  I heard the Pilot’s cheer;
  My head was turned perforce, away,
  And I saw a boat appear.

  “The Pilot and the Pilot’s boy,
  I heard them coming fast:  505
  Dear Lord in heaven! it was a joy
  The dead men could not blast.

  “I saw a third—­I heard his voice: 
  It is the Hermit good! 
  He singeth loud his godly hymns 510
  That he makes in the wood. 
  He’ll shrieve[58] my soul, he’ll wash away
  The Albatross’s blood.”


  “This Hermit good lives in that wood
  Which slopes down to the sea. 515
  How loudly his sweet voice he rears! 
  He loves to talk with marineres
  That come from a far countree.

  “He kneels at morn, and noon, and eve—­
  He hath a cushion plump:  520
  It is the moss that wholly hides
  The rotted old oak-stump.

  “The skiff-boat neared:  I heard them talk,
  ’Why, this is strange, I trow![59]
  Where are those lights so many and fair, 525
  That signal made but now?’

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