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I saw a third-I heard his voice,
It is the Hermit good!
He singeth loud his godly hymns
That he makes in the wood;
He'll shrieve my soul, he'll wash away
The Albatross's blood.
This Hermit good, lives in that wood *
Which slopes down to the sea ;
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, at eve-
He hath a cushion plump ;
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;
Where are those lights, so many and fair,
That signal made but now ?"
Strange, by my faith !" the Hermit said * ;
“ And they answered not our cheer!
The planks look warped ! and see these sails,
How thin they are and sere !
I never saw aught like to them,
Unless perchance it were,
“ Brown skeletons of leaves, that lag
By forest brook along;
When the ivy tod is heavy with snow,
And the owlet whoops to the wolf below,
That eats the she-wolf's young.”
66 Dear Lord ! it hath a fiendish look
(The pilot made reply);
I am a-feared—”—“ Push on, push on!"
Said the Hermit, cheerily.
The boat came closer to the ship,
But I nor spake nor stirred;
The boat came close beneath the ship,
And straight a sound was heard.
Under the water it rumbled on ;
Still louder and more dread:
It reached the ship, it split the bay ;
The ship went down like lead*.
Stunned by that loud and dreadful sound *,
Which sky and ocean smote,
Like one that hath been seven days drowned,
My body lay afloat;
But, swift as dreams, myself I found
Within the pilot's boat.
Upon the whirl, where sunk the ship,
The boat spun round and round;
And all was still, save that the hill,
Was telling of the sound.
I moved my lips—The pilot shrieked,
And fell down in a fit:
The holy Hermit raised his eyes,
And prayed where he did sit.
I took the oars : the pilot's boy,
Who now doth crazy go,
Laughed loud and long, and all the while
His eyes went to and fro-
“ Ha, ha!" quoth he, “ full plain I see,
The Devil knows how to row.”
And now, all in my own countree,
I stood on the firm land.
The Hermit stepped forth from the boat,
And scarcely he could stand.
0, shrieve me, shrieve me, holy man * !"
The Hermit crossed his brow-
Say, quick," quoth he, “ I bid thee say,
What manner of man art thou ?”
Forthwith this frame of mine was wr
With a woeful agony,
Which forced me to begin my tale,
And then it left me free.
Since then, at an uncertain hour,
agony returns :
And till my ghastly tale is told,
This heart within me burns.
pass, like night, from land to land + :
I have strange power of speech :
That moment that his face I see,
I know the man that must hear me;
To him my tale I teach.
What loud uproar bursts from that door ?
The wedding guests are there :
But in the garden bower, the bride
And bridemaids singing are :
And, hark! the little vesper bell,
Which biddeth me to prayer!
Oh, wedding guest ! this soul hath been
Alone on a wide wide sea ;
So lonely 'twas, that God himself
Scarce seemed there to be.
To walk together to the kirk,
And all together pray,
While each to his Great Father bends,
Old men, and babes, and loving friends,
And youths, and maidens gay.
Farewell, farewell! but this I tell *
To thee, thou wedding guest !
He prayeth well, who loveth well,
Both man, and bird, and beast.
He prayeth best, who loveth best,
All things both great and small;
For the dear God that loveth us,
He made and loveth all.
The Mariner, whose eye is bright,
Whose beard with age is hoar,
Is gone ; and now the wedding guest
Turns from the bridegroom's door.