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So past a weary time; each throat
Was parch’d, and glaz'd each eye, When, looking westward, I beheld
A something in the sky.
At first it seem'd a little speck
And then it seem'd a mist:
It moy'd and mov'd, and took at last
A certain shape, I wist.
A speck, a mist, a shape, I wist!
And still it ner'd and ner'd;
It plung’d and tack'd and veerd.
With throat unslack'd, with black lips bak'd
And cry'd, A sail ! a sail !
With throat unslaçkid, with black lips bak'd
Agape they heard me call : Gramercy! they for joy did grin And all at once their breath drew in
As they were drinking all.
See ! See! (I cry'd) she tacks no more !
Hither to work us weal Without a breeze, without a tide
She steddies with upright keel!
The western wave was all a flame,
The day was well nigh done! Almost
the western wave Rested the broad bright Sun ; When that strange shape drove suddenly
Betwixt us and the Sun.
And strait the Sun was fleck'd with bars
(Heaven's mother send us grace) As if thro' a dungeon grate he peer'd
With broad and burning face.
Alas! (thought I, and my heart beat loud)
How fast she neres and neres ! Are those her Sails that glance in the Sun
Like restless gossameres?
Are those her Ribs, thro' which the Sun
Did peer, as thro' a grate ?
That Woman, and her Mate?
His bones were black with many a crack,
All black and bare, I ween; Jet-black and bare, save where with rust: Of mouldy damps and charnel crust
They were patch'd with purple and green.
Her lips were red, her looks were free,
Her locks were yellow as gold :
Her flesh made the still air cold.
The naked Hulk alongside came
And the Twain were playing dice;
“ The Game is done! I've won, I've won !" Quoth she, and whistled thrice.
A gust of wind sterte up behind
And whistled thro' his bones; Thro’the holes of his eyes and the hole of his mouth Half-whistles and half
With never a whisper in the Sea
Off darts the Spectre-ship;
Almost between the tips.