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THE RHYME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER


I PART

It is an ancient Mariner,
And he stoppeth one of three:
By thy long beard and glittering eye,
Now wherefore stopp'st thou me ?
The Bridegroom's doors are opened wide,
And I am next of kin ;
The guests are met, the feast is set :
May'st hear the merry din.'
He holds him with his skinny hand,
`There was a ship,' quoth he.
`Hold off ! unhand me, grey-beard loon !‘
Eftsoons his hand dropt he.
The Wedding-Guest is spell-bound by the eye
of the old seafaring man, and constrained to
hear his tale.
He holds him with his glittering eye—
The Wedding-Guest stood still,
And listens like a three years' child :
The Mariner hath his will.
The Wedding-Guest sat on a stone :

He cannot choose but hear ;
And thus spake on that ancient man,
The bright-eyed Mariner.
`The ship was cheered, the harbour cleared,
Merrily did we drop
Below the kirk, below the hill,
Below the lighthouse top.
The Mariner tells how the ship sailed
southward with a good wind and fair weather,
till it reached the Line.
The Sun came up upon the left,
Out of the sea came he !
And he shone bright, and on the right
Went down into the sea.
Higher and higher every day,
Till over the mast at noon--‘
The Wedding-Guest here beat his breast,
For he heard the loud bassoon.
The Wedding-Guest heareth the bridal music;
but the Mariner continueth his tale.
The bride hath paced into the hall,
Red as a rose is she ;
Nodding their heads before her goes
The merry minstrelsy.
The Wedding-Guest he beat his breast,
Yet he cannot choose but hear ;
And thus spake on that ancient man,
The bright-eyed Mariner.
The ship driven by a storm toward the south
pole.
`And now the STORM-BLAST came, and he
Was tyrannous and strong :
He struck with his o'ertaking wings,
And chased us south along.
With sloping masts and dipping prow,
As who pursued with yell and blow
Still treads the shadow of his foe,
And forward bends his head,
The ship drove fast, loud roared the blast,
And southward aye we fled.
And now there came both mist and snow,
And it grew wondrous cold :
And ice, mast-high, came floating by,
As green as emerald.
The land of ice, and of fearful sounds
where no living thing was to be seen.
And through the drifts the snowy clifts
Did send a dismal sheen :
Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken—
The ice was all between.
The ice was here, the ice was there,
The ice was all around :
It cracked and growled, and roared and howled,
Like noises in a swound !
Till a great sea-bird, called the
Albatross, came through the snow-fog,
and was received with great joy and
hospitality.
At length did cross an Albatross,
Thorough the fog it came ;
As if it had been a Christian soul,
We hailed it in God's name.
It ate the food it ne'er had eat,
And round and round it flew.
The ice did split with a thunder-fit ;
The helmsman steered us through !
And lo ! the Albatross proveth a bird of good
omen, and followeth the ship as it returned
northward through fog and floating ice.
And a good south wind sprung up behind ;
The Albatross did follow,
And every day, for food or play,
Came to the mariner's hollo !
In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,
It perched for vespers nine ;
Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke white,
Glimmered the white Moon-shine.'
The ancient Mariner inhospitably killeth the
pious bird of good omen.
`God save thee, ancient Mariner !
From the fiends, that plague thee thus !—
Why look'st thou so ?'--With my cross-bow
I shot the ALBATROSS.

THE ANALYSIS


This long poem is divided into seven parts each introduced by a short summary.
The poem is a ballad and the first part is made up of 20 stanzas, 19 quatrains e one six line stanza. The poem is a mixture of dialogue, poetry and prose, in fact every piece of poem is introduced by a little summary.
In the first 10 stanzas the two main characters are an ancient mariner, who is described with a long grey beard, a skinny hand, a glittering eye, and a wedding guest, one of three gallants. First the wedding guest doesn't want to listen to the “grey-beard loon” but then he is captured by the bright eyed mariner and he cannot choose but hear. The wedding-guest is compared, with a simile, to a three years’ child, because he stays still gazes at the mariner. At first the voyage seems to start happily , in fact the poet uses words like merrily, cheered and the weather is sunny and the sea calm.
In the remaining 10 stanzas the mariner tells his story to the wedding-guest. A storm comes and blows the ship southwards. The storm is compared to a bird with uncontrollable wings, described as tyrannous and it is personified. The poet uses “he” which refers to the storm which is identified as a male phenomenon. The ship is compared to anyone who pursued with shout and blow still walks on the shadow of his enemy. Then it becomes misty and snowy, and the atmosphere is dark and sterile. The ice is omnipresent and it is described as an aggressive animal. Suddenly an albatross arrives and he has a benefic influence upon the weather, in fact the nature seems to become less threatening. The albatross is a bird of good omen, he is the link between man and God, in fact in lines 25-26 he uses many words of the religion’s semantic area.
Suddenly the mariner killed the albatross. This event hasn’t a real logical cause, because we would expect the albatross to be rewarded for the benefic influence, but it happens exactly the opposite . The mariner cuts the link with God.

THE RHYME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER


II PART


The Sun now rose upon the right :
Out of the sea came he,
Still hid in mist, and on the left
Went down into the sea.
And the good south wind still blew behind,
But no sweet bird did follow,
Nor any day for food or play
Came to the mariners' hollo !
His shipmates cry out against the ancient
Mariner, for killing the bird of good luck.
And I had done an hellish thing,
And it would work 'em woe :
For all averred, I had killed the bird
That made the breeze to blow.
Ah wretch ! said they, the bird to slay,
That made the breeze to blow !
But when the fog cleared off, they justify the
same, and thus make themselves accomplices
in the crime.
Nor dim nor red, like God's own head,
The glorious Sun uprist :
Then all averred, I had killed the bird
That brought the fog and mist.
'Twas right, said they, such birds to slay,
That bring the fog and mist.
The fair breeze continues ; the ship enters
the Pacific Ocean, and sails northward, even
till it reaches the Line.
The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
The furrow followed free ;
We were the first that ever burst
Into that silent sea.
The ship hath been suddenly becalmed.
Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down,
'Twas sad as sad could be ;
And we did speak only to break
The silence of the sea !
All in a hot and copper sky,
The bloody Sun, at noon,
Right up above the mast did stand,
No bigger than the Moon.
Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion ;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.
And the Albatross begins to be avenged.
Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink ;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.
The very deep did rot : O Christ !
That ever this should be !
Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs
Upon the slimy sea.
About, about, in reel and rout
The death-fires danced at night ;
The water, like a witch's oils,
Burnt green, and blue and white.
A Spirit had followed them ; one of the
inhabitants of this planet, neither departed
souls nor angels ; concerning whom the
learned Jew, Josephus, and the Platonic
Constantinopolitan, Michael Psellus, may be
consulted. They are very numerous, and there
is no climate or element without one or more.
And some in dreams assuréd were
Of the Spirit that plagued us so ;
Nine fathom deep he had followed us
From the land of mist and snow.
And every tongue, through utter drought,
Was withered at the root ;
We could not speak, no more than if
We had been choked with soot.
The shipmates, in their sore distress, would
fain throw the whole guilt on the ancient
Mariner : in sign whereof they hang the dead
sea-bird round his neck.
Ah ! well a-day ! what evil looks
Had I from old and young !
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.

THE ANALYSIS


The second part of the “ Rhyme of the ancient mariner” consists of 14 stanzas, 12 quatrains and two six lines stanzas. In this second part the story is so tragic that the first part. In fact after the mariner killed the albatross the sun was covered by the mist and the passengers averred that he had killed the object which brought the breeze. But suddenly the sun glorious rose up and the wind blew so passengers averred that he had killed the object which brought the fog and mist. They completely changed their opinion. The passengers had visions of death-fires and spirits. They looked evily to the mariner and they hung the killed Albatross on his neck instead of a cross

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