It is an ancient Mariner,
And he stoppeth one of three:
"By thy long grey beard and thy glittering eye
Now wherefore stoppest me?"

"The Bridegroom's doors are open'd wide
And I am next of kin;
The Guests are met, the Feast is set,—
May'st hear the merry din.

But still he holds the wedding guest—
"There was a Ship, quoth he—"
"Nay, if thou'st got a laughsome tale,
Mariner! come with me.


He holds him with his skinny hand,
Quoth he, there was a Ship—
"Now get thee hence, thou grey-beard Loon
Or my Staff shall make thee skip.

He holds him with his glittering eye—
The wedding guest stood still
And listens like a three year's child;
The Mariner hath his will.

The wedding-guest sate on a stone,
He cannot chuse but hear:
And thus spake on that ancient man,
The bright-eyed Mariner.

The Ship was cheer'd, the Harbour clear'd—
Merrily did we drop
Below the Kirk, below the Hill,
Below the Light-house top.

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 Bride hath pac'd into the Hall,
Red as a rose is she;
Nodding their heads before her goes
The merry Minstralsy.

The wedding-guest he beat his breast,
Yet he cannot chuse but hear:
And thus spake on that ancient Man,
The bright-eyed Mariner.

But now the Northwind came more fierce,
There came a Tempest strong!
And Southward still for days and weeks
Like Chaff we drove along.

And now there came both Mist and Snow,
And it grew wond'rous cold;
And Ice mast-high came floating by
As green as Emerald.

And thro' 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 crack'd and growl'd, and roar'd and howl'd—
A wild and ceaseless sound.

At length did cross an Albatross,
Thorough the Fog it came;
As if it had been a Christian Soul,
We hail'd it in God's name.

The Mariners gave it biscuit-worms,
And round and round it flew:
The Ice did split with a Thunder-fit;
The Helmsman steer'd us thro'.

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 perch'd for vespers nine,
Whiles all the night thro' fog-smoke white
Glimmer'd the white moon-shine.

"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.