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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.

Water, water, every where

And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,

Nor any drop to drink.

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The very deeps did rot: 0 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 danc'd at night; The water, like a witch's oils,

Burnt green and blue and white.

And some in dreams assured were

Of the Spirit that plagued us so : Nine fathom deep he had follow'd us

From the Land of Mist and Snow.

And every tongue thro' utter drouth

Was wither'd at the root; We could not speak no more than if

We had been choked with soot.

Ah wel-a-day! what evil looks

Had I from old and young ; Instead of the Cross the Albatross About


neck was hung


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 mov'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;
And, as if it dodg'd a water-sprite,

It plung'd and tack'd and veer'd.

With throat unslack’d, with black lips bak'd

We could nor laugh nor wail ;
Thro' utter drouth all dumb we stood
Till I bit my arm and suck'd the blood,

And cry'd, A sail ! a sail !

With throat unslack'd, 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 ?

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