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The Skiff-boat ner'd : 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 answer'd not our cheer. “ The planks look warp'd, and see those sails
“ How thin they are and sere ! “ I never saw aught like to them
“ Unless perchance it were
“ The skeletons of leaves that lag
“My 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.
“ Dear Lord! it has a fiendish look
(The Pilot made reply) “ I am a-fear'd..." Push on, push on!
6 Said the Hermit cheerily.
The Boat came closer to the Ship,
But I nor spake nor stirr’d!
And strait a sound was heard !
Under the water it rumbled on,
Still louder and more dread :
The Ship went down like lead.
Stunn'd by that loud and dreadful sound,
Which sky and ocean smote:
My body lay afloat:
But, swift as dreams, myself I found
Within the Pilot's boat.
Upon the whirl, where sank the Ship,
The boat spun round and round: And all was stil, save that the hill
Was telling of the sound.
I mov'd my lips : the Pilot shriek'd
And fell down in a fit.
And pray'd where he did sit.
I took the oars : the Pilot's boy,
Who now doth crazy go, Laugh'd 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 mine own Countrée
I stood on the firm land !
And scarcely he could stand.
"O shrieve me, shrieve me, holy Man !"
The Hermit cross'd his brow-
Forthwith this frame of mind was wrench'd
With a woeful agony,
And then it left me free.
Since then at an uncertain hour,
That agency returns ;
This heart within me burns.
I pass, like night, from land to land;
I have strange power of speech;
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 Bride-maids singing are : And hark the little Vesper-bell
Which biddeth me to prayer.
O Wedding-guest ! this soul hath been
Alone on a wide wide sea :
Scarce seemed there to be..