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The many men so beautiful,
And they all dead did lie !.
Liv'd on—and so did I.
I look'd upon the rotting Sea,
And drew my eyes away ;
And there the dead men lay.
I look'd to Heaven, and try'd to pray ;
But or ever a prayer had gusht, A wicked whisper came and made
My heart as dry as dust.
I clos'd my lids and kept them close,
Till the balls like pulses beat;
The cold sweat melted from their limbs,
Ne rot, ne reek did they ; The look with which they look'd on me,
Had never pass'd away.
An orphan's curse would drag to Hell
A spirit from on high :
Is the curse in a dead man's eye!
And yet I could not die.
The moving Moon went up the sky
And no where did abide : Softly she was going up
And a star or two beside
Her beams bemock'd the sultry main
Like morning frosts yspread; But where the ship's huge shadow lay, The charmed water burnt alway
A still and awful red.
Beyond the shadow of the ship
I watch'd the water-snakes : They mov'd in tracks of shining white; And when they rear'd, the elfish light
Fell off in hoary flakes.
Within the shadow of the ship
I watch'd their rich attire : Blue, glossy green, and velvet black They coil'd and swam; and every track
Was a flash of golden fire.
O happy living things ! no tongue
Their beauty might declare : A spring of love gusht from my heart,
And I bless'd them unaware ! Sure my
kind saint took pity on me, And I bless'd them unaware.
The self-same moment I could pray ;
And from my neck so free The Albatross fell off, and sank
Like lead into the sea.
O sleep, it is a gentle thing
Belov'd from pole to pole! To Mary-queen the praise be yeven She sent the gentle sleep from heaven That slid into
The silly buckets on the deck
That had so long remain'd, I dreamt that they were fill'd with dew
And when I awoke it rain'd.
My lips were wet, my throat was cold,
My garments all were dank ; Sure I had drunken in my dreams
And still my body drank.