Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner

Samuel Taylor Coleridge was an English poet, literary critic and philosopher who, with his friend William Wordsworth, was a founder of the Romantic Movement in England and a member of the Lake Poets.


Facile credo, plures esse Naturas invisibiles quam visibiles in rerum
universitate. Sed horum omnium familiam quis nobis enarrabit ? et gradus et
cognationes et discrimina et singulorum munera ? Quid agunt ? quae loca
habitant ? Harum rerum notitiam semper ambivit ingenium humanum, nunquam
attigit. Juvat, interea, non diffiteor, quandoque in animo, tanquam in
tabulâ, majoris et melioris mundi imaginem contemplari : ne mens assuefacta
hodiernae vitae minutiis se contrahat nimis, et tota subsidat in pusillas
cogitationes. Sed veritati interea invigilandum est, modusque servandus, ut
certa ab incertis, diem a nocte, distinguamus. - T. Burnet, Archaeol.
Phil., p. 68 (slightly edited by Coleridge).



How a Ship having passed the Line was driven by storms to the cold Country
towards the South Pole ; and how from thence she made her course to the
tropical Latitude of the Great Pacific Ocean ; and of the strange things
that befell ; and in what manner the Ancyent Marinere came back to his own


An ancient Mariner meeteth three Gallants bidden to a wedding-feast, and
detaineth one.

  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

  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,
  The 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

  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