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FIRST VOICE.

| The harbour bay was clear as glass, The mariner hath But why drives on that ship so fast, So smoothly it was strewn! bees cast into a trance; for the Without or wave or wind?

And on the bay the moonlight lay, angelic power

And the shadow of the moon. causeth the vessel

SECOND VOICE. to drive north. ward faster than The air is cut away before,

The rock shone bright, the kirk no bumaa life could

less
cadore.
And closes from behind.

That stands above the rock :
Fly, brother, Ay! more high, more The moonlight steep'd in silentness,
high!

The steady weathercock.
Or we shall be belated :
For slow and slow that ship will go,

| And the bay was white with silent
When the mariner's trance is abated.

light,
Till rising from the same,

The angelie spi

rits leave the The supernatural I woke, and we were sailing on Full many shapes that shadows were, head motion is retard ed; the mariner As in a gentle weather :

In crimson colours came. awakes, and his 'Twas night, calm night, the moon penapoe begins was high; A little distance from the prow And appear ia

their owa fora The dead men stood together.

Those crimson shadows were:

of light.
I turn'd my eyes upon the deck-
All stood together on the deck 0, Christ! what saw I there!
For a charnel-dungeon fitter:
All fix'd on me their stony eyes,

Each corse lay flat, lifeless and flat;
That in the moon did glitter. And, by the holy rood!

A man all light, a seraph-man,
The pang, the curse, with which they

On every corse there stood.
died,
Had never pass'd away:

This seraph band, each waved his
I could not draw my eyes from theirs, hand:
Nor turn them up to pray.

It was a heavenly sight!

They stood as signals to the land,
Thuc cone is final. And now the spell was snapt : once
is expiated.

Each one a lovely light;
more
I view'd the ocean green,

This seraph band, each waved his
And look'd far forth, yet little sa v

band,
Of what had else been seen-

No voice did they impart-
Like one, that on a lonesome road

No voice; but 0! the silence sank
Doth walk in fear and dread,

Like music on my heart.
And having once turned round walks

But soon I heard the dash of oars,
on,

I heard the pilot's cheer;
And turns no more his head;
Because he knows a frightful fiend

My head was turn'd perforce away,
Doth close behind him tread.

And I saw a boat appear.
But soon there breathed a wind on me, / The pilot and the pilot's boy,
Nor sound nor motion made:

I heard them coming fast:
Its path was not upon the sea,

Dear Lord in heaven! it was a joy
In ripple or in shade.

The dead men could not blast.

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PART VII
| This hermit good lives in that wood
Which slopes down to the sea.
How loudly his sweet voice he rears!
He loves to talk with mariners
| That come from a far countrée.

and the peace

He kneels at morn, and noon, and “Ha! ha!" quoth he, “full plain I
eve

see,
He hath a cushion plump:

The devil knows how to row.”
It is the moss that wholly hides

And now, all in my own countrée,
The rotted old oak stump.

I stood on the firm land!
The skiff-boat near'd: I heard them The hermit stepp'd forth from the
talk,

boat,
“ Why this is strange, I trow! And scarcely he could stand.
Where are those lights, so many and

«() shrive me, shrive me, holy man!” The ancient as fair,

riderenethyes The hermit crossd his brow.

treateth the te That signal made but now ?

“Say quick," quoth he, “I bid thee mit to shrine bin;

sayApproacheth the “Strange, by my faith!” the hermit

of life falls en ship with wonder.

What manner of man art thou ?” bin.
said
" And they answer not our cheer! Forthwith this frame of mice was
The planks look'd warp'd! and see wrench'd
those sails,

With a woful agony,
How thin they are and sere ! Which forced me to begin my tale;
I never saw aught like to them, And then it left me free.
Unless percbance it were
Since then, at an uncertain hour, And eve a

aasa throughout
“ Brown skeletons of leaves that lag
That agony returns:

his fature life as My forest brook along; And till my ghastly tale is told, agony coastraie

eth him to tharel

This heart within me burns.
When the ivy-tod is heavy with snow,

fron land to land. And the owlet whoops to the wolf

I pass, like pight, from land to land:
below,

I have strange power of speech;
That eats the she-wolf's young.”

That moment that his face I see,
“ Dear Lord! it hath a fiendish look-

I know the man that must hear me:
(The pilot made reply,)

To him my tale I teach.
I am a-fear'd.”_"Push on, push on!” What loud uproar bursts from that
Said the hermit cheerily,

door!

The wedding-guests are there
The boat came closer to the ship,

But in the garden-bower the bride
But I nor spake nor stirr'd;

And bridemaids singing are:
The boat came close beneath the ship,

ship, | And bark! the little vesper-bell,
And straight a sound was heard.

Which biddeth me to prayer.
The ship redden. Under the water it rombled on, O wedding-guest! this soul hath been
y sinketh.
Still louder and more dread:

Alone on a wide, wide sea :
It reach'd the ship, it split the bay; So lonely 'twas, that God himself

The ship went down like lead. Scarce seemed there to be.
The ancient ma- Stunn'd by that loud and dreadful |

+ land and dreadfull sweeter than the marriage-feast,
rider is saved in
to pilot's boat.

'Tis sweeter far to me,
sound,
Which sky and ocean smote,

To walk together to the kirk,
Like one that hath been seven days

With a goodly company -
drown'd,

To walk together to the kirk,
My body lay afloat;

And all together pray,
But swift as dreams, myself I found

While each to his great Father bends,
Within the pilot's boat.

old men and babes, and loving friends,

And youths and maidens gay!
Upon the whirl, where sank the ship,
The boat spun round and round; Farewell, farewell ! but this I tell And to teach, by

bis own example, And all was still, save that the hill To thee, thou wedding-guest!

love and tererWas telling of the sound. He prayeth well, who loveth well ence to all things

that God made Both man, and biri, and beast.

and loveth
I moved my lips--the pilot shriek'd,
And fell down in a fit;

He prayeth best, who loveth best
The holy hermit raised his eyes, All things, both great and small;
And pray'd where he did sit.

For the dear God who loveth us,

He made and loveth all.
I took the oars: the pilot's boy,
Who now doth crazy go,

The mariner, whose eye is bright,
Laugh'd loud and long, and all the Whose beard with age is hoar,
while

Is gone: and now the wedding-guest
His eyes went to and fro,

Turn'd from the bridegroom's door.

PART I.

He went like one that hath been

stunn'd,
And is of sense forlorn,
A sadder and a wiser man
Hle rose the morrow morn.

'Tis the middle of night by the castle clock,
And the owls have awaken'd the crowing cock:
Tu-whit! Tu-whoo !
And hark, again! the crowing cock,
How drowsily it crew.

CHRISTABEL.

Sir Leoline, the baron rich,
Hath a toothless mastiff, which
From her kennel beneath the rock
Maketh answer to the clock,
Four for the quarters, and twelve for the hour ;
Ever and aye, by shine and shower,
Sixteen short bowls, not over-loud;
Some say, she sees my lady's shroud.

Is the night chilly and dark?
The night is chilly, but not dark.
The thin gray cloud is spread on high,
It covers but not hides the sky.
The moon is behind, and at the full;
And yet she looks both small and dull.
The night is chill, the cloud is gray:
'Tis a month before the month of May,
And the spring comes slowly up this way.

PREFACE.* The first part of the following poem was written in the year one thousand seven hundred and ninetyseven, at Stowey in the county of Somerset. The second part, after my return from Germany, in the year one thousand eight hundred, at Keswick, Cumberland. Since the latter date, my poetic powers have been, till very lately, in a state of suspended animation. But as, in my very first conception of the tale, I had the whole present to my mind, with the wholeness, no less than with the loveliness of a vision, I trust that I shall yet be able to embody in verse the three parts yet to come.

It is probable, that if the poem had been finished at either of the former periods, or if even the first and second part had been published in the year 1800, the impression of its originality would have been much greater than I dare at present expect. But for this, I have only my own indolence to blame. The dates are mentioned for the exclusive purpose of precluding charges of plagiarism or servile imitation from myself. For there is amongst us a set of critics, who seem to hold, that every possible thought and image is traditional: who have no notion that there are such things as fountains in the world, small as well as great; and who would, therefore, charitably derive every rill they behold flowing, from a perforation made in some other man's tank. I am confident, however, that as far as the present poem is concerned, the celebrated poets whose writings I might be suspected of baving imitated, either in particular passages, or in the tone and the spirit of the whole, would be among the first to vindicate me from the charge, and who, on any striking coincidence, would permit me to address them in this doggerel version of two monkish Latin hexameters.

'Tis mine, and it is likewise yours;
But an' if this will not do,
Let it be mine, good friend! for !
Am the poorer of the two.

The lovely lady, Christabel, Whom her father loves so well, What makes her in the wood so late, A furlong from the castle gate? She had dreams all yesternight Of her own betrothed knight; And she in the midnight wood will pray For the weal of her lover that's far away.

She stole along, she nothing spoke,
The sighs she heaved were soft and low,
And naught was green upon the oak,
But moss and rarest misletoe:
She kneels beneath the huge oak tree,
And in silence prayeth she.
The lady sprang up suddenly,
The lovely lady, Christabel!
It moan'd as near as near could be,
But what it is she cannot tell.
On the other side it seems to be,
Of the huge, broad-breasted, old oak tree

The night is chill; the forest bare; Is it the wind that moaneth bleak? There is not wind enough in the air To move away the ringlet curl From the lovely lady's cheekThere is not wind enough to twirl The one red leaf, the last of its clan, That dances as often as dance it can, Hanging so light, and hanging so high, On the topmost twig that looks up at the sky

I have only to add, that the metre of the Christadel is not, properly speaking, irregular, though it may seem so from its being founded on a new principle: namely, that of counting in each line the accents, not the syllables. Though the latter may vary from seven to twelve, yet in each line the accents will be found to be only four. Neverthe. less, this occasional variation in number of syllables is not introduced wantonly, or for the mere ends of convenience, but in correspondence with some transition, in the nature of the imagery or passion.

Hush, beating heart of Christabel!
Jesu, Maria, shield her well!
She folded her arms beneath her cloak,
And stole to the other side of the oak.

What sees she there?

There she sees a damsel bright, Drest in a silken robe of white,

To the edition of 1916.

That shadowy in the moonlight shone :
The neck that made that white robe wan,
Her stately neck, and arms were bare ;
Her blue-vein'd feet unsandali'd were,
And wildly glitter'd here and there
The gems entangled in her hair.
I guess, 'twas frightful there to see
A lady so richly clad as she
Beautiful exceedingly!

They cross'd the moat, and Christabel
Took the key that fitted well;
A little door she open'd straight,
All in the middle of the gate;
The gate that was iron'd within and without,
Where an army in battle array had march'd out.
The lady sank, belike through pain,
And Christabel with might and main
Lifted her up, a weary weight,
Over the threshold of the gate :
Then the lady rose again,
And moved, as she were not in pain.

Mary mother, save me now!
(Said Christabel) And who art thou?
The lady strange made answer meet,
And her voice was faint and sweet:-
Have pity on my sore distress,
I scarce can speak for weariness :
Stretch forth thy hand, and have no fear!
Said Christabel, How camest thou here?
And the lady, whose voice was faint and sweet,
Did thus pursue her answer meet:

So free from danger, free from fear,
They cross'd the court: right glad they were.
And Christabel devoutly cried
To the lady by her side,
Praise we the Virgin all divine
Who hath rescued thee from thy distress!
Alas, alas ! said Geraldine,
I cannot speak for weariness.
So free from danger, free from fear,
They cross'd the court: right glad they were.

Outside her kennel, the mastiff old
Lay fast asleep, in moonshine cold.
The mastiff old did not awake,
Yet she an angry moan did make!
And what can ail the mastiff bitch ?
Never till now she utter'd yell
Beneath the eye of Christabel.
Perhaps it is the owlet's scritch;
For what can ail the mastiff bitch ?

My sire is of a noble line,
And my name is Geraldine ;
Five warriors seized me yestermorn,
Me, even me, a maid forlorn :
They choked my cries with force and fright,
And tied me on a palfrey white.
The palfrey was as fleet as wind,
And they rode furiously behind.
They spurr'd amain, their steeds were white;
And once we cross'd the shade of night.
As sure as Heaven shall rescue me,
I have no thought what men they be;
Nor do I know how long it is
(For I have lain entranced I wis)
Since one, the tallest of the five,
Took me from the palfrey's back,
A weary woman, scarce alive.
Some mutter'd words his comrades spoke:
He placed me underneath this oak,
He swore they would return with haste:
Whither they went I cannot tell-
I thought I heard, some minutes prst,
Sounds as of a castle-bell.
Stretch forth thy hand, (thus ended she,)
And help a wretched maid to flee.

They pass'd the hall, that echoes still,
Pass as lightly as you will !
The brands were flat, the brands were dying,
Amid their own white ashes lying:
But when the lady pass'd, there came
A tongue of light, a fit of flame;
And Christabel saw the lady's eye,
And nothing else saw she thereby,
Save the boss of the shield of Sir Leoline tall,
Which hung in a murky old piche in the wall
O softly tread! said Christabel,
My father seldom sleepeth well,

Then Christabel stretch'd forth her hand,
And comforted fair Geraldine:
O well, bright dame! may you command
The service of Sir Leoline;
And gladly our stout chivalry
Will he send forth and friends withal,
To guide and guard you safe and free
Home to your noble father's hall.

Sweet Christabel her feet doth bare ;
And, jealous of the listening air,
They steal their way from stair to stair:
Now in glimmer, and now in gloom-
And now they pass the baron's room,
As still as death with stifled breath!
And now have reach'd her chamber-door ;
And now doth Geraldine press down
The rushes of the chamber floor.

She rose ; and forth with steps they pass'd
That strove to be, and were not, fast.
Her gracious STARS the lady blest,
And thus spake on sweet Christabel :-
All our household are at rest,
The hall as silent as the cell;
Sir Leoline is weak in health,
And may not well awaken'd be,
But we will move as if in stealth ;
And I beseech your courtesy,
This night, to share your couch with me.

The moon shines dim in the open air,
And not a moonbeam enters here.
But they without its light can see
The chamber carved so curiously,
Carved with figures strange and sweet,
All made out of the carver's brain,
For a lady's chamber meet:
The lamp with twofold silver chain
Is fasten'd to an angel's feet.

And on her elbow did recline
To look at the Lady Geraldine.

The silver lamp burns dead and dim ;
But Christabel the lamp will trim.
She trimmll the lamp, and made it bright,
And left it swinging to and fro,
While Geraldine, in wretched plight,
Sank down upon the floor below,
O weary lady, Geraldine,
I pray you, drink this cordial wine!
It is a wine of virtuous powers;
My mother made it of wild flowers.

Beneath the lamp the Lady bow'd,
And slowly roll'd her eyes around;
Then drawing in her breath aloud,
Like one that shudder'd, she unbound
The cincture from beneath her breast :
Her silken robe, and inner vest,
Dropt to her feet, and full in view,
Behold! her bosom and half her side
A sight to dream of, not to tell !
O shield her! shield sweet Christabel.

And will your mother pity me,
Who am a maiden most forlorn ?
Christabel answer'd-Wo is me!
She died the hour that I was born.
I have heard the gray-hair'd friar tell,
How on her death-bed she did say,
That she should hear the castle-bell
Strike twelve upon my wedding-day.
O mother dear! that thou wert here!
I would, said Geraldine, she were !

But soon, with alter'd voice said she-
« Off, wandering mother! Peak and pine !
I have power to bid thee flee."
Alas! what ails poor Geraldine?
Why stares she with unsettled eye?
Can she the bodiless dead espy?
And why with hollow voice cries she,
“Off, woman, off! this hour is mine

Though thou her guardian spirit be,
Off, woman, off! 'tis given to me.”

Yet Geraldine nor speaks nor stirs;
Ah! what a stricken look was hers!
Deep from within she seems halfway
To lift some weight with sick assay,
And eyes the maid and seeks delay;
Then suddenly as one defied
Collects herself in scorn and pride,
And lay down by the maiden's side !
And in her arms the maid she took,

Ah well-a-day!
And with low voice and doleful look

These words did say:
In the touch of this bosom there worketh a spell
Which is lord of thy utterance, Christabel !
Thou knowest to-night, and wilt know to-morrow
This mark of my shame, this seal of my sorrow;

But vainly thou warrest,

For this is alone in
Thy power to declare,

That in the dim forest

Thou heardest a low moaning, And foundest a bright lady, surpassingly fair : And didst bring her home with thee in love and in

charity, To shield her and shelter her from the damp air.

Then Christabel knelt by the lady's side,
And raised to heaven her eyes so blue-
Alas! said she, this ghastly ride-
Dear lady! it hath wilder'd you !
The lady wiped her moist cold brow,
And faintly said, “ 'Tis over now!”

THE CONCLUSION TO PART I.

Again the wild-flower wine she drank;
Her fair large eyes 'gan glitter bright,
And from the floor whereon sbe sank,
The lofty lady stood upright;
She was most beautiful to see,
Like a lady of a far countrée.

And thus the lofty lady spake-
All they, who live in the upper sky,
Do love you, holy Christabel !
And you love them, and for their sake
And for the good which me befell,
Even I in my degrees will try,
Fair maiden! to requite you well.
But now unrobe yourself; for I
Must pray, ere yet in bed 1 lie.

It was a lovely sight to see
The lady Christabel, when she
Was praying at the old oak tree.

Amid the jugged shadows
Of mossy leafless boughs,
Kneeling in the moonlight,

To make her gentle vows;
Her slender palms together prést,
Heaving sometimes on her breast;
Her face resign'd to bliss or bale--
Her face-o call it fair, not pale!
And both blue eyes more bright than clear,
Each about to have a tear,

Quoth Christabel, So let it be! And as the lady bade, did she, Her gentle limbs did she undress. And lay down in her loveliness.

With open eyes (ab wo is me!)
Asleep, and dreaming fearfully,
Fearfully dreaming, yet I wis,
Dreaming that alone, which is-
O sorrow and shame! Can this be she,
The lady, who knelt at the old oak tree?
And lo! the worker of these harms,
That holds the maiden in her arms,
Seems to slumber still and mild,
As a mother with her child.

But through her brain of weal and wo
So many thoughts moved to and fro,
That vain it were her lids to close ;
So halfway from the bed she rose,

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