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It is an ancient Mariner,
And he stoppeth one of three:
"By thy long gray beard and thy glittering eye Now wherefore stoppest 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."
But still he holds the wedding-guest
"There was a Ship," quoth he
'Nay, if thou'st got a laughsome tale,
Mariner! come with me."
He holds him with his skinny hand,
He holds him with his glittering eye-
And listens like a three years' child;
The Mariner hath his will.
The wedding-guest sate on a stone,
And thus spake on that ancient man,
"The Ship was cheered, the Harbour cleared
Merrily did we drop
Below the Kirk, below the Hill,
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,
The Bride hath paced into the Hall,
Red as a rose is she;
Nodding their heads before her go
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:
"But now the North wind came more fierce,
There came a Tempest strong!
And Southward still for days and weeks
Like Chaff we drove along.
And now there came both Mist and Snow,
And it grew wondrous cold:
And Ice mast-high came floating by
As green as Emerald.
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.