The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Posted on Sun 08/19/2018 by


American Minute

By William J Federer ~

English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge described a ship caught in the doldrums in his lyrical poem, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,”1798.
A ship was lost in the ice of Antarctica, but was providentially led out of it by a larger sea-bird, an albatross.
Disregarding its help, the captain shot the albatross, and brought a curse upon them:
“With my cross-bow,
I shot the albatross.”
Though they escaped the ice, the ship was then stranded in the doldrums near the equator as punishment for the captain killing the albatross:
“Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.
Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.
The very deep did rot – Oh Christ!
That ever this should be.
Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs,
Upon the slimy sea.”
The dying crew blamed the captain and hung the dead albatross around his neck:
“Ah! Well a-day! What evil looks
Had I from old and young!
Instead of the cross, the albatross
About my neck was hung.”
When the captain finally repented of his misdeed, the dead albatross fell from off his neck, and the wind supernaturally began to blow:
“The air is cut away before,
And closes from behind.”
When the captain spotted his homeland, he thought he was seeing a dream:
“Oh! Dream of joy! Is this indeed
The light-house top I see?
Is this the hill? Is this the kirk?
Is this mine own countree?
We drifted o’er the harbour-bar,
And I with sobs did pray—
O let me be awake, my God!
Or let me sleep alway.”
After reaching land, the captain then spends the rest of his life wandering and telling the story of his crime, repentance and salvation.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge   concluded his poem:
“He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.”
Posted in: GOD, Poetry, Politics, Prayer
One Response “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” →
  1. My favourite poem….i red it in school….9th class….since then i got motivated to write….❤️❤️
    My favourite lines from this poems:
    Water water everywhere
    That all the boards did shrink
    Water water everywhere
    Not a drop to drink…❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person


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