Using his hypnotic eyes to hold the attention of the Wedding Guest, he starts telling a story about a disastrous journey he took. The Mariner begins his story. They left port, and the ship sailed down near Antarctica to get away from a bad storm, but then they get caught in a dangerous, foggy ice field. An albatross shows up to steer them through the fog and provide good winds, but then the Mariner decides to shoot it.
Despite initial good fortune, the ship is driven south by a storm and eventually reaches Antarctic waters. With my cross-bow, I shot the albatross. The crew is angry with the mariner, believing the albatross brought the south wind that led them out of the Antarctic.
However, the sailors change their minds when the weather becomes warmer and the mist disappears: They soon find that they made a grave mistake in supporting this crime, as it arouses the wrath of spirits who then pursue the ship "from the land of mist and snow"; the south wind that had initially led them from the land of ice now sends the ship into uncharted waters near the equator, where it is becalmed.
Day after day, day after day, We stuck, nor breath nor motion; As idle as a painted ship Upon a painted ocean. 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. Icicles hang from the rigging.
The sailors change their minds again and blame the mariner for the torment of their thirst. In anger, the crew forces the mariner to wear the dead albatross about his neck, perhaps to illustrate the burden he must suffer from killing it, or perhaps as a sign of regret: What evil looks Had I from old and young!
Instead of the cross, the albatross About my neck was hung. Eventually, the ship encounters a ghostly hulk. On board are Death a skeleton and the "Night-mare Life-in-Death", a deathly-pale woman, who are playing dice for the souls of the crew.
With a roll of the dice, Death wins the lives of the crew members and Life-in-Death the life of the mariner, a prize she considers more valuable. The bodies of the crew, possessed by good spirits, rise again and help steer the ship. In a trance, the mariner hears two spirits discussing his voyage and penance, and learns that the ship is being powered supernaturally: The air is cut away before, And closes from behind.
Finally the mariner comes in sight of his homeland, but is initially uncertain as to whether or not he is hallucinating. Is this indeed The light-house top I see? Is this the hill? Is this the kirk? Is this mine own countree? Or let me sleep alway.
The rotten remains of the ship sink in a whirlpool, leaving only the mariner behind. A hermit on the mainland had seen the approaching ship and had come to meet it with a pilot and his boy, in a boat. When they pull him from the water, they think he is dead, but when he opens his mouth, the pilot has a fit.
The hermit prays, and the mariner picks up the oars to row. As penance for shooting the albatross, the mariner, driven by guilt, is forced to wander the earth, telling his story over and over, and teaching a lesson to those he meets: He prayeth best, who loveth best All things both great and small; For the dear God who loveth us, He made and loveth all.
After relaying the story, the mariner leaves, and the wedding guest returns home, and wakes the next morning "a sadder and a wiser man". Coleridge made several modifications to the poem over the years. In the second edition of Lyrical Ballads, published inhe replaced many of the archaic words.
Inspiration for the poem[ edit ] Commemorative statue at WatchetSomerset: Instead of the cross, the Albatross About my neck was hung. On this second voyage Cook crossed three times into the Antarctic Circle to determine whether the fabled great southern continent existed.
In the book, a melancholy sailor, Simon Hatleyshoots a black albatross: We all observed, that we had not the sight of one fish of any kind, since we were come to the Southward of the streights of le Mairnor one sea-bird, except a disconsolate black Albatross, who accompanied us for several days He, after some fruitless attempts, at length, shot the Albatross, not doubting we should have a fair wind after it.crew, and she (the latter) winneth the ancient Mariner.
(Coleridge's note on above stanza) I fear thee and thy glittering eye, And thy skinny hand, so brown.'-- Fear not, fear not, thou Wedding-Guest! Mariner. The ancient Mariner inhospitably killeth the pious bird of good omen.
The ancient Mariner inhospitably killeth the pious bird of good omen. 'God save thee, ancient Mariner! From the fiends, that plague thee thus!— 80 Why look'st thou so?'—'With my crossbow I shot the Albatross. PART II 'The Sun now rose upon the right: Out of the sea came he, 85Still hid in mist, and on the left Went down into the sea. First and foremost, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is one of the best representatives of the English ballad tradition. A ballad is not just a kind of song that people slow-dance to with the lights dimmed. A summary of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” Parts I-IV in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Coleridge’s Poetry. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Coleridge’s Poetry and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.
'God save thee, ancient Mariner! From the fiends, that plague thee thus!— 80 Why look'st thou so?'—'With my crossbow I shot the Albatross. PART II 'The Sun now rose upon the right: Out of the sea came he, 85Still hid in mist, and on the left Went down into the sea.
The timeline below shows where the symbol The Albatross appears in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner study guide contains a biography of Samuel Coleridge, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
A summary of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” Parts I-IV in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Coleridge’s Poetry. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Coleridge’s Poetry and what it means.
Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. Brief summary of the poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.