We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Saturday, July 24. 2010
To be read aloud - even if alone. Coleridge, 1798. Coleridge was a sort-of Transcendentalist.
IT IS an ancient Mariner,
The Bridegroom's doors are opened wide,
He holds him with his skinny hand,
He holds him with his glittering eye--
The Wedding-Guest sat on a stone:
'The ship was cheered, the harbour cleared,
The Sun came up upon the left,
Higher and higher every day,
The bride hath paced into the hall,
The Wedding-Guest he beat his breast,
And now the Storm-blast came, and he
With sloping masts and dipping prow,
And now there came both mist and snow,
And through the drifts the snowy clifts
The ice was here, the ice was there,
At length did cross an Albatross,
It ate the food it ne'er had eat,
And a good south wind sprung up behind;
In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,
'God save thee, ancient Mariner!
THE Sun now rose upon the right:
And the good south wind still blew behind,
And I had done a hellish thing,
Nor dim nor red like God's own head,
The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down,
All in a hot and copper sky,
Day after day, day after day,
Water, water, every where,
The very deep did rot: O Christ!
About, about, in reel and rout
And some in dreams assur'ed were
And every tongue, through utter drought,
Ah! well a-day! what evil looks
THERE passed a weary time. Each throat
At first it seemed a little speck,
A speck, a mist, a shape, I wist!
With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,
With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,
See! see! (I cried) she tacks no more!
The western wave was all a-flame.
And straight the Sun was flecked with bars,
Alas! (thought I, and my heart beat loud)
Are those her ribs through which the Sun
Her lips were red, her looks were free,
The naked hulk alongside came,
The Sun's rim dips; the stars rush out:
We listened and looked sideways up!
One after one, by the star-dogged Moon,
Four times fifty living men,
The souls did from their bodies fly,--
'I FEAR thee, ancient Mariner!
I fear thee and thy glittering eye,
Alone, alone, all, all alone,
The many men, so beautiful!
I looked upon the rotting sea,
I looked to Heaven, and tried to pray;
I closed my lids, and kept them close,
The cold sweat melted from their limbs,
An orphan's curse would drag to hell
The moving Moon went up the sky,
Her beams bemocked the sultry main,
Beyond the shadow of the ship,
Within the shadow of the ship
O happy living things! no tongue
The self-same moment I could pray;
OH sleep! it is a gentle thing,
The silly buckets on the deck,
My lips were wet, my throat was cold,
I moved, and could not feel my limbs:
And soon I heard a roaring wind:
The upper air burst into life!
And the coming wind did roar more loud,
The thick black cloud was cleft, and still
The loud wind never reached the ship,
They groaned, they stirred, they all uprose,
The helmsman steered, the ship moved on;
The body of my brother's son
'I fear thee, ancient Mariner!'
For when it dawned--they dropped their arms,
Around, around, flew each sweet sound,
Sometimes a-dropping from the sky
And now 'twas like all instruments,
It ceased; yet still the sails made on
Till noon we quietly sailed on,
Under the keel nine fathom deep,
The Sun, right up above the mast,
Then like a pawing horse let go,
How long in that same fit I lay,
'Is it he?' quoth one, 'Is this the man?
The spirit who bideth by himself
The other was a softer voice,
'BUT tell me, tell me! speak again,
'Still as a slave before his lord,
If he may know which way to go;
'But why drives on that ship so fast,
Fly, brother, fly! more high, more high!
I woke, and we were sailing on
All stood together on the deck,
The pang, the curse, with which they died,
And now this spell was snapt: once more
Like one, that on a lonesome road
But soon there breathed a wind on me,
It raised my hair, it fanned my cheek
Swiftly, swiftly flew the ship,
Oh! dream of joy! is this indeed
We drifted o'er the harbour-bar,
The harbour-bay was clear as glass,
The rock shone bright, the kirk no less,
And the bay was white with silent light,
A little distance from the prow
Each corse lay flat, lifeless and flat,
This seraph-band, each waved his hand:
This seraph-band, each waved his hand,
But soon I heard the dash of oars,
The Pilot and the Pilot's boy,
I saw a third-I heard his voice:
THIS Hermit good lives in that wood
He kneels at morn, and noon, and eve--
The skiff-boat neared: I heard them talk,
'Strange, by my faith!' the Hermit said--
Brown skeletons of leaves that lag
'Dear Lord! it hath a fiendish look--
The boat came closer to the ship,
Under the water it rumbled on,
Stunned by that loud and dreadful sound,
Upon the whirl, where sank the ship,
I moved my lips--the Pilot shrieked
I took the oars: the Pilot's boy,
And now, all in my own countree,
'O shrieve me, shrieve me, holy man!'
Forthwith this frame of mine was wrenched
Since then, at an uncertain hour,
I pass, like night, from land to land;
What loud uproar bursts from that door!
O Wedding-Guest! this soul hath been
O sweeter than the marriage-feast,
To walk together to the kirk,
Farewell, farewell! but this I tell
He prayeth best, who loveth best
The Mariner, whose eye is bright,
He went like one that hath been stunned,
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All albatrosses hate Samuel Taylor Coleridge. I'm sorry, but that's a fact.
Because of a single linguistic accident -- that 'albatross' rhymes with cross -- poor albatrosses the globe wide have suffered this horrible stigma ever since. Myself, I won't even talk to one, just from fear of association.
"Hey, Doc, you look depressed, like you've got a big weight on your shoulders. Been talking to an albatross lately?"
If ol' Sam were alive today, PETA would be all over his ragged ass.
In Junior High I memorized the entire Wreck and recited for a contest. I justifiably lost to a girl & friend who was riviting doing Joan's last from GBShaw's play.
I've forgotten what I'd once memorized, it's a long one, and enjoyed revisiting the memories. My friend, the vistor, passed away from breast cancer. Never got arouind to asking her what she thought of my recitation, she was always kind, or if she recalled it during her last times.
Reminder, regrets should be avoided by acting in the moment.
Yes, it must be read aloud!
You remind that I have lost the habit of doing exactly that every year or so.
I have a volume with two versions, one more olde english where I am not sure how to work the pronounciation and accents.
And the Doré Illustrations are as good as the tale.
I wonder if there is a recording of one of the great voices reading it? Or Shatner…?
'Tis the season for coincidences. I recently pulled out a copy of the Mariner given me by my first love, back in 1976. Before she handed that to me, I hadn't heard the tale.