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But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanteil
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seethin “,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced :
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail :
And mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean :
And 'mid this tumult Kubla beard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!
The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves ;
Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice !
A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw :
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight 'twould win me,
That with music loud and long
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome! those caves of ice !
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair !
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.
FROM "THE ANCIENT MARINER.'
321. A CALM ON THE EQUATOR.
The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
The furrow follow'd free;
We were the first that ever burst
Into that silent sea.
Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down,
'Twas sad as sad could be ;
And we did speak only to break
The silence of the sea !
All in a hot and copper sky,
The bloody Sun, at noon,
Right up above the mast did stand,
No bigger than the Moon.
Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion :
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.
Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink ;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.
'he very deep did rot:-0 Christ!
That ever this should be!
Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs
Upon the slimy sea.
About, about, in reel and rout
The death-fires danc'd at night;
The water, like a witch's oils,
Burnt green, and blue, and white.
322. THE PHANTOM SHIP.
There passed a weary time. Each throat
Was parched, and glazed each eye.
A weary time! a weary time!
How glazed each weary eye,
When looking westward, I beheld
A something in the sky.
At first it seemed a little speck,
And then it seemed a mist;
It moved and moved, and took at last
A certain shape, I wist.
A speck, a mist, a shape, I wist!
And still it neared and neared :
As if it dodged a water-sprite,
It plunged and tacked and veered.
With throats unslaked, with black lips bakal,
We could nor laugh nor wail ;
Through utter drought all dumb we stood!
I bit my arm, I sucked the blood,
And cried, A sail, a sail !
With throats unslaked, with black lips baku,
Agape they heard me call :
Gramercy! they for joy did grin,
And all at once their breath drew in,
As they were drinking all.
See! see! (I cried) she tacks no more !
Hither to work us weal ;
Without a breeze, without a tide,
She steadies with upright keel!
The western wave was all a-flame.
The day was well nigh done!
Almost upon the western wave
Rested the broad bright Sun;
When that strange shape drove suddenly
Betwixt us and the Sun.
And straight the Sun was flecked with bars,
(Heaven's Mother send us grace !)
As if through a dungeon-grate he peered
With broad and burning face.
Alas! (thought I, and my heart beat loud)
How fast she nears and nears !
Are those her sails that glance in the Sun,
Like restless gossameres ?
Are those her ribs through which the Sun
Did peer, as through a grate?
And is that Woman all her crew ?
Is that a Death ? and are there two ?
Is Death that Woman's mate?
Her lips were red, her looks were free,
Her locks were yellow as gold :
Her skin was as white as leprosy,
The Night-mare Life-in-Death was she,
Who thicks man's blood with cold.
The naked hulk alongside came,
And the twain were casting dice ;
“ The game is done! I've, I've won!”
Quoth she, aud whistles thrice.
The Sun's rim dips ; the stars rush out:
At one stride comes the dark ;
With far-heard whisper, o'er the sea,
Off shot the spectre-bark.
We listened and looked sideways up!
Fear at my heart, as at a cup,
My life-blood seemed to sip!
The stars were dim, and thick the night,
The steersman's face by his lamp gleamed white ;
From the sails the dew did drip-
Till clomb above the eastern bar
The horned Moon, with one bright star,
Within the nether tip.
Monsters and madmen canonized, and Galileo blind in a dungeon ! It is not so in our times. Heaven be praised, that in this respect at least, we are, if not better, yet better off than our forefathers. But to what, and to whom (under Providence) do we owe the improvement? To any radical change in the moral affections of mankind in general ? In order to answer this question in the affirmative, I must forget the infamous empirics whose advertisements pollute and disgrace all our newspapers, and almost paper the walls of our cities; and the vending of whose poisons and poisonous drams (with shame and anguish be it spoken) supports a shop in every market-town! I must forget that other opprobrium of the nation, that mother vice, the lottery! I must forget that a numerous class plead prudence for keeping their fellow-men ignorant and incapable
of intellectual enjoyments, and the revenue for upholding such temptations as men so ignorant will not withstand-yes! that even senators and officers of state hold forth the revenue as a sufficient plea for upholding, at every fiftieth door throughout the kingdom, temptations to the most pernicious vices.
No! let us not deceive ourselves. Like the man who used to pull off his hat with great demonstration of respect whenever he spoke of himself, we are fond of styling our own the enlightened age, though, as Jortin, I think, has wittily remarked, the golden age would be more appropriate.
To whom, then, do we owe our ameliorated condition ? To the successive few in every age (more, indeed, in one generation than in another, but relatively to the mass of mankind always few), who, by the intensity and permanence of their action, have compensated for the limited sphere within which it is at any one time intelligible, and whose good deeds posterity reverence in their results, though the mode in which we repair the inevitable waste of time, and the style of our additions, too generally furnish a sad proof how little we understand the principles.
Still, however, there are truths so self-evident, or so immediately and palpably deduced from those that are, or are acknowledged for such, that they are at once intelligible to all men who possess the common advantages of the social state; although by sophistry, by evil habits, by the neglect, false persuasions, and impostures of an anti-christian priesthood, joined in one conspiracy with the violence of tyrannical governors, the understandings of men may become so darkened, and their consciences so lethargic, that there may arise a necessity for the republication of these truths, and this, too, with a voice of loud alarm and impassioned warning. Snch were the doctrines proclaimed by the first Christians to the pagan world : such were the lightnings flashed by Wicklif, Huss, Luther, Calvin, Zuinglius, Latimer, and others, across the papal darkness; and such in our own times, the agitating truths with which Thomas Clarkson and his excellent confederates, the Quakers, fought and conquered the legalized banditti of men-stealers, the numerous and powerful perpetrators and advocates of rapine, murder, and (of blacker guilt than either) slavery. Truths of this kind being indispensable to man, considered as a moral being, are above all expedience, all accidental consequences : for, as sure as God is holy and man immortal, there can be no evil so great as the ignorance or disregard of them. It is the very madness of mock prudence to oppose the removal of a poisoned dish on account of the pleasant sauces or nutritious viands which would be lost with it! The dish contains destruction to that for which alone we ought to wish the palate to be gratified, or the body to be nourished.