Alone, alone, all, all alone,
Alone on a wide wide sea!
In this haunting poem, a guest on his way to a wedding reception is stopped by the Ancient Mariner. With his "glittering eye" he transfixes the guest and then relates a compelling tale of a sea voyage fraught with strange happenings. The Mariner tells of journeying through tyrannous storms to ice mast-high, through mist and snow to the deadly inertia of the doldrums. There are unearthly visitations, ill omens, and supernatural happenings - all leading to the revelation of the Mariner's strange fate.
Considered to be Coleridge's masterpiece, "The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere" was originally published in Lyrical Ballads in 1798. The poem was subsequently revised, and this is reflected in the title change to "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner". This recording uses the text of the revised version.