The Moving Moon

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Lines 224-31

I fear thee, ancient Mariner!
I fear thy skinny hand!
And thou art long, and lank, and brown,
As is the ribbed sea-sand.

I fear thee and thy glittering eye,
And thy skinny hand, so brown.”—
Fear not, fear not, thou Wedding-Guest!
This body dropt not down.

As we begin Chapter Nine of Mariner this week, we come to a point of transition. Here we will see the consequences which always accompany our actions, but though they are severe and inescapable, they are always within the reach of God’s mercy.

As Malcolm Guite writes:

Part III of The Ancient Mariner ended with this ominous final gloss: “But Life- in-Death begins her work on the ancient Mariner.” In Part IV we begin to see the nightmare’s dreadful work on the mariner, but we also see in the midst of it an unexpected transfiguration, an unlooked-for and undeserved grace that changes everything.

Was grace and mercy extended to you when you DIDN’T deserve it?






Rick Wilcox is Editor in Chief


Published by

Rick Wilcox

Editor in Chief | Literary Life